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Hugo Nominations - Because You Asked (trust me, you did)

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Hugo Nominations - Because You Asked (trust me, you did)

Alright, I wasn't going to post these, but felt it was important for people to see what I was thinking. Am I that arrogant? You bet I am! The reason for my initial reticence is that I haven't read everything. It makes my nominations biased, incomplete, and a snapshot from a moment in time. I haven't read Embassytown, or Among Others, or By Light Alone, or Testament of Jesse Lamb, or a host of other books that I'm hearing talked about as the best of the year.

I also refused to nominate in the categories I don't feel "well read in". That includes: Best Short Story, Best Novella, Best Novelette (why do we even need this category?), Best Related Work, Best Graphic Story, Best Editor Short Form, Best Fan Artist, Best SemiProZine (I refuse to figure out what qualifies and what doesn't), Best Dramatic Presentation.

Do I hate how incomplete all this is? Absolutely. With that in mind, I'm not going to justify any of these nominations. They're my gut reaction to what I read this year. Trust me, once the nominations are announced and I read all of them, copious pretentious thoughts will follow.

Before I forget, the Campbell eligibility rules are dumb and not easy to navigate. Can we just agree to ignore when people sold short fiction and just make this a novel award? Maybe do a separate award for 'short fiction'? I'm just spit-balling here.

With that in mind here are my nominations:

Best Novel:
The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (Orbit)
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot)
The Crippled God by Steven Erikson (Tor)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday)
Infidel by Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books)

John W. Campbell Award:
T.C. McCarthy, author of Germline and Legionnaires (novella)
Teresa Frohock, author of Miserere: An Autumn Tale
Robert Jackson Bennett, author of Mr. Shivers, The Company Man
Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Quantum Thief
Stina Leicht, author of Of Blood and Honey

Best Editor (Long Form):
Jeremy Lassen (Night Shade Books)
Anne Sowards (Ace/Roc)
Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Tor)
Dongwon Song (Orbit)
David Pomerico (Del Rey)

Best Professional Artist: 
Raymond Swanland
Charles Keegan
Cody Tilson
Kai and Sunny
Kekai Kotaki

I lied. I'm going to justify the rest of these. First of all, for Fanzine and Fan Writer, I nominated bloggers, and only bloggers. Why? Because I think a blogger deserves to be nominated and I don't know who's going to get the most attention from the community. So I cast a wide net. I nominated people I thought other's would nominate. Is that intellectually dishonest? A little bit, but that doesn't degrade the work being done by these individuals, or the people I left off the list. There's tremendous work being done throughout the blogosphere and it's time someone got recognized by the 'old school SFF community'. 

In hindsight, I nominated all men... I guess I'm a jerk. I'll try to do better next year. I also nominated three UK based blogs and one Canadian blog. I apologize to America.

Best Fanzine: 
A Dribble of Ink
The Wertzone
SF Signal
The Speculative Scotman

Best Fan Writer: 
Aidan Moher (A Dribble of Ink)
John Stevens (SF Signal)
Jared Shurin (Pornokitsch)
Adam Whitehead (The Wertzone)
Stefan Raets ( Literature)

I nominated all the podcosts I listen to... which is four. So not really a justification. They're all good. I'm sure there are lots of other good ones too.

Best Fancast: 
Adventures in SciFi Publishing
SF Signal Podcast
Functional Nerds

So, am I way off? Am I terribly under read? Should I seek a new hobby?



At March 5, 2012 at 2:19 PM , Anonymous Mark Lawrence said...

nice job

At March 5, 2012 at 4:39 PM , Blogger Aidan Moher said...

Thanks for including me, Justin. Very flattered to be among good company.

Also, read Among Others.


At March 5, 2012 at 4:49 PM , Blogger Elfy said...

I tend to agree with you about the novella and novelette categories, although this year I did nominate some short stories, because I read some unlike last year and I do intend to read all of the nominated short stories when the final list comes out.

At March 5, 2012 at 6:05 PM , Blogger John Anealio said...

Hey Justin, thanks for including the Functional Nerds Podcast!

At March 5, 2012 at 6:19 PM , Blogger RobB said...

Of the 11 books on your ballot (between the novel and Hugo), I've only read on of them. Hm.

At March 5, 2012 at 6:55 PM , Blogger John D. said...

Flattered & blushing. (And also poorly dressed, but that's besides the point.)

Thanks for the mention. Great company to be in.

May your votes count thousands of times! :)

At March 5, 2012 at 11:37 PM , Blogger odo said...

Nice ones! I had almost forgot about Jeremy Lassen so thank you for reminding me.

I'm sorry I can't agree on your thoughts about the Novelette category. I love short fiction and this year has been particularly strong for Novelettes: "Ghostweight" by Yoon Ha Lee, "Afterbirth" by Kameron Hurley, "Six Months, Three Days" by Charlie Jane Anders, "The Book of Phoenix" by Nnedi Okorafor... to name a few.

But I agree with your opinion on the Campbell Award: too convoluted. I still don't know whether Rob Ziegler and Erenest Cline, for instance, are eligible or not. But I'm almost sure that Rajaniemi is not (I remember reading several of his short stories 3 or 4 years ago).

At March 6, 2012 at 12:50 AM , Blogger James said...

Let's see...

For novels, Embassytown will make an appearance. It is Mieville, it is SF, and even though it was uneven and strayed more toward decent than great, there is a good chance it will win...

...Unless, of course, there is a novel out from Stross, Willis, or Scalzi. Anything from them, no matter the quality, is likely to be nominated and probably win (I am not sure I have seen a positive review for last year's winner, Black Out/All Clear.

Zoo City appears to have been released in 2010, in both the US and UK markets. According to the ballot, the work being nominated has to have appeared for the first time in 2011. But hey, it has won or been nominated for several other awards, so we're good.

The Night Circus is not Hugo territory, unfortunately. I expect Ernest Cline's nostalgia trip, That 80's Boo--err, Ready Player One, to get a nod. Has Abercrombie or Erikson ever been nominated for best novel? Can't remember. Suspect that Martin might be nominated for A Dance with Dragons.

Raymond Swanland always gets a thumbs up from me. Sadly, I never see his name among the nominated.

It'd be awesome if a blog/blogger was nominated for the fanzine/fan writer categories. When did you last read a fanzine? (I never have...) Aren't they trying to prevent blogs from being nominated for this category or is that my brain making things up again?

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) needs only one nominee, because we already know no one stands a chance against a Dr. Who episode written by Neil Gaiman (even if it was mediocre).

At March 6, 2012 at 2:25 AM , Blogger odo said...

James: I'm almost sure that Zoo City was published in 2011 in the USA, so it makes it eligible.

At March 6, 2012 at 3:23 AM , Blogger James said...

There was a paperback release in July of last year, but it was released to the US in ebook form September 2010 (according to Amazon, Wikipedia, and Barnes and Noble) and Mass Market paperback in December 2010 (Amazon and Wikipedia). Angry Robot lists the MMPB release as January 2011, but it still could have hit shelves early and the ebook release is listed as Sept. 2010 for both US and UK markets.

That ebook release throws things off, which is somewhat annoying.

At March 6, 2012 at 5:13 AM , Blogger Justin said...

I actually verified this one. It is eligible. The official US release is January 2011. The eBook may have been available here early, but that was the UK eBook, so to speak.

At March 6, 2012 at 5:17 AM , Blogger Justin said...

Scalzi and Stross both have eligible titles. Fuzzy Nation and Rule 34 respectively. I could definitely see those being on the list.

I suspect RP1 will get a nomination as well. I realized while I loved reading it, it just wasn't that great of a novel. Nostalgic, fun, etc., but great? Meh.

And no, as far as I know Abercrombie and Erikson have never been nominated. Erikson definitely should this year if for nothing else than a recognition of the series in its entire.

At March 6, 2012 at 5:39 AM , Anonymous Jared said...

Really good lists (and not just 'cause we're on it). The fanzine/semi-pro/pro-zine/fan writer thing drives me nuts. Not because it doesn't allow bloggers (it does), but there's no clarity on where blogs and website actually belong.

Ask six people and you'll get six different recommendations about which is the correct category. I'm sure there's a *right* answer, but the fact that many people have asserted different *right* answers mean that it is unclear and therefore needs to be addressed. Grr.

Zoo City is eligible. We verified it (and voted for it) too!

At March 6, 2012 at 5:59 AM , Blogger Justin said...

SemiProZine really defeats me. What's a Pro Zine? Why can't I vote for a Pro Zine? I'm so confused!!

At March 6, 2012 at 6:00 AM , Blogger Justin said...

My argument isn't against short fiction, just that there are three different classifications. Why short story and novelette? Is there really that big of a difference? Novelette vs. a novella? Bah.

At March 6, 2012 at 6:30 AM , Blogger Paul Weimer said...

We have no overlap on novels, but start to overlap in other categories. Maybe I really should post my own nominations...

At March 6, 2012 at 9:46 AM , Blogger James said...

Ready Player One seems to be a case of confusing nostalgia for quality. The book is like syringe of the good shit directly injected into the geek gland. I can see Ernest Cline as a shady guy in a trench coat, beckoning passing geeks into the shadow of an alley and offering them a hit of everything they loved growing up. "Psst. Hey you. C'mere! You like The Goonies? I got the Goonies. I gots all the good stuff. C'mere. You never know who's watchin'. Joust? Oh yeah, I gots Joust. Do I ever gots Joust!" (Joust was my trigger. I really only started enjoying the book when it appeared.)

It was a hell of a lot of fun, but not great. It is worthy of geek appreciation, but not awards.

It is a shame Erikson hasn't been nominated. The Malazan Book of the Fallen series is one of the best Epic Fantasy series around and really, the only one that I consider worth bothering with.

At March 6, 2012 at 9:53 AM , Blogger James said...

That's good. Early ebook release between markets does create something of an issue though and it'd be interesting to see if anyone connected to the awards, of various stripe, are discussing the effect that it might have on award eligibility.

At March 12, 2012 at 9:53 PM , Blogger Kathleen said...

Interesting list. Surprising that you thought Hannu Rajuniemi for the Campbell but not The Quantum Thief for Best Novel.
I really loved that book.


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