Saturday, August 09, 2008

2008 Hugo Award Winners

Thanks Larry for the list (and to David Anthony Durham for the heads up about MRK's Campbell!):

Best Novel:
The Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon

Best Novella:
"All Seated on the Ground", by Connie Willis

Best Novelette:
"The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate", by Ted Chiang

Best Short Story:
"Tideline", by Elizabeth Bear

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Mary Robinette Kowal

Excitement!!! Seriously, I couldn't be happier for Mary Robinette Kowal right now. I love her short fiction and I've had the opportunity to advance read some of her stories and she's just awesome (and rather nice over e-mail, I might add). I want to see pictures of the official Campbell Tiara. I believe both Bear and John Scalzi have previously worn it. :)

Further Excitement! Elizabeth Bear wins a Hugo! Bear's fiction is also awesome, and rather nice in person. That this isn't the story of Bear's I would have chosen for a Hugo does nothing to lessen my happiness that Bear's getting to put "Hugo Winner" next to her name.

Can't say I'm too surprised about Ted Chiang's win. Great story, as one would expect from Chiang.

Some folks don't like Connie Willis, but obviously the Hugo voters do. I thought the story was delightful.

Never finished the Chabon novel, but not surprised about that one. It's been winning everything else, so why not this one, too?

Oh, and John Scalzi beat some chap named Langford for Fan Writer. I read an Ansible column once and didn't see what the big deal was.

Folks I like won, that makes me happy. A couple of stories I liked one, that makes me almost as happy as seeing people I like win.


Elizabeth Bear said...

Campbell tiara:

Little known fact: It is copper and swarovski crystal, and was manufactured by Amanda Downum in her jeweler guise.

And Cory Doctorow wore it too. *g*

Joe said...

Delightful! Thanks.

I should have clarified, though. I'd like to see a pic of MRK wearing the Campbell Tiara. Though...there is now a special place in my heart for the picture of Scalzi in tiara.

And congrats to you!!

John Scalzi said...

Mary says thanks!

Mary Robinette Kowal said...

Joe, you are wonderful. Thank you!

Jonathan M said...

The thing about Ansible is demographics.

The thing to remember about the Hugos is that online fandom is only a certain element of a wider and much older sub-culture. Langford has a long history as a notable fan and I get the impression the Ansible has served in the past as a kind of "State of the Union" for fandom as a sub-culture.

If you're not a part of that wider sub-culture then Ansible just looks like a monthly blog/link collection.

Similarly, if you look at the nominations for the fan writer award you'll see loads of people who have zero online presence but are evidently huge out there in the sub-culture.

It's like the fact that the worldcon invited a folk singer to be a special guest. If you're not part of the con-going demographic then it looks like utter lunacy.

Joe said...

Jonathan: Good point about the demographics. I know (or believe) that given the relatively small number of Hugo voters the nominees in certain categories would tend to repeat and fit a certain genre perspective and this is likely evident, as you said, in Fan Writer with Dave Langford.

Obviously, the voters are his readers and have a different feel for where Langford's place is within the genre and what it serves.

And that's cool. I'm not arguing or grumbling about it at all. It is what it is. I suspect at some point, given that Scalzi just picked off Langford, that more online blogs are going to get recognized. More than likely it'll be someplace like the Fantasy Hotlist (not really MY favorite, I'd go for someone like Larry Nolan or Grasping for the Wind).

I haven't been around that long looking at SFF as a community and only went to my first Con this year.

Jonathan M said...

I've only been to a one day thing myself and didn't think a huge amount of it. Nowhere near as much fun as the critics' thing I went to and that wasn't a convention.

The fact that the Hugos are representative of quite a small demographic is only really problematic when you want to start inferring something about the winners. Unfortunately many people want to make that leap.

Joe said...

I had a great time at my one con, but it was a small one. I suspect I might feel a bit lost in a large con.

I'm not willing to make the leap. The way I see these awards is that they provide a great reading list for me and hopefully provides greater recognition for talented writers so they are better able to continue to get their name out and gain readers.

I don't know if Bear's Hugo will translate to any sales, but I hope it does. I hope that Kowal's Campbell can provide a boost to her career.

In general, I just hope that nomination lists and the announcement of winners provides more conversation about writers and stories.

Anything else is gravy, I think.