Saturday, April 07, 2012

2012 Hugo Nominees

Earlier this afternoon (or whatever day-part it was in your vicinity), simultaneously at five different gatherings of various SFnal tribes across the globe (or the cross-Atlantic Anglosphere), the nominees for the People's Choice Award of SF were revealed. And those nominees are:

Best Novel
  • Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor)
  • A Dance With Dragons, George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
  • Deadline, Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • Embassytown, China MiĆ©ville (Macmillan / Del Rey)
  • Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey (Orbit)
A big "Yay" for Among Others, which I nominated, and which I currently hope wins (subject to adjustment if and when I read more works in this category). But if I were betting, and I am not, I would not lay a single penny against GRRM. I greatly disliked the book to which Deadline is a sequel, so I'd don't expect to inflict that on myself. I still need to read Embassytown. And I hadn't heard much about Leviathan Wakes -- my impression was that it was a decent space opera, so I'll need to look at it more closely.
Best Novella
  • Countdown, Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • “The Ice Owl”, Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
  • “Kiss Me Twice”, Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s)
  • “The Man Who Bridged the Mist”, Kij Johnson (Asimov’s)
  • “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary”, Ken Liu (Panverse 3)
  • Silently and Very Fast, Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA)
Note: 6 nominees due to tie for final position.

No comments; I'm very ill-read in short fiction these days.

Best Novelette
  • “The Copenhagen Interpretation”, Paul Cornell (Asimov’s)
  • “Fields of Gold”, Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse Four)
  • “Ray of Light”, Brad R. Torgersen (Analog)
  • “Six Months, Three Days”, Charlie Jane Anders (
  • “What We Found”, Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
Best Short Story
  • “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”, E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld)
  • “The Homecoming”, Mike Resnick (Asimov’s)
  • “Movement”, Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s)
  • “The Paper Menagerie”, Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
  • “Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue”, John Scalzi (
Double ditto.

Best Related Work
  • The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition, edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight (Gollancz)
  • Jar Jar Binks Must Die…and other Observations about Science Fiction Movies, Daniel M. Kimmel (Fantastic Books)
  • The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature, Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers (Abrams Image)
  • Wicked Girls (CD), Seanan McGuire
  • Writing Excuses, Season 6 (podcast series), Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson
The usual random collection of completely unlike things; this is always a difficult category to rank. I imagine SFE is the frontrunner, particularly since there are no examples of the kind of work -- something by or about an old and/or dead beloved SF writer -- that I assert nearly always wins.

Best Graphic Story
  • Digger, by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)
  • Fables Vol 15: Rose Red, by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
  • Locke & Key Volume 4: Keys To The Kingdom, written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
  • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication, written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
  • The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan, created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
Absolutely nothing I nominated made it onto the ballot, which is dominated by bits of longer stories. Hugo voters have traditionally preferred to give awards to things that can stand on their own -- there's a long-running slow-motion fight over series novels in the Big One, for example -- which is yet another reason why this well-intentioned category (which could be going to a wide variety of wonderful fantastic work) is probably not long for this world. On the other hand, there are two webcomics here -- neither one a work I'd have nominated, but that doesn't mean much -- which is a good sign. If the rest of the category can move away from its very Vertigo-ish (and Vertigo-esque) focus, it might yet have a chance to continue and, eventually, to honor some of the great variety in this field.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
  • Captain America: The First Avenger, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephan McFeely; directed by Joe Johnston (Marvel)
  • Game of Thrones (Season 1), created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss;
    written by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin; directed by Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor (HBO)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner Bros.)
  • Hugo, screenplay by John Logan; directed by Martin Scorsese (Paramount)
  • Source Code, screenplay by Ben Ripley; directed by Duncan Jones (Vendome Pictures)
I hate the very idea of this category, so I'll leave it at that.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
  • Doctor Who, ”The Doctor’s Wife”, written by Neil Gaiman; directed by Richard Clark (BBC Wales)
  • The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech”, Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon (Renovation)
  • Doctor Who, ”The Girl Who Waited”, written by Tom MacRae; directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales)
  • Doctor Who, ”A Good Man Goes to War”, written by Steven Moffat; directed by Peter Hoar (BBC Wales)
  • Community, ”Remedial Chaos Theory”, written by Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna; directed by Jeff Melman (NBC)
And the award for our favorite episode of Doctor Who goes to....

Best Semiprozine
  • Apex Magazine, edited by Catherynne M. Valente, Lynne M. Thomas, and Jason Sizemore
  • Interzone, edited by Andy Cox
  • Lightspeed, edited by John Joseph Adams
  • Locus, edited by Liza Groen Trombi, Kirsten Gong-Wong, et al.
  • New York Review of Science Fiction, edited by David G. Hartwell, Kevin J. Maroney, Kris Dikeman, and Avram Grumer
This category is changing after this year, and it's likely not to be the "Best Locus" category anymore. I understand that Locus is annoyed by the change, but they have so many Hugos already that the rest of us really don't need to take that seriously. Michael Whelan, Gardner Dozois, and David Langford found ways to move on gracefully from their Hugo-dominating days, and Locus needs to do the same. 

Best Fanzine
  • Banana Wings, edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
  • The Drink Tank, edited by James Bacon and Christopher J Garcia
  • File 770, edited by Mike Glyer
  • Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, et al.
  • SF Signal, edited by John DeNardo
Complaints that SF Signal isn't a "proper fanzine" to begin in 5, 4, ....

Best Fancast
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan & Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts (presenters) and Andrew Finch (producer)
  • SF Signal Podcast, John DeNardo and JP Frantz (presenters), Patrick Hester (producer)
  • SF Squeecast, Lynne M. Thomas, Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, and Catherynne M. Valente
  • StarShipSofa, Tony C. Smith
Another category I don't like -- I'd much prefer it to fit into "Fanzine," or a similar category under a more inclusive title. But, then, I hate listening to podcasts to begin with -- can't stand people talking at me -- so my opinion on this matter is not to be relied on.

Best Editor, Long Form
  • Lou Anders
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Anne Lesley Groell
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden
  • Betsy Wollheim
Betsy Wollheim, one of the giants of the field, is nominated for the first time ever. I won't say she deserves to win this year just because of that -- I strongly insist that categories like this need to be about the work in the given year, not the person -- but she certainly should have at least one of those rockets on her mantelpiece already.

Best Editor, Short Form
  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Sheila Williams
Good luck to all of them: I'm so far out of the short-fiction loop that I couldn't begin to form a rooting interest. That said, Hugo nominators and voters have disproportionately honored Asimov's stories for a number of years now without similarly honoring the editor of that magazine, which I do find confusing.

Best Professional Artist
  • Dan dos Santos
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Michael Komarck
  • Stephan Martiniere
  • John Picacio
Five excellent men doing good work; I'm probably hoping for Dan or John, since they don't have it, and I've met both of them.

Best Fan Artist
  • Randall Munroe
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Maurine Starkey
  • Steve Stiles
  • Taral Wayne
Expect another wave of contempt for Munroe -- partially because of his minimalist style, partially because he's not part of fandom, mostly because he's not "a fan artist" in the style fossilized fifty years ago. I kinda hope he wins for exactly those reasons.

Best Fan Writer
  • James Bacon
  • Claire Brialey
  • Christopher J. Garcia
  • Jim C. Hines
  • Steven H Silver
No real rooting interest here for me; I don't read a lot of fannish work lately. 

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
  • Mur Lafferty
  • Stina Leicht
  • Karen Lord
  • Brad R. Torgersen
  • E. Lily Yu
This is Not a Hugo, as must be stressed at every chance. And I'm not familiar with their work, so I'll just wish them good luck.

The Hugos will be awarded in a gala ceremony at this year's Worldcon, Chicon 7, the weekend of August 30th. I don't expect to be there this year, so have fun without me.


James Davis Nicoll said...

You haven't read Leviathan Wakes? It's a space opera of interplanetary scale by writers who actually aware what they don't know [1] and who carefully structured their book not to be dependent on details they'd only get wrong. Actually manages to be harder than most of the SF that is trying to be SF but only claims to be space opera.

Anyway, won't win in a million years but worth checking out.

1: Mostly. Still bitter about the rotating asteroids

Anonymous said...

the ballot, which is dominated by bits of longer stories. Hugo voters have traditionally preferred to give awards to things that can stand on their own

The exception being my favorite, Digger, which ended in 2011 so all 760 pages are eligible.

Shane said...

I loved Among Others. Looking forward to reading Leviathan Wakes soon. Not touching Martin until I see if he lives long enough to finish writing his series or if HBO has to finish it for him. And I've sadly still never gotten around to reading anything by MiƩville.

Shane said...

I'm also kind of sad that Ready Player One by Ernest Cline wasn't nominated.

Joel said...

Now that you've reminded me, I am SHOCKED that Ready Player One wasn't nominated. It was a very popular book. Although maybe not among those likely to nominate for the Hugos.

I'm sad Zoo City didn't make the list, myself.

Tim Pratt said...

Well, given that Locus hasn't won a Hugo since 2008, if the problem is that Locus always wins the Hugo, then it's not demonstrably a problem anymore.

I do not remotely speak for everyone at the magazine (where I am but a small cog in the editorial machine), but speaking for myself, I'm mostly annoyed at the prospect of changes that would eliminate just about every magazine that's been nominated in the semiprozine category in recent years. It seems like a weird kind of change.

Personally, I don't have much invested in whether the magazine I work for gets more Hugos -- my name's not on the trophy anyway, and I've got my own Hugo for my fiction already, so I'm good. But it is nice to see my bosses, who've kept things going pretty much seamlessly since our founder's passing, get some recognition for their ongoing work. For over 40 years, Locus was Charles Brown; but it's managed to stay Locus even after his death, which I think is pretty impressive. For that reason, I would be sad if the magazine became ineligible for further nominations.

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