Saturday, March 22, 2008

In The Limelight - 2008 Hugo Nomination List (Short Version)


---Hugo nominees for 2008 have been disclosed publicly and the sf&f blogosphere is buzzing with the news. I'm not posting the whole list with all of the categories and nominations since you can view that here, but I'll try to point out the most notable categories and comment on them succinctly. Given my inadequate knowledge for a more detailed analyzation I'll keep my comments on a short leash and mostly point out other peoples findings (thoughts) on the matter. Here goes nothing:


---Best Novel
  • The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins, Fourth Estate)
  • Brasyl by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr)
  • Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor; Analog Oct. 2006-Jan/Feb. 2007)
  • The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Tor)
  • Halting State by Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit)

----Last year's winner: Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge

If Brasyl would be omitted from this list, than it would have been even quirkier than it is. I've been a pretty observant follower of the genre this year but for have for some reason never come across Rollback or the author - Rober J. Sawyer. I'm not saying that he hasn't been mentioned, only that this (obviously?) outstanding novel somehow missed my radar. And there is ABSOLUTELY no fantasy picks on the list, now what is up with that...Hugo's preference for sf is well known, but not even one fantasy work deserves the nomination? If you check the round-up of all the "Best of 2007" lists that I've managed to put together, you'll notice many titles that would deserved to be nominated more than some of the titles above - most notably: The Black Man/Thirteen (Richard Morgan); this novel was received very fondly everywhere I turned. I myself found Morgan's Takeshi novels seriously over-rated, but a lot of people out there feel very strongly about his newest novel (in a positive sense of course). Halting State by Charles Stross got some very mixed responses and even those who liked it didn't think it his best work (that would arguably be Accelerando or maybe Glasshouse; both nominated in previous years actually), but since this is his fourth (or is it fifth?) subsequent nomination the "unlucky bastard" might just get it this time. Scalzi's The Last Colony also got some mixed reviews and is opined as "light sf read", not exactly an award material, especially when the weighty Hugos are concerned. The Yiddish Policeman's Union has garnered some flowery reviews and is the only sf novel with a "general literary value" on the list.


---Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Enchanted
  • The Golden Compass
  • Heroes, Season 1
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Stardust

----Last year's winner: Pan's Labyrinth

I can't say that I'm proud of the fact but I've actually seen all the movies on the list (including Pan's Labyrinth and Heroes, season 1) and I'd give the award to The Golden Compass or maybe Harry Potter in a heart-beat. The Golden Compass was a beautiful representation of the novel on the big screen, even though my friends called me 'tasteless' (mild term) for saying so and HP5 is clearly the best movie in the series with great photography, pacing and visual effects. I'm too old for wash down fairy tales (Enchanted) and felt a bit under-whelmed by Stardust (the scenes with Robert De Niro are priceless though). And while I liked Heroes (season 1), I feel the series falls short of greatness - it had some major plotting and pacing problems, and the cast was lackluster as well.


---John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Writer (An award for the best new writer whose first work of science fiction or fantasy appeared during 2006 or 2007 in a professional publication.)

  • Joe Abercrombie (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Jon Armstrong (1st year of eligibility)
  • David Anthony Durham (1st year of eligibility)
  • David Louis Edelman (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Mary Robinette Kowal (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Scott Lynch (2nd year of eligibility)

----Last year's winner: Naomi Novik (Temeraire)

I'm not familiar with the works of Amrstrong, Edelman and Kowal but between the remaining three authors (Abercrombie, Durham and Lynch) it could go either way. If I indulge my self and speculate then I'd say that the laurels will be acceded to Mr. Lynch or possibly David Anthony Durham who's Accacia: War with the Main got a great response from the fans of epic fantasy. If the world would turn to my tune, than Joe Abercrombie would get it - his First Law trilogy is absolutely sizzling with good vibes. I wonder if Daniel Abraham was eligible for the award?

Whatever my personal thoughts and reservations, I congradulate to all the nominees and wish them best of luck.


Sara J. said...

Sadly, there's not too many works on those lists that I really think to myself, "geeze, THAT person really deserves some recognition!"

That said, I haven't read all of them, though I really enjoy Scalzi's writing in general.

Enchanted wasn't really a washed down fairytale, but a very pointed critique of the fairytale movie genre, and I thought it was absolutely hilarious, and certainly better than most of the movies I've seen in the past year. But that's just me ;)

ThRiNiDiR said...

It's the same for me - only Brasyl is a top-notch choice imho.

As I read my review again I think you are right...Enchanted isn't a washed down fairytale in the literal sense; its only that its made that way (the visuals etc.)...I just couldn't get over that :/.


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