Back to previous post: Happy birthday

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Cognitive dissonance: Bush in Cleveland

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

March 22, 2006

Hugo and Campbell finalists
Posted by Patrick at 08:30 AM * 111 comments

[Note: Post contains mind-numbing amounts of SF-industry inside-baseball. Skip or read as you see fit.]

The Hugo and Campbell award finalists have been announced. (Complete list below the fold.) Regular readers of Making Light will be unsurprised to know that I’m pleased to see Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin, one of Teresa’s editorial projects for Tor, among the five finalists for Best Novel. I’m equally pleased to see that two books I handled also made the final ballot: Ken MacLeod’s outstanding first-contact novel, Learning the World, and John Scalzi’s highly assured debut, Old Man’s War. Scalzi is also among the finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, which marks the first time in 22 years (and only the second time ever) that a Campbell finalist has also appeared on the Best Novel shortlist.

The presence of Scalzi’s book sent me back through Hugo Award history, looking at the first novels that have been shortlisted in the past. It’s one of our subcultural myths that we’re “neophilic,” that we routinely acclaim strong new work, and in fact since the first Hugo Awards in 1953, fully 22 debut novels have been among the finalists. Five of them have won, most recently last year’s winner, Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. What’s much more striking, though, is that of those 22 first novels, 19 were published prior to 1985. In the last two decades, only three first novels have made the shortlists: Maureen F. McHugh’s China Mountain Zhang, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and now Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. In that time, there have certainly been other debut novels which excited large portions of the SF and fantasy field, but for whatever reason, they didn’t make the Hugo ballot.

In a post to his own weblog, Scalzi expresses regret that I personally didn’t make the “Best Professional Editor” ballot, despite the fact that I acquired three out of the five Best Novel nominees and personally shepherded two of them to publication. This is generous of John, and I wouldn’t have declined the nomination, but in fact as every book editor in our field knows, while the Best Professional Hugo is regularly awarded to high-profile magazine editors and anthologists, it only goes to book editors if we die. It’s for this reason that there’s a pending proposal to split the editorial award into “long form” and “short form” categories; whether this will be ratified by this year’s Worldcon Business Meeting is anyone’s guess. Personally, I note that David Hartwell has been a finalist for Best Professional Editor 15 times, leaving aside his 17 further nominations for the New York Review of Science Fiction, and that he’s never won a Hugo of any kind. Pretty shabby treatment for an individual who is by any measure one of the best and most influential editors in the eighty-year history of our field. Whether or not the World SF Convention decides to reform the editor award, it’s years past time one went to Hartwell.

Best Novel
Learning the World, Ken MacLeod (Orbit; Tor)
A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin (Voyager; Bantam Spectra)
Old Man’s War, John Scalzi (Tor)
Accelerando, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit)
Spin, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)

Best Novella
Burn, James Patrick Kelly (Tachyon)
“Magic for Beginners”, Kelly Link (Magic for Beginners, Small Beer Press; F&SF, September 2005)
“The Little Goddess”, Ian McDonald (Asimov’s, June 2005)
“Identity Theft”, Robert J. Sawyer (Down These Dark Spaceways, SFBC)
“Inside Job”, Connie Willis (Asimov’s, January 2005)

Best Novelette
“The Calorie Man”, Paolo Bacigalupi (F&SF, October/November 2005)
“Two Hearts”, Peter S. Beagle (F&SF, October/November 2005)
“TelePresence”, Michael A. Burstein (Analog, July/August 2005)
“I, Robot”, Cory Doctorow (The Infinite Matrix, February 15, 2005)
“The King of Where-I-Go”, Howard Waldrop (SCI FICTION, December 7, 2005)

Best Short Story
“Seventy-Five Years”, Michael A. Burstein (Analog, January/February 2005)
“The Clockwork Atom Bomb”, Dominic Green (Interzone, May/June 2005)
“Singing My Sister Down”, Margo Lanagan (Black Juice, Allen & Unwin; Eos)
“Tk’tk’tk”, David D. Levine (Asimov’s, March 2005)
“Down Memory Lane”, Mike Resnick (Asimov’s, April/May 2005)

Best Related Book
Transformations: The Story of the Science Fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970, Mike Ashley (Liverpool)
The SEX Column and Other Misprints, David Langford(Cosmos)
Science Fiction Quotations, edited by Gary Westfahl (Yale)
Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, Kate Wilhelm (Small Beer Press)
Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996, Gary K. Wolfe (Beccon)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Batman Begins. Story by David S. Goyer. Screenplay by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Based on the character created by Bob Kane. Directed by Christopher Nolan. (Warner Bros.)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Screenplay by Ann Peacock and Andrew Adamson and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Based on the novel by C.S. Lewis. Directed by Andrew Adamson. (Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Screenplay by Steven Kloves. Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. Directed by Mike Newell. (Warner Bros.)
Serenity. Written & directed by Joss Whedon. (Universal Pictures/Mutant Enemy, Inc.)
Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were_Rabbit. Screenplay by Steve Box & Nick Park and Bob Baker and Mark Burton. Directed by Nick Park & Steve Box. (Dreamworks Animation/Aardman Animation).

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Battlestar Galactica, “Pegasus.” Written by Anne Cofell Saunders. Directed by Michael Rymer. (NBC Universal/British Sky Broadcasting)
Doctor Who, “Dalek.” Written by Robert Shearman. Directed by Joe Ahearne. (BBC Wales/BBC1)
Doctor Who, “The Empty Child” & “The Doctor Dances.” Written by Steven Moffat. Directed by James Hawes. (BBC Wales/BBC1)
Doctor Who, “Father’s Day.” Written by Paul Cornell. Directed by Joe Ahearne. (BBC Wales/BBC1)
Jack-Jack Attack. Written & Directed by Brad Bird. (Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation)
Lucas Back in Anger. Written by Phil Raines and Ian Sorensen. Directed, Phil Raines. (Reductio Ad Absurdum Productions)
Prix Victor Hugo Awards Ceremony (Opening Speech and Framing Sequences). Written and performed by Paul McAuley and Kim Newman. Directed by Mike & Debby Moir.

Best Professional Editor
Ellen Datlow (SCI FICTION and anthologies)
David G. Hartwell (Tor Books; Year’s Best SF)
Stanley Schmidt (Analog)
Gordon Van Gelder (F&SF)
Sheila Williams (Asimov’s)

Best Professional Artist
Jim Burns
Bob Eggleton
Donato Giancola
Stephan Martiniere
John Picacio
Michael Whelan

Best Semiprozine
Ansible edited by Dave Langford
Emerald City edited by Cheryl Morgan
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
The New York Review of Science Fiction edited by Kathryn Cramer, David G. Hartwell & Kevin J. Maroney

Best Fanzine
Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey & Mark Plummer
Challenger edited by Guy H. Lillian III
Chunga edited by Andy Hooper, Randy Byers & carl juarez
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
Plokta edited by Alison Scott, Steve Davies & Mike Scott

Best Fan Writer
Claire Brialey
John Hertz
Dave Langford
Cheryl Morgan
Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist
Brad Foster
Teddy Harvia
Sue Mason
Steve Stiles
Frank Wu

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer of 2004 or 2005
[Not a Hugo. Sponsored by Dell Magazines.]
K.J. Bishop (2nd year of eligibility)
Sarah Monette (2nd year of eligibility)
Chris Roberson (2nd year of eligibility)
Brandon Sanderson (1st year of eligibility)
John Scalzi (1st year of eligibility)
Steph Swainston (2nd year of eligibility)

Comments on Hugo and Campbell finalists:
#1 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 08:55 AM:

Note: Post contains mind-numbing amounts of SF-industry inside-baseball. Skip or read as you see fit.

You call that "mind-numbing amounts"?

I know mind-numbing amounts. Mind-numbing amounts is a friend of mind. Senator, that was no mind-numbing amount.

Congratulations to you and Teresa on the nominations for the books you edited.

And as for the proposed long and short form split of the editorial award... it is manifestly wrong that you and other book editors, most notably, as you say, David Hartwell, have been overlooked so often in favor of short form editors. It's nothing against the short form editors, of course. They should be recognized for their exceptional work. But I mean... the evidence is in, I should think, and it's clear there's something wrong with the system. The split seems to me a perfectly reasonable way to address the problem. I wonder that it hasn't been done before now.

#2 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 09:27 AM:

it only goes to book editors if we die.

That seems a little silly:

if(editor.state == dead) {
editor.quality_of_work += 1;
}

Who wrote this specification anyway?

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 09:49 AM:

I don't know; but hereabouts (I'm at Tor right now), one of the ways to say "please take better care of yourself" is "Don't win the Best Editor Hugo."

#4 ::: Melody ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 10:29 AM:

Congratulations to John Scalzi as well, for the dual noms! Let's see - recognized author, insightful ML commenter, fine blogger...yup, got the hat trick.


#5 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 10:48 AM:

I don't know; but hereabouts (I'm at Tor right now), one of the ways to say "please take better care of yourself" is "Don't win the Best Editor Hugo."

Heh.

Something interesting. I've read two of, and encountered two more of, the Best Novel candidates. I've seen most of the Dramatic Presentations, both long and short. But the only novella-or-shorter ones I've even encountered are Kelly Link's, because I twigged to her name when I was working for the Creative Commons (she released Stranger Things Happen under a CC license), and Cory Doctorow's (for many of the same reasons, of course, though I know I read it before I was working there).

I realize I could just look at the publication sources of the various shorts, and the "Best Editor" and "Best Semiprozine" (what defines a semiprozine, anyway?) categories, but I feel that doing that for one year is drawing too much conclusion from not enough data.

So I'm wondering, how much and what of does a person have to read to stay reasonably abreast of developments in short SF? I mean, is just subscribing to Asimov's, F&SF, and Analog sufficient to catch most of it, or is there a better way to be able to make an informed decision?

And yes, I know I can--and I might--look into the Year's Best anthologies, but I'd be interested in keeping up as it happened, not ex post facto.

#6 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 10:56 AM:

Well, these days, there's a growing tendency for the finalists in the short-fiction categories to make their nominated stories freely available online, for the duration of the voting period. I suspect that within a week or three, you'll be able to read most of the work in those three categories.

#7 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 11:19 AM:

David Hartwell has never won a Hugo? Look at it this way, Cary Grant never won an Oscar.

#8 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 11:23 AM:

More inside baseball please.

The last issue of inside baseball netted a copy of Spin just before a trip through several airports. The trip was much better for the distraction.

Several of these books have now been added to the wishlist.

#9 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 11:30 AM:

And I should add congratulations to your regular commenter, Charlie Stross, for his Hugo nomination. I've yet to read the others, but Accelerando is a stunning book.

#10 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 11:41 AM:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form:

Hm, lets see now...

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (Nope. sorry, I had a problem with Santa Claus handing out weapons of war, and a teenager who spent his life in the suburbs leading an army to victory.)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (nope. Sorry. I had a problem with the plot hingeing on the bad guy wanting to capture Harry by putting a spell on the Tri-Wizard Cup, then making sure Harry won three irrelevant quests in some unrelated contest, so he'd get the cup. Could have just put the same teleport spell on Harry's toothbrush, and bypassed the whole contest. There'd be no movie, of course, but maybe that isn't a bad thing.)

Serenity (Sorry, liked the series. disappointed with the movie. Did he kill off so many characters to prevent being forced into doing a sequel? Cortez burning his ships?)

Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were_Rabbit (actually funny, but more of a made-for-TV movie, than a spend-a-bucket-of-money-for-the-theater movie.)

Batman Begins (Yowsers! I liked this movie. Seeing Bruce Wayne lose his way in a prison in China made me really believe his transition to batman, in a show-me-dont-tell-me way. Now if they could have rewritten the female character to not be a righteous bitch, it would be perfect. Oh, and the "Tumbler", when viewed in a theater with 12,000 watts of surround sound, to the point where it shakes your seat, was f-ing awesome.)

#11 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 11:48 AM:

Accelerando, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit)

Since Charlie got so much abuse from me on the copyright thread, I'll try to make a peace offering by buying a copy of his book.

And I still need to get a copy of Spin.

And I'm currently reading "one hundred years of solitude" and it seems like it's taking me one hundred years to finish it.

#12 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 11:49 AM:

Inside baseball is great, but for those of us who aren't tied into SF fandom and thus somewhat ignorant about the game, how does the Hugo award differ from the Nebula? And what sort of biases are reflected in each?

#13 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 11:50 AM:

The last issue of inside baseball netted a copy of Spin just before a trip through several airports. The trip was much better for the distraction.

That's good to hear, since I've got a copy waiting patiently for a transatlantic flight I'll be taking next week.

#14 ::: Soli ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 11:52 AM:

(and only the second time ever) that a Campbell finalist has also appeared on the Best Novel shortlist.

Who's the other?

I've got Spin on tap as my next fiction read. This should be damn good.

#15 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 12:03 PM:

Greg London... How could you forget Fantastic Four in the Best Dramatic Presentation category? I mean, would you forget going thru a bout of food poisoning?

Netx year, we'll have to choose between V, the X-Men, and the last Son of Krypton.

#16 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 12:21 PM:

"How does the Hugo award differ from the Nebula? And what sort of biases are reflected in each?"

The Hugo Awards are administered and chosen by attendees of the World Science Fiction Convention, a mix of professional writers, aspiring writers, booksellers, artists of various sorts, and active fans. The Nebulas are run and chosen by the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America, a professional association.

There's a tendency to refer to the Hugos as the "fan" award and the Nebulas as the "pro" award, but in fact many professionals participate in the Hugo process. Also, many of the field's longtime writers aren't members of SFWA and thus don't participate in the Nebulas. My own feeling is that, while I have a lot of respect for the Nebulas overall, in the last decade or two the Hugos have been the award that's more sensibly run, and whose results better match the broad center of SF and fantasy taste.

You could certainly use either award as a reasonable guide to decent SF and fantasy over the last few decades. You'd read some very good books and stories, and run into some absolute gobblers. For what it's worth, although any award attention is good, the Hugo is the only award in our award-crazed field to reliably convey a boost to its winner's sales. Generally, a modest boost at best.

#17 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 12:23 PM:

Soli, the other writer to appear simultaneously on the Campbell and Best Novel shortlists was R. A. MacAvoy in 1984, with her debut novel Tea with the Black Dragon.

#18 ::: Mike ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 12:23 PM:

Good luck.

#19 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 12:33 PM:

Science fiction as a whole may be neophilic, but I always thought as the Hugo voters as being conservative, much more so than other awards.

The average Hugo voter always struck me as middle aged, bearded and set in their ways, liking "the kind of science fiction they don't make anymore".

#20 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 12:42 PM:

The average Hugo voter always struck me as middle aged, bearded and set in their ways, liking "the kind of science fiction they don't make anymore".

I used to think that as well, but the recent spate of Hugos for fantasy works probably requires a revision of that image.

#21 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 12:43 PM:

I'm glad to see that the Dr. Who episode(s) "The Empty Child" / "The Doctor Dances" was nominated.

I can't really say that it is the best of the bunch, but it was a surprisingly sophisticated piece of SF.

Not to mention being really, really creepy.

"Are you my mummy?"

#22 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 12:49 PM:

There's definitely a conservative streak among Hugo voters. The taste they exemplify is the normative streak against which brilliant new things sometimes distinguish themselves. All subcultures have some analog to this.

That said, as much edgy and audacious work has wound up on final Hugo ballots as on the Nebula shortlists.

#23 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 12:54 PM:

Thank you for the reply, Patrick. Visiting ML has rekindled my long-dormant interest in science fiction and fantasy, and led me to some darn enjoyable books. Good luck with the awards.

#24 ::: Anne KG Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 01:05 PM:

Yes, congrats Patrick, and Teresa, and everyone else. It's nice to see a Novel ballot that looks up in the air because it holds so many excellent candidates.

Will, as for short fiction, it is a dificult challenge to keep an eye out for high quality short work, partly because it's a really wide field. Not only are there both print and online magazines, but also many anthology editors solicit original works from specific authors, an area of short fiction publishing that can be less likely to get award attention than the big three and other magazines. And, some of our authors are getting published in non-genre publications as well.

Locus maintains lists of web and e-zines as well as magazines on their links and portals page, but I note that SCI FICTION is no longer an active publication and the list of print magazines is missing Subterranean Magazine, a newcomer by Subterranean Press. Subterranean published what I thought was one of the best short stories of last year, "Last Breath" by Joe Hill.

You will read a lot of good fiction if you read Analog, Asimovs, and F & SF but there is also excellent fiction being published elsewhere. I'm not sure there's an easy way to stay abreast of the whole field, however. Reading reviews in magazines such as Locus may help, but is its own time commitment. Fandom could really use a short fiction index/recommender system. In the meantime, if you have authors you favor, I recommend following their blogs to see where and when they are published.

#25 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 01:07 PM:

Mind-numbing amounts is a friend of mind.

I love this typo.

#26 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 01:08 PM:

"the kind of science fiction they don't make anymore"

That, Martin, reminds me of a conversation I had 20 years ago with a fellow fan who had tried reading one of Hubbard's recent opi (opera?). He made the point that he quite liked old SF, but not if it was written recently.

#27 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 01:49 PM:

Congrats to all, editors and authors alike.

I read both Spin and Accelerando because of Making Light. I think I'll put Learning the World and Old Man's War at the top of my list for non-biz reading.

(Won't read the Martin book though - I've tried but I just can't bring myself to care about the characters or stories in his writing.)

#28 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 01:50 PM:

(Complete list below the fold.)

Thank you for that bit of formatting, by the way, it makes the Making Light front page a little more manabable. May I recommend whatever voodoo you needed to do to accomplish that trick be used on any thread that gets a little verbose?

My scroll bar is getting worn out and squeaky. and wehn I tried to put some oil on it, it just dribbled down my monitor.

#29 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 02:01 PM:

Tim Walters [quoting me]: Mind-numbing amounts is a friend of mind.

I love this typo.

Ha! Thanks for pointing that out. I love it too, now you mention it.

Just reinforces my belief that all my best work comes from miscues.

#30 ::: Neil ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 02:16 PM:

Patrick answered

"How does the Hugo award differ from the Nebula? And what sort of biases are reflected in each?"
(well, of course) but I would like to add that if someone is interested in finding “the good stuff”, the full lists of nominees (e.g. SFWA Nebula Awards, Hugo Award Winners) may be more useful than the list of winners (e.g. The Hugo Awards or The Hugo Awards).

#31 ::: Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 02:27 PM:

Fandom could really use a short fiction index/recommender system.

NESFA maintains "recommended reading" lists that are an effort to make more visible the stuff that we, at least, think is good. It's not just short fiction, but it includes the short fiction categories. Current and past lists are available here:
http://www.nesfa.org/recommends/

There are other lists out there in cyberspace, too, although I'm not sure how many of them you'd stumble across if you didn't already know where to look for them.

#32 ::: Anne KG Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 05:01 PM:

Lis mentions the NESFA list, which gets very useful near the end of the year (right now, already nearly 3 months into this year, there's almost nothing on it - literally nothing in any fiction category shorter than Novel). I find it valuable for a Hugo-nominations "ought to read" consideration list, just like Locus' recommended reading or the recommendations list Cheryl puts up on the Emerald City site (which is open to input from anyone), but it doesn't really serve as a during-the-year what-shall-I-read list, I find.

I'm not sure people would be interested in a database-driven ratings-based short fiction review system, but if I had the time that's what I'd build.

#33 ::: Anne KG Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 05:54 PM:

Er, um, guess I've just decided I have time, and Cheryl Morgan will give me space. I'll let you all know if and when we have this short fiction review system of which I speak up and running.

#34 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 06:19 PM:

"the taste they exemplify is the normative streak against which brilliant new things sometimes distinguish themselves. All subcultures have some analog to this."

Aha! "Old school baseball" v. "Sabremetrics."

#35 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 06:37 PM:

Patrick, thanks, but I didn't really mean this year...though I'll be looking out for the temporarily-free stories.

What I meant was, if next year I want to be able to make a substantive contribution to the nomination for the various categories, let alone the voting, how should I go about keeping informed?

#36 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 06:52 PM:

If Charlie Stross doesn't win for Accelerando, then there is no god.

I think I've just painted myself into a corner.

#37 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 07:04 PM:

Here's a vote in favor of more "inside baseball" stuff at ML.

And congratulations to the various nominees who stop by here.

That's an interesting observation about the lack of First Novels among the last generation of Hugo winners. It rather confirms my own sense that as the state-of-the-art advances, the bar has been raised remarkably high.

Which has an impact not only on new writers, but also upon new readers. I'm having a hard time moving my kids on from Harry Potter and the Clear-Cut Forests in the direction of anything that I'd recognize as SF.
It's getting hard to find a way in for new readers.

#38 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 07:31 PM:

Was Judy-Lynn del Rey the only book editor to win a Best Editor Hugo (though her Hugo was posthumously declined)? Beth Meacham, David Hartwell and PNH have all been nominated, but none of won (yet).


#39 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 08:39 PM:

Book editor Terry Carr won in 1985 and, posthumously, in 1987.

#40 ::: DonBoy ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 08:44 PM:

By the way, Steven Moffat, who wrote that Dr. Who two-parter, is also the creator/writer of the BBC series Coupling.

#41 ::: Melanie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 10:42 PM:

I tend to be a little unfamiliar with the field as a whole--but out of curiosity, how does the gender split of authors compare to the gender split of award nominees and the gender split of winners? Or is this a topic so old nobody wants to discuss it any more? :)

#42 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 10:52 PM:

Well, I found Old Man's War at the B&N near ReallyBigCorp's main campus. I'll have to check the UW bookstore for Learning the World.

Of course, I won't be able to read a thing for the next couple of days, after which I hope to be eyeglass free, until presbyopia sets in.

Now to try to finish The System of the World this evening.

#43 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 10:55 PM:

The average Hugo voter always struck me as middle aged, bearded and set in their ways, liking "the kind of science fiction they don't make anymore".

As Patrick notes, that is an inconsistent stereotype; see for instance Neuromancer winning in 1985. IMO, the conservatism is more contemporary, e.g. the wins in close succession for Card and Bujold; the Card works may have been old-fashioned in some senses but the only old models for the Bujold were outside of SF (e.g., Regency romances for A Civil Campaign).

When I started reading the collections of winners (almost 40 years ago), the Nebulas were observably more radical while still being (mostly) readable stories; I haven't paid enough attention to them recently to judge.

#44 ::: David D. Levine ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2006, 11:46 PM:

Let me lob in a couple of data points about, um, me.

My stories have been called old-fashioned. I think this is because I grew up reading the Good Old Stuff and want to read more like it. What experimentation I do is in conversation with the Good Old Stuff rather than in rebellion against it. Another factor is that I'm not a stylist, I'm a plotter. This means that my stuff is accessible and easy to read. Put those two factors together and you get work that is acceptable to a broad variety of readers.

Now consider that of the readers to whom a given work is acceptable, some small percentage will be enthusiastic about it. So, all things being equal, the wider the base audience, the larger the absolute number of enthusiastic people. I think that this is why many works that have broad appeal but are not wildly original (original = different = not acceptable to as large a number of readers) make the Hugo ballot, which is nominated by the members of the Worldcon.

Of course, many works that are wildly original do make the ballot, because they are good enough that an unusually large percentage of the readers to whom they are acceptable are enthusiastic about them.

And speaking of first novels getting nominated, my first F&SF sale and my first Asimov's sale both made the Hugo ballot. Obviously, I must redouble my efforts to crack Analog.

#45 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 08:41 AM:

There's another reason the Hugos tend to reflect a broad middle ground of SF-subculture consensus: they're designed to. The preferential voting system in use often yields winners who were the second or third choice of the largest number of people. This is widely known, understood, and accepted to be the case; the self-selected fannish community that runs the Hugos is generally well-informed about the quirks of different balloting systems (none of which are perfect, and all of which can yield distorted results under one circumstance or another), and they've made a long-term reasoned choice to go with the system in place.

The Nebulas use the same system, but because final voting tallies for the Nebulas are never released, it's never been possible to get a sense of how much impact it's had on their results. As I've remarked before, the Nebulas are a model of how not to run a voting system, in that the initial "recommendations" stage is conducted so far out in public that it inevitably becomes an arena for log-rolling and favor-trading, while the latter stages are conducted with no public accountability whatsoever. The Hugos, by contrast, are a model of transparency, democracy, and accountability. In this as in so many other aspects of the SF subculture, volunteer fan-run institutions prove themselves to be far more competently administered than their "professional" counterparts.

#46 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 09:18 AM:

Larry: good gracious. I hate to sound like those people who say "But if you ate one more spoonful of oatmeal you'd see it was delicious..." but have you read Dying of the Light? Or The Armageddon Rag? Or anything in the short story collection Songs of Stars and Shadows?

#47 ::: Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 09:57 AM:

On the subject of the Best Editor Hugo: we're now including the name of the book editor in the NESFA list--when we know who that is, hint, hint, nudge, nudge. Yes, I know Tor does identify the editor for some of its books. The problem is that "some of," plus the fact that other publishers mostly don't.

The editor of a novel does tend to be less visible than the editor of a magazine or an anthology. Maybe the publishers could give us a little more help? For instance, maybe some publisher could start listing the editor on all their books, and possibly create some social pressure for other sf publishers to do the same?

#48 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 10:04 AM:

Without going into all the details, the simple version of our policy is that it's up to the editor. We are unlikely to move from this to a regime of Compulsory Editorial Credit.

#49 ::: John Scalzi ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 10:20 AM:

I have no objection to editorial credits listed in book and would in fact be willing to go further and have a credit page for the entire production crew that puts together a book: Editor, copy editor, cover and book designers and so on (cover artists usually get a credit already). If nothing else it'll point out that putting out a book is indeed a group effort.

#50 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 11:09 AM:

Given the practice of most book publishers is to exclude the name the editor in the book itself, I get a bit confused when I come across this kind of credit. My initial reaction has tended toward "Man, that mansucript must've been really screwed up to get the editor listed in the front matter!" But perhaps it's time the industry rethought its disinclination to name editors and others involved in production.

#51 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 12:06 PM:

Aren't they usually in the Acks somewhere? Not the same thing, of course.

#52 ::: Brian Gibbons ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 12:07 PM:

> That's an interesting observation about the lack of First Novels among the last generation of Hugo winners. It rather confirms my own sense that as the state-of-the-art advances, the bar has been raised remarkably high.

I wouldn't consider this a reflection of ever-increasing quality of works, but more a reflection of ever-increasing numbers of books.

As more books get published (and particularly as the proportion of fandom grows of those who are fans of 'fandom' and not necessarily fans of reading SF), name recognition becomes more of a factor.

Other than Scalzi, it's worth noting that each other nominee has at least two previous Hugo nominated novels (with several also having previous Nebula or World Fantasy Award nominations, or Hugo nominations for shorter works).

It's debatable how much of a difference the "I haven't read many books this year, but so-and-so deserves a Hugo because I've always liked the type of books he writes" voters make, but I would find it difficult to argue that they don't have any effect. (Then again, that's the trade-off of a fan-based award, the flip side of "Well, her book might not be the best this year, but I really liked the job she did as an SFWA officer" of jury-run awards.)

#53 ::: Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 12:16 PM:

"...a regime of Compulsory Editorial Credit."

I guess this is the bit that really throws me. I can't see how making it a standard practice to name the editor could possibly be construed as punitive. And I think you'll agree that it is somewhat harder to nominate someone on the basis of their excellent work, if you don't know who they are or can't match them up with their excellent work.

John, NESFA does list all of those people, somewhere in the book or on the dustcover. (Of course, it may fairly be pointed out that that's all we get for our work--credit.)

Richard, yes, an awful lot of work is involved even when the author's text is already in final form when the editor first sets to work on the book (which is the case with most NESFA Press books.) I conclude that there's a considerably greater amount of work involved when the novel isn't yet written when it's sold. (And I think we can all identify cases of great writers who nevertheless clearly needed their editors--how many people can edit their own prose objectively and effectively?) I want it to be easier for us to identify these people and credit them for their contribution to our reading pleasure.

#54 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 12:18 PM:

In my previous life as an editor in professional (legal) publishing, it was standard in many contexts to have the whole editorial team listed for many if not most works. This sometimes took up a whole page.

#55 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 12:19 PM:

Actually, I think the "proportion of fandom grows of those who are fans of 'fandom' and not necessarily fans of reading SF" has been pretty much steady since the 1950s. Or even earlier.

#56 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 12:23 PM:

Lis, it's not a matter of being "punitive," but the fact is that different book editors have different views about when it is and isn't appropriate to take an editorial credit. Tor chooses not to impose a standard practice on all its editors in this regard.

We aren't keeping secrets. Anyone who wants to know who handled what book at Tor need only ask. (Really. Ask me. I'll tell you. Compile a database if you like. I'll bet most other SF publishers will be just as forthcoming. Go, do that thing that fandom does so well.)

#57 ::: Lis Carey ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 12:43 PM:

Go, do that thing that fandom does so well.

(Cue evil maniacal laughter)

#58 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 01:16 PM:

Based on my extremely limited experience in publishing (apprx. 9 months as an Editorial Assistant [i.e., secretary] at Doubleday, years&years ago), I guess the thing that interests me about who edits a book is in the area of acquisitions. Who bought which book, or was responsible for selling the idea of buying it to the rest of the editorial board (or whatever entity, human or otherwise, that makes the final decision to buy a book at any given publisher).

As a reader, I really would have no idea what work a particular editor did w/r/t what most people think of as the Editor's Job ("Cut this part. Move this part here. You're joking about including this part, right?") Looking at the list of a particular editor's acquistions tells me much more about the particular editor's, um, editorness.

Or, so I think. I really don't know that much about it so I could be totally whacked about that. All I know is that in my (as I say) extremely limited experience, most of the editorial work the editor I worked for did had to do with acquistitions.

#59 ::: James Goodman ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 01:21 PM:

Congrats to John Scalzi for the double nomination. He's a helluva writer...

#60 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 01:44 PM:

I like the idea of production credits as well as editorial credits. I can distinctly remember some books that were not special editions, but just beautifully designed, and wondering who put so much care into them.

#61 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 02:14 PM:

Do editors' resumes list the books they've edited, or significant achievements among them? What about designers'?

#62 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 02:24 PM:

I'm an occasional member of the Folio Society, which produces expensive but beautiful hardbacks in slipcases for its membership. Their books include lots of non-standard information in the front and back matter pages, but not the names of the editorial staff.

Irish Short Stories, for example, in addition to listing the copyrights of The Folio Society, Frank Delaney (their professional Irish Literary Chap) and David Rooney (the illustrator), states:

Set in Ehrhardt with Friz Quadrata display
Printed at St Edmundsbury Press, Bury
St Edmunds on Balmoral Wove paper
and bound at Hunter & Foulis, Edinburgh
in full cloth using a design
by Malcolm Harvey Young

They know their membership: book geeks.

#63 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 02:39 PM:

I really would like to bring back the colophon, in all its glory, including the names of editors (manuscripts include the names of scribes and compilers, so this is completely traditional practice).

If we knew the names, those of us outside the book industry would be better able to vote knowledgeably.

#64 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 02:46 PM:

By the way, Tor has a number of books available for purchase as e-books sans DRM from Baen's WebScriptions, including Spin.

Please thank whomever made this happen. I really appreciate it.

#65 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 03:01 PM:

I'd like to have the designer's name in the front matter so that I know who to give the finger to when font choice and layout get in the way of readability.

#66 ::: theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 03:05 PM:

I read Spin on the strength of Patrick's plug. Thanks, Patrick. (Haven't read any of the others yet, though the download of Accelerando is on my computer awaiting my attention.)

#67 ::: Chryss ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 03:11 PM:

Do editors' resumes list the books they've edited, or significant achievements among them? What about designers'?

Speaking as a designer, we don't necessarily list it on our résumés, but we for DAMN sure will have it in our portfolios.

I would love to see production credits--not just designers, but who laid it out, the typeface, etc. This helps so you don't have to call a publishing house's production staff begging for the name of the font they used in [insert book here] because you LOVE it and you want to use it in your latest project...I mean, when OTHER PEOPLE do that. I have never, ever, ever done that myself. Nope. No way. Can't prove it.

I, personally, would love to see a "best cover/best interior" Hugo, but that's just me, probably.

And husband & I just finished Spin and now we're off trying to buy everything Robert Charles Wilson has ever done. GIVE US MORE! MORE, WE SAY!

#68 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 03:21 PM:

Richard Anderson: I'd like to have the designer's name in the front matter so that I know who to give the finger to when font choice and layout get in the way of readability.

Yeah, uh, I don't know if I'd need to dispense a dose of the finger, but I'd dearly love to have one or two designers with me as I try to find the right distance at which to stand as I try to make out book titles and author names on the shelves.

This has become a real problem for my fading eyes. I got bifocals and now whenever I browse the shelves, trying to find the right match between lens and shelf-height and distance-to-retina... well, I think to observers it must look a little like I've suddenly and inexplicably decided to break out into a slow Kabuki dance right there in the Barnes & Noble.

It's even worse for DVDs on shelves, of course, because the spines are so much thinner.

Nice contrast and/or largish letters, please. Otherwise you're going to get me arrested for performing without a caberet license.

#69 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 03:50 PM:

Will Frank wrote:

"Best Semiprozine" (what defines a semiprozine, anyway?)
It is a complex definition -- the most complicated in the entire Hugo Awards -- located as part of Article 3 of the WSFS Constitution and printed on the Hugo Award Nominating Ballot. I won't quote it here (click on the link and scroll down to section 3.3.10 for the details), but as complicated as it is, the consensus was that it took this much complexity to define a middle ground between "fanzine" and "professional publication."

Patrick Nielsen Hayden wrote:

The Hugos...are a model of transparency, democracy, and accountability....
Thank you, Patrick! As someone who has been a Hugo Award administrator and is, as you know, deeply involved in the rules-making process (I'm chairing the next two WSFS Business Meetings), I know I've taken great care to live up to that standard, and it's nice to know that some people notice our work.

#70 ::: David Bratman ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 04:22 PM:

Patrick wrote, "The Hugos, by contrast, are a model of transparency, democracy, and accountability."

I'd like to add that the transparency and accountability are what attracted me to the job of Hugo administrator some years ago. The ability to see how the voting had worked in previous years made the job sound fun. And when I hold a position of responsibility like that, I like people to be able to see what I'm doing. We got arguments over some of our procedures and rulings, but they were open arguments.

#71 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 05:43 PM:

"By the way, Tor has a number of books available for purchase as e-books sans DRM from Baen's WebScriptions, including Spin."

Not at the moment we don't. Corporate-level snags have been encountered and are being carefully picked at. I'm reasonably optimistic that we will get this deal going again. No, the problem isn't Jim Baen or his people; and no, I'm not going to discuss this further.

#72 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 06:10 PM:

Jo - I tried reading A Game of Thrones and just couldn't get into it. Because of it's reputation, I gave it double my usual 100 pages to decide. Martin's on probation for now for not grapping me by the lapels and making me read. Maybe some other book (and series), and some other time.

As far as oatmeal goes, I love it but it's so totally off my diet that it may as well not exist.

#73 ::: Kate Yule ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 07:58 PM:

,,,it's not a matter of being "punitive," but the fact is that different book editors have different views about when it is and isn't appropriate to take an editorial credit.

Just so the ones who don't believe in taking credit aren't the same ones whinging about not getting credit come awards time.

Something I feel the lack of when working on Hugo nominations: any real sense of what a given professional artist has done for us Lately. The artists' web pages serve as general reminders of work done, but rarely indicate when.

#74 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 08:18 PM:

Larry -- what \has/ "grabbed [you] by the lapels and made [you] read"? I thought Martin did a good job of laying out early on just how wide a crisis the land was in; he's one of the few practitioners of Fat Fantasy that I'm willing to read. (Jo: Dying of the Light took me a while to get into; I didn't see any reason to pay attention to someone who was clearly a jerk facing off against a pathological society. OTOH, I was a lot younger then; I suspect Martin did at least as good a job as Barnes did in A Million Open Doors -- for which "grabbing" might be read as "facile".)

What sort of diet prohibits oatmeal?

#75 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 10:08 PM:

What sort of diet prohibits oatmeal?

You should avoid it if you are a celiac.

#76 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2006, 10:58 PM:

Just my weight loss diet, which consists of real foods and strives for balance, but is somewhat carb restricted. Now, if I could figure out how to eat 1/2 cup of the stuff and no more, I'd be find.

My rule is that a book gets 100 pages, and then I put it up/take it back to the library. I just couldn't care about GRRM's characters or their world. And I gave it a bonus 100 pages because it was so highly recommended.

By contrast, Perdido Street Station grabbed me within 20 pages or so, and I sucked the thing down over the course of a few days.

Why the one, and not the other? I haven't analyzed it, but I'd say it had to do with being able to connect with a character quickly enough to care about them, or to be fascinated by the world quickly enough that I want to know more.

#77 ::: Jed Hartman ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2006, 01:38 AM:

Add me to the list of those who long for the return of the colophon. And who like Scalzi et al's suggestion of including names of more people who worked on a book (with their permission).

Regarding how to find out what short fiction to watch during the year:

Tangent Online is a good place to start. Under the able leadership of Eugie Foster, it's bounced back from the problems it was having a while back, and is now publishing largely well-written reviews of a substantial percentage of the short sf being published.

Rich Horton and Nick Gevers review short fiction in every issue of Locus (as Anne mentioned). And Rich singlehandedly covers the whole field in his year-end market summaries; he reads approximately all the professionally published (and much of the semiprofessionally published) short sf every year. That doesn't help you much during the year (unless you read his Locus reviews), but it can be quite handy at the end of the year, and can give you suggestions of venues to watch during the next year.

Meanwhile, the Internet Review of Science Fiction has a regular short-sf-reviews column; formerly written by Bluejack, currently written by Lois Tilton. Both are smart and perceptive reviewers, and I'm not just saying that because they sometimes like what we publish.

Anne KG Murphy may have been too modest to mention that she's been known to write good reviews of short sf too, for Emerald City.

The Best SF site provides regular reviews of the print prozines. However, Mark Watson (the reviewer there), unlike most of the reviewers mentioned above, is uninterested in online magazines other than the sadly departed Sci Fiction.

The Free Speculative Fiction Online site may initially appear to be the flip side of that, but actually it specializes in linking to online versions of stories from print magazines (or by pro authors who've appeared in print magazines); not really quite what you're looking for. But I thought it was relevant enough to mention.

You may also be interested in online communities like shortform, a LiveJournal group that discusses short sf.


Regarding transparency and the Hugos: I almost entirely agree, but the one area where I'd love to see more transparency is in receipts for ballots. When I see the notes saying that n ballots were discarded for various reasons, I always fret that mine was among them, no matter how implausible that is. I doubt there's any really good way to do this, but it would be totally cool if voters could be told "Your ballot was indeed counted." (More plausible via email than papermail, but even so there would be various logistical problems; I'm not saying this is a good idea, just something that I wish for occasionally.)

#78 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2006, 08:27 AM:

"I'm reasonably optimistic that we will get this deal going again. No, the problem isn't Jim Baen or his people; and no, I'm not going to discuss this further."

This statement -> Rumor Mill -> "Jim Baen and Tom Doherty had a fistfight in the street!"

#79 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2006, 10:26 AM:

Jim Baen and Tom Doherty had a fistfight in the street!

I heard it was a saber duel in the subway.

#80 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2006, 04:02 PM:

The semiprozine category is colloquially known as the "Best Locus" award. Its purpose was to give small-circulation fanzines a chance at getting a Best Fanzine Hugo. The category now is a weird interzone between pro and fanzines. Ansible and Emerald City are pure fanzines, whose editors graciously decided to compete in the semipro category. Interzone is a literary prozine with an undeservedly small circulation. Locus is a newszine that got big and turned pro, and is of course the type specimen for the category. The New York Review of Science Fiction is a fannish-academic review zine. All of the nominees are excellent and deserving, so my recommendation would be to vote for the one that has been waiting the longest.

#81 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2006, 04:47 PM:

I heard it was a saber duel in the subway.

Really? I thought it was laser pistols at dawn, and they both deloped.

#82 ::: Xopher Finds Comment Spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2006, 10:29 PM:

I think. Identical vacuous comments on two different threads?

#83 ::: Donald Johnson ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2006, 02:59 PM:

I'd like to add my vote for more inside baseball. I'm only a sporadic SF reader, but Patrick's post on Spin induced me to read it, along with the Vernor Vinge novel he also mentioned (A Fire Upon the Deep and its sequel/prequel ( A Deepness someplace or other). I liked them all. I loved A Fire Upon the Deep, and it's quite possible I never would have picked it up without the plug here.

#84 ::: Trevor ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2006, 03:25 AM:

I read Spin after learning of it here a few weeks ago, and while it was quite good overall, I thought the first half dragged a bit. The premise was certainly fresh and interesting, and the ending was great -- but getting through the slow middle of the book was a chore. (This is just my opinion as a humble reader; I admire PNH and TNH far too much to have the temerity to suggest that it should have been edited differently.)

On the other hand, Old Man's War was staggeringly good. I finished the book (in large-format paperback) this morning and it's still got its hooks into me; I can't stop thinking about it. John Scalzi is a stupendous badass, to borrow a phrase from N. Stephenson, and I can't wait to read Ghost Brigades.

Although I have yet to read the other three entries on the list, Scalzi has set a very high bar for the Hugo with OMW. It's that good.

#85 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2006, 08:22 AM:

Ghost Brigades is worth the wait. It's not quite as human oriented as Old Man's War, but it's got sharper emotions, a real antagonist, and a slightly faster moving plot. It's hard to say if one is better than the other, but I liked the flow of Ghost Brigades better.

Oh, and let's hope for no training sequences in the next book. One in each book was pushing it.

#86 ::: Edward Oleander ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2006, 01:06 AM:

I tried reading A Game of Thrones and just couldn't get into it. Because of it's reputation, I gave it double my usual 100 pages to decide. Martin's on probation for now for not grapping me by the lapels and making me read. Maybe some other book (and series), and some other time.

It's not surprising to me that a lot of folks can't get into the Song of Fire and Ice series. I'm one of those who is totally nuts about it, but I think it appeals to a fairly narrow range of fan. You almost have to be a lifetime Dungeon Master (read: have no real life) to see where this series shines. The plotlines of an FRPG campaign can't be overly prescripted, since you can't predict your player's responses, or even which players will be around next year to affect your ideas. I get that same kind of feel from the Martin series. I'm sure he has some very specific ideas on how it all ends, but in many of the plotlines it seems as if he lets it unfold without preconception, as it would in real life.

Reading this series has been like throwing a handful of pebbles into a pond and watching how the overlapping ripples interact with each other. Would that I could weave a tapestry that broad into my own fantasy world. It is the D&D campaign raised to a professional art form. To be able to give your characters consistency whilst retaining enough depth to be realistically human (or whatever) is something I have been trying to learn for 25 years. He makes it seem maddeningly easy. His mixing of traditional fantasy themes with original plotlnes is also a balance us DM geeks aspire towards. If I had any talent, this would be the series (even more so than Tolkien) that I would like to have written.

To everyone on this thread: THANK YOU!!! As you see from the above, I'm mostly a diehard sword & sorcery fantasy fan. Following ML for the past month (and especially this thread) has rekindled an interest in mainstream sci-fi that has been luke-warm since Children of Dune came out. I think I'll take the List Below The Fold to Uncle Hugo's next week...

#87 ::: Suzdal ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2006, 02:33 PM:

Song of Fire and Ice is the sort of thing you usually can't pay me to read. I rarely read fantasy and when I do it is even more unusual for it to be in the epic sword and sorcery vein. But the series sucked me in immediately and I even bought Feast on in hardcover because I couldn't wait for the paperback. (I'm usually too cheap to buy any new books, much less hardcovers)And no, I've never played D&D or any other RPG.

The funny thing is now I'm trying to recommend it to a true-blue fantasy reading friend of mine and I think he's dragging his heels because it's such a very odd thing for me to like.

However, I don't think Feast shouldn't get the Hugo ... it doesn't work as a standalone book.

#89 ::: abi spots comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:17 PM:

Though my first thought was jeans.

#90 ::: abi says neener ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:18 PM:

Beatcha to it, Serge.

#91 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:20 PM:

No you didn't, abi. Nyah nyah to you and loud razzberry sounds.

#92 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:27 PM:

OK, abi, I concede, you beat me by maybe one second. Bleh.

#93 ::: abi graciously accepts Serge's bleh ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:32 PM:

And repeats her "neener". It's been a long week.

#94 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:34 PM:

I am so humiliated. Being beaten by a girl. My masculinity will never recover.

#95 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:36 PM:

ROTFLMAO, Serge.

#97 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:42 PM:

Silliness, around here, Xopher? Never. Never? Well, hardly ever.

#99 ::: Xopher, while delighted to have handed abi a triumph, sees her :-P and raises her a :-P~~~ ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:50 PM:

I wrote so little they rewarded me
By giving me a statuette of James Tiptree!

#100 ::: abi is astonished at Xopher's curly beard ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 03:54 PM:

I wrote in cliches, so it's mine
The statue of RA Heinlein!

Then I got worse, and was rewarded with
Another of EE Doc Smith!

At last I cracked, and went quite daft
And finished the set with HP Lovecraft.

So write ye well, or else, you see,
You'll get a statuette of me!

#101 ::: justin ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 04:19 PM:

you make my day, abi.

#102 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 04:50 PM:

This is funnier than the Nazi raccoons.

#103 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 04:55 PM:

All hail abi!

#104 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 04:59 PM:

*admires abi's performance*

#106 ::: Aconite reminds Xopher he must blow up his secret lair now that he has been defeated ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 06:01 PM:

SLSIA

#107 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 06:16 PM:

Xopher has no feet!

#108 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 08:57 PM:

Are they toe-tally gone? Will the wounds heel?

(I could have gone on with those couplets, but I went off and had an evening doing jigsaws with the Hub. This was probably for the best. But I am glad they were amusing.)

#109 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2007, 09:14 PM:

Oh my sole! There's something fishy about these puns....

#110 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2007, 10:33 AM:

So Xopher has beaten Shoeless Joe Jackson?

#111 ::: Mongoose sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 26, 2013, 01:14 PM:

Kill it with fire!

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Jim Macdonald, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

If you are a spammer, your fate is in the hands of Jim Macdonald, and your foot shall slide in due time.

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.