The 2013 Award Consideration Post

January 1st was the start of Hugo Award nominations, and for members of SFWA, the Nebula Award nominations are already underway. So for those of you nominating or thinking about nominating for these or other science fiction/fantasy-related awards, here are the works I have for you to consider for the 2013 nomination season:

Best Novel:

Redshirts, Tor Books, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, editor, June 2012 (Prologue and first four chapters available on

Best Short Story:

Dave and Liz and Chicago Save the World,” Chicon 7, May 2012 (subsequently published on Whatever, September 2012)

“Muse of Fire,” from the audio anthology Rip-Off!, edited by Gardner Dozois,, December 2012

Best Related Work:

24 Frames into the Future: Scalzi on Science Fiction Films, Peter B. Olsen, editor, NESFA Press, February 2012 (Columns included in the book are available for viewing here)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form:

Mark Reads Shadow War of the Night Dragons,” uploaded to YouTube, written by John Scalzi and Mark Oshiro, performed by Mark Oshiro, June 2012

Best Fancast:

Journey to Planet Joco,” John Scalzi and Jonathan Coulton

I think that’s it.

Notes on the above:

* Redshirts, the book, is actually comprised of a novel (Redshirts), a novelette (“Coda One”) and two short stories (“Coda Two” and “Coda Three”), which is the cause of the book’s subtitle “A novel with three codas.” However, I think the entire thing works better considered as a slightly oddly-formatted whole. So while technically the Codas could be nominated in the short work categories, if one were inclined to do so, I think it’s best to consider Redshirts, the book, as an entire work in the novel category. I bring this up because I have already had people ask me what I thought about them nominating the codas in the short form categories; this is what I think.

* “Dave and Liz” was written specifically for Chicon 7, last year’s World Science Fiction Convention, of which I was toastmaster. The idea behind it was to give folks who were coming into town a slightly-skewed travelogue of the city, and I think it did that well enough. There would be some irony in a story written specifically for one Worldcon being nominated for a Hugo at another; that would amuse me quite a bit.

* Regarding 24 Frames Into the Future, I am indebted to the folks at NESFA for making a book out of my movie columns for AMC/, since shortly after the book came out the AMC folks called me up to tell me they were revamping their Web presence and killing off all the columns, including mine (in other words, it wasn’t personal, which is actually nice to know). It’s nice to have a permanent record of the work I did over four years, and so handsomely put together as well (the book is silver! Seriously!). So thank you, NESFA, and particularly Peter Olsen, who edited the work. You all rock.

* I am dead serious that you should consider “Mark Reads Shadow War of the Night Dragons”  for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Mark Oshiro’s reactions to the piece — which he was reading cold, with no idea who I was or what the context was for the story — are so funny I almost peed myself watching him be literally agog at some of the passages. It really is the definitive reading of that particular text, I have to say. So, come on, give it some consideration for your vote this year. Doctor Who doesn’t need another three slots on the ballot, people. It’ll do just fine with two.

* I checked to see if “Journey to Planet JoCo” was eligible for the Fancast category, and my reading for the requirements of the category (“any non-professional audio- or video-casting with at least four (4) episodes that had at least one (1) episode released in the previous calendar year”) says it is. It’s non-professional (neither Jonathan or I made any money from it, and it was recorded by me off my computer, not in a studio), there are thirteen episodes, each of which aired daily, and all of them were in 2012. And I am certainly a fan of Coulton’s (and he of me, or so he says, although he might just be trying to make me feel better about myself). So there you have it. Check it out if you have not already.

Not a bad year of stuff.

Note to other award-eligible authors/creators/editors: For the last couple of years I’ve opened up a thread here to let you suggest your own eligible works, and I’ll be doing that this year as well. Look for it to go up tomorrow morning.

27 Comments on “The 2013 Award Consideration Post”

  1. As a “new-ish” writer that has only had three short stories published (two of them last year), how do I get my stories from last year considered? It seems to be a matter of simply hoping an eligible judge reads and nominates it. Should I just promote them on my own blog and Twitter?

  2. I completely agree about Mark Oshiro’s reading of SWOTND. Dude deserves an award. His performance adds a whole new dimension to the work.

  3. I feel very strongly that Mark Reads should be up for at least one Hugo this year. That dude is awesome.

  4. Gary B. Phillips:

    Yes, with the caveat to be tasteful about it, i.e., don’t flog it every single second of the day and such. Also, as noted, tomorrow I’ll post a thread for folks to promote their own work for consideration. You may post about them here then.

  5. If you buy a supporting membership in Loncon, you can nominate and vote for the Hugos for Lonestar, Loncon and the 2015 Worldcon. That’s three different voting packets for the price of one supporting membership.

    The voting packet includes e-versions of all the novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories. Well worth the price.

  6. It seems to me that the Codas in Redshirts read like an epilogue in any other book. Just lengthier and, well, three of ’em. I didn’t feel they were detached from the story at all, and I certainly don’t think they could stand as their own as short works. I don’t mean to insult them, I just mean that they were closely tied to the main narrative and wouldn’t make sense read alone.

  7. Matthew Caffrey:

    As that was the intent, it’s not an insult in the least.


    I’m pretty sure a Loncon membership at this point only confers nominating privileges, not voting privileges for any convention other than Loncon. You’d have to point me to something that says otherwise to be convinced that’s not correct.

    Also I would note that the voting packet contents are contingent on individual authors/publishers choosing to participate; it’s not a requirement. As a result, not all texts may be available in any particular year.

  8. Ulragotha:

    “The final ballot is only open to attending and supporting members of LoneStarCon 3. You do not have to attend the Worldcon in order to vote (but we’d love to see you in Texas!). A special category of Supporting Membership is available for people who wish to vote but cannot attend the convention. Supporting Membership also entitles you to receive all of the official Worldcon publications for that year, and to participate in the vote to select the site for the 2015 Worldcon. For more details about registering and memberships, go here.” – The LoneStarCon3 Hugo FAQ page.

  9. Gary B. Phillips:

    For the Hugo Awards, here are no “judges,” in the sense of “a tiny select group of people who decide who gets nominated.” The potential pool of people who can make nominations is thousands of people: the combined membership of the 2012/13/14 Worldcons.

    Ive been seeing people claiming that they are “Hugo Award Nominees” because one person wrote their work on a nominating ballot. You can’t claim to be a “Hugo Award Nominee” unless you appear on the final ballot, which means getting enough nominating votes during this first stage of the Hugo Awards process. We’ve been adding comments and FAQs to the Hugo Awards web site to try and clarify this, but it hasn’t stopped people from doing so, which is an unfortunate misuse of the Hugo Awards registered service mark.

    (I’m the current Chairman of the World Science Fiction Society’s Mark Protection Committee and am the member of the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee — the group that works on promoting the Hugo Awards, not the people administering the election — posting most of the material that appears on the web site these days.)


    What the others said: Joining Loncon 3 by the end of January will let you nominate this year (and next year, and the year after that), but to vote on the final ballot (and to get the Hugo Voter Packet, assuming there is one), you must be a member of LoneStarCon 3.

    Note that the Hugo Voter Packet of nominated works is not guaranteed. Every single Worldcon has to go hat-in-hand to the nominees and their publishers and ask them to participate, and it’s only through the nominees and their publishers’ generosity that the works appear in the packet. It’s a very challenging thing to accomplish.

    More Hugo 101 Stuff: Every Worldcon is an independent entity, unrelated to other Worldcons except through being called “Worldcon.” (Similar to how the Olympics work.) Every year’s Hugo Awards is run by that year’s Worldcon. There is no central organization that administers the Hugo Awards, although there is a group that manages the Hugo Awards web site. Specific questions about a single year’s Hugo Awards go to the group administering that year’s Hugo Awards. And finally the rules for the Hugo Awards are made by the members of the Worldcon; any member of Worldcon may attend and participate in the Business Meeting held at that Worldcon. There is no Board of Directors or shadowy Secret Masters of Fandom who make the rules. The World Science Fiction Society is everyone who joins Worldcon, and it’s run like a New England Town Meeting. [Many people reading this know all this of course, but John has such a broad readership of people who have no idea how the system works, and so many people seem to assume that all Awards are decided by some distant “them” that I feel obliged to keep repeating this basic stuff periodically.]

  10. John, I dl’d the free sample of SWOTND to my Nook the other night. It was the only time I was glad a sample was that short. My God that thing was bad, in the best way possible. By that I mean: you have to be a really good writer to deliberately write that poorly and pull it off. I’m not sure my ears could stand listening to it read aloud, but from the comments here it sounds like this one might be worth the torture.

  11. The two biggie awards are Hugo and Nebula correct? Hopefully someone will correct me but I thought I read somewhere that the Nebula is like the Oscars (nomination/voting from within) and the Hugo is like Peoples Choice Award or something?

  12. InDaButt:

    The Nebulas are nominated and voted on by the members of The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, so that is similar (in the class of voter) to the Oscars (or the Emmys, or Grammys). The Hugos are voted on by the members of that year’s Worldcon, which anyone may join, although the voting population is usually exclusively people who are very much science fiction and fantasy fans — some of whom are also professionals in the industry. Both awards are popular awards, with some overlap in constituency.

  13. Kevin Standlee

    There is no Board of Directors or shadowy Secret Masters of Fandom who make the rules.

    Oh sure, take all the fun out of it whydontcha.

    I find myself, someone who has successfully ignored Oscars and Grammys and many other awards for decades despite being a fan of the relevant mediums, reluctantly becoming somewhat interested in this Fandom thing with its various and sundry. But if there aren’t going to be any star chamber cabals, I just…I don’t…*ruefully shakes head (extra ruefully)*

  14. Apropos of very little, does anyone else think that John’s picture in the illustration for Journey to Planet JoCo looks remarkably like Dante from Clerks? Down to the raised eyebrow?

  15. Reading the Chicago story made me miss the city where I went to law school and lived for 12 years after graduating SO MUCH.

  16. i would also like to give props to the dramatic reading of swotnd. that was hilarious on so many levels.

  17. There are times when Mark’s unpreparedness is funny and times when it turns into PURE GENIUS. The reading of SWOTND is the latter. He definitely deserves a nom!

  18. I’d second the recommendation for “To Sue The World” as Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form

  19. Oh, wow, I somehow missed the “Mark Reads” (hey, that’s almost my name!) piece. OMG, that’s hysterical. While I had registered the general awfulness of the prose, I had completely missed the tongue-twistery bits. Read aloud, the piece really comes alive … or perhaps undead.

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