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
• 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.
• "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.
• "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.
• 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)
• 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.
• 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