Your Last Minute Hugo Nominations

The window for voting for Hugo nominations is closing at the end of the month, and there are several thousand eligible nominators (basically, anyone who was at last year’s Worldcon in Japan or who has registered for this year’s, in Denver) — and yet there are relatively few people who nominate. I think this is a bit of a shame, but I think it may be because the SF/F field is now pretty large, and you have to be on top of things to know what’s good.

To help, I throw open the question to you, gentle Whatever readers: What works/people would you nominate for a Hugo this year? For those of you who need it, here’s a list of the current categories. I’m particularly interested in your nominations for the fiction categories (Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story), but any category you want to suggest a work/person in is good. Also, while it’s not a Hugo, you may feel free also to suggest who you might nominate for the Campbell Award, which is an award I’m sort of partial to myself.


1. For the purposes of this exercise, suggest people and works other than me and mine. Yes, I have eligible works this year. But I doubt anyone who reads here is surprised by that. Let’s look at what else is out there (also, well, I’m looking for suggestions myself. I still have a slot or two open in most categories).

2. If you’re eligible for a category, nominate other people/works. Come on, dude. Share the love.

3. No more than five suggestions per category. Yes! You must choose!

4. To be eligible, works have to have been published (or the people active) during 2007. Don’t suggest stuff people can’t actually nominate.

Got it? Excellent.

So, what would your Hugo nominations be? Drop ’em in the comment thread, please.

(P.S: If you’ve already written up your Hugo picks/suggestions elsewhere, feel free to link to them in the comments.)

(P.P.S.: If you are eligible to nominate for Hugos, do so! Here’s the online nomination form. Want to nominate vote on the Hugo ballot? There’s still time to get a Worldcon membership for this year. Even if you don’t plan to attend, a supporting membership allows you to nominate for and vote on the Hugos. Oh, come on, you were just going to spend that $50 on gum, anyway. (Update: I flubbed — too late to buy a membership to nominate. But you can still buy a membership to  vote on the final ballot))

Now! Spill!

53 Comments on “Your Last Minute Hugo Nominations”

  1. Um, John. It’s too late to buy a membership if you want to nominate. You had to be a member by the end of January. But of course you can still vote in the final ballot.

  2. My pleasure, helping people with the (occasionally complex) rules is one of the things that SFAW is here for. And thanks for doing this. It will make a valuable addition to the universe of recommendations.

  3. By the way, while I’m here I’d like to take slight issue with your “you have to be on top of things to know what’s good”. I know a lot of people feel that way, but that’s not the way the system works. The field is so huge (remember, every SF&F work newly published anywhere in the world in any language is theoretically eligible) that no one can hope to cover anywhere near all of it. Instead the system relies on people nominating what they think is good from what small fraction of the field they have seen. If you get enough people from enough different parts of the community voting then on aggregate you should get reasonable results. But if some people feel disinclined to vote because they feel that they are somehow “not qualified” them the system is missing out on their input.

    Obviously if you have only read two novels in then you may feel that neither of them is good enough to warrant a Hugo nomination. That’s OK. But if one of them was really great, the fact that you have only read two doesn’t bar you from nominating the good one.

  4. Cheryl:

    Oh, I agree. If you read one SF book in ’07, but you really realy loved it, why not nominate? On the other hand, if you want a full slate of nominees on your ballot, and your own reading doesn’t get you there, it’s not a bad thing to query the hive mind for more ideas.

  5. My recommendations:

    Novella: The Game by Diana Wynne Jones

    Novelette: The Hikikomori’s cartoon Kimono by A.R. Morlan (Asimov’s) and The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chiang (F&SF)

    Short Story: The Wizard of Macatawa by Tom Doyle (Paradox Magazine); Moebius Stripped of a Muse by Ellen Klages; and The Tomb Wife by Gwyneth Jones (F&SF)

    Related Book: Emshwiller: Infinity x Two: Art & Life of Ed and Carol Emshwiller

    Best Dramatic Presentation Short form: Blink (Dr Who)

  6. It might also be worth pointing out how one might track down one’s Worldcon membership number and PIN if you need them. Personally, I bought my 2008 Worldcon membership too late to nominate, but I was a supporting member last year, but I have no idea where my numbers are. I would’ve thought the concom would’ve emailed me such information, but I can’t seem to find any such thing in my records.

    And for those of you nominating, don’t forget all these great Night Shade Books titles that are eligible:

  7. JJA:

    PIN recovery instructions are at the Denvention Three Hugo Awards page. Write to to request that they send you your PIN. Considering that they may be very busy on Deadline Day — I know we were in 2002, where I was personally monitoring things right up to the last second (the last ballot was cast twenty seconds before deadline) — I suggest you write to them sooner rather than later.

    Of course, you probably still have enough time to vote on a good old-fashioned paper ballot (you can download a PDF from the D3 web site) with a signature, sent by surface mail. You don’t need to know your membership number or PIN to vote that way, but you do need to sign your ballot or else the administrator will disqualify it. The only reason for the PIN is to substitute for a signature on e-ballots.

  8. Best Novel:

    The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari (I can’t believe I never heard about this book until I read it.)
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
    Mother of Lies by Dave Duncan

    Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form:

    Noein – entire series (I know the difficult airtimes and the collector-style DVD pricing mean no anime series currently has a real chance of reaching enough voters, but I saw it and I think it deserves to go on my nominating ballot.)
    Paprika (Although it may be ineligible due to having appeared at film festivals in 2006, I’m told that’s not for sure, and it is *the* best thing I saw in this category last year.)
    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
    Probably also Eureka Seven – entire series (Cartoon Network looks like it’ll get to the end just before the nominating deadline.)

  9. Would Under My Roof by Nick Mamatas be considering a novel or a novella?

    Whiskey and Water – Elizabeth Bear
    Softspoken – Lucius Shepard
    Acacia – David Anthony Durham
    Red Seas Under Red Skies – Scott Lynch
    The Sword-edged Blonde – Alex Bledsoe

    And really, I would honestly throw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on that list if i could figure out if I wanted to drop the Shepard or the Bledsoe.

    I stopped tracking stories, so I’d just want to see Elizabeth Bear, Mary Robinette Kowal, and the new Ted Chiang on the list.

  10. Ah! It’s a bit 20th century for me, but it’ll do!

    I didn’t realize I didn’t need the PIN if I voted via paper. Thanks. :)

  11. One of the books I want to nominate is Volume Six of Girl Genius. Even though it is part of a longer series, I think it stands on its own fairly well, and it’s my favorite volume so far.

    Do graphic novels just go in with whichever category their word count matches?

  12. Novels:
    New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear
    The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
    The Demon in the City by Liz Williams (does this count?)

    Graphic Novel:
    Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Golden Trilobyte by Phil & Kaja Foglio
    Runaways: Live Fast by Brian K Vaughan

    Heroes Season One

    My problem is that I almost never read books till they’re out in paperback, so all my favorite books from last year were from 2006.

  13. Graphic novels in Best Related Book, please. That way the artist gets recognition too. (As per when Sandman: The Dream Hunters was a nominee in that category.)

    The Demon and the City isn’t eligible, Precious Dragon is.

  14. The Arrival, a graphic novel by Shaun Tan, was the most wonderful and amazing book of any kind I saw last year.

    No, really. Wonderful. Amazing. Try it, you’ll see. It’s by a struggling Australian graphic artist who apparently took 4 years to create it. OK, the guy broke every career commandment Scalzi ever wrote. But man, sometimes it’s worth it.

    Anyway, The Arrival takes first position on my ballot where Hugo rules shove it, in the Best Related Book category.

    Unfortunately, I mostly started raving about the Tan masterpiece to my friends here at Boskone last weekend (where you were maximally missed, John) about 10 minutes after the book dealers at the con had sold their last copies. But maybe it’s not too late for some of your luckier readers …

    Also thanks for Cheryl Morgan’s great link above. The Science Fiction Awards Watch site she and Kevin Standlee edit has tons of useful stuff and a scrupulously even tone. Let’s note that the bottom of the page she offers has links to other sites; as a member, I’ll shout out the one done by the New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA), at

    It organizes tasty stuff specifically by Hugo categories. There are even little initials pointing to a key at the bottom where you find out who’s recommending what.

    All in all, two great guides for the perplexed, underread, or overwhelmed.

  15. I am not a nominator, and I’m still very much behind on my stack of books & magazines from last year, but here are my takes so far:

    For novel, definitely “The Prefect” by Alastair Reynolds. Brilliant.

    Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan deserve editor awards for their anthology “The New Space Opera”, which is one of the best anthologies ever.

    For novella, I will have to say “A War of Gifts” by Orson Scott Card — an almost claustrophobic contrast from the general run of the Enderverse, and Card has been inconsistent in his later career, but I think this is one of his better performances of the past decade.

    For novelette, I’d say “Icarus Beach” by C.W. Johnson (from the December 07 Analog). This is the first thing I’ve read by this author, but he/she did a terrific job of weaving a basic but well-told human story in a string of outrageously exotic settings, while keeping the tone and point-of-view very natural.

    And for short story, something *very different*: “Elegy” by Mélanie Fazi, and translated from the French by Christopher Priest (from the June 07 Fantasy & Science Fiction. Don’t try to categorize, just read and absorb the haunting ambiguity.

  16. not entirely sure of the dates, and whether or not they are eligible, but…

    The Terror by Dan Simmons

    Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell

    A Betrayal in Winter by Daniel Abraham

    Hunter’s Run by GRRM et al

    Fatal Revenant by Stephen R. Donaldson

  17. Bryan, I’d say “A War of Gifts” was Orson Scott Card’s second-best novella of last year, behind “Stonefather,” which appeared in the Wizards anthology, edited by Gardner Dozois & Jack Dann.

    It’s on my Hugo recommendations list, at the Fantastic Reviews Blog:

  18. Novels:
    Territory by Emma Bull
    Undertow, Elizabeth Bear
    Whiskey and Water, Elizabeth Bear
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    “Light” Kelly Link
    “Old Mr. Boudreaux” Lisa Tuttle

  19. Let me second the vote for The Arrival by Shaun Tan (in comment #20). It’s a brilliant piece of work, a sweet and touching wordless graphic novel of the immigrant experience. Everybody should buy a copy, and nominate it for awards.

  20. “Acacia” by Anthony Durham for novel
    “Flora Segunda” by Y.S. Wilce for YA novel
    “Quartermaster Returns” by Y.S. Wilce for short story

  21. Yeah, me again…

    Two quick points. Firstly, if you are thinking of nominating The Arrival (which I certainly am) then you might want to think about Shaun Tan in the Best Professional Artist category.

    Secondly, a lot of you are saying that you can’t vote in the Hugos, but you know you can vote in the Locus Awards. They are open to anyone. The online ballot is here. Don’t forget that if for some unaccountable reason the drop downs don’t include your favorite works, write-ins are allowed.

  22. Bob @ #20, can you elaborate about what shoves “The Arrival” (I agree, totally amazing book) into Best Related Book?

  23. To Alice @ #20, actually, I’d rather not. Although someone upthread has already given it away. Damn. (Don’t look back!)

    The technicality here (which I’ve heard attested to by people with Hugo Admin experience, so am confident it would indeed be categorized in Best Related) turns on something that was actually a shock to me a little way in as I experienced the book. I hope people opening it for the first time will have it dawn on them likewise.

    Pimpaliciously, let me just recommend that people stop reading comments or reviews about The Arrival and just go see for themselves.

  24. I maintain a best of the year 2007 list:

    Mostly short fiction. Currently has 10 entries, including 4 non-genre ones. List is never frozen, but grows very very slowly – only when I actually like a story.

  25. Looks like your comment form eats URLs in angle brackets. Here’s the URL again (it’s also in comment header link – in case this comment also drops URL):


  26. I’d like to second Cathy@9. If it is eligible, The Doctor Who episode “Blink” was terrifying and brilliant.

  27. As this year’s Hugo Administrator, I’d prefer not to comment. I will point out that not only can you vote online, you can fax the ballot if you’re worried about it arriving in time. The number is on the ballot and there’s a pdf of it at the Denvention3 website.

    And if you wait til the last minute and something goes wrong with the fax or the servers break under the strain, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. So vote asap!


  28. Short fiction:

    GUD #1 “Arrow” Nadine Darling — About someone who, literally, has an arrow through their heart.

    Strange Horizons: “Raindogs and Dustpuppets” by Chris Gauthier

    Strange Horizons: “Dead.Nude.Girls” By Lori Selke

    Clarksworld: “Something In The Mermaid Way” by Carrie Laben.

    Clarksworld: “Acid and Stoned Raindeer” by Rebecca Ore

  29. In LA I bought a membership to vote for the 2008 Worldcon, but I don’t know if that qualifies me to vote for anything. I haven’t read enough new works anyway—I’ve been doing a lot of catch-up with the classics.

    I don’t think there’s a category for “Best Video Game,” but I would nominate BioShock because the story (and sets and gameplay) in that game will blow you away.

  30. The Arrival blew me away. It deserves any award it can get.

    I’m baffled by the Denvention online Hugo nomination form. There’s an email address for discovering your PIN if you’re a Denvention member. But what if you’re a Nippon member but not a Denvention member? Do you need a PIN in order to vote online? How can you find out your PIN? Will a ballot submitted online go uncounted without one? Easily-confused minds want to know.

  31. Jacob (#36):

    You should be able to nominate. What you bought in LA was a supporting membership in whichever convention happened to win the site selection vote. That convention happens to be Denver. Mind you, having said that, I’ve just looked you up in their online membership list and it doesn’t find you, so you may need to check with them.

    Also please see comments #5 and #7. It doesn’t matter if you have only read a few books, you can still nominate them if you think they are good enough.

    Justme (#34):

    “Blink” is most definitely eligible.

  32. ST @ 39

    Once the nominations are in, and the final ballot is set, a lot of publications (such as F&SF, Asimov’s, and Analog) will post the stories online. F&SF currently has its preliminary Nebula ballot nominees online here (all of which–excepting “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter”–are also eligible for Hugos):

    So, short form Hugo finalists will be online, but if you want to help pick the finalists, you pretty much have to find the stuff on your own.

  33. Well poo about Demon in the City. Precious Dragon I don’t have yet, but it’s pre-ordered for paperback (or trade paperback probably), so I can read it as soon as it’s available.

    Not that I’m eligible to vote or anything. Those are just the books I read that I really liked that were actually published last year. (Like I said, excluding Graphic Novels, I tend to be a year behind in my reading. [And nothing against authors, as I know they make more money with them, but hardback books hurt my hands to hold, so I almost never buy them. (Plus, I’d go broke)])

  34. In the Movie…uhh “dramatic presentation, long form” category I’d like to see “Youth without youth” directed by Francis Ford Coppola win… The mainstream movie critic folk trashed it… I would much rather see the community show its’ appreciation for the big time movie person, willing to risk getting involved with the genre, then give the Hugo to this years’ crop of harry potter eye candy…

  35. Bobson @44: “I would much rather see the community show its’ appreciation for the big time movie person, willing to risk getting involved with the genre, then give the Hugo to this years’ crop of harry potter eye candy…”

    Yes, but is it good?

  36. Here’s my fuel for the fire:

    The Yiddish Policeman’s Union – Michael Chabon
    Brasyl – Ian McDonald
    Shelter-Susan Palwick
    The Prefect – Alastair Reynolds
    Axis – Robert Charles Wilson

    The Fountain of Age – Nancy Kress
    The Master Miller’s Tale – Ian R. MacLeod
    The End of the World – Kristine Katherine Rusch
    Muse of Fire – Dan Simmons
    Memorare – Gene Wolfe

    The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate – Ted Chiang
    Valley of the Gardens – Tony Daniel
    A Diorama of the Infernal Regions, or The Devil’s Ninth Question –
    Andy Duncan
    Dark Integers – Greg Egan
    Dividing the Sustain – James Patrick Kelly
    Not of this Fold – William Shunn

    Short Story
    Last Contact – Stephen Baxter
    Always – Karen Joy Fowler
    Dead Horse Point – Darryl Gregory
    In the Forest of the Queen – Gwyneth Jones
    Verthandi’s Ring – Ian McDonald
    Stray – Benjamn Rosenbaum and David Ackert

    I know those last two have 6 but I couldn’t decide between them and since this is not an official ballot, I thought I’d mention them! Thank goodness I have more time to read before the Locus awards votes are due!

    Great year for SF this year.

  37. Let me nth the recommendations of The Arrival (booklog)–now Nebula-nominee approved!

    My novel list currently consists of:

    * Valente, The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice (booklog)
    * Buckell, Ragamuffin (not yet booklogged)

    . . . and that’s it.

    I hope to read at least one of:

    * Sedai, Secret History of Moscow
    * Durham, Acacia
    * Chabon, Yiddish Policemen’s Union
    * Palwick, Shelter

    (based on these recommendations)

    before the end of the month, but we’ll see.

  38. For novels: Robert J. Sawyer’s Rollback is a good one. I also just read Land of the Headless by Adam Roberts, which was intriguing, though I haven’t heard much talk about it– I think it was published in the UK only.
    Short stories: Michael F. Flynn’s “Quaestiones Super Caelo et Mundo” was great, as was Tom Kosmatka’s “Prophet of Flores.” My favorite short ficton piece I read in 2007 may or may not actually be eligible– James Alan Gardner’s “The Ray Gun: A Love Story” from the February 2008 Asimov’s, which was mailed to subscribers in December. Sadly I’m not sure about the word counts on either of those; I believe Flynn’s and Gardner’s are technically novellettes and Kosmatka’s a short story, but I could be wrong.
    For related book, I will refrain from suggesting my own The Gospel According to Science Fiction (whoa, see how I did that? clever) and instead second the suggestion for Infinity X Two, which is a truly gorgeous book. I would second The Arrival, too, but I have to say there’s something broken with the Hugos if graphic novels end up in the category that used to be reserved for nonfiction. I understand art books as “related”, but graphic novels are something else (and probably deserve their own category anyway).

  39. Thank you for the recommendation, Cathy! Actually, “The Wizard of Macatawa” (at about 9,100 words) clocks in as a novelette. Hope that’s helpful for your ballot. Thanks again.

  40. THE ARRIVAL is brilliant, no question about it. But, lest it be forgotten, in the Best Related Book category we also have:

    BRAVE NEW WORDS, ed. Jeff Prucher, Oxford University Press

    OUP’s specialized dictionary of the science fiction field’s peculiar bits of language, past and present. Astonishingly, it gets it right. A marvellous and exact piece of work.

    Best novel: Forgive me, John, but I’m extremely partial to AXIS, by Robert Charles Wilson.

  41. Thanks, Gabriel, for the kind words on “The Prophet of Flores.” I appreciate it. My first name though is Ted– but you were closer than you might think. Tom was my father’s name. A mix-up he would certainly have appreciated. Thanks again.

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