The 2008 Award Pimpage Post
Posted on January 3, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 15 Comments
As has become my annual thing, each early January I note what works I’ve had out there that are eligible for awards — specifically the Hugo Award, since that’s my genre most notable award at the moment. This year, I have quite a spread of eligible material, so let’s dive in to this round of wholly unseemly self-pimpery.
Best Novel: The Last Colony
Best Novelette: “The Sagan Diary” (online version)
Best Short Story: “Missives from Possible Futures #1: Alternate History Search Results”
Best Short Story: “Pluto Tells All”
Best Short Story: “The Life and Work of Godfrey Winton: A Panel Discussion on One of Science Fiction’s Lost Masters” (With Sarah Monette and Nick Sagan)
Best Related Book: You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop Into a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: “The Sagan Diary,” audio version (read by Mary Robinette Kowal, Elizabeth Bear, Karen Meisner, Ellen Kushner, Helen Smith and Cherie Priest)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Old Man’s War, audio version (read by William Dufris)
Those are all Hugo categories. The novel, novelette and short stories are also currently eligible for Nebula consideration, although even if they qualified they wouldn’t be on the ballot until 2009 thanks to the Nebula’s generally obtuse nomination process, which [imagine Nebula rant here, so I don’t have to actually write it], and that’s all I’m going to say about that. Additionally, I believe Old Man’s War is eligible for the Arthur C. Clarke award, because it was published in the UK in 2007. However, it needs to be submitted by its publisher, I think. I am honestly clueless in the ways of the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
Some thoughts on the above:
1. The reason I note Coffee Shop in the Related Book category is, a) writing books by SF authors have been nominated before (most recently ones by Kate Wilhelm and Samuel R. Delany), and b) of the four sections in the book, one is given over entirely to science fiction. So I think it’s reasonable to include it for consideration.
2. While the Dramatic Presentation categories haven’t generally included audio presentations, they have been nominated before (in 1979, for the radio series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and also in 1971, for the Jefferson Starship album Blows Against the Empire, which was loosely based on Heinlein’s Methuselah’s Children), and also, you know, let’s face it: If a three-minute MTV Movie Awards segment in which Gollum tells everyone to fuck off can garner a Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo (Short Form), there’s no reason audio presentations shouldn’t be considered in these categories.
So yes, please, do give my audio works consideration in these categories. And while you’re at it, give other audio works consideration in these categories as well. Fight the tyranny of film and television domination! Because you know what? There is some excellent work being done in audio science fiction these days, and it’s worth noting in the categories that they are eligible for. You don’t need to spend millions to have an excellent dramatic presentation.
3. As for the rest of my fiction work, I’m proud of it all and would be delighted to be nominated in any category. But I do hope folks who are interested in voting will check out “The Sagan Diary,” because I think it contains some of my best writing to date. And in the short story category, I think people should know that the “Godfrey Winton” panel is actually a transcription of a convention panel, which means it’s live fiction improv from me, Nick Sagan and Sarah Monette. I think we did a damn fine job.
4. As most of you know, last year I was nominated for the Best Fan Writer Hugo, which I lost by a single vote (which I think is pretty damn funny). My nomination in the category caused some seizures in fandom about whether I should have been nominated at all, being that I am a pro as well as a fan, but I think more importantly the nomination reminded people that a whole hell of a lot of fan writing is going on in blogs and LiveJournals, and not just in traditionally formatted ‘zines. Hey, the 21st century. It’s wacky that way.
As with last year, I’m not seeking a Best Fan Writer nomination, nor recommending myself for the category, but I won’t turn it down the nomination if it’s offered. That said, I hope when Hugo voters make their nominations they look far and wide at who is writing interesting stuff as a fan.
That’s the award pimpage for 2008.
You are right that works eligible for the Clarke have to be submitted by publishers.
Yes!! Go Audio!
And good luck with causing further seizures in fandom. You do it so well.
Hey, I’m pleased to see you reminding people that Best Dramatic Presentation is more than just TV shows and theatrical motion pictures. A Firesign Theatre album was nominated back in the 1970s, and I personally was quietly encouraging people to nominate The Bride of Firesign back in 2002.
It’s kinda funny, but you say some of you’re best writing is in Sagan’s Diary, but so far it’s the only thing of yours I haven’t liked. Something about the stream of consciousness way it was told, I just couldn’t get into it. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
As far as the fan thing goes, I’m a huge SF/F fan (though not really a part of fandom), so it pains me to say it; but there are a lot of fans of SF/F who just seem to walk around with a stick up their butt looking for something to be upset about. Just because you’ve hit the jack pot (so to speak), and actually get paid to write SF/F doesn’t mean you can’t be a fan of it. One would hope just the reverse actually. I think it’s just sour grapes.
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t realise the Godfrey Winton thing was fiction.
I saw it appear on the Subterranean site, read the first few lines and decided I wasn’t interested in an in-depth discussion of some author I’d never even heard of!
New Year’s resolution – don’t believe a damn word that Scalzi writes.
I suppose it wouldn’t make much sense if Arthur C. Clarke just chose his favorite book of the year to win his award, eh?
Additionally, I believe Old Man’s War is eligible for the Arthur C. Clarke award, because it was published in the UK in 2007. However, it needs to be submitted by its publisher, I think.
It does, and it was.
By the same token, it’s eligible for the BSFA’s best novel award.
I wish Nick Sagan would write more novels. His The Idlewild Trilogy was pretty awesome.
Oh, not as awesome as Scalzi’s work of course….
Just for balance, I’ll put in that I agree with your self-assessment of The Sagan Diary.
Can I just say I loved loved loved the radio version of “Hitchhikers”? My family listened every weekend. I don’t think we heard it first run since I was only 3 in 1979, it was maybe 1981, when I remember listening. I’d like to hear more like that. I’m all for audio dramatic presentations!
I’m sorry to say that “The Sagan Diary” didn’t do anything for me, either. Your skill is really in storytelling. Your other books remind me of classic SF, not because they seem old-fashioned, but because you tell a great story. I don’t know what critics look for, but that’s why I buy your books – and why I’ve moved you to the short list of authors that I will automatically buy, even if the description doesn’t sound too appealing. I wouldn’t say you’re primarily an idea man or even especially good at characterization, but you are a great, great storyteller!
Will you be attending Denvention III this year?
I hope so!
Anyway, for people who really care about this, the online Hugo ballot has been up since about 6:30 this morning (A mere 48 hours late). If you are a Denvention or Nippon member, you can nominate. And the URL is:
And I have it on good authority that at least one valid Hugo nomination ballot was submitted well before noon!
Okay, then *I* will recommend you for Best Fan Writer. You seem to be the best shot at ending the streak of the Evil One.
I suspect last year was my best chance of that, actually. And he’s awfully nice for being evil.