March 2nd, 2010

My Hugo nominees, revised

My Hugo nominees, 2010 (revised)

I realized that for reasons of disorganization, I had left out a couple of worthy nominees from the novella category, so I'm revising this post.

I'm only listing nominees in fiction. A couple of notes on other categories. The only prominent SF movie I've seen is Avatar, which I thought both beautiful and stupid. In the Fan Writer category I will again nominate both James Nicoll and Abigail Nussbaum, and urge others to check their work out as well. I am also going to nominate Niall Harrison, for his consistently stimulating work at the Vector blog, Torque Control, and for his reviews (mainly at Strange Horizons), and Graham Sleight, primarily for his series of articles reexamining classic SF writers, in Locus.

Novel:

I'm only nominating three, as I feel I haven't read enough. But I wanted to get my oar in for the two McAuley novels, which may be at a disadvantaged, as having ambiguous publication dates (for Hugo recognition): each was published a year later in the US than in the UK. And I loved Scott Westefeld's Leviathan, though it's not really a complete story. So ...

The Quiet War, by Paul McAuley (Gollancz (2008, UK), Pyr (2009, US))
Gardens of the Sun, by Paul McAuley (Gollancz (2009, UK), Pyr (2010, US))
Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse (2009))

Novella:

I thought this a slightly down category this year. But I haven't seen two very well-regarded ones: John Scalzi's Nebula nominee The God Engines, and Vandana Singh's "Infinities", though apparently "Infinities" was actually first published in India in 2008, and thus was eligible last year, and may be eligible again next year by virtue of its uncoming first US publication in Gardner Dozois's Best of the Year book. It may also be novelette length. My nominees:

"Crimes and Glory", by Paul McAuley (Subterranean, Spring)
The Push, by Dave Hutchinson (NewCon Press)
Horn, by Peter M. Ball (Twelfth Planet Press)
"Palimpsest", by Charles Stross (Wireless)
"Getaway", by Emma Bull (Shadow Unit)

The last two on that list weren't on my previous list for bad reasons. I didn't read "Palimpsest" until very late in the year, and so it wasn't on my original working list, and I forgot to add it. And I have a treating Shadow Unit separately, due to its unique nature. Which is just silly.

The runners-up, then, are "Broken Windchimes", by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Asimov's, September), "Vishnu at the Cat Circus", by Ian McDonald (Cyberabad Days), "Earth II" by Stephen Baxter (Asimov's, July), and "Halloween Town", by Lucius Shepard (F&SF, October-November).

Novelette

This is always the toughest category for me. My top five ended up being:

"Things Undone", by John Barnes (Baen's Universe, December)
"Eros, Philia, Agape", by Rachel Swirsky (Tor.com)
"The Island", by Peter Watts (The New Space Opera 2)
"This Wind Blowing, and This Tide", by Damien Broderick (Asimov's, April-May)
"The Qualia Engine", by Damien Broderick (Asimov's, August)

But there is a horde of stories very close (and my final ballot may end up changing). These are: Robert Charles Wilson's "This Peaceable Land; or, The Unbearable Vision of Harriett Beecher Stowe" (Other Earths); John Kessel's "Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance" (The New Space Opera 2); Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear's "Mongoose" (Lovecraft Unbound), John Langan's "Technicolor" (Poe), and Chris Adrian's "A Tiny Feast" (The New Yorker, April 20).

Short Story

My short story nominees will be:

"Three Twilight Tales", by Jo Walton (Firebirds Soaring)
"The Radiant Car Thy Sparrows Drew", by Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld, August)
"Child-Empress of Mars", by Theodora Goss (Interfictions 2)
"On the Human Plan", by Jay Lake (Lone Star Stories, February)
"A Story, With Beans", by Steven Gould (Analog, May)

A couple more Clarkesworld stories vied for a spot on the ballot (Kij Johnson's "Spar" (October), and Lavie Tidhar's "The Dying World" (April)).

Campbell Award

My five nominees are Toiya Kristen Finley, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Eric Gregory, Saladin Ahmed, and Alice Sola Kim, which strikes me as a very diverse group, without me even trying. I've reprinted a story by Kim, and will be reprinting one by Finley, and hope to announce soon another reprint from among this group.

Summary: Hadley-Rille anthologies, 2009

Hadley-Rille books, 2009

Hadley-Rille continues to publish original anthologies at an impressive rate, under the leadership of Eric T. Reynolds. This year they also published some novellas on ancient history subjects, some novels, and a collection by promising new writer Camille Alexa (whose career has been strongly supported by Hadley-Rille, one thing (of many) that Reynolds can rightly be very proud of). The anthologies I saw this year were:

Footprints, edited by Jay Lake and Eric T. Reynolds; and
Origins, edited by Eric T. Reynolds.

Subtotals: 2 books, 25 stories (4 novelettes, 21 shorts (one short-shorts)), about 140,000 words of new fiction. Origins also included quite a few reprints.

Stats: 13 stories by women (52%), consistent with last year's total (56%), and all the stories were SF.

I have complained a couple of times (to the point that Eric is probably tired of hearing me say this) that sometimes these anthologies are too narrowly themed. I thought that was the case again with Footprints, in which the theme was stories about aliens discovering the preserved footprints of Neil Armstrong et. al. on the Moon, after humanity has disappeared. Not a bad notion for a story or three, but a whole book of them seemed a bit much, and there was some repetition in reading the stories back to back. But there was some nice work here. James Van Pelt's "Working the Moon Circuit" effectively takes the theme of the anthology about as straight as possible, as a sort of tour guide to the Moon sites is brought by one visitor to closer realization of the pathos of the evident human failure. Brenda Cooper's "Sailors in a Sea of Suns" is an affecting story of an alien mother and child on a very long exploring mission. Stories by Kate Kelly, A. D. Guzman, Erin Cashier, Gerri Leen, and Heather McDougal were also fine. Origins is a collection of stories of human evolution -- that is, stories set at various times in deep human prehistory and history. Camille Alexa's "The Pull of the Wind and the Push of the Sky" was probably my favorite new story (it is also the title story of her collection). As I said, a number of the stories were reprints, including Mike Resnick's famous "Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge".