2010 Hugo Nominees

Here’s the list. I’m happy to say The God Engines made the cut for novella. I’ll have more thoughts later, but for now congratulations to all the nominees!

BEST NOVEL (699 nominating ballots)

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Tor)
The City & The City by China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK)
Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)
Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (Bantam Spectra)
Wake by Robert J. Sawyer (Ace; Penguin; Gollancz; Analog)
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)

BEST NOVELLA (375 nominating ballots)

“Act One” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s 3/09)
The God Engines by John Scalzi (Subterranean)
“Palimpsest” by Charles Stross (Wireless)
Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James Morrow (Tachyon)
“Vishnu at the Cat Circus” by Ian McDonald (Cyberabad Days)
The Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Kage Baker (Subterranean)

BEST NOVELETTE (402 nominating ballots)

“Eros, Philia, Agape” by Rachel Swirsky (Tor.com 3/09)
“The Island” by Peter Watts (The New Space Opera 2)
“It Takes Two” by Nicola Griffith (Eclipse Three)
“One of Our Bastards is Missing” by Paul Cornell (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume Three)
“Overtime” by Charles Stross (Tor.com 12/09)
“Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” by Eugie Foster (Interzone 2/09)

BEST SHORT STORY (432 nominating ballots)

“The Bride of Frankenstein” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s 12/09)
“Bridesicle” by Will McIntosh (Asimov’s 1/09)
“The Moment” by Lawrence M. Schoen (Footprints)
“Non-Zero Probabilities” by N.K. Jemisin (Clarkesworld 9/09)
“Spar” by Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld 10/09)

BEST RELATED WORK (259 nominating ballots)

Canary Fever: Reviews by John Clute (Beccon)
Hope-In-The-Mist: The Extraordinary Career and Mysterious Life of Hope Mirrlees by Michael Swanwick (Temporary Culture)
The Inter-Galactic Playground: A Critical Study of Children’s and Teens’ Science Fiction by Farah Mendlesohn (McFarland)
On Joanna Russ edited by Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan)
The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of SF Feminisms by Helen Merrick (Aqueduct)
This is Me, Jack Vance! (Or, More Properly, This is “I”) by Jack Vance (Subterranean)

BEST GRAPHIC STORY (221 nominating ballots)

Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? Written by Neil Gaiman; Pencilled by Andy Kubert; Inked by Scott Williams (DC Comics)
Captain Britain And MI13. Volume 3: Vampire State Written by Paul Cornell; Pencilled by Leonard Kirk with Mike Collins, Adrian Alphona and Ardian Syaf (Marvel Comics)
Fables Vol 12: The Dark Ages Written by Bill Willingham; Pencilled by Mark Buckingham; Art by Peter Gross & Andrew Pepoy, Michael Allred, David Hahn; Colour by Lee Loughridge & Laura Allred; Letters by Todd Klein (Vertigo Comics)
Girl Genius, Volume 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm Written by Kaja and Phil Foglio; Art by Phil Foglio; Colours by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
Schlock Mercenary: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse Written and Illustrated by Howard Tayler


Avatar Screenplay and Directed by James Cameron (Twentieth Century Fox)
District 9 Screenplay by Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell; Directed by Neill Blomkamp (TriStar Pictures)
Moon Screenplay by Nathan Parker; Story by Duncan Jones; Directed by Duncan Jones (Liberty Films)
Star Trek Screenplay by Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman; Directed by J.J. Abrams (Paramount)
Up Screenplay by Bob Peterson & Pete Docter; Story by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, & Thomas McCarthy; Directed by Bob Peterson & Pete Docter (Disney/Pixar)


Doctor Who: “The Next Doctor” Written by Russell T Davies; Directed by Andy Goddard (BBC Wales)
Doctor Who: “Planet of the Dead” Written by Russell T Davies & Gareth Roberts; Directed by James Strong (BBC Wales)
Doctor Who: “The Waters of Mars” Written by Russell T Davies & Phil Ford; Directed by Graeme Harper (BBC Wales)
Dollhouse: “Epitaph 1” Story by Joss Whedon; Written by Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon; Directed by David Solomon (Mutant Enemy)
FlashForward: “No More Good Days” Written by Brannon Braga & David S. Goyer; Directed by David S. Goyer; based on the novel by Robert J. Sawyer (ABC)

BEST EDITOR, LONG FORM (289 nominating ballots)

Lou Anders
Ginjer Buchanan
Liz Gorinsky
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Juliet Ulman

BEST EDITOR, SHORT FORM (419 nominating ballots)

Ellen Datlow
Stanley Schmidt
Jonathan Strahan
Gordon Van Gelder
Sheila Williams

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST (327 nominating ballots)

Bob Eggleton
Stephan Martiniere
John Picacio
Daniel Dos Santos
Shaun Tan

BEST SEMIPROZINE (377 nominating ballots)

Ansible edited by David Langford
Clarkesworld edited by Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace, & Cheryl Morgan
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

BEST FAN WRITER (319 nominating ballots)

Claire Brialey
Christopher J Garcia
James Nicoll
Lloyd Penney
Frederik Pohl

BEST FANZINE (298 nominating ballots)

Argentus edited by Steven H Silver
Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
CHALLENGER edited by Guy H. Lillian III
Drink Tank edited by Christopher J Garcia, with guest editor James Bacon
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
StarShipSofa edited by Tony C. Smith

BEST FAN ARTIST (199 nominating ballots)

Brad W. Foster
Dave Howell
Sue Mason
Steve Stiles
Taral Wayne


Saladin Ahmed
Gail Carriger
Felix Gilman *
Seanan McGuire
Lezli Robyn *
* Second year of eligibility

41 Comments on “2010 Hugo Nominees”

  1. Congratulations on your nomination. Good luck to you and all the other nominees!

  2. Congratulations on the nomination. Best of luck.

    That screenplay category would be a really tough vote. Love that “Up” was nominated.

  3. Interesting. I have seen 4 of the 5 nominated long form dramatic presentations, and none of the short ones. Wonder what that means, if anything. Out of those 4, I would have to vote for Star Trek (if I was a voting member). Didn’t like District 9 much, didn’t like Moon at all, and Star Trek has a much better story to go with its special effects than Avatar has.

    As for God Engines, that is the only one of the nominated novellas I have read so I can’t have an informed opinion.

  4. @2 PeterM: The Nebulas have (had?) a screenplay award, but the Hugo is for the best dramatic presentation–not just for the screenplay itself. The formatting above (nothing distinguishing movie title from credit info) doesn’t make this totally clear; see the list on the AussieCon 4 site for a slightly clearer presentation.

    (No offense intended to John and sorry if this seems overly picky; I’m just trying to clarify.)

  5. (Hmm, my “P.S.” sounds weird since my first post hasn’t shown up yet, which is probably due to the link I included, to AussiCon 4’s list.)

  6. Congrats!

    Is it me, or is the number of nominating ballots falling. When I worked on MilPhil/Philcon there had to be 5,000 people eligible to nominate if not more?

  7. Jay Maynard @#7: Fred Pohl has a blog and spends a lot of time recounting his time spent with folks like Asimov, L. Ron Hubbard and others. I don’t know how much of the “historical” work is original and how much derives from his book “The Way the Future Was”, but it’s interesting reading none the less. He also includes posts about his more recent activities as well.


    I’d love to see him win the award, even if he can’t travel to accept it. It would probably be one last filigree to adorn the monument of his career.

  8. Thank you for the update. I was operating on bad numbers, back in 2001 I was hearing things like 1500 nominating ballots, but obviously that was incorrect information…

  9. Congratulations John on your Hugo Nomination for The God Engines. I am reading it now and think that it is a great story. I wish you and my other favorite author, Nancy Kress were not in the same category for Best Novella. I love both of your writing! I was a little surprised that her book Steal Across The Sky did not make it for Best Novel. Best of luck with the upcoming Nebula Awards!!!

  10. Hey, John! I just wanted to add my congratulations to the list. And also to “thank you” that you chose to run for SFWA President this year. Mary is much more persuasive than I am, and I’m grateful she only uses her powers for good (or has at least persuaded me to believe that’s the case).



  11. Jeff L @13: You may be confusing voting on the final ballot with nominating.

    SMOFInfo.com has nominating and final ballot counts 1971-1999 and a separate details 2000-2006 in a different format.

    Much of this could be puzzled out of the Historical Hugo Award list, but I don’t think anyone has had the patience to bring George Flynn’s table (the first one I referenced above) up to the present.

    As noted, this year’s nominations set a new record high. I think this is even more impressive given that neither of the two Worldcons whose combined membership was eligible to nomination were held in the USA. (Although of course Americans have always make up a plurality of the membership.)

  12. Looks like a good year for palimpsests. (Is that the plural of palimpsest?)

  13. What a challenging ballot.
    Which is to say, congratulations, John! You’re in good company!

  14. Congrats on the novella nom, it’s well-deserved. TGE is the best thing I’ve read of yours, by a country mile.

    And I just need to squee about Valente’s Palimpsest making the cut. It’s such a challenging, subversive, and gorgeous little novel – I am SO pleased that enough people read it and “got” it that it could get the nomination.

  15. Yeah, I’m pleased about Valente’s, too. I liked Mieville’s TC&TC a lot as well, but I think Valente should get the edge.

    I also dug Non-Zero Probabilities quite a bit in the short fiction category, but alas, a bit disappointed that “Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs” didn’t make it.

  16. Congratulations, John! Just read your novella and it was a fun one.

    Also…anyone want to bet on the Short Form category? My money’s on Dr Who…

  17. Also…anyone want to bet on the Short Form category? My money’s on Dr Who…

    Which is too bad, really, because IMHO either of the non-Who nominees is better than the best of the three Who nominees, which is definitely “The Next Doctor”. 2009 was not a good year for Doctor Who, and I’m a bit mystified at its prevalence among the nominees.

    (Doctor Who in 2010 has started with a bang, however, so there’s hope for next year.)

  18. I think Fables and Girl Genius are going to be perennials in the Graphic Story category, because they are consistently good, and have solid fan bases. That said I really think it should go to What Ever Happened To The Caped Crusader.

  19. I’m pleased to see Seanan McGuire nominated for the Campbell Award. Rosemary and Rue and A Local Habitation work some of the same territory (Faerie’s intersection with 20th and 21st century America) that Laurell Hamilton does in her Meredith Gentry series, without devolving into softcore porn. And, McGuire has written some of the most affecting and haunting scenes I’ve every read.

  20. What’s the difference between a novella and a novelette? Is it just the length of the work?

  21. From The Hugo Awards own website:

    “Best Novella: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of between seventeen thousand five hundred (17,500) and forty thousand (40,000) words.
    Best Novelette: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of between seven thousand five hundred (7,500) and seventeen thousand five hundred (17,500) words.”

  22. *nod* I get that it is length of work but I was wondering if there was any other difference.

  23. Great Hugo ballot! I’m just glad that I’ve actually either read or have acquired a method for reading about 50% or so of the written nominees this year. I’m usually at 10-20% and miss a lot of good stuff.

  24. Hello, John, congrats to you on your nomination, and I am inwardly squeeing at my first Hugo nomination. If anyone had told me a year ago that I’d be on the Hugo ballot up against Fred Pohl, I’d ask what drugs they were on, and why weren’t they sharing with the rest of us. Strange but happy days.


  25. MattMarovich @27: I think there are certainly other differences between novels and shorter forms, mostly having to do with things like pacing, character development, world building, etc., but these factors are impossible to quantify for purposes of awards categories. Word count is easy to quantify and is therefore what is used.

    Publishers have to be concerned with how a story will typographically fit into the pages of their magazine or book, and use word count as a starting point to judge this. The terms novella/novelette/short story are basically terms of art developed by publishers and writers to further divide shorter fiction into subcategories. Awards have largely used the same categories, probably for convenience.

  26. A more subtle unofficial distinction between novella and novelette is the markets you can sell them to. Writer of the Future goes up to 17,000 words, and some of the majors get up above 20,000 words for a limited number of stories, but in general it is harder to find a market for novellas. Which is why something like Herr Scalzi’s The God Engines can be published by a small press like Subterranean.

    Having the categories broken down to short stories, novelettes and novellas also recognizes the constraints that length give an author in terms of how big a playing field they can work in. Only in the Campbell-That-Is-Not-A-Hugo do short stories compete directly against novels.

    As I understand things.

    Dr. Phil

  27. @all, especially Dr. Phil,32

    Thank you for answering my question, that gives me a bit more info to work with in answering that question for others.

  28. I don’t understand why they list the names of the John W. Campbell award nominees and don’t list the book they are nominated for.

    some of these are fairly small users. I could not find one of them on amazon at all. he may have written short stories. Which is why it would be nice if they listed their stories.

  29. “I don’t understand why they list the names of the John W. Campbell award nominees and don’t list the book they are nominated for.”

    The clue is in the name – the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. The award goes to the person, not to anything they’ve written.

  30. Nick H. @35: The award goes to the person, not to anything they’ve written.

    Or to look at it another way, the award is for everything they’ve written, not any one specific book or story.

  31. @Nick H. but they get the award for writing something. so they should list their work.

  32. More Hugo love for Robert Charles Wilson? I *loved* SPIN but haven’t been able to finish ACCELERANDO or CHARLES COMSTOCK.

    I just don’t get it.

    I’m a huge China Mieville fan but THE CITY & THE CITY is flawed.

    Wake by Robert J. Sawyer *sounds* good, but all his books sounds good (he’s great with the ideas, not so great with the execution) and I’ve never even heard of PALIMPSEST or BONESHAKER before.

  33. I just have to comment on one thing. How on earth did Palimpsest get a nomination? I feel a little odd criticising a book I never finished, but that in itself is perhaps the most damning criticism of all. I managed to grind through maybe 2/3 of the thing and then, having still found no sign of a plot, gave up in disgust. While overall I think it’s a pretty good crop this year, this one has me utterly baffled.

  34. Scott:

    There’s usually a few nominees spread across the categories that people fine inexplicable; the thing is which nominees they are is usually different depending on the person. And I liked Palimpsest, myself (both of them!). Which goes to my point.

  35. I’ve been reading in various places that people wonder if the Best Fan Writer nominees have some kind of online presence. I write lots and lots of letters of comments for the various fanzines out there, plus articles, fanzine reviews, etc. The letters make up the majority of my output, and if you’d like to see the letters I’d write, I use my LiveJournal as an archive. Check out lloydpenney.livejournal.com and you’ll find that I wrote just over 300 letters in 2009.