I made some waves earlier this year when I posted my thoughts on the nominations for the 2011 Hugo Awards. Bottom line, it’s an old men’s club that rewards the same people too consistently, doing the entirety of the genre an injustice. The awards are exclusionary in their ruling (just look at some of the changes being made to force StarShip Sofa out of the ‘Best Fanzine Award’). In any case, here are the winners, plus some thoughts on a few of the sections.
Best Fan Artist
Winner: Brad W. Foster
Winner: The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon
Banana Wings, edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
Challenger, edited by Guy H. Lillian III
File 770, edited by Mike Glyer
StarShipSofa, edited by Tony C. Smith
Don’t recognize any of these names? That’s because they’re almost all (with the exception of the aforementioned StarShip Sofa) print or pdf ‘zines’ that you probably didn’t even know existed. Since my first complaints a few months ago, I’ve followed File 770’s blog with regularity, but none of the other publications have held my interest. Yeah, there’s some good writing there, but this category needs to change in a way that encourages people to also include online only publications (like this blog, for instance) in the voting. ‘Fanzine’ is an outdated term. If the ‘zine scene is afraid of the online/blog scene, perhaps we could all agree to create a new category at the Hugos that encompasses ‘Online Fan Publications’. This category needs to grow up and become more inclusionary, to celebrate all reaches of fandom regardless of whether it falls under the umbrella of ‘fanzine.’ Unfortunately, the old men’s club wouldn’t even know where to begin. The Drink Tank hasn’t won a Hugo before this year, which at least shows some progress being made, but perhaps it’s time for some of the mainstays (File 770, 6 wins, 28 nominations; Banana Wings, 5 nominations; Challenger, 14 nominations; though a case can be made for those with several nominations and no wins) to follow in the steps of John Scalzi and Clarkesworld Magazine (in 2012) and consider withdrawing themselves from nomination in favour of exposing new and exciting fan publications. There’s no harm in spreading the love, is there? But, hey, what do I know? I’m just a blogger.
Best Fan Writer
Winner: Claire Brialey
Christopher J. Garcia
Steven H. Silver
Again, I don’t think this list is properly representative of where ‘fan writing’ has grown in the past couple of years. Add to that the fact that writers like Jo Walton and Brit Mandelo (both of whom I’d a huge fan of) are included on the ‘long list’ for the award based quite heavily on the writing they do for Tor.com (like myself) that pays its contributors. Is Tor.com a ‘semiprozine’ (which would allow it’s writers to be nominated for the ‘Fan Writer’ award) or is it a publisher (being an imprint of Macmillan Ltd., one of world’s largest publishers, which I’d think would disqualify that work from being considered for the ‘Fan Writer’ award). I’d love to see writers like Walton, Mandelo or Butler be recognized for the wonderful ‘fannish’ work that they do for Tor.com, but under the current rules it seems like they aren’t eligible (according to Mandelo herself), despite appearing in the final tally. A bit of a mess, yah?
On the plus side, looking at the full results, Adam Whitehead (of The Wertzone), Abigail Nussbaum and Niall Harrison (all writers who would appear on my ballot and who I mentioned by name in my original post) were all represented by at least 11 votes. Progress, however small.
Winner: Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker
Interzone, edited by Andy Cox
Lightspeed, edited by John Joseph Adams
Locus, edited by Liza Groen Trombi and Kirsten Gong-Wong
Weird Tales, edited by Ann VanderMeer and Stephen H. Segal
Good choice. Clarkesworld is the best-of-the-best. As mentioned earlier, a very classy move in announcing that they’ll be withdrawing voting eligibility in favour of allow further exposure to other ‘semiprozines’ worthy of the award.
Best Professional Artist
Winner: Shaun Tan
Daniel Dos Santos
Shock. This was clearly Tan’s year (with an Oscar nomination). Well deserved.
Best Editor, Short Form
Winner: Sheila Williams
John Joseph Adams
Gordon Van Gelder
Best Editor, Long Form
Winner: Lou Anders
Many times nominated, first time winner. About damn time.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Winner: Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
Doctor Who: “A Christmas Carol,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
Doctor Who: “Vincent and the Doctor,” written by Richard Curtis; directed by Jonny Campbell (BBC Wales)
Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury, written by Rachel Bloom; directed by Paul Briganti
The Lost Thing, written by Shaun Tan; directed by Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan (Passion Pictures)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Winner: Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner)
How to Train Your Dragon, screenplay by William Davies, Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders; directed by Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (DreamWorks)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, screenplay by Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright; directed by Edgar Wright (Universal)
Toy Story 3, screenplay by Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich; directed by Lee Unkrich (Pixar/Disney)
I enjoyed Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon more, but whatever, Inception‘s fine.
Best Graphic Story
Winner: Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
Fables: Witches, written by Bill Willingham; illustrated by Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
Grandville Mon Amour, by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, written and illustrated by Howard Tayler; colors by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton (Hypernode)
The Unwritten, Volume 2: Inside Man, written by Mike Carey; illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
Best Related Book
Winner: Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)
Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001, by Gary K. Wolfe (Beccon)
The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing, by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg (McFarland)
Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 1: (1907–1948): Learning Curve, by William H. Patterson, Jr. (Tor)
Writing Excuses, Season 4, by Brandon Sanderson, Jordan Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells
I’d’ve picked Writing Excuses, but it’s not a book.
Best Short Story
Winner: “For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
“Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed, June 2010)
“Ponies” by Kij Johnson (Tor.com, November 17, 2010)
“The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)
A fairly uninteresting field. I like Kowal, though.
Winner: “The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)
“Eight Miles” by Sean McMullen (Analog, September 2010)
“The Jaguar House, in Shadow” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s, July 2010)
“Plus or Minus” by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s, December 2010)
“That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (Analog, September 2010
No comment. Haven’t read any of them.
Winner: “The Lifecycle of Software Objects” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010)
“The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” by Elizabeth Hand (Stories: All New Tales, William Morrow)
“The Sultan of the Clouds” by Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s, September 2010)
“Troika” by Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines, Science Fiction Book Club)
Winner: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr)
Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
The Hugo voters need to watch Sesame Street and learn how to count on their fingers again. Willis’ ‘novel’ was published in two volumes, each of which, in fairness to the competition, should have been judged separately. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (REVIEW) and its sequel were both published in 2010, why not judge them as one entity? Because it’s stupid and doesn’t make sense.
The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2009 or 2010, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).
Winner: Lev Grossman
I really wanted Ahmed to win this, but I can’t argue with Grossman (or Beukes or Wells, for that matter. Haven’t read Correia). A very strong field this year.
So, what did you think of the 2011 Hugo Award Winners? Were you as ‘meh’ as me? The full list of nominations and statistics has been gathered together in this PDF.