Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Of Nebulas and Cities

Nebula Awards announced May 15
Novel: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade Books, Sept. 2009)
Novella: The Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Kage Baker (Subterranean Press, June 2009)
Novelette: “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” by Eugie Foster (Interzone, Feb. 2009)
Short Story: “Spar” by Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld, Oct. 2009)
Ray Bradbury Award: District 9, Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (Tri-Star, Aug. 2009)
Andre Norton Award: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (Catherynne M. Valente, June 2009)

I’m pleased that Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl won. For the SF Strangelove review follow here. I’ve read half the nominated novels so far and this would have been my choice. The remaining winners seem pretty strong, at least those that I have read. The one clear disappointment here is that District 9 beat Moon for the screenwriting award. District 9 had some good ideas, then when it should have taken those concepts to the next level it devolved into a trite action movie. Moon continued to explore its ideas for the length of the film and was much more satisfying. SF Strangelove reviews of District 9 and Moon.

Notes from Coode Street Podcasts
I have been enjoying the first few Notes from Coode Street Podcasts from Jonathan Strahan. These are much like listening to a really good discussion panel at a science fiction convention. The two conversations, so far, with Gary K. Wolfe are wonderful, covering topics such as what it’s like to work for Locus and how decisions are made about which books to review, canon formation, the work of Joanna Russ, what books they are excited about reading at the moment, and what books they are looking forward to in the near future. The latest podcast features a conversation with Graham Sleight that is quite good, where they discuss Joanna Russ’ short fiction and the Gollancz Masterworks reprint series. These are bright, articulate people talking about what is best in science fiction. (Get the podcast direct from Notes from Coode Street or syndicated through iTunes.)

Would Borges have been a fan of Wikipedia?
A short item at the Los Angeles Times blog quotes Jorge Luis Borges in 1977 pondering a vast, all-encompassing encyclopedia where everything is linked. (LA Times article.)

John Clute turns his attention to Michal Ajvaz
Astute SF critic John Clute writes about two Michal Ajvaz novels, The Other City and The Golden Age, drawing lines of comparison to H.P. Lovecraft and China Miéville. (SF Strangelove review of Ajvaz's The Other City.)

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