Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hugo Postmortem

I didn't remember to handicap the Hugos ahead of time, so I'm going to instead show you now how brilliantly incisive I was -- and, if you believe that, I also have a slightly-used bridge that you might be interested in purchasing...

In order of presentation:

John W. Campbell not-a-Hugo Award for Best New Writer: John Scalzi
Did anyone not expect this? I've been hanging out a bit with Chris Roberson this Worldcon, so I was rooting for him, but Scalzi was the obvious lock.

Best Fan Artist: Frank Wu
This was one of those categories that you can tell by the applause in the arena during the ceremony. But I'm not terribly fannish, so I had no idea ahead of time who would win.

Best Fan Writer: Dave Langford
And the award for "Best Dave Langford" goes to...

Best Fanzine: Plokta
I never have any idea which way this category is going.

Best Semiprozine: Locus
Locus is a fine magazine, yes, but so are The New York Review of Science Fiction, Emerald City, Interzone, and Ansible. I'm beginning to think the Hugos need a WFA-style "you can't win the same category two years in a row" rule for categories like this one.

Best Professional Artist: Donato Giancola
I've been voting him at the top (or nearly at the top; some years Bruce Jensen had such great stuff he edged out Donato) of my Hugo ballot for at least five years; it's great to see him win. I hope the new guidelines will help other great artists like Martiniere and Picacio get Hugo rockets in years to come.

Best Professional Editor: David G. Hartwell
And it's about damn time. Did it really take the imminent splitting of this category into two (and Gardner Dozois's retirement from Asimov's) to get Hartwell a Hugo?

Special Award: Betty Ballantine
I've never met her, but she seems like a pistol, and her place in the field is way up there.

Best Dramatic Presentation, We-Don't-Call-it-TV: some Doctor Who episodes
Good for them; I never have any idea how the skiffy awards will go, because I'm out of touch with them by choice.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Let's-Pretend-We-Don't-Mean-Movie: Serenity
And everyone who paid money to see it in the theatre was present at the awards ceremony, which was nice for them.

Best Related Book: Storyteller by Kate Wilhelm
It's not a perfect book, but it has some interesting stuff in it. And my rule in this category is that it always goes to the book by the oldest fiction writer, so I was happy to be proven right yet again.

Best Short Story: "Tk'tk'tk" by David D. Levine
I don't remember reading this, so I must have hit it during the frenzied last day before voting closed. (On the other hand, I read a lot of 2005 short fiction earlier this year -- including six "Year's Best" anthologies -- so I might just have forgotten it.) I thought Margo Lanagan should have won, but Mike Resnick would win, but I was wrong.

Special Award: Harlan Ellison
Very nice to see, though I wish he'd put out some new stories so we can have a chance to give him another real rocketship. (And so I can read them, of course.)

Best Novelette: "Two Hearts" by Peter S. Beagle
It's a fine story, and probably the one I liked best in the category.

Best Novella: "Inside Job" by Connie Willis
I was honestly surprised, even knowing the "Connie always wins Hugos" expectation. I was sure the "Magic for Beginners" juggernaut would keep rolling. For myself, I should have been rooting for "Identity Theft" (since it was from a SFBC original), but I actually liked "The Little Goddess" best. I can't remember at all how I voted, though; this was a tough category.

Best Novel: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
During the ceremony, I was actually hoping George Martin would win, in part because he's a good guy who deserves another Hugo, and in part because I really want to see what he says when he wins "the Big One." (I'm hoping for another "Fuck, I got a Hugo.") Personally, I was ambivalent toward all of the nominees, so I didn't have any strong preferences -- I liked them all, but didn't love any of them, and wasn't going to be upset if anything won. This is really great for Wilson; he's been out there toiling without much recognition for a very long time. So, after the fact, it's probably the happiest result possible.


Cheryl said...

I note that two of the nominees for BDP: Short Form were theatrical productions. You can argue as to whether they were worthy of nomination, but it is certain that they would not have been eligible had the award been called Best TV Episode. If your award definitions are not widely inclusive you end up either with too many categories of with people complaining that they are being excluded.

Andrew Wheeler said...

It's really not very complicated: I don't like the idea of a "Best Dramatic Bullshit" Hugo to begin with, so I mock them whenever I can. Now that there's two of them, taking up nearly half an hour in an already long ceremony, I get even more annoyed at their continued existence.

Other people with good intentions may think differently, but I'm not them and they haven't convinced me.

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