Handicapping The Hugos 2011

Editors: Chris Garcia and James Bacon

As always, it’s amazing to be on the ballot again! I’m so happy that we did another great year. I have to start by thanking Mr. James Bacon. I love that guy! He’s done great stuff, the two most visible and impressive issues of last year, The Clarkes and the Hugo for Best Novel issue, OH, make that three with the Hitman issue, were all sorts of James, and he was around all year to make the zine as good as it could be! I’m so happy to see that he’s on the ballot as himself for Best Fan Writer. I assure you, he’s going to destroy me in the voting! I’ve got a lot of folks to thank. First off, Mo Starkey, on the ballot for the first time herself, has been doing great covers and art for The Drink Tank for a few years and it’s great to see her up there. Thanks, MO! The greatest disappointment for me was the lack of Taral Wayne on the Best Fan Writer ballot. He’s done so much for so many zines that he really should be up there. Thanks, Taral! Even though I’ve not been the best of all possible zines to showcase your stuff, you keep sendin’ it my way and I could not be happier! Bill Burns made all this possible. Without eFanzines.com, there would be no Drink Tank. I wouldn’t be a Fan Writer at all. Thanks, Bill! And, of course, there’s the folks who’ve been sending things along and letting me write for them. Frank Wu, Warren Buff, Steve Green, Steven H Silver, Guy Lillian, Joe Major, Niall Harrison, Brad W. Foster, Steve Stiles, Lloyd Penney, John Purcell, Jay Lake, Judith Morel, M, SaBean, Daniel Kimmel, Mike Perschon, Jay, Jason Schachat, Kevin Roche, Andy Trembley, Padraig, Helen

Montgomery, Claire Brialey, Mike, John Hertz, Cousin Claire, Dann Lopez, Kevin Standlee, Brianna SpaceKat-Wu, John Coxon, Graham Charnock, Paul Cornell, Espana Sheriff, Leigh Ann, Jean Martin, MIKO (MikoFact - MIko was famously turned away from Ellis Island for not being huddled enough), Spike,Tom Becker, Bruce Gillespie, Earl Kemp, Jan Stinson, Jerry Kaufman, Joel Zakem, Chris Marble, Mike, Radio, Lux, Cynthia, Jason Wiener, JB Whaley and so many others! SO many great people! OK, this issue is going to be fun. I’ll look at all the categories and the various things. I do think the administrators blew it a bit this year when it comes to PodCasts. There are two PodCasts in two separate categories. I’ve listened to both, neither one seems that fundamentally different from the other. So why are PodCasts the only things allowed to exist in two categories at once? I really hate that the answer always seems to be the same: Vox populi, vox Dei. It fails! I’m sorry, we need guidelines in which the populi to vox properly. We have terribly weak definitions and we need to strengthen them! If two things that are the same can be put into two categories simply based on where people vote them to, then that has to hold for everything. There’s nothing special about PodCasts that make them immune to the rules of the other categories. If one had been nominated for a specific episode and the other for the entire year’s of run, I’d have bought it. But it wasn’t. We need to get serious and we need our administrators to administrate more strongly. I

have nothing but respect for this year’s admins, but I really think they took too loose a hand this year and should have made some rulings. It happens. On the other hand, this team seems to be the best that’ve been around, they’re just placed in dumb situations because of the weakness of our rules. So it goes. So, this is the look at all the categories (except for the Campbell because it’s NOT A HUGO!) and some snark, some fun and some folks making comments along with me!

Comments on Our Choices? Garcia@computerhistory.org!

Best Fan Artist

Last Year’s Winner – Brad W. Foster Most Wins in the Category – Brad W. Foster with 7 First time Nominees – MO STARKEY!, Randall Munroe Missing from the list – Sue Mason, Ditmar (still a crime!), Brianna SpaceKat-Wu, Craig Smith, Frank Wu, Andy Trembley (Photographers have never made the ballot, I believe) Fifth – Steve Stiles Previous Nominations – Eleven of ‘em! My Favorite Piece of his 2010 – The Cover image for Earl Kemp’s eI 52. I love that one. Appearances in Garcia Zines – Several, most notably a couple of exceptional abstract covers for

The Drink Tank. Positives – One of the greatest fan artists of alltime, a Rotsler winner. Negatives – Perhaps a bit less visible over the last year or so It hurts to not say that Stiles should be taking one of these home with him, but alas, I don’t think this is his year. Still, he’s an amazing artist, one of the best that have ever graced fanzines. Odds – 7-to1 Fourth – Mo Starkey Previous Nominations – None My favorite of her pieces in 2010 – Personally, I love the Tiki cover she did for the Drink Tank 239, but the one she did for Andy Trembley’s iKinook Reader was amazing! Appearances in Garcia Zines – She’s done a ton of covers for The Drink Tank, the cover for Journey Planet 2, and is currently doing the art for 52 Weeks to Science Fiction Film Literacy. Positives – She’s been doing great stuff in some very visible zines and Reno is in her Wheelhouse, as it were, and has the dreaded BASFA voting bloc behind her. Negatives – First year on the ballot, not in a lot of the biggest zines. I’d love to say that she’d be walking off with the Rocket, but I just don’t see it happening, as much as that hurts. I really think she does great work and no other nomination made me personally happier. Still, she could surprise with a win at a WorldCon that’s in her backyard. Odds – 6-to1

Third – Brad W. Foster Previous Nominations – 22 with 7 wins! My Favorite Piece of his 2010 – Wow, hard to say. I gotta go with the Bull for eI issue 51, though he did have an amazing piece in the most recent Exhibition Hall, but that’s 2011. Appearances in Garcia Zines – Tons, covers and interior art and on and on... Positives – One of the most-beloved Fan Artists in history, A Rotsler winner, who has been doing great stuff for years and especially in recent years. Negatives – Has won twice in the last three years. Brad’s great. I totally think he’s one of

Second – Taral Wayne Previous Nominations – Nine My favorite piece of his 2010 – IS in The Drink Tank 259, on the Editorial page! It’s got me with a gun at my head! Appearances in Garcia ZInes – Too many to mention, especially in the area of writing. Positives – One of the biggest names in Furry the best artists ever and one of the best work- Art, in Fan Art, in Fan Writing, and a Rotsler wining out there today. His style is so distinctive, so ner also. clean and baroque and awesome! I don’t think Negatives – He’s not a superstar beyond the fan he’ll take it this year, but it’s always good to see art community. him on the ballot. I really wish I could write that he was goOdds – 4-to1 ing to be walking off with it, but I don’t see it just because of the guy I think will be winning. It’s a shame because there’ve been two years where I really thought he’d take it, he certainly deserved it, and it never happened. Odds – 3-to1

Winner – Randall Munroe Previous Nomiantions – None My favorite piece of his in 2010 – http://xkcd. com/857/ Appearances in Garcia Zines – None. Positives – xkcd is a massive hit and even I think it’s pretty funny. Negatives – I’ve not found any zines or the like where he’s appeared. It’s just about dead certain that Best Fan Artist will fall for what Best Fan Writer has several years prior, where if you have a pro on the ballot, you end up with them winning. It’s kind of a shame as there’s so much talent doing so much great stuff that to have it go to a guy who should be in the Best Pro Artist section isn’t great, but still, I do love his stuff that I’ve seen. Odds – 5-to-4 This is an interesting category and I’m thinking that it may well turn out to be the one that sees the biggest win. Randall might even win without needing a redistribute. It’s going to be the broken record, we need better definitions. And so on. It’s not like we’re all clamouring to give Hugos to the folks who do art for zines or programme books. I’d not have been upset if Dave Howell had won last year, primarily for his Hugo base design, but this just feels wrong. It’s a shame that Taral and Stiles haven’t won one. They need to. They’re both legends who have won just about every other award Fandom has for them. Well, Taral hasn’t won the Aurora. Or a FAAn award. Folks, we really need to get on that! Still, I’m hoping that I’ll get some of these folks to do some more art for me in the future!

Best Fan Writer Last Year’s Winner – Fred Pohl Most Wins in the Category – Dave Langford with 20-something First time Nominees – JAMES BACON!!!!! Missing from the list – Taral Wayne, a crime. Lloyd Penney, also a crime. John Hertz, another crime. Mike Perschon, Randy Smith, Randy Byers, Frank Wu, Bruce Gillespie, Leigh Ann Hildebrand, Kevin Roche, Guy Lillian, crimes that one and all ain’t on the ballot!

My favorite piece of his 2010 – I gotta go with his tribute to Samuel Clemens - http://efanzines. com/SPG/index.htm Appearances in Garcia Zines – Several over the years, last year a Twain piece and I think one of two others. Where can you read his stuff - http://efanzines. com/Argentus/index.htm Positives - Long-standing nominee back on the ballot after a year off. Always does good stuff. Fan GoH at FenCon this year! Negatives – Argentus not on the ballot might indicate that he’s fallen out of the public eye a bit. Fifth place – James Nicoll I’d love to see Steven win one of these, Previous Nominations – Last year he debuted. My favorite piece of his 2010 – I honestly can’t and hey, there’s Chicago coming up next year. I think of a single one. I imagine this is more my just don’t see it happening this year. Still, St Peproblem with not keeping up with the main- tersburg Gazette and stream than his not being visible or memorable. Dawson’s Landing Herald and last year’s Argentus were both really good stuff from him. Appearances in Garcia Zines – 0. 1 Where you can read some of his stuff - http:// Odds – 5-tojames-nicoll.livejournal.com/ Positives – Has a widely-read LJ, writes some Third – Claire Brialey Previous Nomiantions – Only three, which I find good stuff. almost criminal! Negatives – Didn’t fare well last year I’ve not read much James Nicoll. I’ve My favorite piece of hers 2010 – And my favorite read a few pieces in the past, and he made a few LoC of all-time in http://efanzines.com/Drinkvery memorable quotes in the USENET days as Tank/DrinkTank260.pdf I seem to have discovered. I guess the biggest Appearances in Garcia Zines – She plays a pivreason I could never put him higher on my bal- otal role in Journey Planet (basically, she keeps lot is his quote about Stephen Baxter’s Titan - me and James from looking like idiots!) and she’s It would not surprise me if reading that book been in several issues of The Drink Tank over the last few years. And there’s that LoC! causes birth defects. I love Titan! Where can you read her stuff – Well, she doesn’t Odds – 8-to1 have that much on-line, though you can find pieces of Claire’s in The Drink Tank Clarkes isFourth – Stephen Silver Previous Nominations – 9 for Best Fan Writer sue and, in 2011, the Stephen Baxter issue. Positives – The Best Fan Writer in the World. and I think 3 for Best Fanzine for Argentus

Came in second to Fred Pohl last year. Negatives – Doesn’t have much on-line. I can not do justice to Claire Brialey, so here’s a piece from her about getting nominated1 The Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer has been presented 45 times (as you’ll recall, Professor, it was introduced for NyCon 3 in 1967) but has been won by only 13 different people: Terry Carr, Richard E Geis, Mike Glyer, Dave Langford, Cheryl Morgan, Alexei Panshin, Fred Pohl, John Scalzi, Bob Shaw, Bob Tucker, Ted White, Harry Warner Jr and Susan Wood. Of course it’s a cliché to say that it’s an honour just to be on the short-list, but this year we know that one of us will get the undoubted honour of joining that list of winners – possibly, in that company, decorated with the footnote ‘Who?’ – unless we create history in a different way by all being beaten by No Award. Rest assured that even to be in the running makes me, too, wonder who I think I am. Fortunately it’s not something I really need to worry about too much. In September 2010 I sent a long overdue letter of comment to The Drink Tank – so overdue, in fact, that among many other previous topics it was able to comment with the benefit of hindsight on the 2010 version of this issue, which had appeared about five months before. I said then, notwithstanding last year’s results, that I hadn’t been harbouring any false optimism about my chances (or those for Banana Wings in the fanzine ballot), and that this had caused me no distress whatsoever. And that remains the case. This isn’t any sort of false modesty, but rather pragmatism. I’m an old fart sort of fan, whose writing and the forums in which I write probably don’t resonate with the majority of Worldcon at-

tendees who decide to vote in this category. I may have placed surprisingly well last year, but this time around I can think of all sorts of reasons why voters will choose any (or all) of the rest of the nominees – even though this time none of them are Fred Pohl. My main ambition, as ever, is to finish above ‘No Award’ for my own self-respect. I know some people feel that the fan Hugos bear little relation to what’s really the best fan activity occurring now. Equally, some feel that progress is happening insufficiently quickly, with nominators failing to kick out we fanzine types fast enough. But this is a very broad category with a large number of people eligible to be nominated, and many of them are pretty good – although, with no disrespect intended to my current fellow nominees, most of those fan writers I think are absolutely the best in any given year don’t usually get onto the short-list either. So, even though I’ve been short-listed before, making it this far comes as a surprise and a pleasure every time; while some may see it as a clear example of what’s wrong with the Hugos these days, looking at that list of former Best Fan Writers, for me it is still an honour too. But, y’know, even the Hugo is just an award; any sort of positive response and recognition is very welcome, but awards in themselves aren’t why we do any of this fan activity. And so I remain surprised and pleased, and utterly pragmatic about the outcome. All appropriate congratulations and good luck, of course, to my fellow nominees. See? That’s why I say she’s the World’s Greatest Fan Writer!

the three pieces I did for Tor.com’s Steampunk Fortnight Appearances in NON-Garcia Zines – Less and less every year. I’ve had a few things in Science Fiction San Francisco, including a piece in the second issue of 2010 that I thought was good. I think I had something in Challenger, a thing in iKinook Reader, a piece in YIPE!, a few others I’m sure. Where you can read his stuff – Here, FanboyPlanet.com, Exhibition Hall, Journey Planet, my Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc Positives – I seem to write a lot. Paul Cornell and John Scalzi said nice things about me this year! Negatives – without good editing, I sound really lame. This year, I dare put myself in the upper-section of the finishes. Why? Well, you will win a major aw I’m on the Convention Committee, it’s ard a con that’s as close to a Home WorldCon as I’ll see for a while, I did pretty well last year finishing third, and I had a better year than I did in 2009. On the other hand, I’m not the Best Fan Writer in the World, nor the most believed, nor the best-known, nor just about anything except maybe the most hyperactive. I’m hoping Odds – 4-to1 to get one of these some day, but it’ll have to be Second – Christopher J Garcia the right alignment of stars that leads me there. Previous nominations – Every year since 2007 My favorite piece of mine 2010 – I dunno. It A Local WorldCon, me happening to recapture might be the Alternate History article that Jay the lighting-in-a-bottle that I did with the 8 Sciand I did for Journey Planet 5 called The Cel- ence Fiction Novels and Eight Women piece I luloid Dream: the long strange trip of Spinrad’s did for Journey Planet 4, and some just plain luck. classic, The Iron Dream or, for solo, the Clarkes It’s OK, I don’t mind losing to James at all! 1 article in The Drink Tank 248. Might be one of Odds – 3-to-

Winner – James Bacon Previous Nominations – 0 My favorite piece of his 2010 – Wow, tough one. I’m going to say that it’s My Favorite Comic Book Women in Journey Planet 6 (http://efanzines.com/JourneyPlanet/JourneyPlanet06.pdf) Appearances in Garcia Zines – We co-edit three zines (Journey Planet, The Drink Tank, Exhibition Hall) and he’s had works in all of them! Where you can read his stuff – eFanzines.com, but for a real treat, though it’s 2011 material, look at the most recent issue of Challenger which has him all over it. Positives – Nearly as hyperactive as I am when it comes to writing, on the ConComm for Reno, far more recognisable than me, got the loudest cheers when they announced the nominees at Eastercon. Negatives – Doesn’t really blog, if that’s a minus. Guy Lillian says that James is the Best Fan Writer in the World. He’s the reason that the good issues of The Drink Tank are good. He’s the number one Fan Writer I can think of when it comes to being awesome and out there. He’s got this one sewn-up! I won’t even mind losing to him! Odds – 3-to-2 This is as good a set of nominees as I could have hoped for without Taral being on it. Really, the man is a machine, and not only that, his stuff is amazing! WHY IS HE NOT ON HERE?!?!?! Still, the five of us are a good bunch and we’ll have a Fan winning the Best Fan Writer! That makes me happy. I can’t say how honored I am to be among the company of all four of the other nominees. I love that Claire and James are up there. It’s good to see your cohorts up for awards, and Steven Silver is awesome. I don’t know if I’ve met James Nicoll. I dunno... he doesn’t seem to like a lot of Stephen Baxter, so I don’t know if he can be trusted...

Claire Brialey IS the best fan writer in the world after Fred Pohl. I don’t see Fred on the list here, so that would make Claire the best in the world. James Bacon

Best Fanzine Last Year’s Winner – Banana Wings (StarShipSofa took home a Rocket Trophy, though) Most Wins in the Category – Locus has 8 First time Nominees – None, all were on the ballot last year Missing from the list – YIPE!, which is a complete and total shame as it was easily the best zine visually last year, innovative in layout and with great writing. Journey Planet, which is a shame as it had amazing re-readablity and some wonderful writing. SF Commentary, which was the best single issue of last year. Chunga, Sense of Wonder Stories, Trap Door, Head, Inca, Relapse. I still can’t believe that YIPE! didn’t make the ballot Fifth – Banana Wings Previous Nominations – 5 of ‘em! Favorite issue – I liked the October-ish ish. Garcia Appearances – I dunno if I had anything in 2010. Sadly, I can’t check because all my zines are still packed from the move. Positives – A great zine with amazing writing from great writers. Probably the best edited of all the zines nominated. Claire and Mark are awesome! Negatives – Not available on the web. Also not a PodCast. It almost won last year. Running second to a PodCast was a big deal and it was well-deserved. Banana Wings is a defining-type zine. In the far future, when I write the history of late20th/Early-21st Century fandom, the Fannish Fanzine will be defined by Banana Wings. Sadly, I don’t see it winning this year. It’s not on-line, which I think is a real killer. Last year, in Australia where Mark and Claire are GIANTS, they ran

Positives – BY far the most respected long-standing zine for Fannish News that’s still Fourth – Challenger going. Great writing and Previous nominations – EvMike’s a helluva layout guy, ery year since 2000 which a lot of folks don’t Favorite issue – I think there seem to notice. was only one in 2010, so Negatives – only one issue winner by D-Fault! last year. Not a PodCast. Garcia Appearances – I’ve I love File 770, and I been in Challenger over the thought that the 2010 issue, years, including my first foray with three Future Best Fan into writing about SteamWriter James Bacon articles punk. it, was among the best issues Positives – Probably the of last year. Still, I just don’t most consistently awesome see people flocking to it this fanzine in the world right year. I hope Glyer walks off with another one in the near because I really now. Negatives – not as many issues as previous years. think File 770 is something special. Odds – 7-to1 Not a PodCast. Next year is its year as the most recent issue, about War & The Military, is the best issue Second – The Drink Tank of just about anything in years! Still, Guy usu- Previous Nominations – Every year since 2007 ally does OK in the voting, though somehow Favorite issue – I dunno. I love the Hitman issue, The Drink Tank tallied more than Challenger last the Train issue, and the Clarkes and Hugo for Best Novel issue. I think I’ll go with issue 250. year. That was a good one. Odds – 8-to1 Garcia Appearances – there have been issues where I write nothing! Third – File 770 Positives – Taral Wayne articles and art, Mo StarPrevious Nominations – 28 with 6 wins. Favorite Issue – There was only one in 2010, but key covers and art, James Bacon’s work, the Hugo it had a great Taral Wayne cover, and great stuff for Best Novel and Clarkes issues all add up. Negatives – One of the editors (Me) has no idea from James Bacon. Garcia Appearances – Yes, in the most recent what he’s doing. Not a PodCast. It’s in my backyard, James Bacon, who is 2011 issue I’ve got an article about the Moongoing to win Best Fan Writer, does amazing stuff doggle, but nothing in the 2010 issue. I’ve had writing and acquiring and this is the year that it pieces in it a few times and a lot of LoCs could happen. I just don’t think it can overcome

close. Odds – 10-to1

the problem that it’s not a PodCast. Odds – 5-to1 Winner – StarShipSofa Previous Nominations – Last year, where it got the most votes. Favorite issue – I don’t really listen to it. Garcia Appearances – I was apparently name-checked once or twice. Positives – It’s a PodCast Negatives – It’s not a Fanzine. This nomination is the one that makes me question harder than any other. PodCasts belong in Best Related Work (along with zines that have less than 4 issues and One Shots, and so on and so on) and there’s one of them in there too. What’s the difference between Writing Excuses and StarShipSofa? I am really confused by that. Still, SSS will walk away with it like it did last year. It’s a shame not only for us, but for folks who really like fanzines and want to be able to give them awards. It’s not happening as long as PodCasts are allowed in the category. Is SSS the best PodCast out there? From James Bacon Jeez, what am I meant to say about the fanzine category. It’s not like i haven’t edited one and written for FOUR of the nominees. I just hope folks go out and read these damn fanzines, they are quite good and all are slightly different tastes from the brewery. File 770, Challenger and Banana Wings are all so different yet highly enjoyable. I know that some will reckon that Starship Sofa will do it again, but I am not so sure this year, I think that there have been some really good zines, and zines are gathering traction in some circles that previously they wouldn’t have. Not so sure on your thinking here, Chris. There is no way a Fanzine can win as long as there’s a PodCast also on the ballot. It’s a sad fact that Fanzines are the descendant medium and PodCasts are the ascendant. An excellent point can be made using a Twitter exchange after the Hugo noms announcement. A fellow made a point that of all the Fan Writers, he had only half-heard of Steven H Silver. I then said that he might wanna take a look at Journey Planet, where he could read four of the five nominees. His reaction was he wasn’t at all interested. Ouch. Mike Glyer always focuses on getting people to read fanzines instead of trying to edge the rules. With attitudes like I found on that Twitter exchange seeming more and more typical, how can you make that argument anymore? Definitions, people! </broken record>

Best Semi-Prozine Last Year’s Winner – Clarkesworld Most Wins in the Category – Locus has 20something First time Nominees – Lightspeed Missing from the list –Ansible, Crossed Genres (which I’ve really enjoyed), Space & Time, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet Fifth – Interzone Previous Appearances – Every year since 1986 with a win I have enjoyed Interzone, but haven’t read it much over the last few years. It still gets a lot of attention, though it hasn’t reached the attention of the voters nearly as much over the last few years. Not it’s year. Odds – 10-to1 Fourth – Lightspeed Previous Appearances – First time up! I love John Joseph Adams’ editing and Lightspeed is a great on-line mag. It’s got some great folks contributing, and a story on the top ballot from Carrie Vaughn. They’re the hot on-line mag right now, I’d say, but they’re new to the ballot and I don’t see them over-taking the big dogs. Odds – 6-to1

Second – Clarkesworld Previous Appearances – 2009 and 2010, when it won! I love Clarkesworld. It’s a great magazine. One of the things that I enjoy is the wise combination of fiction/non-fiction. It’s solid stuff with a story on the Top Portion of the ballot. It’ll run close, I think. Odds – 3-to1 Winner - Locus Previous Appearances – Every time that this category has been awarded, it’s been nominated. It’s won twenty times. They’ve not won the last two years, and last year was a surprise that it didn’t win. I think Locus’ll pick back up because they’ve maintained their normal standards and will likely get something of a bump from being in the Bay Area. Of course, they didn’t win in San Francicso in 1993, but what are you gonna do? Odds – 2-to1

It’s the same old song.Why Semi-pro? This ballot does have one really exciting addition I love Weird Tales. I think it’s one of the in Lightspeed, but the rest have staked a claim best mags out there and I’d love to see it win over the last couple of year. Still, Locus hasn’t another. Having Ann Vandermeer on the team is won the last two years, Locus had a year where a definite plus.Their stories don’t tend to end up people started talking about it more and more. on the ballot, but they don’t have as big a move Plus, it’s kinda a local WorldCon for it! My guess Third – Weird Tales the last year or so. is that they’ll add another one to the dozens of Previous Appearances – 2009, which it won, and Odds – 4-to1 Hugos that hang out at the Locus HQ. 2010

Locus, locus are going to kick ass, they do it anyhow, it’s a great magazine and I think that Liza is a great editor, and they are a superb team, I just think that when it comes to this category, despite the fact there is always debate, the Locus team do great work. - James Bacon

sure it was 2010, but Shiva’s Crown is an amazing piece and is on his Website Positives – Has done a lot of covers for big-selling books, including a ton of Patricia Biggs Negatives – The least big name on a ballot of big names. I love Danny Two Saints’ stuff! He is a great cover artist, and his website, http://www. dandossantos.com/ , has some great stuff. I’m hoping that he’s gonna walk away with one of these in the near-future. His style is instantly recogniseable, especially to those who love the Briggs novels that he’s done so many great covers for. Odds – 7-to1 Fourth – Bob Eggleton Previous Nominations – He’s got 22 and has won 8 of ‘em! My Favorite of his 2010 Pieces – I love the cover of Dragon’s Domain Positives – He’s Bob freakin’ Eggleton! Negatives – He’s won a bunch of them and he hasn’t finished high in recent years. I really enjoyed Dragon’s Domain, though it missed my Best Related Work ballot by a touch. He’s a legend, a first ballot Hall of Famer and a great guy. His head-banging artist duels with Frank Wu are awesome. Still, this is not a year for him to win. To me, he’s Godzilla stuff is at least as important to the modern American Cult of Kaiju as the actual films! Let us also not forget about his hair. It’s really significantly amazing! Hair like that needs it’s own category! Or maybe one for facial hair.Yeah, me, R Twidner, Kent Bloom, maybe that mustache guy! Odds – 5-to1

Third – Stephen Martiniere Previous Nominations – 4 with a win My Favorite of his 2010 Pieces – The Cover for The Dervish House is awesome. Positives – Is a highly popular artist who does art for big name writers. Negatives – Just not his year. I love the cover for The Dervish House. Easily my favorite of the covers from the nominated artists. I love his stuff overall, and I think he’ll get another one of two of these in the nearfuture, but I’m pretty sure that this isn’t the year for him. Odds – 4-to1 Second – Shaun Tan Previous Nominations – 2008, 2009, and 2010 when he won it. My Favorite of his 2010 Pieces – The film version of The Lost Thing, an amazing short film and the book. Positives - He won a Freakin’ Oscar! Negative – Not as widely known in the US We’ll let Hugo nominee Mike Carey talk about Shaun (and The Lost Thing a bit) Shaun Tan: best professional artist and best dramatic presentation, short form (for The Lost Thing). Shaun Tan’s The Arrival was a real eye-opener for me a couple of years back. It seemed to be a book-length oxymoron, at one and the same time giving a vivid glimpse into a whimsical and surreal other world and laying bare the heart of the immigrant experience. To read it is to zig-zag backwards and forwards between enchanting escapism and poignant social commentary, until you almost come to feel like a stranger in your own reality, nostalgic for

Best Professional Artist Last Year’s Winner – Shaun Tan Most wins in Category – Michael Whelan with 13 First Time Nominees – None Missing – Phil Foglio, Cliff Nielsen (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms cover was my fave of the year!), James Ng, Jon Foster, Viktor Keon, Howard Chaykin (and the fact that he doesn’t have a raft of them is a crime!), Jim Burns, David Hardy Fifth Place – Daniel Dos Santos Previous Nomination – 2009 and 2010 My Favorite of his 2010 Pieces – I’m not 100%

somebody else’s dreamworld. And now, with The Lost Thing, Tan is dipping his toe into the over-crowded waters of 3D animation, with truly wonderful results. Two centuries ago, William Blake was rhapsodising about seeing a world in a grain of sand, and eternity in an hour:Tan gives us a world, and a glimpse of eternity, in fifteen minutes – a 75% saving! The movie –a perfectly realised adaptation of Tan’s own children’s story – sees an inoffensive little guy finding a lost thing on the beach. It looks like a Cthulhu-esque deity hiding in an old boiler, but it’s affectionate and gentle and the two strike up a friendship. But the whole point of the lost thing is that it doesn’t belong in the regular world, and the narrator has to help it to find a place where it will fit in. Reduced to its basics like that, it sounds like very familiar stuff. What makes it enthralling and wonderful is the way it modulates into a reflection on the sense of wonder itself: the ability to strike off at right angles to your own routines, your own sameold-same-old, and acknowledge something anomalous when it reveals itself to you. It’s a capacity that the narrator has more or less lost by the end of the story, and his meditation on that loss is, in its own quiet and understated way, utterly heartbreaking. Personally, I’m rooting for Tan in both these categories. His works, whether purely rendered in pictures or in illustrated prose, are some of the most exquisite fantasies currently being produced. They abolish the distinctions between adult and children’s fiction, sense and nonsense, comedy and tragedy. They’re nothing like the short stories of Ted Chiang, and yet I find myself responding to them in the same way. They take you to places that there’s no other way of reaching. Moreover, they’re full of a humane

and liberal sensitivity that fills me with admiration. I hope he lives to be a hundred and never stops telling stories. Odds – 2-to1 Winner – John Picacio Previous Nominations – 6 times since 2005 My Favorite of his 2010 Pieces – The cover for Robots & Magic. Positives – A wonderful guy, a wonderful artist, a wonderful body of work. Negatives – None really. He’s flirted with the win a couple of times, and this is his year. I really think he is a deserving nominee and will be a great winner. Take a look at johnpicacio.com to see how great his stuff can be! Odds – 3-to-2 This is an interesting category. There were a lot of folks who I’d have loved to have seen on the ballot, including David Hardy and Donato Giancola, Still, it’s a very strong field. The one thing I’d love to see is more comics artists on the ballot. Yes, I love cover artists, but there are folks doing great stuff in comics that should be getting on the ballot. I’ll be happy to see John, the BayCon Artist GoH this year, to walk across the stage.

Best Professional Editor – Long Form Last Year’s Winner – Patrick Nielsen Hayden Most Wins in Category - I think it’s David Hatwell with three. First Time Nominees – Nick Mamatas, Moshe Feder Missing from the Ballot Patrick Nielsen Hayden, David Hartwell, Lou Anders I’m totally gonna crap out on this one. This is anybody’s game. There are some great folks up there for every taste and style. I’ve got no idea who’s going to win this one. I could say who I’m voting for, but I’m sure as hell not sure! There’s Lou Anders, Moshe Feder, Nick Mamatas, Liz Gorinsky or Juliet Ulman, who are all worthy and whose stuff I’m familiar with. I don’t know much about Beth Meacham, though I know she’s been up a bunch. There’s Ginjer Buchanan who has been nominated a lot. I dunno. If I had to make a guess, I’d say maybe Lou Anders (He did edit The Dervish House) has a slight lead, at least that’s what the buzz seems to be, but there are a lot of folks who have been chanting “Ma-Ma-Tas! Ma-Ma-Tas!”, so I’ve got no idea. I’ll just say this is the toughest ballot I’ve ever seen. No clue who to vote for, and part of that might also have to do with how difficult it is to get info on the works that the editors do. It’s a shame because all of the categories I’d have loved to have been able to handicap, this one is the one I can’t do! We gotta do better by editors, and I’ve said over the last few years that we should include the name of the editor/editors of every book up for Best Novel. That would at least be a start.

Best Professional Editor – Short Form Last Year’s Winner – Ellen Datlow Most Wins in Category – Gardner Dozois with 15 wins on 19 nominations! First Time Nominee – John Joseph Adams Missing from the Ballot – Mike Resnick, Alisa Kransonstein, Liz Gorinsky, Cheryl Morgan, Neil Clarke, Kelly Link Fifth Place – Stanley Schmidt Previous Nominations – Every year since 1980, never with a win. What’s He Edited – He’s Mr. Analog Positives – He’s the editor of a magazine that’s had tons of stories on the ballot over the years, including two this year. Negatives – Only two nominations when Asimov’s has 6. I want Stan Schmidt to walk across the stage and accept a Hugo. True, Analog ain’t what it used to be. It’s not the best of the Big Three, hasn’t been for at least fifteen years, and it’s not nearly as good as it was in the 1990s. I don’t see Stan winning this year, but I certainly hope he will in the future. Odds – 12-to1

I love Gordo. He’s been the most dependable editor over the last half-decade or so, ever since Gardner Dozois left Asimov’s. Still, once they cut down the number I’m one of thoseof issues a year, there’s been a feeling of decline to F&SF, which is sad, but they still have some real quality stories in every issue. I don’t think we’ll see another Gordo win for a few years. Odds – 10-to1 Third – Sheila Williams Previous Nominations – 4 of ‘em What She’s Edited 2010 – Asimov’s Positives – Edited the magazine with the most stories on the ballot. Negatives – She’s still in Gardner’s shadow as Asimov’s is nowhere near the level it was at when he was editing it. I am one of those who really believes that Asimov’s has fallen far since Sheila took over from Gardner.They still get some top-notch material, but it seems fewer and far between. This year, Asimov’s had For Want of a Nail, which to me is a great story. Still, Asimov’s was the biggest of the Big Three this year, but I don’t expect it to be quite enough. Odds – 7-to1

zines. He’s sort of the Wonderboy of the moment, recently took over Fantasy Magazine as I understand it. There’s a Lightspeed story in the Best Short Story category, and it’s all the buzz of folks. I can’t say that I’ll be much surprised if he takes it. H’s got a lot going for him, even if I think he’ll come up short. Odds – 3-to1 Winner – Johnathan Strahan Previous Nominations – I think 3 What’ he’s edited 2010- The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year:Volume 4 and a bunch of Anthologies. Positives – He’s done some of the best anthologies of the last decade and certainly of last year. Came in second last year, if I recall. Negatives – None, except it’s usually mag editors who win... except for the last two years. I said Strahan was going to win last year, and he didn’t despite Home Court Advantage. This year, he’s edited some great stuff and I’d suspect that he’ll win a close one. Odds – 2-to1

A great list here, though it would have been nice to see someone from Tor.com nomiFourth – Gordon Van Gelder Second – John Jospeh Adams nated because that’s the place that I think has Previous Nominations – Every year since 1996 Previous Nominations – None been doing the best stuff. Other than that, I have with a pair of wins What He’s Edited – The Magazine of Fantasy & What He edited in 2010 – Lightspeed Magazine a lot of thoughts about this category. I’ve always (and if I remember correctly, he was Assistant said we need a Best Magazine and a Best AntholScience Fiction ogy category to replace the Best Editor Short Positives – My all-time favorite magazine of the Editor at F&SF) and The Way of the Wizard. Positives – Lightspeed is pretty much the hot- Form, but I’m in the major minority there, I Big Three, who had a decent year. Negatives – Not a single story on the ballot this test thing to debut last year, and to make it on imagine. On the other hand, there are still some great short lists and this is one of them. year, they’ve cut back on the number of issues the ballot your first year is pretty amazing. Negatives – Not the widest-read of the magaand it wasn’t the best year for F&SF.

Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form Last Year’s Winner – Dr.Who The Waters of Mars Most Wins in the Category – Dr.Who episodes have won it four times. Missing form the List – Community’s Epidemiology Halloween Episode (best zombie TV stuff EVER!), The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore (and if you haven’t seen it, go to http://vimeo.com/17164728 and watch the Trailer!), the Finale of LOST, anything from Walking Dead,The Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors. Fifth/Fourth Place – Dr. Who The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang Positives – It’s Dr. Who.

Negatives – It’s not nearly as good as either the Dr. Who’s that are on the ballot. I am not a fan of these episodes, though I must admit it was OK. I liked the debut of this season far better and the other two nominated episode by far. Still, it’s not going to win. Odds – 7-to1 Fourth/Third – Dr. Who Vincent and the Doctor Positives- A great episode of Dr. Who Negatives – Not the best one on the ballot. This episode, endlessly entertaining and the best of the Dr. Who Meets Historical Figures episodes (OK, the Shakespear Code might have been a bit better) and a great episode too. This one makes me happy to see on the ballot, though I don’t think it’s quite there. Odds – 6-to1 Third /Second – The Lost Thing Positives – Won an Oscar, designed by the last Best Professional Artist winner, endlessly beautiful. Negatives – Probably not seen as widely as the rest of the field. I love The Lost Thing, though I was the one who cast the vote to not put it into the Cinequest Film Festival. It just wouldn’t have fit with the program. Still, it’s a gorgeous film (though I’d have taken The Flying Books over it every day), and it should do well.The biggest problem is that Short Films have never done well. If The Mysterious Geographical Expeditions of Jasper Morello couldn’t win (and not even get nominated!), then I don’t see The Lost Thing winning. Odds – 4-to1

Winner/Second – Dr. How A Christmas Carol Positives – By far my favorite episode of the last season of Dr. Who, and by far the best Christmas Episode ever. Negatives – None really. The big deal here is if a strange voter bloc forms to beat it. I’ll talk more about that in a minute. The episode was awesome, wellacted, beautiful music, some wonderful comedy and some pathos that I was really into. Michael Gambon, in particular, was amazing. I’d say that it was one of the best episodes the series has ever produced, far better than any of the others on the ballot. Odds – 2-to1

Fifth/Winner – Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury Positives – Hilarious video by a wonderful artist. Negatives – Not deeply SF, turns off a lot of older fans. This is the one that explains all the slashes in the other nominees. I really think this is an all-or-none choice. This could win it all, or it could end up beneath No Award. It had a lot of support from folks like me, and it had a lot of criticism from folks like me too. I love the video, think it’s hilarious and well-produced, if a bit winking at the whole thing. I’m saying that it might finish first and have more No Awards rated above it (which is kinda like the 20% rule in TAFF) and not win. Or it could get nowhere near enough support. I am hedging, yes, but only because this could be a big weirdness. Odds – 2-to-1 (but only 20-to-1 on that!) Here’s what multiple Hugo nominee and all-around great guy Paul Cornell has to say about the category! I think Short Form this year is very interesting, because, though I’d bemoan the lack of Stargate Universe and Fringe, it does actually represent three different types of quality. I sometimes think that Best TV Episode would be a better category, but that would leave Shaun Tan’s Oscar-winning short denied, which can’t be right. And ‘Fuck Me Ray Bradbury’ is very funny and says something real (though it does play on the incredible fact that nominees in this category only have to be *related* to SF). Paul thinks much like I do. This’ll be a fun category to see how it plays out!

And from James Bacon I am not a Doctor Who fan, and actually even though I have watched the most recent two episodes, I find it very boring. Tom Baker was DR Who for me, when I was a child, and to be honest, although McGann and Eccleston were pleasing, I just don’t enjoy these series as much as others. Also going on the last two episodes, there is a real increase in absurdity and too much reliance on the ‘kept in the dark’ element, which although is part of Doctor Who seems to be at a boring extreme. Am I going to go and watch these episodes to see how they are – nope – I didn’t nominate them and I am sure many hundreds of fans will vote.

I am gutted that Walking Dead did not get in here, a real travesty, and I expect in return DR Who may end up splitting the vote. Although you would expect that Who fans will go 1,2,3, I think some will vote for their Fave and then for Tan or Bloom. Both Tan and Bloom have real potential to capture the imagination of the undecided fan, Bloom especially so, what with her short video, easily accessible and really quite funny and irreverent. This music video really could steal the show. Tan’s work on the other hand is a different type of masterpiece and if people actually watch it, then it could Trump the great whovian wave.

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form Last Year’s Winner – Moon What’s Missing from the List – Hot Tub Time Machine! Twilight: Eclipse, Lost The End (though it might not have been eligible), TRON: Legacy, Iron Man 2, Black Swan, Micmacs

the seond best kids film/animation/etc Odds – 6-to1

Fourth Place – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Did I see it in the Theatres – Yes, thrice! Positive – The Most fun film on the ballot, and the second most inventive. Fifth Place – How To Train Your Dragon Negatives – Not nearly as popular with others Did I see it in the Theatre? Nope. Positives – A popular animated film that I’m bet- as with me. I thought Scott Pilgrim was a great film ting all the kids would vote for if they had memand it’s getting my first place vote. It was fun, it berships. Negatives – Not the biggest film on here. Hugo was funny, it was inventive and it was just plain voters have been voting for much more mature great. Michael Cera and Jason Swartzman in a fight scene and it works? Not possible, but they films the last few years. I would like to see it do well, but it’s up did it. Still, I have my doubts that others took to against some real competion in every way. It’s it like I did and I also seriously doubt that it’ll over-come the popularity of the three I ranked above it. Odds – 5-to1

Third Place – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallow Part 1 Did I see it in the Theatres – Yep Positives – A decent movie, along the lines of some of the others in the series. Negatives – Probably shouldn’t have been eligible as it’s not complete. OK, so there’s a tradition of not nominating things that aren’t finished until they are finished. The most obvious forms of this are in serialized novels. They’re eligible after the final chapter has seen the light of day. Still, Harry Potter is hugely popular and administrators haven’t been willing to administrate in recent years and this is another example of where it was almost

certainly appropriate. Still, it’s not a bad little film, even in its incompleteness, and there’s a lot to be said for honoring a series such as Harry Potter. Realise that it started the same year as the Lord of the Rings movies.! Odds – 4-to1

on of films. Negatives – Some people may want to vote for something a bit more adult. I haven’t seen it, I don’t plan on it. I like a lot of Pixar films, especially the shorts, but I’m not a fan of the Toy Story franchise. It just doesn’t sing to me much in the same way that I Second Place – Toy Story 3 really HATE The Iron Giant. I know, I know, I’m Did I see it in the Theatre? No. In fact, I haven’t the only one. From what I hear there’s a very seen it at all. strong story and it’s got as much for kids as for Positives – Pixar is popular with voters and this adults. That’s a positive, no? was apparently a very good entry into their can- Odds – 3-to1 Winner – Inception Did I see it in the Theatre? Twice. Positives – THE BEST MOVIE OF LAST YEAR, BAR NONE. Negatives – Folks may see it as a bit ‘out of genre’ and none of Christopher Nolan’s works have done too well. If Inception doesn’t win, it’s not because of anything in the film, it’ll be because of the attitudes of the voters. It was the best produced film of the last decade, probably the last century, and has a script that goes out and back again. It’s a great film, easily the best thing that Nolan’s ever done and I think that The Dark Knight is one of the true greats. It should win and win big, if there’s justice. Odds – 3-to-2

sure, its definitely fantastic and in comparison to the movie selection here, well it’s not great. I think Inception may just about do it here. I dunno, in 2009 I had Moon, Area 13 and Surrogates, 2010 felt just rubbish for movies. Maybe I should see more. A good category with a strong list. I would have loved to have seen LOST as an enFrom James Bacon tire series on the ballot as it was so much better The fact that Kick Ass didn’t get onto the than Heroes ever was. I wish that Scott Pilgrim Long form list is for me a fine example of the discon- would take home the Rocket, but If it’s actually nect between science fiction fans and comic book for the Best Film, then it’s Inception. If it’s for the fans. Kick Ass is possibly one of the best Comic Book one people love the most, it’s probably Toy Story adaptations ever, is it science fictional, I am not so 3. I’m saying that Inception takes it.

Fourth Place – The Unwritten by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton Positives – It’s a popular bit of writing. Negatives – Not nearly as big as the big ones on the ballot. Not gonna win, as much as I’d like to see it take home a rocket, but it’s good stuff and I would love it if this led to a lot of new sales of the book! Fifth Place – Grandville Mon Amour by Bry- Odds – 6-to1 an Talbot Positives – Another part of the brilliant Grand- The Comics category is still finding its feet, still not recognising that there is a canon of ville Steampunk/Alt. Hist Universe. Negatives – Some folks see it as a Furry thing high quality SF&F comics out there, still looking incredibly parochial. and don’t like it. Paul Cornell A note from Bryan Talbot himself! I’m absolutely delighted and honoured that Grandville Mon Amour is nominated for a Hugo Third Place –Schlock Mercenary: Massively Award. As a long time science fiction reader, writer Parallel and illustrator and occasional guest and attendee at Positives – People love them some Schlock MerSF cons, it is a genuine pleasure simply to be nomi- cenary. Negatives – Hasn’t done very well on the ballot nated for this prestigious and legendary prize. The recent introduction of the “Best Graphic in the past. It’s been on the ballot every year that Story” category to the Awards is, in itself, a cause for celebration and long overdue considering the coming this category has been in existence. It’s got a of age of the graphic novel form over the last two good following, and it’s kinda funny at times. I’m decades. It’s wonderful that the awards are intro- not a big fan of it myself, but I’m betting it’ll play ducing science fiction prose readers to this powerful well. Odds – 5-to1 medium. That’s 101 words! Second Place – Fables: Witches Best, Positives – It’s Bill Willingham, who is a special Bryan The trailer for Grandville Mon Amour guest at the con, and it’s a well-loved comic. is now online: http://www.youtube.com/ Negatives – Not the best thing on the ballot. I’m not personally a fan of a lot of Fables. watch?v=RdBnXHD3j7Q There’s a lot of good in it, but it’s never connectMy website: http://www.bryan-talbot.com ed with me in much the same way that Sandman Odds – 7-to1 Best Graphic Story Last Year’s Winner – Girl Genius by Phil Foglio Most Wins in the Category – Only Girl Genius has won in it! First Time nominees – Grandville Mon Amour, The Unwritten What’s Missing – Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, Jonah Hex: No Way Back,World War Hulks

never connected with me. Still, it is pretty darn popular and I’m betting it’ll do very well. Odds – 4-to1 Winner – Girl Genius Positives – Beloved comic from the Foglios, the most popular artists on the scene today. Negatives – It won the last two years. I know folks who are BEGGING for Girl Genius to lose because if it wins, it could well spell the end of the category. You see, it’s only a trail category and if the same thing has won the last three years, well then how does that show this as a viable category? I’m of the opinion that it’s not Girl Genius’ fault that they’re hella popular and keep winning it. The thing is, I just don’t see anything that will be able to unseat them. If Neil Gaimen writing for Batman doesn’t knock them off, what can? Odds – 7-to-5 From James Bacon! I was so pleased to see both Unwriten and Grandville on the ballot. Now please forgive me here, it’s not that I do not like any of the other nominees, but it’s just I wanted and needed a wider reflection of what’s out there in comics and I got it. Seeing Grandville Mon Amour on the ballot is very pleasing, its by perhaps one of the greatest science fictional comic story tellers in the world. Bryan does ART and Writing so wonderfully he is the ultimate professional in sequential story telling, and this sets him apart from the field, and well Grandville is just a brilliantly fun and well conceived comic, and he uses the medium to its full advantage. As does Carey and the Unwritten team, to be honest, and this clever and very literary comic is very im-

pressive. Mike has written hundreds of comics and like Bryan, I hold him in the highest regard, so this is personally tough. Either one winning would be a great day for me, Unwritten got a lot of positive blogging in the earlier part of the year, so I hope fans go and read it, Its worth it. Fables could have a good year, Bill Willingham is a special guest and this will no doubt help a little bit while one could say the same about Girl Genius, which has been reaching out to mainstream comic fans – I was well impressed with the stand they had at Wondercon.Yet, I would like to see the Hugo voting constituency vote for someone new, nothing against the Girl Genius team, it would just add variety and some sort of sense of awareness that GG is not the only brilliant comic out there I love Girl Genius, and I voted it second after Grandville. I think the original Grandville’s absense from the Hugo ballot last year was the second biggest sorrow after the lack of Tim Powers: Secret Histories. Still, James is right, there’s other good stuff. It’s hard to fault the winner for dominating a category when it’s as good as Girl Genius, though...

Best Related Work Last Year’s Winner - This is Me, Jack Vance! (Or, More Properly,This is “I”) Most Wins in Category – I believe that John Clute has won 3 What’s Missing – I really don’t know. I can think of half-a-dozen for next year, but none for this year.

Fourth – Bearings: Reviews 1997 – 2001 by Gary K. Wolfe Positives – One of the better reviewers in the world and a beloved one at that. Negatives – Not that big a deal as a book. I didn’t get into it much. This one was almost as interesting as I expected, but it was just over-shadowed by the Fifth - The Business of Science Fiction: Two top three here. Still, good stuff, a pretty good Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing by read. There are folks who believe that Gary not having a Hugo is the same as I feel about Kurt Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg Positives – It’s two guys who have been on the Vonnegut noever having won a Hugo: an absoballot and won a few Rockets. lute shame. I can see that. Negatives – Dull. Dull. Dull. Odds – 8-to1 I’m not a guy who likes a lot of reading about the business of writing. I like writing about Third – Writing Excuses with Brandon Sandthe business of science fiction writing, but not erson, Jordan Sanderson, Howard Tayler and reading about it. As often as Mike Resnick’s writ- Dan Wells. ing has done some nice entertaining, here, I was Positives – A PodCast that I actually enjoy with a bored. I didn’t make it much past the 20th page. little bit of regularity! Negatives – Not pushed by NPR, not about That’s not good. Heinlein and not about Dr. Who. Odds – 15-to1 I really like Writing Excuses. I haven’t listened too often, but I really enjoyed the several times I listened. It’s a good listen, and while it’s not my favorite PodCast, that would go to either the FanboyPlanet PodCast (www.fanboyplanet.com) or Fear The Boot (which I’m not sure is still active, but it’s a good one), but I’m not sure it’s got the game to unseat the NPR Effect nor the Dr. Who push. Odds – 4-to1

Second - Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 1: (1907–1948): Learning Curve, by William H. Patterson, Jr. Positives – Featured on NPR, it’s about Heinlein, and it’s probably the biggest seller on this list. Let’s face it, there is still a massive Cult dedicated to Robert Alveras Heinlein. Negatives – I hate Heinlein. I mean REALLY HATE Heinlein, but that’s just me... This is a book that Evelyn’s Grandma has been reading and I’ve not made myself experience other than a sample chapter. I think it’s a decent piece of writing. I heard two segments about it on NPR, which made me groan with the phrase “Oh man, this means it’s gonna win the Hugo.” The Alice Shelton/James Tiptree Jr. bio won and I gave a lot of the credit to the fact that they got so much press on NPR (including a great interview with Teri Gross). There is a significant number of people who adore Heinlein so much they’ll vote for for anything that’s about/by/referring to him. This is a sadness to me! Still, it’s not about Dr. Who! Odds – 2-to1 Winner – Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea Positives – Not only is it a great read, but it’s got great writing from folks who are favorites of fandom and the voters. Negatives – Might have gotten a much smaller release than the others. Let’s start with Paul Cornell And, against the incredibly tough competition it’s facing, I’d like to say that Chicks Dig Time

Lords is a fine volume, the first collection of feminist voices talking about Doctor Who. It would not be a bad thing if it won This is Dr. Who. It’s got a lot of juice behind it! I’m hoping that it’ll walk off with it, and I’m betting that it will. It’s also got a piece from one of the favorite Drink Tank friends Johanna Mead! That means it’ll be getting my first vote. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m a-gonna! Odds – 3-to-2 This is a big category and it’s the first time in years that I thought that it was more interesting than half of the ballot. I really think this is a more interesting category than the four bigs this year. There’s something for everyone, it’s got some big names, and there’s the power of Dr. Who vs. Robert Action Heinlein. Of course, this is a category that is interesting to me because it gets so little play. I really believe that this is where websites, Podcasts and Blogs belong. They fit nicely, and the fact that there are folks who may see Best Fanzine as an easy landing pad from which to launch their campaigns is rather upsetting...

Best Short Story Last Year’s Winner – Bridesicle by Will McIntosh Writer with the most Wins in Category – Harlan Ellison. First Time Nominees – I don’t think that Carrie Vaughn’s ever been on the ballot anywhere. What’s Missing –The Closet by John Kessel. Remotest Mansions of the Blood by Alex Irvine, Clockwork Faeries by Cat Rambo (the best piece of fiction from Steampunk Fortnight!) Fifth Place – Nothing. There was nothing that got at least 5% of the nominators nominating. That hasn’t happened that often, but it does leave a nice set of four stories. Still, this may say a little something about the world of Short Stories right now. Perhaps there are huge numbers of stories that got a few votes each because there was so much great material that folsk spread the wealth. On the other hand, it could be that these ones just overpowered everything. Either way, it’s different. Fourth – Ponies by Kij Johnson Previous nominations – She’s in her third straight year of nominations in this category (and Spur was my favorite from last year) Where can you read it? http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/11/ponies How does it open? The invitation card has a Western theme. Along its margins, cartoon girls in cowboy hats chase a herd of wild Ponies Positives - A great story that tells the world of young girly cruelty in a dark way. Negatives – certainly not a story for everyone, as the comments on the story will tell you.

Second – For Want of a Nail by Mary Robineete Kowal The problem with the short stories this year Previous Nominations – Evil Robot Monkey was is the same as the famous 1999 Sundance nominated in 2009 Problem: everything is well-done; everything Where can I read it? http://www.maryrobiis good. Nothing is moving, nothing makes an nettekowal.com/journal/for-want-of-a-nail-is-aimpact that lasts longer than the last flickering hugo-nominee/ frame. Nothing sticks. Well, everything but the How does it start? With one hand, Rava adjustJohnson. That stuck. ed the VR interface glasses where they bit into the Jay Crasdan bridge of her nose, while she kept her other hand buried in Cordelia’s innards. Third - The Things by Peter Watts Positives – Mary’s a great lady (and BayCon’s Previous Nominations – His first in Short Story, Writer GoH!) and a favorite. The stories pretty though he won Best Novelette last year. great too! Where can you read it? http://clarkesworldmag- Negatives – Nothing big. azine.com/watts_01_10/ I loved this story. I’m a fan of Mary’s How does it open? I am being Blair. I escape out (and you should read her book Shades of Milk & the back as the world comes in through the front. Honey), and this is her at her best. It’s even betPositives – a pretty good story. He’s probably ter than Evil Robot Monkey! She’s good people, still got some juice from his border incident last she’s won the Campbell award in 2008. It was year. also the only one of the stories nominated to Negatives – Not the best thing on the ballot. appear in one of the Big Three. Still, it’s not quite I love James Nicoll’s note on Peter Watts at the peak and I’m thinking it’ll come close, but – When I find my will to live becoming too strong, I not quite. read Peter Watts. He’s not my fave overall, but at Odds – 2-to1 times his stories are very filling, if dark.This one’s heavy, and it’s a take on The Thing, the 1980s Carpented film. He works with it pretty well, and it’s

I love Kij Johnson. In a decae or so, I’m pretty sure we’ll be talking about her in the same way we talk about Tiptree in the 1970s. Her voice is among the most powerful writing today, and the short story is her wheelhouse. That said, this story is not for everybody, especially those that would see a story about the dismemberment of unicorns as a bit light and perhaps as a bit too gross. Still, I love this story and it’s getting my second place vote this year. Odds – 10-to1

a touch gimmicky, but I wouldn’t put it past the voters to give him another Hugo based more on the Border Incident of last year than on the strength of the story itself. With many voters, it’s a combination of name recognition, quality of work and a feeling that someone ‘deserves it’. Sometime, that can mean that the work matters far less than the matter outside. Go figure. Odds – 5-to1

Winner – Amaryllis by Carrie Vaughn Previous Nominations – None, I don’t think in any category. Where can I read it? http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/amaryllis/ How does it start? I never knew my mother, and I never understood why she did what she did. I ought to be grateful that she was crazy enough to cut out her implant so she could get pregnant. Positives – A great story which helped give Lightspeed its reputation for awesome! Negatives – Some might see it as light on SF content This is my favorite short story this year. It’s an impressive piece and it should win if it’s about story quality. Vaughn, best known for her Kitty & The Midnight Hour novels and After The Golden Age, which I’m excited to get to read, has constructed a great world where reproduction is tightly controlled and a fishing boat where questions are raised. Her prose is so impressive and when I think of Lightspeed, I think of the way that Carrie played the line here, showing us a world that is different, but not the flashing, beeping worlds that some reliy on, nor the oozing, dark dystopia that so many others trade on. This was an impressive story and my favorite. Odds – 3-to-2 A good category that is only marred by having only 4 nominees. I really enjoyed three of the stories, the fourth wasn’t bad at all. When I think of all the nominees, I tend to think that the one I’ll talk about most in the future is Ponies, only because of the dark imagery, but on the other hand, Amaryllis is a great story and to me it defines what Lightspeed is trying to do as a magazine.

Best Novelette Last Year’s Winner – The Island by Peter Watts Most Wins – Harlan and Poul Anderson are tied with Three each First Time Nominees - Aliette de Bodard, Eric James Stone What Missing – Swamp City Lament by Alexander Duncan, Advances in Modern Chemotherapy by Michael Alexander, Stone Wall Truth by Caroline M. Yoachim. Fifth Place – Plus or Minus by James Patrick Kelly Previous nominations – 2 and a win! Where can you read it? http://www.jimkelly.net/ index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id =136&Itemid=41 How’s it start? Everything changed once Beep found out that Mariska’s mother was the famous Natalya Volochkova. Mariska’s life aboard the Shining Legend went immediately from bad to awful. Positives – In a high-profile magazine and a popular writer who’s won one before. Negatives – Weakest story on the list from where I’m sitting. I just didn’t care much for Plus or Minus. I gave it three chances, twice when it first came out, once when I was doing the reading for this issue. It just completely failed to connect with me. Now, I’ve read some Kelly that I’ve enjoyed, but this was just not one of those. Odds – 10-to1 Fourth Place – The Emperor of Mars by Allan M. Steel Previous Nominations – 3 Where can you read it? Allensteele.com/emper-

or.htm How’s it start? Out there, there’s a lot of ways to go crazy. Get cooped up in a passenger module not much larger than a trailer, and by the time you reach your destination you may have come to believe that the universe exists only within your own mind: it’s called solipsism syndrome, and I’ve seen it happen a couple of times. Positives – A good little story, the kind I’ve expected from Steele for a while. Appeared in one of the Big Three. Negatives – Not the best of the ones on this list There are a couple of great paragraphs in this one. That’s more than I can say for a lot of stories. Here, the entire story feels like Steele was going for broke and while there were a couple of points where I found myself wandering off the page, it holds together pretty well. Odds – 5-to1 Third Place – The Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made by Eric James Stone Previous Nominations – None. Where can I read it? http://www.ericjamesstone. com/blog/stories/that-leviathan-whom-thouhast-made/ How’s it start? Sol Central Station floated amid the fusing hydrogen of the solar core, 400,000 miles under the surface of the sun, protected only by the thin shell of an energy shield, but that wasn’t why my palm sweat slicked the plastic pulpit of the station’s multidenominational chapel. Positives – A fun little story with a Morman at the heart of it. Negatives – Not as strong as the top two. I liked it a lot. I thought that the writing

was a bit softer, as it were, than most of what we’re seeing on the list. Compare Stone to Peter Watts and you’ll see the difference. He mingles some humor, though seldom over-the-top, and has come up on a solid story that kept me reading when I should have been reading FEED! Odds – 4-to1

of an underrepresented area for genre fiction. Negatives – None. This is the biggest one for me. It’s an exciting look at the traditions and past of old Mexico. I love the way this one flows, especially when you look at the way it’s written. This is a stylish piece, but at the same time, there is hardly a word wasted. Not as much fun as the Second – Eight Miles by Sean McMullen McMullen, but far more powerful. Previous Nominations – Not in this category, Odds – 2-to1 but in two others. Where can I read it? http://www.seanmcmullen. net.au/eightmiles.htm How’s it start? Consider a journey of eight miles. One could walk it in less than an afternoon, in a carriage it would take an hour, or one could conquer the distance in one of Stevenson’s steam trains in fifteen minutes or less. Positives – a really good story from one of the best writers around. Negatives – None, really. There is a theory that you can not make a good movie if there is a hot air balloon involved. This does not apply to literature, and here there’s so much ballooning goodness that it’s impossible to dismiss. I read this one twice. I really enjoyed it. Odds – 3-to1 Winner – The Jaguar House, In Shadow by Aliette de Bodard Previous Nominations – None Where can I find it? http://aliettedebodard.com/bibliography/online-fiction/the-jaguar-house-in-shadow/ How does it start? The mind wanders, when one takes teonanacatl. Positives – Great story, beautifully realized and

This is a real good category, because even the one I didn’t like and couldn’t get through wasn’t bad. I’ve got my favorites (I can’t figure out whether I’ll vote for the impactful Bodard piece or the endlessly readable McMullen) and I’m even harder pressed to figure what’ll be three and four on my ballot. Must figure that out. I think Bodard will take it all home though, as much as I love Sean’s stuff.

Best Novella Last Year’s Winner – Palimpsest by Charles Stross Most Wins in the Category – Our friend Connie Willis! First Time Nominees – Elizabeth Hand, Geoffrey Landis, Alastair Reynolds, Rachel Swirsky What’s Missing – I think that Clementine by Cherie Priest was a Novella. Fifth Place – The Sultan of the Clouds by Geoffrey A. Landis Previous Nominations – None Where can I read it? http://www.asimovs. com/2011_04-05/images/511Nebula10_sultan. pdf How does it start? When Leah Hamakawa and I arrived at Riemann orbital, there was a surprise waiting for Leah: a message. Not an electronic message on a link-pad, but an actual physical envelope, with Doctor Leah Hamakawa lettered on the outside in flowing handwriting. Positivies – A kinda fun little story. Negatives – Just kinda. I wasn’t blown away by The Sultan of the Clouds, but it was OK. It didn’t take me long to read, but it also didn’t make that big an impression. In fact, I didn’t recognize the title when they announced the nominations. Odds – 8-to1

the day I died. Instead, it began there. Positive – A very good story. Negatives – Not the biggest name on the ballot. I read this when it was first out and I went from amusedly and distractedly reading to immersed and uncontactable. The story turns the corner around five thousand words in. I was really impressed as I’ve not caught Swirsky as hard before. A really good story and in a lighter year, it’d win it. Instead, it’s fourth on a strong ballot. Odds -5-to1

Third - The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon by Elizabeth Hand Previous Nominations – None. Where can I read it? http://books.google.com/ books?id=JR_qmGtSqlwC&pg=PA351&lpg=PA3 51&dq=The+Maiden+Flight+of+McCauley’s+Be llerophon&source=bl&ots=PAujq0Z47l&sig=ptb 5nTI2sbbbUiB1IqXBQT6HGZY&hl=en&ei=oG 2_TbKrOYLmsQP_t7zQAw&sa=X&oi=book_r esult&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CEgQ6AEw Bg#v=onepage&q=The%20Maiden%20Flight%2 0of%20McCauley’s%20Bellerophon&f=false How’s it start? Being assigned to the head was the worst shift you could pull at the museum. Positive s – A really fun and furious story. Negatives – Not in the biggest market, or I’d say Fourth - The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers be- it was gonna take it. It takes place at a museum! A Smithsonneath the Queen’s Window by Rachel Swirsky ian Museum! I used to work at the SmithsonPrevious Nominations – None. Where Can I read it? http://subterraneanpress. ian. Have I mentioned that before? Anyhoo, it’s a com/index.php/magazine/summer-2010/fiction- great little story and one that stuck with me. It the-lady-who-plucked-red-flowers-beneath-the- also really made me wanna do a Captain Marvo cosplay. queens-window-by-rachel-swirsky/ 1 How Does it start? My story should have ended on Odds – 3-to-

Even-First – The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang Previous Nominations – He’s been up twice, though Novelette is his wheelhouse with two wins. Where can I read it - http://www.subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/fall-2010/fictionthe-lifecycle-of-software-objects-by-ted-chiang/ How’s it start? Her name is Ana Alvarado, and she’s having a bad day. She spent all week preparing for a job interview, the first one in months to reach the videoconference stage, but the recruiter’s face barely appeared onscreen before he told her that the company has decided to hire someone else. Positives – He’s Ted Freakin’ Chiang! Plus, he’s the Writer GoH at Minicon, and hopefully that makes you a little more likely to win! Negative – None. Here’s Beth Zuckerman on The Lifecycle..., since I haven’t finished it yet! This is only the second work I’ve read by Ted Chiang, but I am already very excited about him. Chiang writes wonderful, thoughtful works in a fascinating and original style. Looking at Chiang’s work alongside Paolo Bacigalupi’s, we can see the future of science fiction. The Lifecycle of Software Objects is about AI’s called digients. I’ve never played the Sims, but from what I’ve heard, the digients sound a lot like the Sims family. They exist in a virtual world (although sometimes they get moved into robotic bodies), and they respond to training given by the humans who buy and keep them. They can learn to read and speak. They are designed to be cute and appealing, so that their humans will want to play with them a lot, and they develop personalities through interaction with humans and other digients.

Although digients appear in the book as almost human characters, they are still AI’s. They can be shut down, restored from earlier backups, or ignored entirely, at the whims of their humans. The book asks us to think about the legal and moral status, or personhood, of digients. I was a philosophy student, so I just eat this stuff up like candy. But you don’t have to have been a philosophy student to find this book interesting. It raises all sorts of fascinating questions. Is it acceptable to turn off a digient merely because you are bored with him or her? If a digient does something you don’t like, is it acceptable to roll him or her back to the previous day’s backup? What should you do if a digient requests that you roll him or her back to a previous backup? When has a digient developed sufficiently that he or she should be allowed to make his or her own decisions? Should digients be granted the legal status of personhood, and if so, via what mechanism should this be accomplished? The book raises questions about humans as well, about what motivates us, what makes us love each other, and how we should treat the people we love. The story is told in the present tense, in an exceedingly minimalist style. The book is so short, I’m not even sure it qualifies as a novel rather than a novella. But there’s an ongoing, developing story here, in both real and virtual worlds. It’s a poignant story about what it means to be used and manipulated, and what it means to love and be loved. The plot takes many unexpected twists. This is definitely one of the better works of 2010. Odds – 2-to1 Even-First – Troika by Alastair Reynolds Previous nominations – In a total crime, he’s never been on the ballot!

Where can you read it? You’ll have to buy it in Godlike Machines (edited by Johnathan Strahan and featuring great pieces from Sean Williams and Greg Egan) How does it start? I don’t have it to transcribe! Positives – the first Hugo Nom for one of the best things to happen to the field in the Twenty-First Century. He’s also written for Journey Planet and that counts for something, right? Negatives – It’s not in a larger edition. I had to borrow Jay’s copy of this a couple of months back and it was an awesome story about “A Big Dumb Machine” Al is impressively readable in his writing and this is a story of First Contact and a great one at that. I wish I could get a copy of it for my very own, but alas, the trade version, available in July, is 35 and the limited is 60! I’ve gotta rob a bank or something... Odds – 2-to1 From James Bacon I’ll be rooting for Al Reynolds here, Chris! OK, I’m calling for a tie. I all but called it in these pages for Best Novel last year (and at the BayCon panel on The Hugos I did say it) and I’m saying it now. This is a fantastic ballot. I’m not lying when I say that I’d take this one over almost any other ballot in the last decade. Even better than the 2005 Best Novel. I’m pretty much saying that a tie will happen. The two biggest names on the ballot with pieces that folks are talking about as the best things they’ve read this year!

And now, the MAIN EVENT!!!!! The Hugo Award for Best Novel
Last Year’s Winner – tie:The City & The City and The Windup Girl Most wins in the category – Robert Amberson Heinlein with 5 First Time Nominees – N.K. Jemisin, Mira Grant What’s not on the list – In a really sad moment, Mr. Felix Gilman’s The Half Made World was not on the ballot. Dreadnought by Cherie Priest, Kraken by China Mieville, Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds, The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer, The Arthur C. Clarke winner Zoo City by Lauren Beukes,The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. Fifth – Cryoburn by Lois McMasters Bujold I refuse. I simply refuse. Every time I’ve tried Bujold, it’s been like ordering a mediumrare steak at a Sizzler. You’re hoping it’ll be different this time, you’re hoping that it’ll come to you medium rare, or at least medium, and it’s cooked through. I’ve never had anything resembling a pleasant experience reading or trying to read a Bujold novel and I decided not to do it. Odds – Million-to-one Fourth – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin Previous Nominations – None Did I finish it – Yep. How long did it take me to read it – Four days. Positives – A well-constructed and executed fantasy novel that ended which pulled me through. Negatives – Faltered a bit at the end. I’ve enjoyed much of the stuff I’ve read from N.K. Jemisin over the years, and this was a fine debut novel. I understand that it’s the first of a series, though I don’t know if I’m willing to read further. I think this was a fine contained story and I’d be more than happy to leave it where it lie.There’s some great characterization, and some sizzling prose to go along with a powerful sense of timing and nice pacing. Still, I don’t see it topping the bigger names on the ballot... or zombies. Odds – 5-to1

Third – FEED by Mira Grant Previous Nominations – None (though ‘tis a penname for Seanan McGuire, the current Campbell winner) Did I finish it – Nope, I got about 120 pages in. How long did it take me – a little more than a week to do that. Positives – Zombies, blog culture and a popular writer who everyone but me knew was Seanan

Second – Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis Previous Nominations – Four with two wins. Did I finish it? I tried. I really did. Couldn’t get into it. How Long did I try? An entire afternoon. I didn’t get much more than a dozen pages. I gave a bit of a read and I just couldn’t make inroads. This happens with a lot of Willis, though a couple of her things are fantastic. I tend to prefer her shorter works and not her novels. Still, she’s the biggest name on the ballot, a voter favorite and she could easily walk off with this one.There is no doubt that Connie will be up on stage in Reno, certainly as a presenter, but I think she’ll fall just short on this award. Odds – 2-to1

(who I’ve known for YEARS!) Negatives – For me, it’s a bit lumpy and bogged down more than once. It may sound like I didn’t enjoy FEED, and that’s not quite true. I thought there were many points where it just ground to a halt and I had trouble getting through those periods. This happens with me and a lot of books, most notably Dune, but there are some that have it happen and I still very much enjoy them. I can already see how they’ll be working to adapt this into a movie. It’ll be a big budget blockbuster for sure! Still, zombies are hot right now, the blog culture stuff has made it a popular piece that’s got a lot of buzz around it already. I’ll have to give it another try a little later. Odds – 3-to1

Winner – The Dervish House by Ian McDonald Previous Nominations – River of Gods and Brasyl were both denied Hugos they probably should have won. Did I finish it – Not quite yet, but I’m making good headway. How long have I been at it – A week and a half. Positives – Easily the most entertaining and powerfully written novel on the ballot. Negatives – Not from the biggest publisher. I love Ian McDonald and his stories are just phenomenal. I’m going to do a full issue dedicated to his writing later this year. It’s going to be something of a hike as there’s a lot of stuff of his I still need to read and like Paolo and Ted Chiang, he’s slow reading for me, though highly enjoyable.The combination of hype for The Dervish House and the power of the prose make me think that it’ll win, possibly getting fewer firsts than Connie, but you never can tell. Odds – 3-to-2 This is an odd year. Four out of five of the nominated novels were written by women. That’s only happened once before, as I understand it, and it’s good to see. Interestingly, I still think the only guy on the novel wrote the best book of all of them and the one that satisfied most of my buttons. I thought that The Hundred THousand Kingdoms was a good one too, even though it was far-outside of my regular reading zone. I wish I’d gotten into FEED more. I thought there was some good words going on, but the way the exposition gathered I was bothered. It has an impressive look at the world, and I am especially impressed with the way he writes kids.

Very few can pull it off. If I was a betting man, and I’m willing to take 7-2 odds that I am, I’d say it’ll be close. Much like China last year, Ian’s not done terribly well in the past, I think Brasyl came in fifth, which is totally bogus, and this could be his turn. But with an impressive debut (FEED) and a pair of superstars (Bujold and Willis), it’s going to be close no matter what takes it! Still, this is a very Hugo Voters ballot and not a surprise like last year or 2005.

I think that the Dervish House marks an important stage in Science Fictional writing because if it wins we will at last recognise a writer who is truly skilled at placing himself in other environments with a level of ease that seems to be beyond many. McDonald is competent writing about India, Brasil, Mars and now Turkey to name a few, he is an incredibly skilled story teller, and this is just a very enjoyable book. For me this is the one that should win. Interestingly I think that Lois and Connies entries will be potentially the ones that could scoop up the award. Lois hasn’t won for a while. So far, the comments seem to have been either that the list is weak, which I disagree with, and that its four women nominated, which is fine, but it’s about the books no matter what the sex of the author, of course if it matters, I am pleased people are happy. Hard to call.

James Bacon on Best Novel

I Got such a beating... by James Bacon So, I was sitting there with Liz Batty and part of third row fandom and a famous person, chatting about the Hugo awards, having just heard the nominations that evening, and we were cursing and bitching, well maybe I was, and I was wondering about the brilliance that was that there were four women in the Novel section. Progressive thinking you may reckon, but as I said I get invited along to the Very Important Persons party at Reno, which is excellent, and well the more women there the better! Later, I reiterated this sarcastic look on life to a couple of friends of mine who are girls, so they started to beat me. Jeez.

A few words on the entire ballot from Author Lauren Beukes, whose novel Zoo City just won the Clarke!
In the John W Campbell, Lev Grossman’s The Magicians was fantastic; a grown-up, fuckedup return-to-Narnia that is rich and complex and eminently readable. And we’ve already agreed to resolve who should win (at least between the two of us) with a sloth-on-sloth deathmatch. The Magician King’s sloth versus Zoo City’s. I don’t know Saladin or Larry, but I met Dan Wells a couple of years ago and he gave me a copy of I Am Not A Serial Killer which I devoured on the plane back to South Africa and loved it so much, I wrote a shout for his German edition. To oversimplify horribly, it’s a teenage Dexter... with demons! Dan’s already won several other awards I think, so tough competition. I’m a huge fan of Bill Willingham’s Fables, which casts fairytale characters as refugees in contemporary New York, living in secret among the mundies. Despite resolving the major plot thread of the war against The Adversary, Willingham keeps evolving the story in surprising and compelling ways - and gets to play across genres with his characters in all their manifestations across the centuries of human imagination. Mike Carey’s The Unwritten is my favourite debut of last year. On the surface it’s about a Christopher Robin-like character, a real kid who became the star in his father’s Harry Potterlike novels and now, all grown-up, makes a living trading on his reputation at fan conventions and then it all goes wrong. But it’s really a story about story and the power therein, cross-referencing everything from Choose Your Own Adventure novels to Jud Suss, a real-life Nazi propaganda film that twisted the pro-Jewish novel it was based on. In long-form, I loved Inception. Christopher Nolan is one of my favourite directors, especially when he’s doing his own projects. The originality and twistiness of his stories, never mind the gorgeous visuals, are astounding. Scott Pilgrim captured the heart and wit and wonderful silliness of the comics with verve and style. (Sad that the comic didn’t make the ballot) But I’ll probably vote for How To Train Your Dragon, which was just fantastic. Smart and cool and surprising, with brilliant design, awesome dragons and great, great, great characters. Did I mention great already? I can’t wait for my kid to be old enough to watch it (she’s two and a half and it’s still a little scary although she does a great dragon growl - usually at older kids hogging the swings). The kids really want us to vote for How To Train Your Dragon. We might in exchange for 1/2 of their Halloween candy. One must make tradeoffs! Jay Crasdan In best novel, I’ve heard great things about The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Feed in particular and I was blown away by Connie Willis’ reading from Blackout at WorldCon 2009, but the only one I’ve had a chance to read is The Dervish House, which is outstanding. It’s an sprawling twist on real and imagined Istanbul

with a huge cast of finely crafted characters, mysticism, nanotech, djinn, intrigue and stock-brokery. I’m quite relieved not to be facing off against Ian McDonald again. I haven’t read any of the novellas, alas (again, looking forward to Hugo Voter’s Packet) and only one of the short stories, which was Kij Johnson’s taut and viciously satirical Ponies that captures the dark heart of little girls so evocatively. Best artist is hard! I’m obviously incredibly biased towards John Picacio who took time out his insanely busy schedule doing George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones calendar to do the Zoo City cover. But I love his work, his sense of character, of real people, his flair for layout and his use of colour. Shaun Tan won last year, but he’s just astounding. I wish I could do as much with a whole novel of words as he can do with a single panel of a wordless comic. And I’ve admired Stephan Martiniere for ages - since Lou Anders showcased his work on a panel on cover design. He got me in to Ian McDonald actually. Those covers are fantastic. Disappointed not to see Jonathan Coulthart on the list. I loved his cover for Jeff VanderMeer’s Finch.

An Appreciation by James Bacon
Lauren Beukes. Ryhmes with Lucas. Is stunningly awesome. So like I read her book in South Africa, when no one knew who she was and I though Moxyland was bloody brilliant, and then you know, she was everywhere and then there was Zoo City and Jesus, she is really popular with the ‘in crowd’ man, like awesome. So there we are, the scumbag fan types, hanging in the corridor outside the disco, slyly drinking cans, being inoffensive, well apart from the smell, and this incredibly gorgeous girl walks by with blonde hair and a striking bit of colour and a sloth on her shouler, and we all just followed her as she walked down the marble floor, and you know, we just all looked at one another and went phew... and were slightly embarrassed at our slack jaws and obvious uncouthness, so returned to genteel conversation. So then the next day, I am over at the Angry Robot Table and there she is, and I get told that she is Lauren Beukes, and I am just super impressed, like my favourite, well one of my favourite female writers of this fucked up 21st century, is not only brilliant, South African but beautiful. I sorta gush a bit, and say, that we would have talked to her if we knew who she was, and a look passed across her face, and I wondered whether it was that that would have been nice, or the realisation that you just stepped out of the way of a bus, she was nice though. So, Zoo City and Moxyland are incredibly brilliant books, and this is a writer from Africa, and I hope she wins The Campbell.