Your 2013 Best Novel Hugo Nominees, In All Their Quiet Dignity

This was before the ceremony, I’ll note. I believe we all survived the night.

Participants, from left: Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon), Kim Stanley Robinson (2312), Seanan McGuire (Blackout, writing as Mira Grant), Lois McMaster Bujold (Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance) and me.

I got this from a tweet by Saladin; the photographer is not named but I imagine it was John O’Halloran, who was the official photographer for the evening. If I am incorrect, someone let me know, please. Credit where credit is due is always nice. (Update: The photographer may have been Philip Peterson.) (Update update: Definitely Philip Peterson.)

Seriously, though. This is the best Hugo nominee picture ever.

Update 5:45 pm: See more Philip Peterson pictures from Hugo Night!

61 Comments on “Your 2013 Best Novel Hugo Nominees, In All Their Quiet Dignity”

  1. Philip Peterson was taking the formal (or not so formal, in your case) pictures during the reception. It may have been John, though I think he was busy taking pictures in the reception area.

    But hey, I could be wrong. I was just a little busy that evening myself. ;-)

  2. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    changterhune

    I notice Cat V. is nowhere to be seen. Probably cheering form the side or taking bets?

  3. OK, that was an awesome picture–maybe I should use that for my computer’s wallpaper instead of the Words of Radiance cover image I have now.

    Kickass Kaladin Stormblessed vs. Szeth son-son Vallano scene, or Scalzi vs. Sanderson GRUDGE MATCH!!!(tm)–which is better?

  4. Re egl – “”Since its just a still picture, it is quiet. :)””

    Yeah, the sound to this scene must be a riot, literally.

  5. Great pic. Good to see you all finding a way to let out some stress before hand. :D

  6. Yes. If I were capable of writing a novel, it would be a cozy mystery and the victim would have died by blunt trauma inflicted by Hugo Award …

  7. I am betting on Lois hands down. Lois, you once chased me around a bush while riding a gigantic horse and you had mayhem in your eyes. My therapist says I will only be able to control the terror, it will never go away. Never. I am rooting for you.

  8. William M Balson, Jr:

    I regret to inform you that the Hugo ceremony was a week ago this evening, and that, alas, Lois did not win. Some disreputable hack did. I can’t recall his name, but if I think on it, it may come to me.

  9. Yep. Setting an example of quiet dignity that all fandoms can aspire to. Also, who do I have to kill/bonk/marry to get Seanan’s hair? Note: Seanan must live to write more gorgeous books, so anyone who suggests scalping will be mocked. Also, Lois’s expression is obviously fake. She’s clearly just letting y’all take out the opposition for her. Where’s the photo of her sitting on a pile of bodies?

  10. Bruce Diamond – Flyover Land on the teeming Mississippi River – Despicably proud old man. Text-extruding asshole (thank you, John Scalzi) with a skewed vision on life, pop culture, writing and general assholiness. Not a scholar, not a gentleman, not Martin or Lewis. But still trying to make life fun and funny.
    Bruce Diamond

    Thank you for malleting Baxter’s post.

  11. If you guys get any more quietly dignified, you’ll be Chris Garcia!

    I love when Stan busts out that wacky side. He keeps it under wraps most of the time, but you can see and hear it lurking behind the mild-mannered exterior. Which makes it even more fun when it happens. We’re used to Scalzi dorking out, but not Robinson.

    Lois is clearly thinking strategically (as of course she would), planning to swoop in after Stan and Saladin have done each other in, and John has succumbed to Seanan but mortally wounded her. Then Lois can apply the coup de grace.

  12. megpie71 – Australian, female, fat, born in 1971. Been hanging around the internet (first Usenet, now blogs) since about 1997. Far too cynical for my own good.
    megpie71

    I think it’s the calm professionalism of the scene which gets to me. Writers in their natural environment.

    *grin*

  13. [Dalek voice] Praise the Mallet!!!! Praise it!!!!! [/Dalek voice]

    [Deeper Dalek voice] Pathetic little worms…I am the Mallet. I am God. You are not the Doctor, merely a pathetic trolling worm. I have nothing to fear from you! EXTERMINATE!!!!! [/Deeper Dalek voice]

  14. Bruce Diamond – Flyover Land on the teeming Mississippi River – Despicably proud old man. Text-extruding asshole (thank you, John Scalzi) with a skewed vision on life, pop culture, writing and general assholiness. Not a scholar, not a gentleman, not Martin or Lewis. But still trying to make life fun and funny.
    Bruce Diamond

    I’d like to point out that is NOT me at 7:54 pm. My guess is it’s Baxter pretending to be me.

  15. Bruce Diamond – Flyover Land on the teeming Mississippi River – Despicably proud old man. Text-extruding asshole (thank you, John Scalzi) with a skewed vision on life, pop culture, writing and general assholiness. Not a scholar, not a gentleman, not Martin or Lewis. But still trying to make life fun and funny.
    Bruce Diamond

    Thank you. John.

  16. If this is how the Hugo winner is decided, I am bringing brass knuckles to the ceremony. Of course, it would help if I got nominated. Or wrote a book for that matter. Still . . .

  17. I’m assuming people are betting on Lois to win the FIGHT, not the Hugo.

    Would you expect anything less from someone who created Miles Vorkosigan?

    But, still… the best Hugo nominee picture ever.

  18. jbwhelan – Perspex Island – J. B. Whelan is the last scion of a clan of itinerant rug-beaters, who squandered their vast fortune on soda pop and Missile Command.
    Jay W.

    Can’t help but root for Seanan here . . . no offense John. :)

  19. I think Lois was planning how to make the rest of you fight to the death, leaving the field to her.

    The phrase “Let’s see what happens” seems particularly apt here.

  20. The full photostream of the Best Novel finalists is entertaining and illuminating. A series of shots of quiet dignity, as advertised, then the next-to-last shows four out of five being quietly dignified … and Our Host sticking out his tongue.

    Of course, what follows is history.

  21. timeliebe – Central NY – Dreaded Spouse-Creature to bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce (SONG OF THE LIONESS, THE CIRCLE OPENS, BEKA COOPER: A TORTALL LEGEND series), a co-author of TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, Co-author with Tamora Pierce of Marvel's WHITE TIGER: A HERO'S OBSESSION for Marvel Comics. Contributing Editor for VIDEO Magazine during the 1990s, Columnist for C/Net 1999 - 2002.
    timeliebe

    Dignity, Scalzi.

    Always…. Dignity.

  22. Per the twitter dueling Willy Ley rockets pic —

    John, do you keep iocaine poison about your person? Have you ever started a land war in Asia? Have ever dined with anyone named Andre?

    Why do I ask? Ummm, no reason.

    JJB

  23. I am betting on Lois to win the fight as well. To let the other four beat the snot out of each other and then win would be so Miles Vorkosigan.

  24. Mr. Peterson takes some lovely shots. I looked at the whole stream.
    Did Mr. Sanderson survive the duel de rockets, Mr. Scalzi? That one made me wonder.

  25. John, have you read any of Lois’s writing? When did losing ever prevent her characters from winning? Maybe the Hugo was decided last week, maybe the press releases are out, and maybe the victory parties have been partied. That does not mean Lois did not win, or maybe more accurately will win.

    I remember one of my favorite “the winner didn’t win” scenes from Barrayar. Vidal Vordarian has assumed the emperorship through a coup, then captured people, discomfited the Vor, killed enemies and threatened her unborn son Miles in the usual “I won and you can’t touch me” style we have to come to expect from evil pretenders to the throne and former Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States. What does she do?

    Well, she and a few friends march into Vidal’s man cave and grab Vidal by the ear, (After removing the ear and the whole head from the rest of the body), and marched his head back to a little surrender party and victory dance that was being arranged by the late Vidal’s buddies. There was going to be cake, and rubbing it in Aral’s face with the de rigour exile and maybe a bit of purging of the legitimate Vor line just for yucks.

    Then Cordelia comes dragging in looking like she was keel hauled through a fathom of manure. She takes Vidal’s head out of her purse and bowls it down the table that Vidal’s men thought was going to be used for negotiating Aral’s humiliation. What a game changer!

    So here is my thought. Lois is standing just ahead of and to the right of you in the picture. Sure she has a look of concern on her face. But more import, she is positioned so that she cannot be struck by an errant punch or kick. She can easily see what all of you are doing and you are all otherwise engaged maybe even distracted. To me she looks like she is out of range but fully engaged.

    Keep your head down John, or more accurately just keep your head.

  26. I forgot to add Congratulations. I just today bought “Old Man’s War” today. I am old and I was in a war. Marines. Long time ago Marines were called leathernecks. Know why? It kept them from loosing their head to a cutlas blade. They wore thick leather collars. Think about it.

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