Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Spoiler Free

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So, there is a spoiler-free review of A Memory of Light upon Tor.com and I note it for a couple of reasons. 

One is because, man, I’m a fan.  If I had to guess when I picked up The Eye of the World for the first time, I’ve been reading these books for more than twenty years.  It’s been a very long journey, but a worthwhile one.  It’s one that I’m not sure I’ve really processed that it will actually come to an end.  This is meaningful to me.  Though the wheel keeps turning, seeing how it all ends is both exciting and sad. Leigh Butler notes “that this is the last Wheel of Time book you’ll ever get to read for the first time” and I think that while I’m going to buy the book on January 8 and I’m not going to hesitate to read it, I’m probably going to pause a moment before I actually open the cover.  Because once I start reading it and inevitably finish, it will really be over.  And you can’t take that back. 

Two: Up until today, I haven’t updated this blog since September and if you consider my blogging output over the last two years, I really haven’t done much with this for a while.  A lot has happened in the last three years and a lot is going to happen in the next three.  I’ve been reluctant to let go and say goodbye because I want to think that I’m going to get a flash of inspiration and motivation and start writing again on a regular basis – and that if I officially close the door…basically, for lack of a better example, I don’t want to be Brett Favre*. 

On the other hand, do I really want to just fade away like I’ve been doing and just have a random post suggest that there will be more when there isn’t more? 

So while I can’t say for sure that this is going to happen, it wouldn’t be bad to go out covering A Memory of Light – saying goodbye to both The Wheel of Time and to this part of my life.  We’ll see.  I’m wistful, thinking about the ending of the series and possibly of this blog.  I’ve made it almost ten years here and have been blogging for perhaps fifteen.  That’s like 257 years in internet time. 

*And yet, maybe I can be Shawn Michaels.  I haven’t lost my smile or nearly broken my back, but maybe after some extended time away I’d come back as good as I ever was.  You’d hear that familiar beat followed by “oh, oh, Shawn…”

Monday, September 03, 2012

2012 Hugo Award Winners

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Via Tor.com

Best Novel
  • Winner: Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)
  • A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
  • Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan UK / Del Rey)
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)
Best Novella
  • Winner: “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s September/October 2011)
  • Countdown by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • “The Ice Owl” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction November/December 2011)
  • “Kiss Me Twice” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s June 2011)
  • “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” by Ken Liu (Panverse 3)
  • Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA)
Best Novelette
  • Winner: “Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor.com)
  • “The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s July 2011)
  • “Fields of Gold” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse Four)
  • “Ray of Light” by Brad R. Torgersen (Analog December 2011)
  • “What We Found” by Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction March/April 2011)
Best Short Story
  • Winner: “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction March/April 2011)
  • “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld April 2011)
  • “The Homecoming” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s April/May 2011)
  • “Movement” by Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s March 2011)
  • Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue” by John Scalzi (Tor.com)
Best Related Work
  • Winner: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight (Gollancz)
  • Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel (Fantastic Books)
  • The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature by Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers (Abrams Image)
  • Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire
  • Writing Excuses, Season 6 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson
Best Graphic Story
  • Winner: Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press) 
  • Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
  • Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
  • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
  • The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
  • Winner: Game of Thrones (Season 1), created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss; written by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin; directed by Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor (HBO)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephan McFeely, directed by Joe Johnston (Marvel)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner Bros.)
  • Hugo, screenplay by John Logan; directed by Martin Scorsese (Paramount)
  • Source Code, screenplay by Ben Ripley; directed by Duncan Jones (Vendome Pictures)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
  • Winner: “The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who), written by Neil Gaiman; directed by Richard Clark (BBC Wales)
  • “The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech,” Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon (Renovation)
  • “The Girl Who Waited” (Doctor Who), written by Tom MacRae; directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales)
  • “A Good Man Goes to War” (Doctor Who), written by Steven Moffat; directed by Peter Hoar (BBC Wales)
  • “Remedial Chaos Theory” (Community), written by Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna; directed by Jeff Melman (NBC)
Best Editor, Short Form
  • Winner: Sheila Williams
  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • Jonathan Strahan
Best Editor, Long Form
  • Winner: Betsy Wollheim
  • Lou Anders
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Anne Lesley Groell
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Best Professional Artist
  • Winner: John Picacio
  • Dan dos Santos
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Michael Komarck
  • Stephan Martiniere
Best Semiprozine
  • Winner: Locus edited by Liza Groen Trombi, Kirsten Gong-Wong, et al.
  • Apex Magazine edited by Catherynne M. Valente, Lynne M. Thomas, and Jason Sizemore
  • Interzone edited by Andy Cox
  • Lightspeed edited by John Joseph Adams
  • New York Review of Science Fiction edited by David G. Hartwell, Kevin J. Maroney, Kris Dikeman, and Avram Grumer
Best Fanzine
  • Winner: SF Signal edited by John DeNardo
  • Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
  • The Drink Tank edited by James Bacon and Christopher J Garcia
  • File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
  • Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, et al.
Best Fan Writer
  • Winner: Jim C. Hines
  • James Bacon
  • Claire Brialey
  • Christopher J Garcia
  • Steven H. Silver
Best Fan Artist
  • Winner: Maurine Starkey
  • Brad W. Foster
  • Randall Munroe
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Steve Stiles
  • Taral Wayne
Best Fancast
  • Winner: SF Squeecast, Lynne M. Thomas, Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, and Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan & Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts (presenters) and Andrew Finch (producer)
  • SF Signal Podcast, John DeNardo and JP Frantz, produced by Patrick Hester
  • StarShipSofa, Tony C. Smith
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
  • Winner: E. Lily Yu
  • Mur Lafferty
  • Stina Leicht
  • Karen Lord
  • Brad R. Torgersen

Congratulations to all the winners, but a double helping of congratulations to Charlie Jane Anders for her fabulous story Six Months, Three Days.  And to John DeNardo and the folks at SF Signal.  Well done and well deserved.  And to E. Lily Yu.  I can't wait to see what you do next.


I don't believe I posted my ballot, but I did manage to help pick six of the winners (Novel, Novella, Novelette, Dramatic Presentation Long Form, Fanzine, Campbell)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

World Fantasy Award Nominees 2012

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And now, the nominees for my favorite award of the year havebeen announced!  The best part about this list is that there is very little that I have actually read. 

 
World Fantasy Award Ballot
 
Novel
  Those Across the River, Christopher Buehlman (Ace)
  11/22/63, Stephen King (Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton as 11.22.63)
  A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)
  Osama, Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
  Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor) 

I’ve read Among Others and still consider it to be my favorite novel published last year and I recently finished King’s 11/22/63.  I enjoyed the King, but Walton’s novel was better.  I am still on a GRRM moratorium until I catch up my re-read of A Song of Ice and Fire, so while I own A Dance With Dragons, I still prefer to reread A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows before I get around to his latest novel.  On the plus side, this hopefully gets me that much closer to finishing the book with less of a gap between that and the next novel.  We’ll see.

I’ve heard good things about Osama, but haven’t been all that keen on reading it.  Until now.  Those Across the River is a complete unknown to me.  

Novella
  "Near Zennor", Elizabeth Hand (A Book of Horrors)
  "A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong", K.J. Parker (Subterranean Winter 2011)
  "Alice Through the Plastic Sheet", Robert Shearman (A Book of Horrors)
  "Rose Street Attractors", Lucius Shepard (Ghosts by Gaslight)
  Silently and Very Fast, Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA Press; Clarkesworld)
The only novella I’ve read from this list is Valente’s Silently and Very Fast.  I didn’t appreciate it.  Shepard is consistently excellent.  I was delighted by Shearman’s World Fantasy nominated collection Tiny Deaths, so I’m excited to read this story.   

Short Fiction
  "X for Demetrious", Steve Duffy (Blood and Other Cravings)
  "Younger Women", Karen Joy Fowler (Subterranean Summer 2011)
  "The Paper Menagerie", Ken Liu (F&SF 3-4/11)
  "A Journey of Only Two Paces", Tim Powers (The Bible Repairman and Other Stories)
  "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees", E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld 4/11) 

I’m a big fan of Yu’s “The Cartographer Wasps”, it was such an imaginative and inventive story and I’m glad to see it recognized across multiple awards.  Liu has likewise had an impressive year and if he maintains the level of quality and output that he has done thus far, I’ll expect to see him on ballots for years to come.  The other three stories are new to me.

Anthology
  Blood and Other Cravings, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Tor)
  A Book of Horrors, Stephen Jones, ed. (Jo Fletcher Books)
  The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, eds. (Harper Voyager US)
  The Weird, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, eds. (Corvus; Tor, published May 2012)
  Gutshot, Conrad Williams, ed. (PS Publishing) 

Collection
  Bluegrass Symphony, Lisa L. Hannett (Ticonderoga)
  Two Worlds and In Between, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean Press)
  After the Apocalypse, Maureen F. McHugh (Small Beer)
  Mrs Midnight and Other Stories, Reggie Oliver (Tartarus)
  The Bible Repairman and Other Stories, Tim Powers (Tachyon) 

The only collection here that was on my radar is After the Apocalypse.  It’s one of those that I’ve been *meaning* to get to and just haven’t.

Artist
  John Coulthart
  Julie Dillon
  Jon Foster
  Kathleen Jennings
  John Picacio 

I like Foster and Picacio.  This is a good time to look at the other artists and see what they are all about.

Special Award Professional
  John Joseph Adams, for editing - anthology and magazine
  Jo Fletcher, for editing - Jo Fletcher Books
  Eric Lane, for publishing in translation - Dedalus books
  Brett Alexander Savory & Sandra Kasturi, for ChiZine Publications
  Jeff VanderMeer & S.J. Chambers, for The Steampunk Bible
 
Special Award Non-Professional
  Kate Baker, Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan & Sean Wallace, for Clarkesworld
  Cat Rambo, for Fantasy
  Raymond Russell & Rosalie Parker, for Tartarus Press
  Charles Tan, for Bibliophile Stalker blog
  Mark Valentine, for Wormwood

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Ending of Deadline

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Just like I did with Feed, I want to talk a little bit about the ending of Deadline.  This is for those who have already read Deadline or, I suppose, for those who really don’t give a crap about piddly little things like knowing how a book ends. 

Otherwise, here are my reviews of Feed and Deadline

So, with the ending of Feed, Mira Grant killed off Georgia Mason by having her shot with a dart carrying the Kellis-Amberlee virus, becoming infected, and in a horribly brutal scene (which I loved), was then shot and killed by her brother Shaun.  I thought this was a perfectly authentic way to kill a character and it felt right for the novel.  Loved it, despite how much I like Georgia as a character.

As I see it, the ending of Deadline was set up three times. 

First, Dr. Connolly faking her own death (with help) and letting the team know that the CDC has accomplished human cloning.  It was the Doc’s clone that was killed and destroyed to help her escape.

Second, Shaun mentioning later in the novel that the CDC had George’s blood for a period of time and had run a series of tests on it.  This seems natural, but in light of how the ending to Deadline, is also suspect.  Also, I no longer recall just how Georgia’s body was destroyed in the van. 

Third, immediately preceding the Big Reveal, Shaun’s blog post states that if he had one wish and could change anything in the world, his wish would be to get Georgia back and damn all the other consequences and damn making the world go back to how it was before the Rising.  His world is Georgia.

The last chapter opens with a person waking in a sterile room and we initially think that this is Shaun because has just in isolation after being bitten by a zombie (he also tested clean as his body is the only known body that has actually fought off the infection).  But, it isn’t Shaun.  The chapter ends with a voice from an intercom asking the individual to identify itself and it does: Georgia Mason.

At which point dropped some profanity and was confused. 

I followed confusion by annoyance.  I realized how Grant set this up and it isn’t completely out of left field, but I haven’t decided if I like this. 

One of my major pet peeves (besides the phrase “pet peeve”) in fiction is when an author just can’t let their damn characters stay dead.  Seriously, I applaud you for killing off a major character and one whom I may actually like, but once you do it – own it.  You kill a character, don’t cheat the death by turning back the clock somehow.  That’s what pissed me the hell off about To Green Angel Tower from Tad Williams.  He killed a character in a heroic manner (I think) and it was a big deal.  And then he undercut all the emotion of that event and (in my mind) the entire series by bringing him back in the epilogue with a “whoops, I survived.”  I haven’t read Tad Williams since.  Though, to be fair, his Memory Sorrow Thorn series wasn’t all that special and I wasn’t a fan of his writing style. 

Georgia Mason coming back as a clone?  I don’t know about that, people.  It fits in the context of the series and I’ll grant that science could advance to full human cloning that somehow transfers the mind / soul / identity into the clone.  I’ll give the author all of that – and I assume that there will be all sorts of implications of how Clone Georgia relates to the world as a clone, how that changes *everything* about her and her relationship with Shaun and their news organization and friendships and all of that could be fascinating as hell.  I’ll go so far as to say that I absolutely expect to be delighted by Blackout.  Mira Grant has done a fantastic job with the first two novels in her Newsflesh trilogy and I think so highly of them that I’m also going back to read the first of the novels Grant published under her real name Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue). 

But I really hate when writers kill off a character and then bring them back.  I hate it.  And while bringing back the clone of a character is different than having the character magically escape death and come back, or worse, have someone else use the literary equivalent of a Phoenix Down and revive the character – it still undercuts some of the emotion of the original scene of death. 


And I hate that.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Deadline, by Mira Grant

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Deadline
Mira Grant
Orbit: 2011


If you haven’t read Mira Grant’s novel Feed (review), stop right now and go read it. I’m a big fan of Feed and becoming a fan of Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy, but a central point of Deadline hinges on the ending of Feed and I can’t talk about Deadline without talking about that.

So.

Mira Grant told the story of Feed primarily through the narrative voice of Georgia Mason, a “newsie” blogger in a post zombie apocalypse world. The world had stabilized into something we might recognize, but, well, zombies. In my review of Feed I wrote that “As the first in a stated trilogy, I can’t wait to see where Mira Grant takes us with the next two novels – especially given how she ended Feed.”


How she ended Feed is that Georgia was purposefully infected by Kellis-Amberlee, the virus that causes zombification, and as she begun to amplify (i.e., she was turning into a zombie), she was shot and killed by her brother Shaun. Shaun then took over the narrative duties and finished out the election coverage (they were the first bloggers to follow a presidential candidate on the campaign trail, a campaign that led them into a very nasty political conspiracy, plus zombies, you can’t forget the zombies).


Deadline picks up a year later with Shaun semi-coping with Georgia’s death, running their news organization, and was having a slight break from reality as he was hearing her voice and carrying on conversations with his dead sister. There was an uneasy stability in his life until Dr. Kelly Connolly from the CDC arrived at their headquarters and pointed them at a larger conspiracy within the science community regarding what is really going on with Kellis-Amberlee. As the CDC is a semi-autonomous organization since the Rising, this is more than a big deal.

My primary concern after finishing Feed was how well Grant was going to be able to carry the story along with Shaun as narrator. Georgia was so much the heart of Feed that I worried that the shift would grate and not serve the story. I need not have worried. There is a certain similarity in the first person perspectives of both Shaun and Georgia, though there is a difference in the focus of each character and also in Shaun’s propensity to threaten violence. Regardless, Deadline is a smooth reading novel that damn near demands that one continues to turn the page to find out what happens next. It’s a good feeling and I could not get enough of it (even though I still missed Georgia as a narrator).

One thing that Mira Grant does very well is craft an ending that leaves the reader wanting more and wanting to know more. Feed’s ending was a natural ending point for the story and while there may have been more stories to tell in that world, Feed was done. Deadline does not have that sort of an ending. Deadline ends with a moment which causes the reader to exclaim “what the…” and where the ellipses are followed by one’s favorite exclamation or curse. Despite that, the conclusion *is* foreshadowed and set up – even Grant did something the reader didn’t exactly expect. Like with Feed, I’m not talking about it here. Unlike Feed, I’m not completely sure that Grant did the right thing, but I have personal bias regarding what happened. I’ll have to explain that in a follow up post.

That’s a little bit long winded to say that Deadline feels like half of a much longer novel and the ending served more to set up Blackout than it did to really conclude the story of Deadline. If the presumed primary storyline was Shaun’s investigation of the CDC and if there really is some sort of a conspiracy with the current investigative science behind Kellis-Amberlee; that storyline has not been resolved. Or, it has, but not in a way that fully satisfies that storyline.

Readers can pick up Deadline and follow the story just fine, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m a proponent of starting at, well, the beginning and moving on from there. But, if you enjoyed Feed (and I very much did) and were somehow on the fence about Deadline – don’t be. It’s almost as good. I say “almost” because Feed’s ending was a bit stronger and also just personal preference in the narrator. I can also see how some might prefer Deadline as Grant opens up the world a bit and also does some nasty stuff to set up Blackout. Either way – Deadline was a fantastically enjoyable novel filled with zombie delights.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wonderbook

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A couple of days ago Jeff VanderMeer posted about his forthcoming Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Writing Imaginative Fiction

VanderMeer has this to say

This will be the first creative writing guide that doesn’t just supplement text with images, but replaces text with image. In fact, its 300 pages will include over 175 diagrams, illustrations, and photographs. The diagrams will be radically different from what you find in most writing books, and the integration of the text with image will also be something you haven’t seen before.

and


The main text will include chapters on Inspiration, Elements of Story, Beginnings & Endings, Writing & Revision, The Bleeding Edge, and a special chapter on writing exercises that I think will blow most people’s minds visually—and will set out all of the things my wife and I do in our workshops and masterclasses. Elements like Characterization will be woven into the discussion in all of the chapters, since separating out the people from the story seems pointless to me.

In addition, the book will feature short essays on a variety of writing-related subjects by Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman, Karen Joy Fowler, Lauren Beukes, Charles Yu, Karin Lowachee, Catherynne M. Valente, Michael Moorcock, and several others, as well as a long exclusive discussion about craft with George R.R. Martin. A comprehensive list of over 700 essential non-realist novels is just one item of interest in the appendices. The format of the book will allow annotations and asides in the margins for additional value.

Sounds like something to check out when it is published next year.

Art by Jeremy Zerfoss.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Other Lands, by David Anthony Durham

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The Other Lands
David Anthony Durham
Doubleday: 2009

(Note: I thought I had posted this back in August.  I have no idea why this didn't post last year.  I only noticed when I was cleaning out my drafts)

In a case of taking waaaay too long to read a book, I bring you The Other Lands from David Anthony Durham. This is the second volume in Durham’s Acacia trilogy and one I had been anticipating since I first read Acacia back in 2007…except I never picked up The Other Lands in 2009 when it was published.

Big mistake. Huge.

With a nearly four year gap between reading the novels one might well be concerned with remembering who the characters were and how things connect together. Durham opens with a refresher of “the story so far”, which is something that more big fantasy novels should include. The other thing is that Durham is both thoughtful and skilled enough to craft the story in such a way to gently remind the reader of events from the first novel while never giving the impression of dropping a huge info-dump on the reader.

Durham has written a sprawling novel set a decade after the events of Acacia. The Empire is still recovering from the invasion of the Mein and continues to deal with some of the unexpected consequences of that war. Queen Corinn holds tight control over the Empire and uses her surviving siblings to cement her own power, improve the Empire, and to keep them out of the way so as to limit their potential for threatening her reign. Aspects of The Other Lands work as a thoughtful political thriller.

The Other Lands is far more than “just” a political novel. It is a sprawling epic adventure tinged with a growing sense of magic and one character’s “journey” to the titular Other Lands opens up the wonder of just how big this world is and more fully introduces the other cultures and races of the world. While still steeped in the historical detail that readers should expect from David Anthony Durham, The Other Lands is also chock full of wonder, delight, and tells an exciting story about a threat to the Akaran Empire far greater than any seen before. It builds and builds, topping the reader off with tension.

Now, this is the middle volume of a trilogy, so while Durham does work in complete story arcs, The Other Lands does serve to set up what is likely to be an explosive conclusion when Durham publishes the final volume.

The big mistake I mentioned earlier was simply in waiting so long to read this. Though The Other Lands is worth waiting for, it is a book that you shouldn’t wait on. It should just be read. Read Acacia, then read this. You should have anyway.

Previous Reviews:
Acacia

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cover Art for The Shattered Pillars

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Via Aidan Moher



Damn, that's a gorgeous cover.

That's The Shattered Pillars, the follow up to Range of Ghosts.  Art by Donato Giancola.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dominic Harman

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Something I plan to do over the coming weeks is spotlight a number of artists working today.

We’re going to start with Dominic Harman.

Harman is responsible for a number of covers you may recognize. He’s done some Naomi Novik Temeraire work, the SubPress Swords and Dark Magic cover, the James Enge covers for Pyr, Alan Campbell and some nice work on Jo Anderton’s debut novel Debris.









What do you think of Dominic Harman’s art?

All images copyright Dominic Harman.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Ending of Feed

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To follow on from my previous post talking about Feed, I want to talk a little bit about how Grant ended the novel. Yes, this will include the actual events of what happened at the end – so in case you like your spoilers unspoiled, you have been warned.

Feed is centered on the first person perspective and voice of Georgia Mason. This, ultimately, is her story. Though, like a good newsie, I’m sure she would disagree and say that “her story” is the pursuit of “truth” and reporting the news the way it should be told.

So what happens when an author kills off the main protagonist of a novel / series near the end of the first novel? It helps with the sense of narrative tension. Even in a first person perspective story – the narrator can and will die. This is somewhat different than what George R. R. Martin did in A Game of Thrones because even though that character was considered a primary protagonist – it was a multiple perspective narrative. Feed isn’t. It hinged on Georgia’s voice and the reader’s willingness to follow her. So, Grant’s willingness to kill her off is fascinating to me. It worked in the context of the novel (besides being an overall “oh shit“ moment) and the scene with Georgia and Shaun in the van is heartbreaking (though, the actual blog post seemed a little contrived, but we’ll move past that).

But where do you go from there? The novel is finished in with Shaun’s perspective and we know that Deadline will also follow Shaun. Or, it will initially follow Shaun. Who knows if Grant will whack him, too. That’s part of the fun, but the thing is that Georgia’s voice worked over the course of Feed. Will Shaun’s voice work over the course of Deadline? I don’t know.

It’s an interesting choice.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Feed, by Mira Grant

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Feed
Mira Grant
Orbit: 2010

Sometimes it takes multiple award nominations across a series to get me to read a book, sometimes even that doesn’t work. Feed was nominated for the 2011 Hugo Award and the sequel, Deadline, is nominated for the 2012 Hugo Award (as is a companion novella Countdown).


Mira Grant’s Feed takes the zombie apocalypse story in a somewhat different direction. The zombies operate in a fairly standard manner. Zombification is caused by a virus outbreak and is otherwise known as “viral amplification”. Grant talks around science just enough that she creates a reasonably believable world – both in how the original outbreak occurred as well as the ways in which humanity and civilization have survived. The world of the Newsflesh Trilogy does not simply have pockets of survivors, it has cities and towns which have fashioned a way to survive. Government has survived in a recognizable manner, as has the Centers for Disease Control. This is a recognizable world to our own, only with zombies.

The different direction Mira Grant takes the reader is in the presentation. The protagonists of the novel are bloggers. No, really. Traditional news media still exists and still has a prominent role in the world, but an organized and licensed blogging culture came out following the outbreak and several decades later, that’s where a significant function of news is provided from.


Feed is narrated by Georgia Mason as she and her immediate team are the first bloggers invited to follow a Presidential campaign, that of Senator Ryman from Wisconsin, the first candidate to have been born in the years after the outbreak.

Besides my endless fascination with post apocalyptic worlds and how civilization breaks down, where Feed works is in the narrative voice of Georgia. Georgia is a “newsie”, which means that her role as a blogger is to report fact unvarnished by the slant of personal opinion. She is the driving force of Feed, which besides the coverage of Senator Ryman’s campaign, also involves the uncovering of conspiracy. Not that of the original outbreak, that’s fairly well defined in the novel and by the overall knowledge base of the world. But, if Presidential politics is a world of shadows and where power brokers work to manipulate events in a particular direction, of course there is something to uncover. As a newsie, as a journalist, of course Georgia will pursue it.

While a couple of events in the novel come across as weirdly convenient, Grant does not spare her characters or the reader. This is a zombie novel and though civilization has not been completely overrun by zombies, the world isn’t safe. Neither are the characters. Any of them.

The greatest success of Feed is that it is such an engaging novel. Readers will likely care about Georgia, Shaun (her brother), and Buffy (the third of the team) and most importantly, readers will want to know more, to keep turning the pages to see what happens next and how the story develops. It is a novel to be devoured in large chunks (pun semi-intended). As the first in a stated trilogy, I can’t wait to see where Mira Grant takes us with the next two novels – especially given how she ended Feed – which is something I would like to talk more about, but don’t want to be too spoilerific. Perhaps in a second post

Monday, April 16, 2012

No Winner for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction?

Monday, April 16, 2012 3
Via Omnivoracious

The 2012 Pulitzer prizewinners and nominated finalists were announced today, and there was no winner for the Fiction Prize. Last year's winner was Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad.

This year's finalists in fiction were Train Dreams by Denis Johnson, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, and The Pale King by David Foster Wallace.


Well, that’s interesting. The last time no award was given out for Fiction was 1977. Before that, 1974 and 1971. In total, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has not been awarded ten times. This includes the period from 1918 to 1947 when it was the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel.

I am very far behind on my Pulitzer Prize reading, so at the very least, the committee has given me an additional year to help catch up without an additional winner.

Looking at the history of the award, I’ve always wondered what went on behind the scenes for the jury to arrive at “No Award” as the best option. I assume it’s the inability to find consensus, but I’d just love to get more of the story on how that came to be – this year and previous years.

Below are the other winners of this year’s Pulitzer:

LETTERS, DRAMA and MUSIC

Fiction - No award
Drama - "Water by the Spoonful" by Quiara Alegría Hudes
History - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by the late Manning Marable (Viking)
Biography - George F. Kennan: An American Life, by John Lewis Gaddis (The Penguin Press)
Poetry - Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf Press)
General Nonfiction - The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt (W.W. Norton and Company)
Music - Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts by Kevin Puts (Aperto Press)

JOURNALISM

Public Service - The Philadelphia Inquirer
Breaking News Reporting - The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News Staff
Investigative Reporting - Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley of the Associated Press and Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong of The Seattle Times
Explanatory Reporting - David Kocieniewski of The New York Times
Local Reporting - Sara Ganim and members of The Patriot-News Staff, Harrisburg, Penn
National Reporting - David Wood of The Huffington Post
International Reporting - Jeffrey Gettleman of The New York Times
Feature Writing - Eli Sanders of The Stranger, a Seattle (Wash.) weekly
Commentary - Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune
Criticism -Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe
Editorial Writing - No award
Editorial Cartooning - Matt Wuerker of POLITICO
Breaking News Photography - Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse
Feature Photography - Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Casual Vacancy

Friday, April 13, 2012 1
(Via Omnivoracious, A Dribble of Ink, MTV Geek, and, well, the internet.)


We’ve known for a couple of months that J. K. Rowling’s first post Harry Potter novel was, officially, to be for the adult population. Now we have a title, The Casual Vacancy, and a date, September 27.

From the publisher, Little Brown:

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.


The two big questions are: 1) How will Jo Rowling do writing outside of the Harry Potter series she is known for and, 2) How will readers respond to non-Harry Potter work from Rowling?

There is a certain sense of expectation with this book, something that Rowling has to realize that she’ll never live up to. At the same time, I’m looking forward to seeing what else she can do. I just need to make sure to shut down the part of my brain that may try to compare it to Harry Potter and accept The Casual Vacancy on its own terms. Based on the very little that has been announced, it’s got potential.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Christopher Garcia on fanzines

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1
Sure, the post is two weeks old, but I just read it.  Christopher Garcia guest posted over at Aidan's blog about fanzines with an excellent essay titled "Ma Vie en Zines", which I highly recommend to folks.

Two excerpts:


To me, a zine has a feeling of completeness to it. It’s not a record of a moment; it’s a record of a period of collaboration. There are zines that are entirely the work of one person, but they’re getting rarer and rarer, it seems. In a way, those are the precursors of blogs, as I see it. Most zines are a mixture of writing and art, laid out in some form. The end result is an artifact; something with cohesion and a sense of togetherness. Many would say that Zines are a form of communication, and I’m not quite sure I agree. There are lots of ways to communicate, and I’d never really use a zine for that. To me, it’s a place for presentation, to show some of what you’re thinking, to show off the work of other folks. I’m lucky in that I’ve got a band of friends who are willing to send stuff to me to include in the zines.

and


There are challenges that face zines. There’s the general aging of a lot of Fanzine Fandom. While we’ve got a string of youth woven in at the moment, there’s a lot of folks in their 50s and 60s. There’s the ever-increasing number of folks who might have gone in for fanzines back in the day who are now finding themselves blogging or engaged in other kinds of writing. There’s the costs of printing for those who enjoy the feel of their works on paper. There’s the problem of getting folks to notice what you’re doing. There are so many other forms of writing out there, and the view that Fanzines are an old folks’ pastime has helped to keep younger fans from checking out what’s going on in the world of zines.

 I appreciate the perspective that Garcia offers, being a younger writer working in the more traditional style of fanzines.  He's something of a bridge. 

In regards to the Hugo Awards, I'm obviously a strong proponent of greater inclusion of blogs in the fanzine category.  But, this is the only time of year I even think about fanzines as fanzines.  The rest of the time I play in my small island of the internet, read books, and do whatever else it is that I do that I don't talk about here. 

That's why Garcia's post is so cool.  He made me think more about fanzines, some of their history, and some of where their relevance may still be.  I don't think that I'm necessarily going to seek out a whole host of them since I don't read as many books as I'd like, nor as many blogs as I used to, but I dig the perspective that I was sorely lacking. 

Monday, April 09, 2012

Initial Thoughts on the 2012 Hugo Nominees

Monday, April 09, 2012 2
So, the Hugo Awards.  I have thoughts.  This isn't so much an argument with everyone griping or expressing basic satisfaction with the awards as it is my general thoughts based on what I've read and what I think.

The short version is that I'm generally satisfied with the lineup.  There are things I'd change (given that I did submit a nomination ballot), but as a whole it's solid.  I do think that, overall, the Nebula Awards has a more interesting shortlist, but this isn't bad.  I'll post more about some of the individual categories when I have the chance to read all of the nominees. 

Best Novel
  • Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)
  • A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
  • Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey)
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

The only one of the five nominees I’ve read is Among Others. It was my favorite novel published last year and I believe it is going to take something special to supplant it as my number one choice in a couple of months when I vote. The trouble for me here is that even though I’ve already read the first four novels in A Song of Ice and Fire, I had planned to do a gradual series re-read before stepping into A Dance With Dragons. Thus far, I’ve only re-read the first book. Do I want to push through A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast of Crows in the next three months just to read A Dance With Dragons? Or, do I want to go in fairly cold and deal with the novel with imperfect memories of what came before?

Likewise with Deadline, my plan is to read Feed first. I’ve already requested it. My opinion of Feed will definitely shape whether I wish to continue on with Deadline. I’ll step into the other two nominees as well.


    Best Novella

    I haven’t read Countdown or “The Ice Owl”. For the rest, I think that “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” may be the strongest on the slate. Granting that I was left completely baffled by Catherynne Valente’s story, “The Man Who Ended History” is the most inventive story and is one of a series of excellent stories published by Ken Liu last year – it was excellent and would be a worthy winner, but it left me a touch cold even with the personal aspect of the documentary storytelling. I admire the craft of the story, but part of what I look for is a connection. I had that more with the consistently excellent Kij Johnson.

    Best Novelette
    • The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s July 2011)
    • Fields of Gold” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse Four)
    • “Ray of Light” by Brad R. Torgersen (Analog December 2011)
    • Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor.com)
    • “What We Found” by Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction March/April 2011)

    I’ve raved about Charlie Jane Anders’ “Six Months, Three Days” and continue to recommend it. Go read it. Otherwise, I’ve only read Rachel Swirsky’s “Fields of Gold”. I liked it, but right now Charlie Jane Anders is going to be the class of the field. That was also the case in a strong Nebula category. Yes, I understand that I’m stating this while still needing to read three of the nominated stories.

    Best Short Story

    I still need to read the Resnick and Scalzi. The other three nominees: excellent! Each of those were on my ballot for very good reason. Whether he pulls it off this year or not, Ken Liu is going to have to deal with the fact that very soon people are going to start throwing awards at him. I suggest plate mail as a viable defense. Or a force field. “The Paper Menagerie” is a heartfelt quiet story with regret and heartbreak and it’s a beautiful piece. The problem is that Nancy Fulda’s “Movement” is likewise beautiful that touches on the challenge of raising a child with a form of autism AND the hidden worlds of what may be going on in the mind of such a child and what occurs in those spaces between inadequate responses. E. Lily Yu’s “Cartographer Wasps…” is a powerful work of imagination and I really hope to see a lot more from Yu. I love this category.

    Best Related Work
    • The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight (Gollancz)
    • Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel (Fantastic Books)
    • The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature by Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers (Abrams Image)
    • Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire
    • Writing Excuses, Season 6 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson

    I have no idea. I’ll have the chance to browse through the Encyclopedia and listen to a few of the Writing Excuses podcasts, but I’m not at all familiar with.

    Best Graphic Story
    • Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)
    • Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
    • Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
    • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
    • The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)

    Fables and Schlock Mercenary continue to be nominated for the fourth consecutive year. The Unwritten is on its second year and I wasn’t a fan of its first collection of comics. I’ve been a bit sketchy on how the eligibility cycle works and since I don’t read single issues, I can only consider collections as a single entity – which is fine, but I think the category is in a time of growing pains as readers try to figure out what they liked best out and recognize work for excellence. But, with such a limited nominating pool, if folks don’t read widely in comics, it’ll be all too easy to see the same ongoing series nominated and winning again and again and again (see the Doctor Who Award for Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form, or happily, the changing of the guard in the Locus Award for Best Semiprozine). Luckily, Girl Genius was not nominated this year – and whether they didn’t have an eligible collection or they declined the nomination, I don’t know. But four years of Girl Genius winning would be a bit much. And, admitting my bias, I don’t know that I really consider it to be the best work out there. But then, I could also read more widely.

    And with all of this said – Locke and Key. That was an excellent book.

    Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
    • Captain America: The First Avenger, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephan McFeely, directed by Joe Johnston (Marvel)
    • Game of Thrones (Season 1), created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss; written by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin; directed by Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor (HBO)
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner Bros.)
    • Hugo, screenplay by John Logan; directed by Martin Scorsese (Paramount)
    • Source Code, screenplay by Ben Ripley; directed by Duncan Jones (Vendome Pictures)

    Can I just assume Game of Thrones? I think it’ll happen. Captain America wasn’t that good of a movie. Harry Potter 7.5 was fine, but far better than Captain America. Haven’t seen Hugo or Source Code. Or, as a whole, I don’t care about this category.

    Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
    • “The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who), written by Neil Gaiman; directed by Richard Clark (BBC Wales)
    • The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech,” Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon (Renovation)
    • “The Girl Who Waited” (Doctor Who), written by Tom MacRae; directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales)
    • “A Good Man Goes to War” (Doctor Who), written by Steven Moffat; directed by Peter Hoar (BBC Wales)
    • “Remedial Chaos Theory” (Community), written by Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna; directed by Jeff Melman (NBC)

    I need to double check a couple of Doctor Who episodes, but I think “The Girl Who Waited”. That was an excellent and moving episode. I’m not going to begin to get into the consistent nominating of Doctor Who to the near exclusion of everything else. I don’t watch enough SFF television. Hell, I watched an episode of Swamp People last night and despite my horror, I couldn’t look away. So maybe I’m to blame for this mess. The interesting nominee here is “The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech”, which has to be one of those most weirdly recursive nominations of all time. If you watch it (and you should, it’s really short), it’s obvious how meaningful that moment and that win was to Christopher Garcia. It’s a fantastic moment, though I’ll admit to being somewhat uncomfortable watching it. Should it have been nominated? I don’t know, but better that than a fourth episode of Doctor Who.

    Best Semiprozine

    Lightspeed had an excellent year, but I didn’t read Apex or Interzone last year (except for the one story Elizabeth Bear had published in Apex – good story, by the way). I don’t subscribe to Locus, though I find great value in its forthcoming fiction list. So, Lightspeed.

    Best Fanzine

    SF Signal! I think this is a very important nomination because I very firmly believe that blogs are where the heart of the modern fanzine lives today. There is still a small but strong community built around the old style mimeographed fanzines of yesteryear, the most prominent of which are still being published and launched online at e-fanzines (and possibly still existing in print), but so many more fans are gathering online and writing blogs, commenting on others, contributing, and engaging in meaningful conversations in a way that builds fandom. Yes, small islands exist in this online fandom, but I believe that small islands always existed with the old style fanzine.

    If the fanzine category should exist (and why shouldn’t it), I think it should continue to grow and reflect the times of the day – which is what the inclusion of SF Signal reflects. I think and hope that we will see more blogs involved in this category. I’ve several in mind which I can see from my little island, but as fandom shifts and flows, we’ll likely see others nominated which I had never considered because I’m not part of that corner. That’s more than okay, it’s awesome.

    I’ve read File 770 in the past and have enjoyed what Mike Glyer does. I’m not so familiar with Banana Wings, The Drink Tank, or Journey Planet. If they exist in an online format (beyond a PDF at e-fanzines), I’ll have to check them out.

    Best Fancast

    I’m not at all part of this community and haven’t engaged with podcasts much at all, so I have nothing to say here.

    Best Professional Editor — Long Form

    You know what I’d like to see? Some sort of centralized database or listing where you can look at an editor’s output for a given year. What did Lou Anders edit from the 2011 slate? Well, with Pyr, I believe it would be everything. But that’s not the case with Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Tor published a LOT in 2011. How much awesomeness was Liz Gorinsky responsible for? Honestly, if you’re not checking the editor of every book you read (assuming that information is even available inside the cover), making a list, and compiling it throughout the year – how do you really get a sense for it?

    Best Professional Editor — Short Form

    There are two ways to look at this category. 1) Find your favorite ‘zine and nominate the editor responsible for it (Ann Leckie at GigaNotoSaurus, I love what you’re doing even if you didn’t get nominated this year). 2) Look at who published some awesome anthologies and nominate accordingly. It’s a solid lineup this year, even if Ann Leckie wasn’t nominated. I don’t subscribe to Analog or Asimov’s and while I tend to appreciate Asimov’s nominated fiction, when I had previously subscribed to, I didn’t find Asimov’s to be a consistently engaging publication. The highs were high. Everything else was just okay but not enough to make me re-subscribe. This statement is based on a one year subscription from several years ago. For me, this is between John Joseph Adams and Jonathan Strahan. (And Ann Leckie!)

    Best Professional Artist

    Due to various reasons, I didn’t engage with the genre art scene as much this year as I would have wanted to. I’ll spend some time working through the various catalogs of our nominees. I hope to do a much better job looking at and talking about the professional artists this year, even if I don’t know how to talk about it beyond instinctive response to a cover. Also – do we only consider cover art when we think of this category. If not, what do we consider?

    Best Fan Artist

    I am not engaged at all in the fan art community. I have no idea what’s going on there.

    Best Fan Writer 

    Whenever someone links to Jim C. Hines I am always struck by how smart the man is and how well he thinks through his arguments. And yet, I still haven’t read his books. But, this is about his fan writing, not his professional writing. I’m not familiar with the others.

    John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
    E. Lily Yu! Actually, I haven’t read the other four, but it appears to be a strong lineup this year. By “strong lineup”, I mean to say that I’ve heard of the writers and, correspondingly, have heard good things.

    Sunday, April 08, 2012

    2012 Hugo Award Nominees

    Sunday, April 08, 2012 2
    (Via the Hugo Award Nominated SF Signal)

    For a point of comparison, here is my nomination ballot.  A number of my nominations made the ballot (17.5, if my count is correct - I nominated Sean Wallace for Clarkesworld's fiction and not Neil Clarke for the whole thing), which is all sorts of awesome.

    Best Novel
    • Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)
    • A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
    • Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit)
    • Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey)
    • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

    Best Novella
    Best Novelette
    • The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s July 2011)
    • Fields of Gold” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse Four)
    • “Ray of Light” by Brad R. Torgersen (Analog December 2011)
    • Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor.com)
    • “What We Found” by Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction March/April 2011)
    Best Short Story
    Best Related Work
    • The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight (Gollancz)
    • Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel (Fantastic Books)
    • The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature by Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers (Abrams Image)
    • Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire
    • Writing Excuses, Season 6 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson
    Best Graphic Story
    • Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)
    • Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
    • Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
    • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
    • The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
    Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
    • Captain America: The First Avenger, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephan McFeely, directed by Joe Johnston (Marvel)
    • Game of Thrones (Season 1), created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss; written by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin; directed by Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor (HBO)
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner Bros.)
    • Hugo, screenplay by John Logan; directed by Martin Scorsese (Paramount)
    • Source Code, screenplay by Ben Ripley; directed by Duncan Jones (Vendome Pictures)
    Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
    • “The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who), written by Neil Gaiman; directed by Richard Clark (BBC Wales)
    • The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech,” Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon (Renovation)
    • “The Girl Who Waited” (Doctor Who), written by Tom MacRae; directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Wales)
    • “A Good Man Goes to War” (Doctor Who), written by Steven Moffat; directed by Peter Hoar (BBC Wales)
    • “Remedial Chaos Theory” (Community), written by Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna; directed by Jeff Melman (NBC)
    Best Semiprozine
    Best Fanzine
    Best Fancast
    Best Professional Editor — Long Form
    Best Professional Editor — Short Form
    Best Professional Artist
    Best Fan Artist
    Best Fan Writer 
    John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
    Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2010 or 2011, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award, * = 2nd year of eligibility).

    Congratulations to all the nominees, but I would like to offer up some extra congratulations to the following: Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Liu (two excellent stories), E. Lily Yu, Rachel Swirsky, Charlie Jane Anders for what is probably my favorite story of the year - you're friggin awesome, John Scalzi for managing to have a well crafted April Fool's Joke get nominated - well done, sir, and John DeNardo at SF Signal - I am beyond happy to see that nomination.  I am absolutely thrilled. 

    As I get the chance, I'll update this post with links to as many of the nominated stories as make it online.  A number of them are already.
     
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