Monday, May 14, 2012

Even More Awards You Probably Know About Already

Once again, those few benighted souls relying on Antick Musings for their skiffy-world news have been poorly served, but here's the most recent clutch of awards given out in our realms:

Robert A. Heinlein Award

This is both a fairly new award -- barely a decade old -- and one given for a body of work, rather than a specific piece of fiction, which means it has gone to pretty much exactly who we all would have predicted it would, in pretty much the same order. The award is given, officially, for "outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space" -- NASA propaganda, essentially.

This year's winner is Stanley Schmidt, long-time editor of Analog, and, in best Heinlein fashion, the award itself is a whopping great medallion that Schmidt will be expected to wear as much as he can -- or, at least, the matching lapel pins for when the medallion "is impractical."

Arthur C. Clarke Award

This is the one that Christopher Priest made such a fuss about a few weeks back -- it's one of the major UK "Best SF Novel" awards, given to "the best science fiction novel published in the United Kingdom" as decided by a panel of judges from the British Science Fiction Association, the Science Fiction Foundation, and the SCI-LONDON Film Festival. (Because who better to judge the merits of a novel than people who both organize a film festival and can't afford a shift key?)

This year, the award went to the only work Priest found barely tolerable, Jane Rogers's The Testament of Jessie Lamb, which may, perhaps, fill Priest's heart [1] with something vaguely like happiness.

John W. Campbell Memorial Award

This one is a US "Best SF Novel" award, given -- at least, this is how it's seemed to most outsiders for the past thirty-plus years -- to the good SF novel that the late Campbell would have hated the most. (The tone was set early, with with the very first winner, Barry Malzberg's grim Beyond Apollo, a novel about sex-crazed and just plain old crazed astronauts.)

This year's slate of nominees has just been announced, and they are:
  • Ernest Cline, Ready Player One (Crown)
  • Kathleen Ann Goonan, This Shared Dream (Tor Books)
  • Will McIntosh, Soft Apocalypse (Night Shade Books)
  • China MiĆ©ville, Embassytown (Ballantine Books/Del Rey)
  • Christopher Priest, The Islanders (Gollancz)
  • Joan Slonczewski, The Highest Frontier (Tor Books)
  • Michael Swanwick, Dancing with Bears (Night Shade Books)
  • Lavie Tidhar, Osama (PS Publishing)
  • Daniel H. Wilson, Robopocalypse (Simon & Schuster)
  • Gene Wolfe, Home Fires (Tor Books)
  • Rob Ziegler, Seed (Night Shade Books)
I haven't read several of these books, so my judgement may be off, but I expect that Osama will be hard to beat: I can feel Campbell already spinning in his grave just because of the nomination. Congratulations to all of the nominees.

I could have sworn there were more than that, but I seem to be at the end of the list for now. Congrats to those who have already won, and good luck for those jostling their way on the very long Campbell list -- remember, most of you have already lost!

[1] I originally typed "hard" here -- my fingers sometimes have better jokes than I do.

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