2014 Hugo Awards have been announced. You can read about the winners here on Tor.com. The Hugo Awards are chosen by the members of Worldcon (the World Science Fiction Convention) at their annual gathering.
I was neutral on this year’s nominees and winners. With all that is going on, I have not kept up on my reading this year so I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t read any of the novel nominees – something I shall have to correct. On the other hand, I did read 3 of the 4 short story nominees and think they picked the right one.
The pro magazine selection was exactly the same as last year’s nominations and I was disappointed Beneath Ceaseless Skies did not take it, again, because it is an awesome venue. Also, the fanzine nominees for the last few years has been all sci-fi based, with few, if any (I didn’t see any going back to 2011) fantasy magazines.
I will also add that the winners of the 2014 Chesley Awards, given for the year’s best scif-fi or fantasy artwork, were also announced a few days ago but I know little about those. You can read more here.
My last post was a link to the most recent Nebula Awards. As I was tooling about the blogosphere this evening, I come across Nick Mamatas’s journal entry on the same subject. I read NM’s blog at times. Politically, we’re about on opposite ends of the spectrum but he’s got some interesting things to say about the writing world and displays a certain wit that I find amusing. Anyhow, he made some commentary regarding the Nebula Awards, which you can read here. There was also a vigorous discussion among his commenters. Not having read the novels that were entered, I can’t comment on my opinion of who should have won … but I’m trying to divine the meaning behind the final comment:
But at least SFWA managed to, for the most part, hold back the tide of black and brown people on the nominating ballot, amirite?! Phew!
Ah. Silly me, I thought these things were decided by merit. Even if Nick’s preferences are 180 degrees out of sync with the winners, someone thought those who were nominated and/or won deserved to do so. Nothing like taking a shot at your entire peer group, accusing them of being frothing-at-the-mouth John Bull types.
It’s easy to assign racism / sexism / nameyourism to any outcome one doesn’t like. It’s also sloppy thinking and frankly, comes off as whining. I expected better than this tired meme with which the literary community self-flagellates, consistently and without end.
Fortunately, the post / comments also made reference to actual writing reasons why the winning novel should not have won. Otherwise, I might have been irritated enough to make a post myself. I haven’t been in a good fight in a while, so it could have been fun. And in any event, I am now determined to read the nominee list and decide on my own (yay, self-determination!).
Other blog entries – such as John Scalzi‘s, were calmer and more complimentary.
A couple days back, SFWA posted the 2011 Nebula Award winners which are – I believe – voted on by the members of SFWA themselves.
Here’s the run-down:
– Winning Novel: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Spectra)
– Winning Novella: “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’10)
– Winning Novelette: “That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (Analog 9/10)
– Winning Short Story (tie): “Ponies” by Kij Johnson (Tor.com 1/17/10) and “How Interesting: A Tiny Man” by Harlan Ellison (Realms of Fantasy 2/10)
– Ray Bradbury Award (best speculative motion picture): Inception
– Andre Norton Award (best sci/fantasy for young adults): I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; Harper)
I haven’t read all of these. I’ve heard a lot of good buzz about Connie Willis, so I may have to add the winners to my reading list. I did read and get a hearty chill from "Ponies," which was two orders of magnitudes better than the last Kij Johnson tale I read. And old man Harlan … still out there winning awards.
There’s hope for us all yet.