Sunday, August 10, 2008

2008 Hugo Award Winners!

The Hugos were awarded last night at Denvention, and these are your winners. (As I did last year, I'm comparing the actual winners to my predictions -- and, without checking either set, I'm confident that I got most of them wrong.)

NOVEL: The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon (HarperCollins; Fourth Estate)
I waffled a bit, but basically predicted Chabon would win. So I'll count this as a hit.

NOVELLA: "All Seated on the Ground", Connie Willis (Asimov's Dec 2007; Subterranean Press)
I said Connie Always Wins, and I was right.

NOVELETTE: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate", Ted Chiang (F&SF Sep 2007)
I predicted that it would go to Greg Egan for "Dark Integers," after thinking about the Chiang story as the front-runner, so I clearly balked and got it wrong.

SHORT STORY: “Tideline", Elizabeth Bear (Asimov's Jun 2007)
I thought Swanwick's story would win, though I did say that I thought Hugo voters were still mostly print-magazine readers, and so print-mag stories would take these categories. But, in picking the wrong print-mag story, I still got it wrong.

RELATED BOOK: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction, Jeff Prucher (Oxford University Press)
Never underestimate the appeal of fannishness; Brave New Words is a big, impressive dictionary with words like "fanac" and "gafiate" in it; I guess the Hugo voters couldn't resist the egoboo. I was hopefully leaning towards Barry Malzberg's Breakfast in the Ruins, but I forgot the corollary of Connie Always Wins: Barry Always Loses.

DRAMATIC PRESENTATION: LONG FORM: Stardust (Written by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. Directed by Matthew Vaughn. Paramount Pictures)
I predicted Heroes, but I guess fandom has collectively soured on that show. Stardust is nothing special -- it's far less than the fine book it was based on -- but I guess the Gaiman Effect has a halo.

DRAMATIC PRESENTATION: SHORT FORM: Doctor Who: "Blink" (Written by Stephen Moffat. Directed by Hettie Macdonald. BBC)
I predicted the one Torchwood episode would win, mostly because I don't have or want any knowledge of this stuff. I was wrong. (For those keeping track, I'm now 2-and-5.)

EDITOR, SHORT FORM: Gordon Van Gelder
I predicted the voters would be conservative and give it to Ellen Datlow again (instead of honoring someone equally worthy who has never won a Hugo); they were instead either slightly more conservative (because F&SF is older, or because Gordon won this category last year) or slightly less (because Gordon didn't originally win this until after Ellen did). It counts as a loss either way, but I do hope this doesn't turn into a Best Van Gelder Award. (Because Gordon is the best Van Gelder imaginable.)

EDITOR, LONG FORM: David G. Hartwell
Again, the Hugo voters fall into their unfortunate pattern of just voting for the same (excellent, and eminently respectable) nominee year after year. I was hoping it would go to Ginjer Buchanan, but I didn't reckon on the immense inertia of fandom.

I predicted John Picacio; I was wrong. Martiniere hasn't won yet, so I'm thrilled to see him get it. (I was never very fond of computer-generated cover art until Martiniere came along.)

SEMIPROZINE: Locus, Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong & Liza Groen Trombi
Did anyone ever have any doubt? Finally, a category I got right; though a chimp could have gotten this one right. Hugo folks, either retire this category or do something; it's really silly at this point.

FANZINE: File 770, Mike Glyer
Even though Glyer thinks I'm a twerp, I'm happy to see him win. I predicted this one, as well.

FAN WRITER: John Scalzi
As I predicted; I'm looking forward to poring over the voting results to see if the race was as tight as I thought it would be.

FAN ARTIST: Brad Foster
And this is as I predicted as well. Hey, if I'm so uninformed about the fan categories, how come I called all of them correctly and hardly any of the others? (Or is it just that I knew a little too much to be really cynically dispassionate with the pro awards?)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (Not a Hugo): Mary Robinette Kowal
This is a surprise; I'd predicted Scott Lynch. Short-fiction writers supposedly don't win this very often -- though there are a number of notable exceptions like Michael Burstein and Jay Lake -- so I should probably make an effort to read some of Kowal's stuff.

And those are the winners; I went six and nine on my predictions. If I were a baseball team, I'd be the Padres. I think I'm going to have to claim this as a rebuilding year.

The fan arguments about what should have won, and about which works are a travesty to the very idea of a Hugo


Anonymous said...

The business meeting passed an amendment to eliminate the semiprozine category, so if Montreal ratifies the change, that category will go away after next year.

See for the business meeting summary.

Robert Hutchinson said...

Even though Glyer thinks I'm a twerp

??? (Googles)

His reasoning ... makes no sense. There's even quoted text and everything, right there, so that one does not have to go to any effort to discover that it makes no sense.

Anyway, a .400 batting average when a 5-sided die would be expected to get .200 is ... not terrible? You ought to be worth a slight profit in any decent Hugo pool, at least.

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