Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nebula Winners for 2011

This has been widely reported across the Internet; if you're relying on my for your SFnal news, I'm afraid you will be sadly out of date.

So here are the winners of the 2011 Nebula Awards, and the other stuff given out by SFWA at the same time, which are not to be confused with Nebulas even though it's totally confusing. (And my characterizations of those awards are, it goes without saying, entirely my own. I may be wrong, or misleading, or simply more honest than most SFWAns would prefer.)
  • Novel:
  • Novella:
  • Novelette:
  • Short Story: [Tie]
  • Andre Norton Award (for YA books that SFWA members are still too stuffy to consider "real" novels):
  • The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation:
    • Inception, Christopher Nolan (director), Christopher Nolan (screenplay) (Warner)
  • Solstice Award (for people who will never get a Grand Master Award, due to being already dead, or not writers, or some other reason):
    • Alice Sheldon (aka James Tiptree, Jr.)
    • Michael Whelan
  • SFWA Service Award:
    • John E. Johnston III
I've seen Rose Fox complain (or perhaps muse) that SFWA "had a chance to really shake things up this year and recognize the up and coming generation of writers, and they missed that chance in favor of lauding the longtime stalwarts of the genre," which strikes me as 180 degrees off from the way one should criticize a literary award -- if you're focusing on it as a means to reward people and intensely checking their personal characteristics as compared to each other, then you've entirely lost sight of the point of the award, which is to reward the best works of the year, as far as the voters can determine that. If an award like this is about the person, it's utterly failed already, and should be scrapped.

That said, the Connie Willis diptych is a lousy choice that I suspect a lot of SFWAns voted for because Connie is nice and friendly and she's worked on it for a long time -- and the outlines of the excellent novel it could have been are faintly visible. I've only read one of the other nominated works (Shades of Milk and Honey), which is solidly better than the Willis, and I suspect but can not prove that the other choices are stronger novels, as well. Willis has written much better before, and she will do so again, but I would not have honored that particular work.

I Shall Wear Midnight, though, is the best of the three works I have read in that category, so I won't grumble about it. (Until and unless I read another nominated book and find it clearly superior, of course!)

And cue the jokes about how you have to be a SF writer to understand Inception. I still think that category, and its predecessors, has no real place in the Nebulas -- SFWAns are fans of SFnal movies rather than colleagues in the creation of them, which is a crucial difference between that category and all of the others -- but clearly SFWA wants to give their praise to Hollywood types who will continue to mostly ignore them. (I'll forgo the usual metaphors about geeks and prom queens.)

1 comment:

James Davis Nicoll said...

Speaking of Inception, I missed what Zimmer did with the music until it was pointed out:


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