Daily Archives: March 21, 2008

And Just So Not Everything Today is About the Hugos

There’s this, from the “Things We Already Knew Already” department, about Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the Democratic nomination at this point in time:

Unless Clinton is able to at least win the primary popular vote — which also would take nothing less than an electoral miracle — and use that achievement to pressure superdelegates, she has only one scenario for victory. An African-American opponent and his backers would be told that, even though he won the contest with voters, the prize is going to someone else.

People who think that scenario is even remotely likely are living on another planet.

Ayuh.

Also, I’m interested in what people think the over/under is on an Obama/Richardson ticket. I wouldn’t bet against it, personally.

Quick Hugo Follow-up Q&A

Hugo announcement days are good for your ego when you’re on the ballot, but not great for getting a huge amount of work done, because you’re busy answering congrat e-mails and such. Yes, this is in the class of “problems one wishes one could have.” But I’m getting some specific questions in e-mail and comments which I thought I’d post up here.

1. How can I vote for the Hugo? (this is from a family member, bless ‘em)

Get a membership to Denvention 3. It’s this year’s Worldcon, for those of you who don’t know this already. If you plan to go to the convention, you should get an attending membership, which is $200. If you don’t plan on attending but still want to vote, get a supporting membership, which is $50. Buying either sort of membership also means you’ll be able to nominate for the Hugos in 2009.

2. Will you be attending Denvention 3?

Indeed I will be; I reserved my hotel room about a month ago. I actually have a busy travel schedule in late July and August — among other things I will be Guest of Honor at ArmadilloCon in Austin a week after Denvention 3 — so even though I had reserved a room I was sort of holding off on getting a membership. But now I have a couple of reasons to go, aside from seeing a whole bunch of friends and fans and enjoying Denver. So, yes: See you there.

3. Will you be making an electronic version of The Last Colony available for Hugo voters?

Yes. Some of you may recall that when Old Man’s War was nominated for the Hugo, I made it available electronically for Hugo voters, in a bundle that included Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin and Charlie Stross’ Accelerando. I’ll definitely be making TLC available to Hugo voters in electronic form, and I’ll ping the other nominees to see if they want to bundle up our books into a single package. This might take a few days to organize, especially as we’re heading into a weekend (and an Easter weekend at that) so be patient while I see if any of the other authors want in.

Of course, you can just pop into a bookstore (or a library) for a copy of my book or of the books of any other of the nominees.

4. Have you sent your band of secret ninja assassins to deal with the other nominees?

Of course not. The nominations aren’t rescinded in the event of death, and their untimely demise at the hands of shadowy martial artists would just create sympathy for them. Also, I like most of the other nominees in my categories on a personal level. I would be sad if they were dead. They’re safe from my ninja horde.

And yes, someone really did e-mail this question to me.

5. Think you’ll win?

Don’t know. At this point, don’t care. I’m just enjoying the nods for now. Seems the sane thing to do.

And there you have it. If you have any other Hugo-specific questions for me, feel free to leave them in the comment thread.

TAD Wallpaper at Tor.Com

For the next week or so, Tor is making available this really excellent wallpaper based on the cover of The Android’s Dream, created by Shelley Eshkar. It’s one of my favorite covers and it does make a fine, fine wallpaper, if I do say so myself (also up: a genuinely spooky piece of art from Sam Weber). It’s available at the Tor.Com Web site. Get it while you can.

Hugo Thoughts, 2008

Some thoughts on this year’s Hugo nominations:

* First, I think it’s a pretty good year for the Best Novel nominees, but then I don’t suppose that’s entirely surprising, is it. You can do far, far worse than Charles Stross, Robert J Sawyer, Ian McDonald, Michael Chabon and whoever that other guy is. That said, I have to say I was surprised not to see Richard Morgan’s Thirteen (aka Black Man) on the final slate, and rather substantially surprised not to see Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind there, since in the latter case I think it’s one of the best fantasy debuts of recent years. If it doesn’t make the final slate for the World Fantasy Award, I think we can start muttering darkly about conspiracies.

As for Thirteen/Black Man, well, I just thought it was cool as hell is all. I remember that at the 2005 Worldcon in Edinburgh, I was briefly introduced to Morgan and someone suggested to me that I wrote a bit like him. I took it as a compliment then and continue to do so.

* I do find it interesting that the Best Novel category is entirely fantasy free; the closest to fantasy this year I suppose would be Chabon’s book, and it’s really alternate history, which is not quite the same thing. I would be wary of suggesting that it’s indicative of anything in particular; I think it’s just part and parcel with the vagaries of the Hugo nominators from year to year, and the fact it was a strong year in SF. But I’ll bet other folks, possibly more knowledgeable in Hugo lore than I, will read something else in these particular tea leaves.

* To go back to Charlie Stross, congratulations are in order for him, as he has bested Robert Silverberg with a record fifth year of consecutive nominations in the category of Best Novel. I’m really getting tired of noting that he’s the poster boy of science fiction for this decade, but what can I do? It’s true.

* I think the Hugo folks made an interesting choice to allow the entire first season of Heroes to be nominated in the long form category; I wonder what the reaction will be to it. I do know that if it wins, Denvention is going to have to shell out for a hell of a lot of trophies, since it lists eleven writers and thirteen directors on the ballot. I do suspect Stardust has the inside track in the category this year, however.

* I have a lot of friends on the ballot this year and I am happy for them all, but I am especially pleased for Elizabeth Bear, who makes the Hugo ballot for the first time the year with her short story “Tideline.” Likewise David Moles is a first-timer on the ballot as well with his novelette “Finisterra”; looks like he’s bounced back from that SFWA censure just fine. Finally, Jonathan Strahan also makes his first appearance on the ballot in the Best Editor, Short Form category; this pleases me because I’m currently writing a story for him, which is not quite late yet. Give it time, though. But special congratulations to them all.

* Also, let’s drag Lou Anders out here for a bow. Aside from getting his second Hugo nod for Best Editor (long form), I believe this is the first year a Pyr book appears on the Best Novel ballot (Brasyl). Pyr published McDonald’s River of Gods, which was also Hugo nominated, here in the US, but I believe it was published here after it had gotten then nod. So this is the one that counts. Not bad for a science fiction imprint that’s still in its toddler years. As you can guess I’m a big fan of Pyr, and of Lou, and I’m happy both are getting this sort of recognition.

* Campbell nominations: I think it’s a very strong year indeed, and I’m pleased to see my friends Dave Edelman, David Anthony Durham and Mary Robinette Kowal on the ballot. I think this year the ballot is harder to read than it was the previous two years (let’s face it, when someone on the Campbell ballot is also nominated for Best Novel, it does tend to make them a prohibitive favorite). I think Scott Lynch in particular is in good stead, but I wouldn’t call him a runaway favorite, given the high quality of this field. I think this is arguably the most interesting category on the ballot this year.

* But enough about everyone else, I hear you say. Let’s talk about your nominations. Well, all right. If we must.

First, I’m really pleased that The Last Colony made the ballot. I certainly didn’t think it was a given, considering it’s the third book of a series, it was a very strong year for science fiction, and also the fact that if you’re the sort of person who goes around thinking oh, yeah, my book is definitely on the ballot this year you’d sort of be an arrogant prick, now, wouldn’t you.

I think The Last Colony stands on its own merits as a novel (which validates my policy of writing all the books in the OMW series as books that can be read without having read the others), but I do also suspect it’s on the ballot because of affection for the whole OMW series to date, which if true is genuinely humbling. As I’ve noted before, The Last Colony completes the story arc of John Perry and Jane Sagan as the main characters in this universe, and when you’re writing characters people have come to care about, you want to send them off right. What this nomination says to me is that people think I’ve stuck the dismount. To which I can only say: Thank you, with all my heart.

Second, fan writer: Well, in a word: neat. I really really really wasn’t expecting ever to get another nod in this category, given how much dust got kicked up about my presence in it last year. And to be entirely honest I think it was entirely reasonable to see last year’s nomination as a bit of a fluke — basically a bit of a fan burp, or something. So to get nominated in the category for a second time is an affirmation: Yes, people really do think of me as a fan of science fiction, and they really do see what I do here on Whatever as fan writing.

And you know, I’m extremely happy about that. I like being a fan. I like talking about science fiction, and evangelizing for it, and generally making a nuisance of myself cheerleading for the genre and for the writers and other folks in our little corner of the cultural world. I really do believe these are great times for written science fiction and fantasy: We have so many excellent writers working today that it’s almost an embarrassment of riches, and I want to tell as many people as I can about them. I really don’t understand how you could not be a fan, basically.

Third, Best Novel and Best Fan Writer in the same year: Honestly? I think that’s totally WTF FTW awesome. The last time someone was nominated for Best Novel and Best Fan Writer, the book and the fan writing had been produced the same year I was. Which is to say that it’s been nearly 40 years since the last time it happened. One does like to feel special, and this certainly does the trick. I’ve been pretty much giggling incessantly since I found out. Also, you know. I think it makes a salient point about the science fiction community, which is that one can quite easily be a fan and a pro, simultaneously and without any division between the two.

Given that last year a number of folks pooped out some very large bricks at the idea of me being nominated for fan writer, I suppose me being nominated for fan writer and best novel at the same time may cause certain duodenums to spontaneously explode. If it does, well, that’s their karma. I’m happy to have been nominated in both categories, because I think both apply to me equally.

To everyone who nominated me in either category (or both!) all I can say is thank you, and I’m humbled by your appreciation.

2008 Hugo Nomination List

Okay. Here’s the thing. The 2008 Hugo Nomination List was sent out to a whole bunch of us, with an embargo of noon Pacific time, but Denvention 3 — at which the Hugos will be awarded — has posted the list on its own site and linked to it several places, including its own front page; the list has also been linked to by Locus on its Web site.

I call shenanigans on the embargo. Denvention 3 can’t ask for an embargo on information it’s already made publicly accessible. Locus has also broken the embargo by linking to the list. If someone who was not told there was an embargo happened across the information, say, by reading it on the Locus site, they could quite easily post the list and discuss it to their heart’s desire. Which is, in fact, already happening.

That being the case, the 2008 Hugo Award Nomination List, for your delight and edification.

(Update, 8am: Mary Kay Kare, the excellent Hugo coordinator for Denvention 3, notes in the comments: “the embargo was broken by someone else last night and so Denvention went ahead and posted it to their web page.” She did indeed note to to me in e-mail after I posted this; I’m glad she also noted it in the comments since I don’t generally post private e-mail. And of course this explains a lot — it’s hard to re-bag the cats once they’ve escaped to the Internet.)

Best Novel

The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins, Fourth Estate)
Brasyl by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr)
Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor; Analog Oct. 2006-Jan/Feb. 2007)
The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Tor)
Halting State by Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit)

Best Novella

“Fountains of Age” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s July 2007)
“Recovering Apollo 8″ by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Asimov’s Feb. 2007)
“Stars Seen Through Stone” by Lucius Shepard (F&SF July 2007)
“All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s Dec. 2007; Subterranean Press)
“Memorare” by Gene Wolfe (F&SF April 2007)

Best Novelette

“The Cambist and Lord Iron: a Fairytale of Economics” by Daniel Abraham (Logorrhea ed. by John Klima, Bantam)
“The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang (F&SF Sept. 2007)
“Dark Integers” by Greg Egan (Asimov’s Oct./Nov. 2007)
“Glory” by Greg Egan (The New Space Opera, ed. by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, HarperCollins/Eos)
“Finisterra” by David Moles (F&SF Dec. 2007)

Best Short Story

“Last Contact” by Stephen Baxter (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, ed. by George Mann, Solaris Books)
“Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s June 2007)
“Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken MacLeod (The New Space Opera, ed. by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, HarperCollins/Eos)
“Distant Replay” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s May-June 2007)
“A Small Room in Koboldtown” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s April/May 2007; The Dog Said Bow-Wow,Tachyon Publications)

Best Related Book

The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community by Diana Glyer; appendix by David Bratman (Kent State University Press)
Breakfast in the Ruins: Science Fiction in the Last Millennium by Barry Malzberg (Baen)
Emshwiller: Infinity x Two by Luis Ortiz, intro. by Carol Emshwiller, fwd. by Alex Eisenstein (Nonstop)
Brave New Words: the Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher (Oxford University Press)
The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Enchanted Written by Bill Kelly, Directed by Kevin Lima (Walt Disney Pictures)
The Golden Compass Written by Chris Weitz, Based on the novel by Philip Pullman, Directed by Chris Weitz (New Line Cinema)
Heroes, Season 1, Created by Tim Kring (NBC Universal Television and Tailwind Productions Written by Tim Kring, Jeff Loeb, Bryan Fuller, Michael Green, Natalie Chaidez, Jesse Alexander, Adam Armus, Aron Eli Coleite, Joe Pokaski, Christopher Zatta, Chuck Kim, Directed by David Semel, Allan Arkush, Greg Beeman, Ernest R. Dickerson, Paul Shapiro, Donna Deitch, Paul A. Edwards, John Badham, Terrence O’Hara, Jeannot Szwarc, Roxann Dawson, Kevin Bray, Adam Kane
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Written by Michael Goldenberg, Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling, Directed by David Yates (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Stardust Written by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn, Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Paramount Pictures)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Battlestar Galactica “Razor” written by Michael Taylor, directed by Félix Enríquez Alcalá and Wayne Rose (Sci Fi Channel) (televised version, not DVD)
Doctor Who “Blink” written by Stephen Moffat, directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)
Doctor Who “Human Nature” / “The Family of Blood” written by Paul Cornell, directed by Charles Palmer (BBC)
Star Trek New Voyages “World Enough and Time” written by Michael Reaves & Marc Scott Zicree, directed by Marc Scott Zicree (Cawley Entertainment Co. and The Magic Time Co.)
Torchwood “Captain Jack Harkness” written by Catherine Tregenna, directed by Ashley Way (BBC Wales)

Best Professional Editor, Short Form

Ellen Datlow (The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin’s), Coyote Road (Viking), Inferno (Tor))
Stanley Schmidt (Analog)
Jonathan Strahan (The New Space Opera (Eos/HarperCollins), The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 1 (Night Shade), Eclipse One (NightShade)
Gordon Van Gelder (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
Sheila Williams (Asimov’s Science Fiction)

Best Professional Editor, Long Form

Lou Anders (Pyr)
Ginjer Buchanan (Ace/Roc)
David G. Hartwell (Tor/Forge)
Beth Meacham (Tor)
Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Tor)

Best Professional Artist

Bob Eggleton (Covers: To Outlive Eternity and Other Stories (Baen), Ivory (Pyr), & The Taint and Other Stories (Subterranean))
Phil Foglio (Covers: Robert Asprin’s Myth Adventures, Vol. 2 (Meisha Merlin), “What’s New” (Dragon Magazine Aug. 2007), Girl Genius Vol. 6-Agatha Heterodyne & the Golden Trilobite (Airship Entertainment))
John Harris (Covers: Spindrift (Ace), Horizons (Tor), The Last Colony (Tor))
Stephan Martiniere (Covers: Brasyl (Pyr), Mainspring (Tor), The Dragons of Babel (Tor))
John Picacio (Covers: Fast Forward 2 (Pyr), Time’s Child (HarperCollins/Eos), A Thousand Deaths (Golden Gryphon))
Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine

Ansible edited by David Langford
Helix edited by William Sanders and Lawrence Watt-Evans
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
The New York Review of Science Fiction, edited by Kathryn Cramer, Kristine Dikeman, David Hartwell & Kevin J. Maroney

Best Fanzine

Argentus edited by Steven H Silver
Challenger edited by Guy Lillian III
Drink Tank edited by Chris Garcia
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
PLOKTA edited by Alison Scott, Steve Davies, & Mike Scott

Best Fan Writer

Chris Garcia
David Langford
Cheryl Morgan
John Scalzi
Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist

Brad Foster
Teddy Harvia
Sue Mason
Steve Stiles
Taral Wayne

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

An award for the best new writer whose first work of science fiction or fantasy appeared during 2006 or 2007 in a professional publication. Sponsored by Dell Magazines.

Joe Abercrombie (2nd year of eligibility)
Jon Armstrong (1st year of eligibility)
David Anthony Durham (1st year of eligibility)
David Louis Edelman (2nd year of eligibility)
Mary Robinette Kowal (2nd year of eligibility)
Scott Lynch (2nd year of eligibility)

I’ll be posting thoughts on the list sometime soon.

Congratulations to all the nominees!