The Hugo Award Nominees, 2012

Here they are. See if you can find me! More thoughts in just a bit (update: more thoughts here).

Best Novel (932 ballots)

Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)
A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit)
Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey)
Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

Best Novella (473 ballots)

Countdown by Mira Grant (Orbit)
“The Ice Owl” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction November/December 2011)
“Kiss Me Twice” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s June 2011)
“The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s September/October 2011)
“The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” by Ken Liu (Panverse 3)
Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA)

Best Novelette (499 ballots)

“The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s July 2011)
“Fields of Gold” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse Four)
“Ray of Light” by Brad R. Torgersen (Analog December 2011)
“Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (
“What We Found” by Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction March/April 2011)

Best Short Story (593 ballots)

“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld April 2011)
“The Homecoming” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s April/May 2011)
“Movement” by Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s March 2011)
“The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction March/April 2011)
“Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue” by John Scalzi (

Best Related Work (461 ballots)

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight (Gollancz)
Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel (Fantastic Books)
The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature by Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers (Abrams Image)
Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire
Writing Excuses, Season 6 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson

Best Graphic Story (339 ballots)

Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)
Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) (592 ballots)

Captain America: The First Avenger, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephan McFeely, directed by Joe Johnston (Marvel)
Game of Thrones (Season 1), created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss; written by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin; directed by Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor (HBO)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner Bros.)
Hugo, screenplay by John Logan; directed by Martin Scorsese (Paramount)
Source Code, screenplay by Ben Ripley; directed by Duncan Jones (Vendome Pictures)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (512 ballots)

“The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who), written by Neil Gaiman; directed by Richard Clark (BBC Wales)
“The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech,” Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon (Renovation)
“The Girl Who Waited” (Doctor Who), written by Tom MacRae; directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales)
“A Good Man Goes to War” (Doctor Who), written by Steven Moffat; directed by Peter Hoar (BBC Wales)
“Remedial Chaos Theory” (Community), written by Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna; directed by Jeff Melman (NBC)

Best Semiprozine (357 ballots)

Apex Magazine edited by Catherynne M. Valente, Lynne M. Thomas, and Jason Sizemore
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Lightspeed edited by John Joseph Adams
Locus edited by Liza Groen Trombi, Kirsten Gong-Wong, et al.
New York Review of Science Fiction edited by David G. Hartwell, Kevin J. Maroney, Kris Dikeman, and Avram Grumer

Best Fanzine (322 ballots)

Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
The Drink Tank edited by James Bacon and Christopher J Garcia
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, et al.
SF Signal edited by John DeNardo

Best Fancast (326 ballots)

The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan & Gary K. Wolfe
Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts (presenters) and Andrew Finch (producer)
SF Signal Podcast, John DeNardo and JP Frantz, produced by Patrick Hester
SF Squeecast, Lynne M. Thomas, Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, and Catherynne M. Valente
StarShipSofa, Tony C. Smith

Best Professional Editor — Long Form (358 ballots)

Lou Anders
Liz Gorinsky
Anne Lesley Groell
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Betsy Wollheim

Best Professional Editor — Short Form (512 ballots)

John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Stanley Schmidt
Jonathan Strahan
Sheila Williams

Best Professional Artist (399 ballots)

Dan dos Santos
Bob Eggleton
Michael Komarck
Stephan Martiniere
John Picacio

Best Fan Artist (216 ballots)

Brad W. Foster
Randall Munroe
Spring Schoenhuth
Maurine Starkey
Steve Stiles
Taral Wayne

Best Fan Writer (360 ballots)

James Bacon
Claire Brialey
Christopher J Garcia
Jim C. Hines
Steven H Silver

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (396 ballots)

Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2010 or 2011, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).

Mur Lafferty
Stina Leicht
Karen Lord *
Brad R. Torgersen *
E. Lily Yu

*2nd year of eligibility

The Hugo Awards are the premier award in the Science Fiction genre, honoring Science Fiction literature and media as well as the genre’s fans. The Hugo Awards were first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia (Philcon II), and they have continued to honor Science Fiction and Fantasy notables annually for nearly 60 years.

56 Comments on “The Hugo Award Nominees, 2012”

  1. It’s a great list.
    Also, you’re really going to have to write them now.
    Congrats to all the nominees.

  2. My favorite part is the Drink Tank acceptance speech. If anything ever counted as a Dramatic Presentation… :D

  3. Congrats to all the nominees. Some interesting categories, some not as interesting as they could have been.

    What is interesting is that fancast got more ballot votes than fanzine.

  4. Why is Randall Munroe in the fan artist category rather than the professional artist?

  5. @ Keith Edwards,

    Probably the same reason as last year, which was (if my memory serves me) that he does not earn (a significant part) of his income directly from his art.

  6. Looks like an excellent slate! I see many of my favorites up there.

    Although…nothing against Doctor Who, but I was hoping for some more variety in short-form Dramatic Presentation this year. This is the seventh year straight of multiple nominations for that show in that category.

  7. Joris M:

    Except that he does. XKCD is his day job. If that is the reason, it’s misguided. Like putting an author in the fan category just because they have a day job doing something else, and so they do not earn a significant part of their income directly from writing.

    I know I’m picking nits, but it strikes me as a categorical error (and the catalog librarian in me hates those so very much! Even and especially if it’s being made by “just following the rules.” AACR2 is not infalible and neither are the Hugo ballot guidelines).

  8. @ Keith

    I have no insight in why Munroe ended up in the category he is in, except that the committee apparently tends to follow the wishes of the voters (see Game of Thrones in long form as well).

    Going by last year’s discussion on this same blog, the art is free (and fannish in style and theme) while the income comes from merchandising related to the art. It might be a toss-up, but similar to fan-writers where professional authors are nominated there is the content and idea behind the nominated material to be considered as well as any category rules.

  9. @CRash – I usually feel the same way about the Doctor Who nominations, but I have to admit that this time, both The Doctor’s Wife and The Girl Who Waited were excellent episodes and deserve the nod.

  10. Joris M:

    All that may well be true. But it still smells a little like old media bias against new media. I offer this merely as an uninformed observation. Wouldn’t be the first time I’m completely off base.

  11. First thoughts are:

    (a) I wonder if Stanley Schmidt will finally get the nod, as I think he’s been deserving of it lo these many years, and because every issue of Analog I’ve read this past year has seemed pretty excellent to me.

    (b) The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition
    Hadn’t been aware there was a new edition due. *sigh* Must figure how to make room on the shelves.

    (c) Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies
    The title alone makes me want to seek a copy…another tome I was unaware of.

    (d) The Doctor Who of a couple years ago I could see. But none of the episodes made since the last cast-change have struck me as anything except a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  12. Lee S, the third edition of the Encyclopedia is online only (at So no need to make more room.

  13. Although…nothing against Doctor Who, but I was hoping for some more variety in short-form Dramatic Presentation this year. This is the seventh year straight of multiple nominations for that show in that category.

    At the risk of sounding bitchy, it would be easier to have more “variety” if it hadn’t been… well, such a fallow period for genre television. I’m know this is a minority opinion, but Game of Thrones was severely weakened by some weak writing in the front end (and, yes, “sexposition” is a real thing, IMNSHO) but almost totally redeemed by the ninth episode, ‘Baelor’. As far as I’m concerned, that should have been on the short-form Dramatic Presentation ballot.

  14. “Remedial Chaos Theory” from Community!!! One of the best episodes from one of best sitcoms in recent years! I hope it wins!!


  15. “My favorite part is the Drink Tank acceptance speech. If anything ever counted as a Dramatic Presentation… :D”

    I know, right? I mean, I recall someone on the Renovation stage joking about it, but…! Clearly, if one would make jokes from the Hugo awards stage, one must be prepared to see thousands of fans make it reality the following year.

    (If it’s not obvious, I’m utterly charmed to see the nomination.)

  16. I’m so pleased to see “Six Months, Three Days” get nominated – it’s a wonderful piece. And “Deadline” solidly belongs in the novel category (I thought “Feed” was better, but that’s mostly the difference between the worldbuilding and immediacy in a new work vs. writing a sequel in the same world, but it is a strong sequel.)

    And there’s just something appropriate about “Hugo” and a Hugo acceptance speech getting nominated for Hugos.

  17. I confess to being disappointed that the annual Doctor Who award — beg pardon, I mean the Short Dramatic Hugo award — once again ignored many fabulous shows. This year, it snubbed Once Upon a Time, Fringe, Supernatural, and Sanctuary, any of which had episodes worthy of nomination. In previous years, it shut out Farscape, Pushing Daisies, and many other groundbreaking shows.

    Oh, well. There are always my parallel-universe Hugos, where a show may receive only one nomination per year, and folks don’t nominate unless they’re widely familiar with what’s out there…

  18. I’m thrilled my book “Jar Jar Binks Must Die” is nominated and I get to sit with the big kids at the Hugo Awards. :)

  19. I’m very pleased to see Among Others and Shadow War… and Chris Garcia’s Acceptance Speech on the ballot, but most delighted to see Ursula Vernon’s wonderful comic Digger nominated in its concluding year. It starts off odd, and becomes something wonderful and rich and strange.

    And Neil Gaiman has a Hugo, and Doctor Who has many Hugos, but come on, who wouldn’t like to see Chris Garcia get a Hugo for his reaction to getting a Hugo? That’s deliciously meta.

  20. I see the usual snobs whinging about Doctor Who’s nominations are on the case….*sigh*. Oh well, The Doctor’s Wife and The Girl Who Waited in particular were both superb episodes of the genre, fully deserving of recognition. Congratulations to all the nominees.

    @Lee S – I feel the complete opposite about the show. Since Moffat took over it has improved markedly in quality. Opinions, opinions…..*smile*.

  21. I wonder if Stanley Schmidt will finally get the nod, as I think he’s been deserving of it lo these many years, and because every issue of Analog I’ve read this past year has seemed pretty excellent to me. – Lee S.

    I agree! Given Sheila Williams’s ultimate triumph last year, I have to hope that there’s still a chance for Stan Schmidt. I have thought for a long time that it seems somewhat preposterous that Dr. Schmidt does not have a Hugo. And this was both before and after be began publishing me. I mean, how many more careers does he have to usher into the field, much less provide a welcome forum for their ongoing work, before the mass aggregate of editorial accomplishment is so overwhelming that Stan finally beats the math and lands the award?

    I know Analog is a magazine not suited to all tastes. It is consider by many to be an “old fashioned” publication. But I think it’s time for this reputation to be quietly sent off to bed. Does Analog require fairly rigorous scientific questions and conceits? Yes. Does Analog sometimes put the conceit before other aspects? Also, sometimes, yes. But given the fact that Analog is producing a lot of fiction that’s showing up on (and sometimes winning) the major awards, I think it must be said that Stan has a large hand in that. These aren’t stories that appear in Analog on accident, y’know.

  22. Congratulations to all the nominees! A shopping list for me, as always.

    Dumb question maybe: is word count the only criteria for categorizing Short Story/Novelette/Novella/Novel, or are there other factors at play as well?

  23. Regarding Munroe in the Fan Artist category: this one is tough because (lacking a dedicated ‘comics’ category) I think XKCD as a whole would be nominated for its writing as opposed to the art, but it doesn’t fit any of the writing categories. There is some great artwork on XKCD, but it’s a small subset of the entire body.

  24. Oh, my kingdom for an edit button!

    Meant to add: Graphic Story category maybe, unless this is only intended for longer form works.

  25. Why do so many people hate Jar-Jar? Have your inner children shriveled up and died? Okay, as a character he’s a doof, but so what? The film creation of that character was the last great artistic achievement of the 2nd millenium.

    Sorry about the rathole…

  26. My inner child was not only irritated by Jar-Jar Binks being Jar-Jar Binks, she was also indignant and insulted that anyone would think she’d find him amusing. Being a child, strangely, doesn’t mean having no minimum standards or definite preferences concerning humor and art.

    (I didn’t care for potty jokes as a kid, either, or laugh-at-the-stupid-person jokes, for humor-at-the-expense-of-others jokes. So I doubt my outer child would have much cared for Jar-Jar, were the timing right for me to have met him at that age.)

  27. My inner child was raised on Daffy Duck, Wile E Coyote and Foghorn Leghorn. So Jar-Jar works for me/him/us ;-)

  28. Dana, some people saw him as an offensive exaggerated racial stereotype based on Caribbean people. I found something about him disturbing before someone pointed that out, but I think it’s true.

  29. Why do so many people hate Jar-Jar?

    Apart from the high-pitched pidgin dialogue, and the “comic relief” being so clumsy, inept and generally brain-damaged it became painful rather than amusing? (At least the Ewoks kicked some Stormtrooper arse, and R2 an C3PO are the most adorable bickering gay-bot couple ever.) No problems at all. :)

    And the title essay from Kimmell’s Hugo- nominated book is here – Very Scalzi-esque — in the sense that there is much snark but still a serious point, well-made.

  30. About Randall Munroe: The administrators don’t usually change nomination categories unless they’ve got a really explicit rule to point to, such as someone nominating a 100,000 word story in the category for stories of under 20,000 words. There’s nothing in the definition of the Fan Artist category that says that you can’t give it to a professional. There have been people advocating for Munroe in the Fan Artist category because (they say) his artwork isn’t the same sort of work as people in the Pro Artist category. Or something like that–I don’t agree with them, and I don’t remember the exact argument.

  31. Brace for some Rules lawyering! Here are my notes about Randall Munroe’s “Best Fan Artist” nomination. Enumerated items come from the relevant section of the WSFS constitution. My comments are inserted.

    1) 3.3.11: Best Professional Artist. An illustrator whose work has appeared in a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy during the previous calendar year. and Randall’s books do not currently qualify as professional publications. If his comics graced the cover of (for instance) “Shadow War of the Night Dragons” then he’d certainly be eligible.

    2) 3.3.9: Best Professional Editor. The editor of any professional publication devoted primarily to science fiction or fantasy during the previous calendar year. A professional publication is one which had an average press run of at least ten thousand (10,000) copies per issue.

    Here’s the sticky bit — The 3.3.9 I cited is the only example I can find in the constitution in which “professional publication” is defined, and it is not an active section. It’s supposed to go back into place if some changes made at LA Con IV are repealed. I’m sure SOMEBODY has a working definition of professional publication that they’re using. It might be the definition of “qualifying markets” that WSFS uses as membership criteria. I don’t know.

    3) 3.3.15: Best Fan Artist. An artist or cartoonist whose work has appeared through publication in semiprozines or fanzines or through other public display during the previous calendar year.

    Note the specific inclusion of “cartoonist” here, as differentiated from “illustrator” in 3.3.11. Cartoonists and illustrators alike might take issue with the distinction, but this is the way the constitution is currently worded.

    Note also (and more importantly) the difference between “through other public display” (which would certainly include and “professional publication.”

    4) 3.3.6. Best Graphic Story. Any science fiction or fantasy story told in graphic form appearing for the first time in the previous calendar year.

    This is a story award, not a person award. XKCD does not appear to have garnered enough votes to make the ballot, so the argument as to whether or not it qualifies as a “story” is irrelevant for now. Could Randall pick up a Hugo in this category in some future date? There’s no rule saying he couldn’t.

    Summing up: Per 3.3.11, Randall’s work doesn’t qualify him for “Best Professional Artist” even though he is, in fact, a pro. Per 3.3.15, his work’s publication on qualifies him for “Best Fan Artist.” Finally, Randall’s work could conceivably qualify for “Best Graphic Story,” but that’s not what the members of the convention nominated him for.

    Are the rules great? I don’t think so. Are they being adhered to? Yes. Am I voting for Randall Munroe for Best Fan Artist? ALMOST CERTAINLY.

  32. I think the writing and editing slates are lovely, but am disappointed that the best Pro Artist slate is all-male and looks much as it has other years, apart from the addition of Michael Komarck, who is certainly a capable artist though I don’t find his style distinctive.

    Assuming she continues to gain steam and produces as excellent work this year as she did last year, I will be campaigning for the amazing Julie Dillon to be on the next ballot. I would also like to see Jillian Tamaki get more recognition although, or perhaps because, her style is so different from that of everyone you see on the ballot this year.

    I appreciate the SF Artists review that Locus just published, (in which Dillon and many other fabulous artists appear, including a number of women), but some part of me wishes it had come out a few months ago to nudge the community to broaden their scope when considering sf art to nominate.

  33. I hope Digger wins its catagory. Its the web comic (ok graphic novel), that got me hooked on web stories.

  34. @Dana “Why do so many people hate Jar-Jar?”

    Because he’s an obnoxious offensive racial stereotype?

    That’s high up on my list of reasons why.

  35. Jar-jar Binks is disliked because George Lucas deliberately made him dislikable. He may not have intended for Jar-jar to be incredibly annoying and/or offensive, but he did deliberately give him a high-pitched voice that was intentionally louder than everyone else’s; and he had Jar-jar’s “comic relief” pratfalls come at exactly the wrong moments and screw up the pacing and suspense of several scenes. The commentary version of “The Phantom Edit” is very educational regarding these points, as the Phantom Editor notes the sound and film editing choices that were made that make Jar-jar obnoxious, and the edits he made to make Jar-jar a better character in the story. Seriously, the Jar-jar of “The Phantom Edit” is a lot more likeable, or at least less obnoxious, and judicious cutting removes many bits that suggested that Jar-jar was just Too Stupid To Live. That Lucas’s film editor included many sequences not necessary to the plot that served to convey that Jar-jar was a TSTL character suggests it was a deliberate decision. Someone either thought TSTL was funny to kids, or they wanted the character to be despised, I’m not sure which.

  36. “Because he’s an obnoxious offensive racial stereotype?”

    You do realize that Gungans are only fictional, right?

  37. scorpius, Gungans are, but Jamaicans aren’t (and nor are other Caribbeans). Making an exaggerated version of an ethnic stereotype and “aliening it up” is still offensive. People can say “he’s not a Jamaican, he’s a Gungan” and laugh behind their hands all they want, but we know who’s being aimed at.

    It’s a shitty character anyway, but the obvious connection to a real ethnicity (complete with stereotypical speech patterns) makes it racially offensive.

  38. That’s an interpretation. You have proof that it was intended? Just another example of people who went to college and had too much time on their hands since they didn’t get a real (STEM) degree so they think over-analyzing movies is the way to show the money they blew on classes. ;)

  39. scorpius, we can’t read minds. If it was intentional, it’s a horrible racist attack. If it’s unintentional, it’s a horrible insensitive race fail.

    Intention doesn’t matter to the people who are harmed. As TNH has said, “Intent matters to God. Damage matters to me.”

  40. since they didn’t get a real (STEM) degree

    Don’t forget to include–as it would have been until relatively recently–astrology in that reckoning of “real” degrees. Oh, and you should also include craniometry in that, too.

  41. @ Brad, Analog actually doesn’t seem to get many award nominations or wins like the other magazines, unfortunately, according to Locus. In the last five years, it only received eight nominations for the two major award systems, of which two won. (One of the eight was actually a Robert Sawyer novel, which presumably got on because of the novel appearance, more-so than anything else.) Compare and contrast that to Asimov’s: fifty-five nominations! (Nearly seven times as much. And fourteen stories actually won.) I personally find Analog very serviceable and regular like clockwork, but that doesn’t mean that I would give it a nomination. I’d prefer to give it based on quality, not longevity, and giving it to Stan for the latter would be an insult, largely. I would not mind seeing Sheila win again, as appreciation for all the great stories she’s published in the years that she should have won.

  42. I am absolutely thrilled that I’ve been considered for a nomination in the Best Fan Artist category. I blush at the talent of the other nominees!
    Let it be clarified that I am the first jeweler to be nominated for this award, even though I’m a second grade teacher by day. (Subtlety indoctrinating young minds in to the ways of the genre.) Congratulations on your nomination, John!

%d bloggers like this: