Thursday, April 8, 2010

Awards and Other Verdicts

Hugo nominees
Best Novel published in 2009:
 -- Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Tor)
 -- The City & The City by China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK)
 -- Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)
 -- Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (Bantam Spectra)
 -- Wake by Robert J. Sawyer (Analog 11/08-3/09; Ace; Gollancz)
 -- The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)
Having read three of the six novel nominees so far the nominees seem strong this year. I will have more to say about the fiction nominees at a later date. Locus Online's complete list of the nominees. Abigail Nussbaum's commentary at Asking the Wrong Questions.

BSFA awards
The 2009 British Science Fiction Association awards have been announced. Best novel was The City & The City by China Miéville. For a list of nominees and winners: Locus Online and the BSFA website.

Philip K. Dick award
The winner for the distinguished original science fiction paperback published for the first time during 2009 in the U.S. is Bitter Angels by C.L. Anderson (Ballantine Spectra). A special citation was given to: Cyberabad Days by Ian McDonald (Pyr). Locus Online article and Philip K. Dick Award website.

John Clute on American Fantastic Tales
John Clute essays the two-volume overview of American fantasy, American Fantastic Tales (The Library of America), edited by Peter Straub. Along the way we learn: "That a fully shaped self is a mask for amnesia. That a root task of fantastika is to shame the self." John Clute part one and part two.

Peter Watts court case
Science fiction author Peter Watts was convicted of obstructing a U.S. border officer, a felony. Sentencing is scheduled for April 26. 
 -- a brief news item about the verdict from Locus Online.
 -- Avram Grumer at Making Light writes, "Peter Watts has been found guilty of being assaulted by a border guard." Full article.

Jonathan McCalmont on The Shadow of the Torturer
With astonishing logic, McCalmont decides to treat the first volume of a four-volume novel as self-contained and then faults it for not answering all his questions: “. . . this is a book that is strangely free from meaning. It is a series of puzzles with no solutions.” The fault, dear critic, lies not in the text but in your premise.

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