There’s six weeks to go, give or take, til the Hugo nominations have to be in, and so I’m thinking quite hard about who I should nominate.
Here’s what I’m going for so far:
The Pendragon Protocol, Philip Purser-Hallard
If I can’t find four better novels in the next six weeks — Lock-In by John Scalzi (not a great book, but a good one)
Don’t think I read one last year.
Best Short Story:
The Adventure of the Professor’s Bequest by Philip Purser-Hallard
The Adventure of the Decadent Headmaster by Nick Campbell
Wandering Stars by Ian Potter
City Of Dust by Aditya Bidakar
Iris, Chess-Mistress of Mars by Simon Bucher-Jones
Best Related Work:
The Annual Years – Paul Magrs
The Viewer’s Complete Tale – Andrew Rilstone
TARDIS Eruditorum Vol 5 – Phil Sandifer
Best Graphic Story
Cindy & Biscuit by Dan White
Loki: Agent of Asgard by Al Ewing/Lee Garbett/Various(
(I was going to nominate Multiversity and Sandman: Overture (the latter purely for the art) but neither finished in 2014, so they’ll have to be held over).
Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
Nunkie Theatre – The Time Machine
Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
The Brenda and Effie Mysteries: The Woman in a Black Beehive (Bafflegab)
Best Professional Editor (Short Form)
Best Professional Editor (Long Form)
Don’t think I know who edits most novels. I would nominate Stuart Douglas, who’s editing my own novel at the moment, but I don’t think he meets the criteria.
Best Professional Artist
J.H. Williams III
Not read any of these
Not read any of these
Best Fan Writer:
Best Fan Artist
Calamity Jon Morris
Now, I have three problems with this list so far. The first is that it’s not full yet — there are a lot of empty spaces. The second is that there are almost no women, which *needs* to be rectified. And the third is that with the exception of Scalzi, Quitely, and Williams, these are all people with whom I’m at least friendly on the internet, and several are quite close friends. Now, it does happen that I count among my friends and acquaintances some ridiculously talented people, but it seems vanishingly unlikely that I know everyone who wrote anything decent last year.
So given my tastes, which *strongly* prioritise ideas over everything else (with plot, prose style, and characterisation coming in that order), and prefer humorous, clever, formally-experimental stuff to anything else, what came out last year that I should read before making my nominations, especially if it’s by a woman?
(I know about Ann Leckie. I keep bouncing off Ancillary Justice because it requires more concentration than I’ve been capable of in the last few months. I do intend to finish it at some point, but I can’t even *start* on Ancillary Sword until I’ve finished the first one…)
I would say Iris, Chess-Mistress of Mars by Simon Bucher-Jones, which just knocked me o and The Pendragon Protocol, Philip Purser-Hallard out of your list. I’m afraid I haven’t read the others – last year was mainly reading archaeological, history and science books that are way beyond my comprehension, but still fascinating.
“The second is that there are almost no women, which *needs* to be rectified.”
Only if women wrote the best Sci-Fi of the year. Otherwise it’s just patronising.
I think it unlikely that of the best five SF/F novels, the best five SF/F novellas, the best five SF/F novelettes, the best five SF/F short stories, the best five SF/F comics, the best five SF/F short dramas, the best five SF/F long dramas, and the best five books on SF/F subjects, *none* were written by women. Even were we to accept that, say, only one in ten good SF things published is by a woman compared to men, either because of bias on the part of the publishers or because women are less likely to be able to write good SF/F (and I don’t believe that’s the case, but making the assumption), it would still be only a 1.5% chance.
So if I’m nominating all men in those categories, there’s a 98.5% chance that this is due to an unconscious bias on my part, and one I have a moral duty to correct.
Or it would, if you were anyone other than yourself — the most careful person I know to avoid biases and prejudices of any kind. (And in case it’s not clear, I mean this as a compliment). If you’ve picked almost all works created by men, then it’s for one of the other reasons, rather than unconscious bias on your part.
I wonder which one?
I’m glad you think so highly of me. Unfortunately, I don’t think that highly of myself — while I certainly have no conscious prejudice against women writers, the supermajority of what I read is by men. Certainly some of that is down to the biases of people other than myself, but I certainly can’t absolve myself of blame for that. I just had a look through the last 100 ebooks I paid money for, and not counting multi-author mixed-gender collections either way, only 24% were by women — and I suspect, though I didn’t total this up, that more of the small number I’ve not yet got round to reading yet are ones by women.
Looking at my reading, I have to come to one of two conclusions — either I have an unconscious prejudice against women writers, or women are far worse writers than men. Neither is very palatable, but I think it more likely that there’s a fault in me than that there’s a fault in 50% of humanity…
There is a third option: women’s writing is as good as men’s and you are not predudiced about author gender, but you just happen to prefer the kind of writing that men more often produce. As you said yourself, you’re much more about idea than about character. Obviously it’s a wild over-generalisation to say that men tend to write more about ideas and women more about characters; but like most generalisations, there is a hint of truth behind it, albeit with many exceptions in both directions. Perhaps the pro-male trend in your nomination just reflects your perfectly legitimate personal taste? And, needless to say, others’ voting will reflect theirs, in some cases to the benefit of women writers.
[BTW., can I say how refreshing it is to be having this conversation without (yet, at least) anyone accusing me of being the cause of institutional repression of women? Thank you, everyone.]
I don’t get around to reading most SF until it’s been out for a year or two, but one I would recommend is Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X trilogy, or at least the first volume, Annihilation. For the most part The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison isn’t quite what you’re looking for, but it’s more about figuring out how to navigate fantasyland politics than the usual epic fantasy material so may be of some interest.
Of the many books I haven’t read but have heard good things about, The Peripheral by William Gibson, Afterparty by Daryl Gregory, Bete by Adam Roberts, and The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin may be good candidates.
(There are many recent books by women authors that I’ve read, or would like to read, or have just seen recommended–I’m looking forward to Jo Walton’s My Real Children, for instance–but I can’t think of many from the last year that fit your preferences.)
This list has recommendations for every category. There’s some terrible suggestions, but there’s also some great suggestions and some you may have missed.
Personally, I put forward the documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune” for Best Related Work. It’s eligible
I should also mention that there’s a variety of works by all sexes on the list.
The Hugo nominated writes, Andrew Rilstone…. That has a certain ring to it. (Is there a Hugo for Most Patient Proof Reader?)
I hope you might be willing to take a glance at the 2014 work of Stephan Martiniere, since you don’t have all the Best Pro Artist slots filled. He did two amazing covers, for Shield and Crocus and The Immortality Game.
You like ideas? I have some new twists in my novel The Immortality Game, and it’s eligible for either Best Novel or the Campbell Best New Writer awards.
I have used a few lists to narrow down my own reading.
He’s not on your list for Fan Writer, but even if you don’t vote for him, you should definitely check out Jeffro Johnson’s analysis of the Appendix N books over at Castalia House.
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