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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:34 am 
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Although I have not yet seen the full list of winners, I hopethis provokes some reactions and discussions.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:17 am 
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There was a time, roughly when I was a teenager*, when most Hugo voters had read everything on the shortlist.
Over the years that percentage dropped and marketing books became a profession.

Now I suspect readers vote for an author they've read and enjoyed but not necessarily his, or her, latest contender, maybe they are waiting for the paperback.
Hype probably takes some books up the list and 'well deserved' 'late in career' takes others. Eg This isn't their best book but their best is a classic everyone has read and it deserved a win in its time.

The short story nominations are usually on the web now, and some of the novels, so maybe the voters will be better equipped to vote in future.

Maybe we'll all develop editor skills and read the first 1000 or so words and decide from that.

* a very long time ago


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:37 am 
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Hard to understand why The Quiet Warwas neglected... I think it's Paul McAuley's best work to date.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:49 am 
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One of Sweden's two main quality newspapers (Dagens Nyheter or Svenska Dagbladet) had an article about recent noteworthy books. It appeared around last May. 'Anathem' was called something close to 'One of the year's most important books.' No genre was mentioned. So I'm not about to agree with Professor Roberts before I tackle the book. A flip through it, however, shows me that it has many signs of being a major work. If it is boring then it resembles Hermann Hesse's boring, brilliant, but now rapidly being forgotten 'The Glass Bead Game'. This is not at all surprising: both concern relatively closed contemplative communities. Hesse won the Nobel Prize for this book. By analogy Stephenson's is rightly on the Shortlist. Perhaps it should have won.
And yes, I too missed 'House of Suns' (which I read last week) and 'The Quiet War' (which I'm reading now). From what I have heard, Mr Chabon's book is an uninteresting tale based on one historically counterfactual quotidian premiss. If that's SF then the floodgates are open to loads of dull works that differ only slightly from mainstream trivia.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:48 pm 
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And here are the winners, copied from John Scalzi's blog:-

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
David Anthony Durham*

*(Second year of eligibility)

Best Novel
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury UK)

Best Novella
‘‘The Erdmann Nexus’’ by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette
‘‘Shoggoths in Bloom’’ by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008)

Best Short Story
‘‘Exhalation’’ by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)

Best Related Book
Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John
Scalzi (Subterranean Press)

Best Graphic Story
Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones
Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne
Wright (Airship Entertainment)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim
Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed
Whedon, & Maurissa Tancharoen, writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant
Enemy)

Best Editor, Short Form
Ellen Datlow

Best Editor, Long Form
David G. Hartwell

Best Professional Artist
Donato Giancola

Best Semiprozine
Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

Best Fan Writer
Cheryl Morgan

Best Fanzine
Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima

Best Fan Artist
Frank Wu

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:15 pm 
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I was pleased about Ted Chiang getting best short story - I listened to most of the nominated stories on escape pod; Exhalation struck me as far and away the best.

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 Post subject: Speaking of Adam Roberts
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:38 pm 
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Off-topic. Innocent question.

I have two of Adam Roberts' books. They're fine books (limited edition gifts from friends who got them for me from Night Shade).

But should everybody listen to Adam Roberts about what 'good' Scifi is? And what 'we' should be reading? I'm just curious.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:28 am 
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Lawrence Dagstine wrote:
..should everybody listen to Adam Roberts about what 'good' Scifi is? And what 'we' should be reading?


Well, I read AR's book Science Fiction (in Routledge's "new critical idiom" series), and was quite impressed with his overview and intro comments to genre scene, familiar themes & tropes, and 'case study' focus on key works (including Star Wars and Neuromancer).

Yes, I think he's an informed and valuable critic and more fans ought to pay attention... But should he be anyone's only or main guide to SF and what's good or bad? No, of course not.

That said, he's written parodies (of Matrix, Dr Who, Tolkien) and I saw him moderate a funny E'con panel, which proved he's a bit of a prankster... so perhaps we shouldn't be taking his provocation too seriously..?

As for AR's fiction...
I thought early works SALT and STONE were quite patchy, at best, but his LAND OF THE HEADLESS is a brilliant satire on religion.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:38 am 
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Several friends of mine have read that book Tony. All like it, so I am thinking of buying it. I have A.R.'s bigger 'The History of Science Fiction,' but haven't read it yet. Do you know anything about the differences between these 2 books?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:20 am 
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Many pundits have argued that the Nebula Awards are the "expert panel" awards, whereas the Hugos are the "fan-picked" awards. You can't blame fans for voting for what they like - that's what the awards are all about. And accusing SF readers of being dumb is surely a questionable move for an SF writer, no?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:32 am 
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George Berger wrote:
I have A.R.'s bigger 'The History of Science Fiction,' but haven't read it yet. Do you know anything about the differences between these 2 books?


Heard & read good things about it, but not felt compelled to buy it.

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