In past years, I've engaged a lot more with the Hugos -- posted annotated lists of the nominees, posted what I did or would have nominated, tried to read and evaluate everything, (badly) predicted the winners, argued with the results -- but these year I've been much less engaged. (To the point of not even bothering to post the nominees, I see.)
Still, the Hugos are the premier SFnal awards, and they were announced yesterday at the usual gala ceremony at the annual Worldcon (this year in San Antonio, Texas). And even when we don't agree with the winners -- which is pretty regularly, since that's how popularly-voted awards work -- it's worth celebrating those winners and the fans that made the Hugos happen every year.
And this year's winners are:
BEST NOVEL: Redshirts, John Scalzi (Tor; Gollancz)
Other people clearly like that book much better than I do, so I merely shrug.
BEST NOVELLA: The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon)
BEST NOVELETTE: "The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi", Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity)
BEST SHORT STORY: "Mono no Aware", Ken Liu (The Future Is Japanese)
I haven't read these or any of their fellow nominees, so I can be purely happy for Sanderson, Cadigan, and Liu.
BEST RELATED WORK: Writing Excuses, Season Seven, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler & Jordan Sanderson
This is a podcast, and I can't stand having people talking at me (talk radio, audiobooks, podcasts -- it's all the same to me), so it would not be my choice for that idiosyncratic reason. I also note that the "Chicks Dig" series -- which won a Hugo for their first Dr. Who book a couple of years back -- either is slipping in popularity or digging into less-popular areas of fandom, since they had two nominees.
BEST GRAPHIC STORY: Saga, Volume One, Brian K. Vaughn, art by Fiona Staples (Image)
I have it, and intend to read it. This category is looking healthier -- Talbot's Grandville and Tayler's Schlock Mercenary are repeat nominees, but the rest are new and well-regarded.
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – LONG: The Avengers
As if it would have been anything else. (So sorry, Peter Jackson -- you should have reconsidered the plan of turning a short zippy book into an SFX-laden bloated trilogy.)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – SHORT: Game of Thrones: ‘‘Blackwater’’
And the home of sexposition has now officially lapped Dr. Who as the default favorite in the category.
BEST PROFESSIONAL EDITOR LONG FORM: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
It's his third win in the six years this has been a category, which could be a sign for the future (given Hugo voters' long-term inclinations to grab a favorite and cling tight for decades at a time). Or it may be an indication that he's well-known as Scalzi's editor, and this is a big year for Scalzi. Or maybe sunspots -- you can never discount the power of the sun, especially in Texas.
BEST PROFESSIONAL EDITOR SHORT FORM: Stanley Schmidt
Nominated thirty-three years in a row in this and the predecessor category; only won after he retired. It's hard to avoid seeing it as a Lifetime Achievement Award, which the Hugos aren't supposed to be -- but Stan certainly deserved at least one Hugo for his work over the past 34 years at Analog.
BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST: John Picacio
Well-deserved. He's only the 17th person to win one of these in the 58 years this category has existed -- the average winner has nearly three and a half of them. (An average driven up by Michael Whelan's 13 and Frank Kelly Freas's 10 -- not to mention Bob Eggleton's 8.) It would be nice, he said delicately, to see this category not get stuck in such a rut so often.
I will note that no previous winners were nominated this year, so the voters had to pick a new one -- and they had a bunch of great artists to choose from.
Edit: Cheryl (see comments) pointed out that Picacio won last year, so he is a previous winner. This is completely true, and implies that Picacio will be the default winner of this category for the next few years, if Hugo voters continue their past patterns. It also makes my comments immediately above wrong, not to put a too-fine point on it.
BEST SEMIPROZINE: Clarkesworld
Congrats to my NJ compatriot Neil Clarke and his crew. The reconfiguration of this category has driven out the criticalzines, which may have been the purpose -- it's now all fiction publications.
BEST FANZINE: SF Signal
I'm sure there's grumbling in certain sectors of SMOFdom today, since SF Signal is "not a fanzine" to many of them -- it doesn't have staples or the smell of mimeo about it. But I'm an occasional contributor (they ask me more often, and I've punted a couple of things due to press of day job work), and they're more-or-less the hometown boys at this Worldcon, so it's great to see them win.
BEST FANCAST: SF Squeecast
Again, I can't stand spoken-word audio, so I can't judge this category. Very fannish name though, which I like to see.
BEST FAN WRITER: Tansy Rayner Roberts
BEST FAN ARTIST: Galen Dara
Not familiar with the work of either of them, and I think they're both new nominees in their categories. Since these are usually the least-nominated and least-voted categories, it's great to see new names and new energy here.
JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER [NOT A HUGO AWARD]: Mur Lafferty
Please -- never refer to the Campbell as a Hugo! Whatever corporate entity that currently publishes Asimov's and Analog would never forgive you.
And congratulations to all of the winners (and nominees), despite any snark above -- winning or being nominated for a Hugo is a huge deal, and should be celebrated.
(via Locus Online)
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