Hugo Thoughts, 2009

Some early thoughts for you about the Hugos this year:

* So, uh, as it turns out, I have three Hugo nominations this year: Zoe’s Tale is in the Best Novel category, Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded is in Best Related Book, and perhaps most remarkably, METAtropolis, which I edited, is in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category for its audio book form. My feeling about this all: Wow. Just, you know, wow. I’m still a little shell-shocked about that, so let’s table that for now and move on on some other points:

* First, the Best Novel Category, about which could be said: This is a good year. Doctorow, Gaiman, Stephenson and Stross: You’ve just pretty much named off my list of favorite contemporary authors. To be in their company, and specifically to have Zoe’s Tale in the company of Anathem, The Graveyard Book, Little Brother and Saturn’s Children, well. This most emphatically does not suck. I am especially delighted to be on the same ballot as Cory and Charlie; we are all good friends and to some extent have been coming up in science fiction together, and I’d often hoped we’d get to share a ballot at least once. That we three happen to share that ballot with Neal and Neil, well, that’s just extra topping on the sundae, if you know what I mean. I am extremely happy with this category, and I feel pity for you Hugo voters, because this is a hell of a slate to choose from.

I do want to say I think of the three Best Novel nominations I’ve been entirely floored to receive, this is the sweetest, for the simple reason that I worked so very hard on the voice and character of Zoë, and in doing so, I fell a little bit in love with her, like she was a second daughter to me. To see her story honored by fans like this makes me a very proud papa. Thank you. This really made my year.

* Second, I am absolutely freakin’ delighted that METAtropolis is on the ballot. My understanding is this is the first audio book ever to make any Dramatic Presentation ballot, and I believe the first audio performance on the ballot in close to 40 years 30 years, so there’s some history being made here, and I’m humbled to be part of it along with Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder and Steve Feldberg, who was the project’s producer at We’re up against some tough competition, what with the Joker, Wall-E, Hellboy and Iron Man, but you know what, I think we just might surprise them all.

* Third: Hate Mail? A Hugo nominee? Double-plus awesome. This one is particularly cool to me, since I’ve always wanted a nomination in this category, possibly because I got my start as an author in non-fiction, so this feels a little bit like a homecoming to me. No, I don’t expect this will make sense to anyone but me. Just know this particular nomination makes me happy in a very giggly way, and I am pleased as the proverbial punch. Also, you know. It’s got a picture of me as a devil on it. How cool is that.

* Fourth, this really is a spectacular ballot all the way around, in all the categories, and I’m not just saying that because so many of the writers I admire and count as friends are on it. I’m saying it because everything’s good enough that I suspect most voters will have less hair coming out of the voting than they had coming in, because it’s so hard to choose. But, then, isn’t that what you want out of a ballot? Seriously, if anyone was under the impression our little genre isn’t at the top of its game right now, I invite you once more to look at the ballot. These are fine times for science fiction and fantasy; very fine times indeed.

* As I know it’s something some of you will ask: Yes, I intend to put together a Hugo Voters package again this year. It will feature at least my nominated work, although if I can convince the other nominees to go in on an overall package as we did in 2006 and last year, so much the better. It will take me a couple of days to get it squared away, though, since I’m off tomorrow to Millennicon. Patience for the next few days, please.

* Finally, why yes, I will be in Montreal for this year’s Worldcon, Anticipation. When you get nominated for three Hugos, if you don’t show up, I believe the Worldcon committee sends someone to kick your ungrateful ass. This will not be happening to me. I will be there. Oh, yes.

I will no doubt have more to say on all of this over the next few days, but for now, once again: Thank you everyone who nominated these works of mine. This is a good day. I am humbled by your generosity. Thank you.


Hugo Award Nominees, 2009

Here’s the list, from the Anticipation Web site. I’ll write further thoughts soon (update: Further thoughts here).

Best Novel

* Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Morrow; Atlantic UK)
* The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury UK)
* Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen; HarperVoyager UK)
* Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)
* Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi (Tor)

Best Novella

* “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
* “The Political Prisoner” by Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF Aug 2008)
* “The Tear” by Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires)
* “True Names” by Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2)
* “Truth” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette

* “Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s Jan 2008)
* “The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2)
* “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF Jan 2008)
* “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner (Asimov’s Feb 2008)
* “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008)

Best Short Story

* “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Jul 2008)
* “Article of Faith” by Mike Resnick (Baen’s Universe Oct 2008)
* “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
* “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
* “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Feb 2008)

Best Related Book

* Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan University Press)
* Spectrum 15: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art by Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood Books)
* The Vorkosigan Companion: The Universe of Lois McMaster Bujold by Lillian Stewart Carl & John Helfers, eds. (Baen)
* What It Is We Do When We Read Science Fiction by Paul Kincaid (Beccon Publications)
* Your Hate Mail Will be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John Scalzi (Subterranean Press)

Best Graphic Story

* The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle Written by Jim Butcher, art by Ardian Syaf (Del Rey/Dabel Brothers Publishing)
* Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
* Fables: War and Pieces Written by Bill Willingham, pencilled by Mark Buckingham, art by Steve Leialoha and Andrew Pepoy, color by Lee Loughridge, letters by Todd Klein (DC/Vertigo Comics)
* Schlock Mercenary: The Body Politic Story and art by Howard Tayler (The Tayler Corporation)
* Serenity: Better Days Written by Joss Whedon & Brett Matthews, art by Will Conrad, color by Michelle Madsen, cover by Jo Chen (Dark Horse Comics)
* Y: The Last Man, Volume 10: Whys and Wherefores Written/created by Brian K. Vaughan, pencilled/created by Pia Guerra, inked by Jose Marzan, Jr. (DC/Vertigo Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

* The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, story; Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, screenplay; based on characters created by Bob Kane; Christopher Nolan, director (Warner Brothers)
* Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo del Toro & Mike Mignola, story; Guillermo del Toro, screenplay; based on the comic by Mike Mignola; Guillermo del Toro, director (Dark Horse, Universal)
* Iron Man Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, screenplay; based on characters created by Stan Lee & Don Heck & Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby; Jon Favreau, director (Paramount, Marvel Studios)
* METAtropolis by John Scalzi, ed. Written by: Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder (Audible Inc)
* WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

* “The Constant” (Lost) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, writers; Jack Bender, director (Bad Robot, ABC studios)
* Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen , writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
* “Revelations” (Battlestar Galactica) Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, writers; Michael Rymer, director (NBC Universal)
* “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Euros Lyn, director (BBC Wales)
* “Turn Left” (Doctor Who) Russell T. Davies, writer; Graeme Harper, director (BBC Wales)

Best Editor, Short Form

* Ellen Datlow
* Stanley Schmidt
* Jonathan Strahan
* Gordon Van Gelder
* Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

* Lou Anders
* Ginjer Buchanan
* David G. Hartwell
* Beth Meacham
* Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Best Professional Artist

* Daniel Dos Santos
* Bob Eggleton
* Donato Giancola
* John Picacio
* Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine

* Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Neil Clarke, Nick Mamatas & Sean Wallace
* 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, Kris Dikeman, David G. Hartwell, & Kevin J. Maroney
* Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

Best Fanzine

* Argentus edited by Steven H Silver
* Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
* Challenger edited by Guy H. Lillian III
* The Drink Tank edited by Chris Garcia
* Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
* File 770 edited by Mike Glyer

Best Fan Writer

* Chris Garcia
* John Hertz
* Dave Langford
* Cheryl Morgan
* Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist

* Alan F. Beck
* Brad W. Foster
* Sue Mason
* Taral Wayne
* Frank Wu

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

* Aliette de Bodard*
* David Anthony Durham*
* Felix Gilman
* Tony Pi*
* Gord Sellar*

Congratulations to all the nominees!


You Need Some New Music

So, here you go. The band is called Ume, and this is their song “The Conductor,” off their new Sunshower EP:

An alternate version of the video, with a high quality option, is here. Hat tip to my pal Doselle Young for hipping me to these wacky cats.


Okay, One More

Since you asked.

There, I’m done.

Once again, illustrated by my friend Richard Polt.


Millennicon Schedule

As you all know, I’m the guest of honor at this year’s Millennicon science fiction convention, in Cincinnati. This weekend! Where where I be and how will I be embarrassing myself while I am there? Here’s my official schedule (via the handy-dandy online pocket program):

Friday, 7pm: Opening Ceremonies. Your chance to pledge eternal fidelity! Or, well, fidelity for the following 48 hours or so. And maybe fidelity is too strong a word. It’s okay if you want to see other authors. We can have an open relationship that way. Because, you know, I’m going to be seeing other fans. I kinda have to.

Friday, 8pm: GoH Reception. Let’s make awkward, halting conversation together! Do you like cheese? I like cheese. It’s, like, cheesy. Um, okay. I understand if you have to go talk to some other people now.

Friday, 9pm: GoH Q&A. You have questions. I have answers. Let’s see if we can get them to match up.

Friday, 10pm: 9pm Cookie Party. No, I don’t know why it’s called the “9pm Cookie Party” when it takes place at 10pm. I’m just going by what they tell me in the pocket program. Also, the cookies will actually be cake. I just made that last part up. Either way, come watch me get fatter as I shove cookies and/or cake down my piehole.

Saturday, 11am: Autographing. Come get everything you want autographed autographed. By me, even.

Saturday, 2pm: Autographing. Everyone who wanted to get something autographed will have done it at the 11am autographing session. I will be sitting at this session, alone, contemplating my mortality.

Saturday, 7pm: Mixed Marriages. It’s true I’m in a mixed marriage, as my wife is HAWT, and I am distinctly of the non-hawt species. She loves me anyway. However, the “mixed marriage” in this case is the one where one of the partners is a science fiction geekwad, and the other is not. How do you make it work between a geek and a non-geek? The answer: Puppets! But I figure we’ll stretch out the answer a bit more than that, because we have an hour to fill.

Sunday, 11am: Build Your Own World. All you need is some modeling clay, some glitter, and a DNA sequencer. I’ll be bringing two out of three to the panel. Which two? You may be surprised.

Sunday, 2pm: Closing Ceremonies. Thank you so much for coming. Now leave.

When I’m not doing these things, I will be, in no particular order, hanging out in the lobby, going to a panel here and there, eating food, despairing over the inevitable heat death of the universe and my part in increasing its overall entropy, and maybe karaoke. Seriously, they have karaoke. Dude, it’s Saturday night, starts at 11, goes to 2, and I’m going to go in there and sing all I want because I’m the Guest of Honor, and who’s gonna stop me, right? So get ready for six different and increasingly maudlin versions of “Purple Rain.” It’s gonna be magic.

See you there.


Musicans and SF/F Films

Musicians in science fiction and fantasy films: Good to watch, or like sticking needles into your corneas? I essay this Very Important Question in this week’s AMC column, and ask folks to pitch in with more examples of rocks stars being sf/f movie stars. Go on, you know you want to play along.

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