The 2016 Awards Consideration Post

As is my annual tradition, here’s what I have in terms of work I produced in 2015, for you to consider for science fiction and fantasy awards here in 2016:


Which is not to say I didn’t produce work in 2015. There’s a novel (The End of All Things) which was made out of four novellas (“The Life of the Mind,” “This Hollow Union,” “Can Long Endure” and “To Stand or Fall”) and I also wrote a graphic novel (Midnight Rises) and helped write and create a video game (Midnight Star). And it’s all really good stuff, if I do say so myself.

However, as I noted last year, this year I feel like taking a year off of the awards race and cheering on other people rather than competing for the awards spotlight. There will be other years to contest in and other work of mine to champion for consideration. In the meantime, 2015 was full of work I loved that other people made, and, independently, is well worth thinking about for awards. I picked a good year to take off and just enjoy other people’s stuff.

Again, to be clear: Please do not nominate the work I produced in 2015 for awards. If my 2015 work is nominated or becomes a finalist for an award, to the extent I am allowed to decline nominations/finalist status, I intend to do so. Please pick other work and people to consider.

What I do want to say to folks is that if you actually have the ability to nominate work for awards, then you really should do that, in as many categories as you have favorite work and people in. There are people who have made it their mission to troll the awards, and the way the trolls succeed (at least in the nominating stages) is to have relatively few other people nominate.

So your mission this year, should you choose to accept it — and you should — is to nominate a whole lot of things you love, and to learn about the categories you don’t usually nominate in, so you can make an informed, personal choice in those categories. And thus will the trolls be banished to the underneath of bridges, to mutter to themselves.

In the next couple of days I’ll put up a post for people to promote their own work, and another for fans to promote their favorite stuff as well, so hopefully that will help get people thinking of new stuff to consider.

So, thanks for reading the stuff I put out in 2015! Please don’t nominate it. Nominate other work instead. Thanks.

21 Comments on “The 2016 Awards Consideration Post”

  1. As other people have already asked, to the extent that people nominate work that I collaborated in, rather than having been the sole creator (for example, Midnight Rises or Midnight Star), I would ask to be removed from the nomination while the other creator(s) could accept or decline of their own volition. I obviously have no problem with other people with whom I’ve worked being considered for their good efforts.

  2. It’s hardly news … but you’re a class act, Scalzi.

    It’s probably because you have all that good feline supervision. But still. Class act.

  3. Speaking of “Midnight Rises”, when might the non-iOS part of the world have a chance to read it – Android, Comixology or print?

  4. …huh.

    Nicely played. Also nice of you to promise a post for recommendations of other works, particularly since it’s the first time I’ve wondered whether Bone Walker (my 2015 album) qualifies as a Related Work.

    And I think it does. I mean, it’s a book series companion album with music and readings, not a written form. But the category doesn’t specify written-word only. The way the category is described, that’s obviously mostly what they were thinking about (even “collections of art” in a practical sense are almost always art books, which always have lots of words talking about the art), but…

    Sure, if it was filk, that’d be different – it should be considered in the Pegasus awards, not a Hugo. But it’s not, and I know a bunch of filkers and they don’t think it’s filk either, and while there was once an attempt at a Hugo award for music, it never actually happened, and this category really is kind of a catch-all.

    I don’t think I’m wrong about this, am I?

  5. My stand out books of 2015: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
    The Traitor Baru Comorant by Seth Dickinson
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik
    Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
    I’ve recommended these 4 to people over and over again this year after reading them. Hopefully at least one of them will walk away with an award or two this year.

  6. What about books about you? Because if another slate comes along, “John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular” needs to be considered.

  7. Waiting for VD to post that you recognize you did not produce award worthy works and you wish to spare yourself the humiliation of losing :P
    Just as you not publishing something new this years can have only one explanation.

  8. Raziel Walker:

    Eh. He’ll do what he wants. Fuck ’em.


    I don’t have any control over whether people nominate things other than what I write (I don’t have any control over that either, to be honest, but usually I can decline the nomination).


    This actually isn’t the best post for listing what you like this year. I’ll have another post specifically on point for that later.

  9. Understood, on many levels. And I second Elizabeth McFadden’s observations.

  10. I have noticed in the past 10 or so years that people are declining hugo nominations more than in the past. Guys like Dozois, Whelan, and Freas used to just pile them up but more recently people are declining like yourself, Hartwell, Hayden, Gaiman, ect…. Is this an accurate perception? Thanks!

  11. Jharaldson:

    I can’t speak to anyone else’s motivations, and in most cases (Gaiman excepted), what’s going on not declining nominations but rather asking people not to nominate, which is a different thing. For myself, when I’ve asked people not to nominate me (or nominate me again, which is a thing I did when I won the best Fan Writer Hugo), the point was to remind people there are other excellent writers and work out there and to think outside of their “usual suspects,” of which I am often one.

  12. I’ll honour your wish. But I would have nominated “The End of All Things”.

    I have the first few Old Mans War in hardcopy, but this year, I treated myself to the Kindle editions of the complete set. I’d forgotten just how good the series is, and if anything, the later books are better (or at least more to my liking) than the middle ones.

  13. cabridges says: Because if another slate comes along, “John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular” needs to be considered.

    You are, of course, entitled to nominate whatever you wish. But in a year during which a lot of fantastic enduring scholarly genre work was produced — such as the University of Illiniois Press’ Modern Masters of Science Fiction series entries for Lois McMaster Bujold, Frederik Pohl, and Ray Bradbury; Women of Wonder: Celebrating Women Creators of Fantastic Art; four in-depth analyses of Tolkien, Lewis, and the Inklings; Letters to Tiptree; and Invisible 2: Personal Essays on Representation in SF/F — it seems to me a real shame to be nominating and awarding things related to the Kerpupple.

    A long list of eligible Related Works can be accessed here, at the 2015 Hugo Nominees Wikia.

  14. Do we nominate in this thread? May we nominate more than one? Do I provide explanation?

    Jim Butcher – The Aeronauts Windlass
    I really enjoy reading an author’s work as they develop and Jim Butcher is a prime example of an author that is going through stages of evolution to new levels of writing excellence. His latest novel, and the first in a series, is a true example of growth as an author and is his most accomplished work to date.

  15. Funny thing about the controversy over the Hugos: it helped to rekindle my interest in reading SF on a regular basis. No such thing as bad publicity, as they say. As for the interminable duel between Mr. Scalzi and Mr. Beale, it kind of reminds me of Ridley Scott’s directorial debut.

  16. Pedro:

    “Duel” implies I have an active interest in this nonsense. I’m not the one constantly trying to get the other dude’s attention. I’d be delighted if he just left me alone. He doesn’t seem to be able to.

  17. John: You just perfectly described the protagonist’s predicament in the Duelists. The protagonist would be the character of Armand d’Hubert, as played by Keith Carradine. The antagonist would be Gabriel Féraud, as played by Harvey Keitel. Not sure if you know the film, but art sometimes anticipates life in very strange ways. . .

  18. I would have nominated the first section of TEoAT, because Mr. Brain in a Box is great. But I’m pretty sure I can find more novellas.

  19. Hey, is the nomination suggestion post coming soon? The scamperbeasts were released in 2015 but I am not sure they are eligible for Best Cat Hugos until 2017, so we may have to choose some other creatures.

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