Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Arthur C. Clarke Award and Ditmar Awards

The winner of the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award (British, juried award) was announced today: Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot).

The winners of this year’s Ditmar Awards (Australian, fan-voted) were presented two days ago at Swancon in Perth: Best Novel: Power and Majesty by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Voyager).

Zoo City is available in the United States, Power and Majesty is not. The Clarke Award has just the one category: best novel. The Ditmars have a lengthy list of categories, much like the Hugos. One award caught my eye: Best Fan Publication: Galactic Suburbia podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Alex Pierce. I've been enjoying this podcast for the past several months. Each of the three hosts picked up multiple Ditmar Awards this year.

Related links:
Beukes Wins Arthur C. Clarke Award
Ditmar Awards

Monday, April 25, 2011

Reactions to 2011 Hugo Award Nominees

I’ve read three of the novels on the 2011 Hugo Awards shortlist that was announced yesterday, including The Dervish House by Ian McDonald, which is my top choice so far. I have yet to read the Connie Willis and the Lois McMaster Bujold. When I have finished them I’ll give my rankings in a post on this blog.

In the novella category, I’ve read all five of the nominees and I think this is a solid category. Four of these stories are very strong.  "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" is an easy choice for me. The story is beautifully written. Its dovetailing stories are nostalgic and wonderfully poignant. My ballot ranking:

1. "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" by Elizabeth Hand (Stories)
2. “The Lifecycle of Software Objects” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
3. "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window" by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean)
4. "Troika" by Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines)
5. "The Sultan of the Clouds" by Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov's)

The main omission on the novella list is "Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance" by Paul Park (F&SF), which would have given “McCauley's Bellerophon" competition for the top spot on my ballot. "Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance" is a challenging story, and popular-vote awards don't usually reward stories that take a little effort on the part of the reader. Gratifyingly, "Ghosts"  is on the Nebula Award shortlist.

I haven’t read enough of other nominees to comment just yet. If the creek don’t rise, I will comment on each of the fiction categories, and perhaps some others, too.

Related links:
2011 Hugo Award Nominees
2011 Hugo Nominations: Novella

Sunday, April 24, 2011

2011 Hugo Award Nominees

Nominees for the Hugo Awards were announced today by Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Reno, Nevada, August 17-21, 2011. 1006 valid nominating ballots were counted. The Hugo Awards ceremony will take place August 20, 2011.

Best Novel
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)

Best Novella
“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010)
“The Lifecycle of Software Objects” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
“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)

Best Novelette
“Eight Miles” by Sean McMullen (Analog, September 2010)
“The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 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)

Best Short Story
“Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed, June 2010)
“For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
“Ponies” by Kij Johnson (, November 17, 2010)
“The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)

Best Related Work
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)
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)
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'll save commentary on the nominees for next time. There are many more categories for Hugo Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. For a complete list follow here for the report at Locus Online

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Philip K. Dick and BSFA Awards announced

The British Science Fiction Awards for work from 2010 were announced today at Eastercon in Birmingham, UK:

Novel: The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
Short Fiction: “The Shipmaker” by Aliette de Bodard
   (Interzone 231, TTA Press)
Art: Zoo City cover art by Joey Hi-Fi (Angry Robot)
Non Fiction: “Blogging the Hugos: Decline” by Paul Kincaid (Big Other)

The Philip K. Dick Award was announced last night at Norwescon, Seattle, WA. The winner was The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder (Pyr).

Congratulations to all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Random links

Bill Moyer's Journal features an interview with David Simon, creator of The Wire. If you've seen The Wire, you won't be surprised that Simon doesn't pull any punches. Read the article.

An overview of international science fiction and fantasy for 2010 compiled by Jeff VanderMeer. Read the article.

John Joseph Adams writes about dystopian fiction. Oh, and he has edited an excellent anthology of dystopian fiction, too. Read the article.

An SF Signal Mind Meld: "What's your favorite literary dystopia?" With responses by Paolo Bacigalupi, M.T. Anderson, Elaterina Sedia, John Joseph Adams, and others. Read the article.

Joseph E. Stiglitz writes that one percent of Americans control 40 percent of the wealth. That's not a good thing, even for the wealthy one percent. Read the article.

Race, Again, Still by Nisi Shawl: "Jim (James Patrick Kelly) asked Ted (Chiang) if he thought he could have written those stories back in the 19th century, without the benefit of an SF tradition. 'Assuming I didn't die working on a railroad,' Ted said." Read the article.

Geoge R.R. Martin's top ten science fiction movies with good remarks about each film. "Leslie Nielsen plays Captain Kirk a decade before William Shatner, and does it better." Read the article.

Patrick Ness's top ten "unsuitable" books for teenagers. In other words: Teenagers should seek these out immediately. Read the article.

"Goodnight Dune:" a sweet and nostalgic combination of Frank Herbert's Dune and Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight MoonRead the illustrated story.