What I’d Nominate If I Could Nominate: the Hugo Awards

Nominations for the Hugo Awards close on March 10. I can’t nominate, since I’m not going to splurge on a supporting membership for 2013 – or for LonCon 2014, until I know what my finances will be like through the end of June. But if I could, here’s what I’d nominate:

Best Novel

Elizabeth Bear, Range of Ghosts. It is the kind of epic fantasy I’d always wanted to read without until I read it, actually knowing: vast, brilliant, inventive, inclusive, mythic.

Leah Bobet, Above. Marketed as a Young Adult novel, Above ripped my guts out and put them back in different. Despite its categorisation, it’s a mature, powerful, inventive work.

Kameron Hurley, Rapture. Because the trilogy is one of the best and most provocative pieces of science fiction I’ve read: visceral, weird, inventive, brutal. And Rapture is the best book of the three.

Ben Aaronovitch, Whispers Under Ground. Because I think Aaronovitch is doing interesting things in the urban fantasy genre, and Whispers Under Ground is an excellent book.

Kari Sperring, The Grass-King’s Concubine. I’m pretty certain Sperring’s work will be overlooked. But in all truth it’s one of the most revolutionary approaches to fantasy of the year, and beautifully written.

Best Novella

Aliette de Bodard’s On A Red Station, Drifting. Because hell, wow. Brilliant science fiction, brilliantly written.

Best Novelette

Brit Mandelo, “Finite Canvas.” Tor.com.

Best Short Story

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, “Song of the Body Cartographer.” Philippine Genre Stories, June 2012.

Aliette de Bodard, “Immersion.” Clarkesworld, June 2012.

Best Related Work

Brit Mandelo, We Wuz Pushed: Joanna Russ and Radical Truth-Telling. Aqueduct Press.

Best Graphic Story

No opinion.

Best Dramatic Performance, Long Form.

Dredd – for the same reasons Jonathan McCalmont gives. It’s the best work of science fiction I’ve seen on the screen in forever.

The Hunger Games. It’s a brilliant adaptation of a hard-to-adapt novel, full of strong performances.

Best Dramatic Performance, Short Form

No opinion. Just don’t let Doctor Who win again.

Best Editor, Short Form

No strong opinion, but John Joseph Adams, Joselle Vanderhooft, and Ellen Datlow do interesting things.

Best Editor, Long Form

No opinion: not enough information to form one.

Best Professional Artist

No opinion.

Best Semiprozine

Ideomancer.com, because I think they do good work. But I’m biased here.

Strange Horizons.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone.

I’ve written for all of those – but that correlates pretty well with what I actually read, on a regular basis.

Best Fanzine

The World SF Blog.

SF Mistressworks.

Best Fancast

I only listen to the SF Squeecast and Galactic Suburbia with any regularity. And SF Squeecast won last year…

Best Fan Writer

Requires Hate. A vicious, insightful, and provocative critic.

Aishwarya Subramanian. Always interesting and lucid.

Abigail Nussbaum. Reviews editor at Strange Horizons, and an incredibly insightful critic.

Martin Lewis. Never less than interesting and articulate.

Best Fan Artist

No opinion.

John W. Campbell Award For Best New Writer (Not a Hugo)

I’m not sure of the eligibility for the people I’d like to see in this category. (I suspect a couple of them are past the two-year cut-off or otherwise ineligible?)

Max Gladstone
Karen Lord
Tina Connolly
Samit Basu

I’m informed that work done for pay is permitted for consideration under the Fan Writer category. Not sure that’s entirely fair: I, for one, wouldn’t do most of the work I do unless I was getting paid for it, although I enjoy my work. Not sure that fits with my idea of fan work.

10 thoughts on “What I’d Nominate If I Could Nominate: the Hugo Awards

  1. I would certainly like to see some redefining of the “fan” categories to either move away from professionals being included or to have two different awards.

    Just got my copy of On a Red Station, Drifting in the mail yesterday and am looking forward to reading it this weekend. “Immersion” is my pick for the Nebula short story and I hope to see it nominated elsewhere.

  2. I’m not a professional as such, since it’s not my focus. (A jobbing amateur, is how I think of it.) But the difference between doing work for compensation and doing work for the sake of the work itself… it strikes me there’s a difference in there.

    As for novel authors receiving nominations for Fan Writer, I rather think that’s cheating. If you’re eligible for Best Novel nominations, then your relationship to the field is that of a professional, which seems to undermine the purpose of having a “Fan Writer” category at all.

  3. Well put in regards to novel authors and I agree. For me the purpose, or *one* of the purposes, of having a ‘fan writer’ award is to point people to meaningful writing about the field that is being done by true fans, by the layman, as it were. I personally enjoy discovering others who are passionate about the field and a list of nominees each year for an award like this that represents some consensus about who is doing meaningful work means that I, and others like me, will discover sites that we might not have known about otherwise.

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