Ann Leckie

2015 Arthur C. Clarke Shortlist and 2014 BSFA Winners

Hey, look, two British SF awards, both remarkably drama free. Congratulations to everyone!

2015 Arthur C. Clarke Shortlist

  • The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (Orbit)
  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (Canongate)
  • Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
  • Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Orbit)
  • Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (Picador)

-BSFA Awards 2014 Winners

Best Novel

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit)

Best Short Fiction

“The Honey Trap” by Ruth E. J. Booth, La Femme (Newcon Press)

Best Non-Fiction

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers and the First World War by Edward James

Best Art

“The Wasp Factory” after Iain Banks by Tessa Farmer

Hugo Nominees announcement and commentary (with associated Sad Puppies drama).

Edit: Someone associated with Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (awesome name) has contacted me to let me know that they weren’t even aware of the existence of Sad Puppy until AFTER their nomination, and are less than pleased about it. More on that later.

In many categories, I actually had to list off the rare selections that weren’t from the Sad Puppy slate, the Hugo Award’s first ever official political party. I should note that they’re unlikely to win many of them, since they don’t actually possess a majority- they instead exploited the fact that nominees seldom get more than a relatively small number of the votes, since there are a huge number of nominees to start with- people have different tastes, so it isn’t uncommon for there to be dozens of nominated best novels, for instance. It didn’t take that many votes for them to sweep the nominations. They claim that they’re doing it entirely on artistic merit, but since they also claim they’re doing it to fight supposed SJW conspiracies even more frequently, have a clearly organized structure, and are dedicated to voting as a bloc, I can confidently say that yes, it is political. The Hugos have always been political- it’s an award ceremony. They’re ALWAYS political. Sad Puppy, however, is the first of its kind. Frankly, I think it’s a terrible thing. I’ve tried to give them a fair shake, and I’m going to continue to do my best to do so, but I’m going to be very up front about the fact that I consider them to be both violating the spirit of the Hugos and associating with some frankly terrible people. (Well, mostly just Vox Day/Theodore Beale, professional racist/sexist/homophobe/transphobe/internet troll/pickup artist/Gamergate spokesman/ writer, and the only person ever kicked out of the SFWA. He highjacked their official Twitter feed to relay racist comments directed at another author.) My roommate remarked that this whole situation is very reminiscent of much of the current American political scene- his exact description was that it was a microcosm of the macrocosm, which I found rather apt. This piece outlines a course of action that I agree with pretty strongly- simply vote No Award above any piece on a political slate.

BEST NOVEL (1827 ballots)

  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  • Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos (47North)
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Roc Books)

There are three Sad Puppies entries here- only Ancillary Sword and The Goblin Emperor are not on the list. I’m personally rooting for The Goblin Emperor- I’d be okay with Ancillary Sword winning, even though I thought that it wasn’t quite as good as Ancillary Justice (still great, though.) Skin Game was good, too- it’s a Dresden Files novel, though, and I’m a bit of a fanboy for Jim Butcher. I will, of course, read Lines of Departure and The Dark Before the Stars before making any firm decision. None of the nominated best novel authors listed on the Sad Puppy slate are a part of it, or have even provided any public commentary. Marko Kloos, however, retweeted a link to a blog post by John Scalzi that is distinctly and pointedly critical of Sad Puppies. That being said, none of the three appear to have repudiated Sad Puppies, either. In addition, Larry Correia reports to have declined a slot as a Hugo nominee, for the stated purpose of not having it be about him, and not distracting from the actual issues. Whether you think it is a classy move or a politically savvy one, it is certainly an intelligent move.

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The 2014 Nebula Nominees have been announced!

Best Novel
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)
Trial by Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor)
Coming Home, Jack McDevitt (Ace)
Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)

-We’ve got a nice array of publishers here, compared to last year’s heavily dominated Tor/Orbit slate. The ones I’ve read so far are The Goblin Emperor, Ancillary Sword, and The Three-Body Problem. Perhaps not coincidentally, they’re also the ones I’m betting on as front-runners, but we’ll see after I’ve read them all. The Goblin Emperor especially is fighting an uphill battle, given how sci-fi dominated the Nebula (and Hugo) tends to be, but it’s good enough that it stands a serious chance. The Three-Body Problem is one of those rare translated books popping up on the list, and is actually the first Chinese science fiction novel translated into English. (I did a review, though due to changing financial circumstances, I’m missing out on Worldcon this year like I’d planned.) The weird thing this year, though? There is exactly one stand alone novel, and that’s The Goblin Emperor. Literally everything else is part of a series. Weird.

Best Novella

We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)
Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
“The Regular,” Ken Liu (Upgraded)
“The Mothers of Voorhisville,” Mary Rickert (Tor.com 4/30/14)
Calendrical Regression, Lawrence Schoen (NobleFusion)
“Grand Jeté (The Great Leap),” Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’14)

– I totally read novellas last year. Totally.

Best Novelette

“Sleep Walking Now and Then,” Richard Bowes (Tor.com 7/9/14)
“The Magician and Laplace’s Demon,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 12/14)
“A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i,” Alaya Dawn Johnson (F&SF 7-8/14)
“The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado (Granta #129)
“We Are the Cloud,” Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed 9/14)
“The Devil in America,” Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com 4/2/14)

– I think I’ve heard of one or two of these.

Best Short Story

“The Breath of War,” Aliette de Bodard (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/6/14)
“When It Ends, He Catches Her,” Eugie Foster (Daily Science Fiction 9/26/14)
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye,” Matthew Kressel (Clarkesworld 5/14)
“The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family,” Usman T. Malik (Qualia Nous)
“A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide,” Sarah Pinsker (F&SF 3-4/14)
“Jackalope Wives,” Ursula Vernon (Apex 1/7/14)
“The Fisher Queen,” Alyssa Wong (F&SF 5/14)

-Yeah, I don’t really read much short fiction, gotta be honest.

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Edge of Tomorrow, Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Guardians of the Galaxy, Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Interstellar, Written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures)
The Lego Movie, Screenplay by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures)

-This one is really Birdman’s to lose. Who knows, though, this one has gone weird directions before, and will again.

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

Unmade, Sarah Rees Brennan (Random House)
Salvage, Alexandra Duncan (Greenwillow)
Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, A.S. King (Little, Brown)
Dirty Wings, Sarah McCarry (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Greenglass House, Kate Milford (Clarion)
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton (Candlewick)

-Haven’t read any of these, but then, I tend to be notably terrible at picking YA winners.

2014 Hugo Winners announced!

No real surprises for me, except for the “Best Graphic Story” award. Don’t get me wrong, “Time” was fantastic, but I was really expecting Saga to take it. Hard SF in the vein of “Time” is pretty rare, though, and Randal Munroe deserves it for all the amazing work he put into it. (I know I never did the last two reviews for Ancillary Justice and Neptune’s Brood, but they were definitely the strongest single novels up for the awards. Definitely read them both.) Even though part of the reason Ancillary Justice did so well was its gimmick- it was a damn good gimmick, and not one that’s really ever been used much before. Plus, anyone who’s going to rag on gimmicks in SF/Fantasy should maybe be reading something else- find me a gimmickless novel in the genres and I’ll probably fall asleep reading it. Neptune’s Brood has the honor of having the most unique economic system I’ve encountered in hard SF, and is a great book on top of it.
Larry Correia’s Sad Puppy slate largely tanked, which whether you think is a good or bad thing, isn’t unexpected. (No comment from Correia or most of the Sad Puppy authors yet, we’ll leave out what Vox Day said, you can go check it out yourself if you’re interested in some homophobia, sexism, poor sportsmanship, and hate against horror fiction. I really think the whole thing would have gone much, much better if he hadn’t been included. Even Correia’s rather intense confrontational online behavior isn’t that big a deal in comparison, angry people are everywhere on the internet.) Dan Wells, despite being, in my opinion, the best of the Sad Puppy Authors on the ballot (Read his John Cleaver books if you haven’t yet, they’re fantastic. YA supernatural serial killer novels, really awesome), didn’t really stand a chance, there’s always going to be a strong stigma against tie-in fiction. I don’t think he was involved in the Sad Puppy slate beyond being nominated by it, though. (The Butcher of Khardov is part of the Warmachine universe.)


BEST NOVEL (1595 ballots)
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Orbit and the Hugo Voter’s Packet

So, Orbit, the publisher of Parasite, Neptune’s Brood, and Ancillary Justice (They’re really kicking ass at the Hugos this year, watch out, Orbit) has decided not to include the full ebooks of their nominated books in the Hugo voter packet this year. Mira Grant, Charles Stross, and Ann Leckie have issued a joint statement regarding the situation, and John Scalzi has some interesting thoughts on the matter.

What do I think? Well, the Wheel of Time was already the hulking gorilla in the room, and this does help its chances a little bit. I wouldn’t count the others down and out, though. Regardless, this year’s Hugo awards are a wee bit more dramatic than usual. As for Orbit’s decision… well, the Best Novel nominees are generally going to be much easier to find than the various short fiction awards, and they might honestly feel they’re losing a good bit of money, giving away their books, so I don’t know if I can blame them.

I’m still working on reading the others, by the way. I only have Warbound and Parasite left. I’ll do posts soon enough.