The 2015 SF/F Fans Award Recommendation Thread

The Nebula Award nomination period ends on February 15, and the Hugo/Campbell Award nomination period is well underway, and several other awards are in their consideration periods as well. Which makes right now an excellent time for fans of the science fiction and fantasy genre to make their recommendations for books, stories, art, movies and TV shows, fanzines and podcasts to nominate for this year’s slate of awards.

And so, here’s have a thread to make those recommendations. I’ve done this for a few years now, and every year it offers up recommendations worth considering when the time comes to make one’s own award nominations.

What and how should you recommend? Here are the thread rules:

1. Please make sure that what you’re suggesting, work or person, is actually eligible for awards consideration this year. Generally speaking that means the work was published (or otherwise produced) in the last calendar year (i.e., 2014); for the Campbell, it means someone who has been professionally published in the SF/F field in the last two years (2013, 2014). If you’re not sure what you’re suggesting is eligible, please check. Otherwise you’re wasting your time and the time of everyone reading the thread for recommendations.

Also, it’s helpful if, when making a suggestion, you identify the category the work would be eligible for; so if you were going to suggest a novel, writing “Best Novel: [name of work, author of work]” up front would be awesome. This is especially useful in short fiction categories, where there are short stories, novelettes and novellas.

With regard to the Hugos, here’s a list of current categories (The Campbell Award for Best New Writer is not noted there but is present on the Hugo nomination form). However, this thread is not just for Nebulas and Hugos. Feel free to recommend for other awards as well. I would particularly note that SFWA also has a YA award called the Norton. So YA/MG recommendations would be useful here as well.

2. If the work you’re suggesting is (legally) readable online, feel free to provide a link, but note that too many links in one post (usually three or more) might send your post into the moderation queue, from whence I will have to free it in order for it to show up. If this happens, don’t panic, I’ll be going through the moderation queue frequently today to let posts out.

3. Only suggest the work of others. Self-suggestions will be deleted from the thread. This should not dissuade writers and creators from recommend other people’s work, of course. Please do!

4. Don’t suggest my work, please. I’ve already posted here about what of mine is eligible; this thread is for everything else.

5. The comment thread is only for making recommendations, not for commentary on the suggestions others are making or anything else. Extraneous, not-on-topic posts will be snipped out of the thread.

6. Likewise, please don’t cut and paste lists and slates from elsewhere. This is about your recommendations, from the things you have read/viewed and enjoyed and wish to recommend to others.

There you have it.

And now: What do you recommend for science fiction and fantasy awards this year? Please share. The more people know what’s out there, the better the overall field of nominees has the potential to be. Thank you!

JoCo Cruise Celebrity Artemis, In Which It Is Revealed I Am an Incompetent Captain

This is me playing Celebrity Artemis, as the captain of the USS Redshits (not a typo), with Steve Jackson as my engineer, Wil Wheaton at the helm, JoCo Cruise intern Joel Pattison on weapons (with every other intern pestering him), Ted Leo on science and Mikey Neumann on communications. Everything goes to hell very quickly, and it’s worth watching the whole thing to see the utter chaos that goes down, but if you must scan through for the highlights, fast forward to 12:00, where Ted Leo dramatically (and awesomely) drops the mic, and to 14:20, when I strangle Wil Wheaton; keep watching to see what I do to his corpse.

Seriously, I am a terrible starship captain. Never let me captain your ship.

For contrast, here’s the first ship of evening, captained and crewed far more competently by Jean Grae and friends:

And here’s the ship crewed by the Royal Carribean folks, who were, quite frankly, utterly amazing in how into it they were. It was like watching the UK version of The Office in space:

If you want to play Artemis for yourself, this is where you can get it. Try not to strangle any of your crew.

The Big Idea: Brian McClellan

When you’ve written a half million words in a world of your own devising, it’s okay to stop, look around, and take stock of what you’ve wrought. Thus does Brian McClellan look upon his works in the Powder Mage Trilogy, here on the release of the final book in the series, The Autumn Republic. Take it away, Mr. McClellan!

BRIAN McCLELLAN:

As the final book in the Powder Mage Trilogy, The Autumn Republic is the climax of a five hundred thousand word epic fantasy. By now many of you are familiar with the sorcerers powered by black powder, returning gods in an industrialized world, and a nation caught in a world-class conflict. These are all the big ideas of the series, but now that I’ve reached the final book I need to stop and examine what this story is really about.

One of the biggest tropes of epic fantasy is that of the fool: the young farm boy or neglected orphan who learns of his destiny and goes off to fight the good fight, gaining wisdom and experience along the way. It’s the very first trope I wanted to throw out when I started this trilogy, and doing so gave me Field Marshal Tamas—a living legend, a man at the very height of his power who decides that, for the good of the people, he will overthrow his king and send the nobility to the guillotine. Promise of Blood opens with this revolution and the entire trilogy deals with the ramifications of one man’s action against his government.

Without Tamas, the conflict that takes place in the Powder Mage Trilogy would never have happened.

Tamas was not originally meant to be a viewpoint character. My original plan was to tell his story from the point of view of his son but I quickly became enamored with his character. How often in fantasy do we get to see the narrative from the point of view of a man who answers to no one? The wise man well into his journey instead of the naive youth at the beginning of his?

What, I wanted to know, would bend or break a man like that?

More than anything else, The Autumn Republic is the tale of Field Marshal Tamas coming to grips with his own legend. He is powerful, driven, already immortalized on the pages of history. He has spent decades planning the revolution that opened the trilogy and he is fully committed to it, willing to become history’s villain for the greater good. Willing to sacrifice anything for his goals. Or so he thought.

Tamas may be an old man, much further along in his hero’s journey than some whippersnapper fresh off the farm, but that does not mean that his journey is complete. His ideals have been corrupted by old wounds and a quest for vengeance, but he still has the ability to regret, grow, change, and adapt to fight the new challenges thrown in his path.

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The Autumn Republic: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow him on Twitter.