Monday, June 23, 2008

In The Limelight - Locus Award Winners

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Winners of this year's Locus Awards were announced on Saturday 21 June 2008 (link). Here is the list of nominees. The winners in their according categories are as follows:
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Science Fiction Novel

---"The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon (Amazon: US, UK)
Runners up: "Brasyl" (Ian McDonald), "The Accidental Time Machine" (Joe Haldeman), "Halting State" (Charles Stross) and "Spook Country" (William Gibson).

There is something intrinsically unappealing with the title of the book for me, but the reviews I've read were pretty positive; but from what I've heard "Brasyl" was a more suited candidate for the award (Trin finished "Brasyl" a week ago so you can expect a review coming soon). Stross got some mixed reviews, but they mostly agreed that it's not Stross' best book to date, and the Haldeman's and Gibson's new books didn't get nowhere near the public spotlight that was accorded to "Brasyl" and "The Yiddish..." so I guess they weren't really an option. You can read the review of the winning novel at Strange Horizons and/or SF Site.
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Fantasy Novel
"Making Money" by Terry Pratchett (Amazon: US, UK)
Runners up: "Endless Things" (John Crowley), "Pirate Freedom" (Gene Wolfe), Territory (Emma Bull) and Ysabel (Guy Gavriel Kay).
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As with the sf nominees I haven't read a single nominee for best fantasy novel - none of them is even among my to-read pile (with exception of Gene Wolfe and maybe Emma Bull - I've heard terrific things about "Territory") so I'm not really competent to comment on this years fantasy pick, but I don't think "Making Money" counts among Pratchett's best. Reviews of "Making Money"...SF Reviews.net, Graeme's Fantasy Book Review and The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
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Young Adult Book
---"Un Lun Dun" by China Miéville (Amazon: US, UK)
Runners up: "Extras" (Scott Westerfeld), "The H-Bomb Girl" (Stephen Baxter), "Magic's Child" (Justine Larbalestier) and "Powers" (Ursula K. LeGuin).

Other from the fact that Miéville and LeGuin are both humongously big names in the (adult) genre literature, it probably comes as no surprise that one of them won. "Un Lun Dun" recieved raving reviews all over the 'net (SF Reviews.net, SFFWorld, FantasyBookSpot.com), but you should probably keep your eye on Scott Westerfeld, since he wrote a tremendously successful and quality YA trilogy "Uglies"; John Scalzi wrote about Westerfeld on his blog and labeled him as one of the prime sf writers, who is introducing a whole new generation of readers to sf.
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First Novel
"Heart Shaped-Box" by Joe Hill (Amazon: US, UK)
Runners up: "City of Bones" (Cassandra Clarke), "Flora Segunda" (Ysabeau S. Wilce), "The Name of the Wind" (Patrick Rothfuss) and "One for Sorrow" (Christopher Barzak).

I've heard only good things about Joe Hill's horror novel "Heart Shaped-Box" (reviews: Strange Horizons, SFFWorld, SF Diplomat ), but that the book actually won came as a bit of surprise; "The Name of the Wind", a debut effort from Patrick Rothfuss, was without a doubt the highest bidder for the award, as it is beloved by critics and the public alike (and it has the numbers to back the claim up).
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Novella
"After the Siege" by Cory Doctorow (link to the story at Infinite Matrix)
Runners up: "All Seated on the Ground" (Connie Willis), "Memorare" (Gene Wolfe), "Muse of Fire" (Dan Simmons) and "Stars Seen through Stone" (Lucius Shepard).
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Novelette
"The Witch's Headstone" by Neil Gaiman (available in collection of stories "Wizards:..." on Amazon: US or "Dark Alchemy..." on Amazon: UK and Gaiman's anthology of stories "M is for Magic" on Amazon: US, UK)
Runners up: "Dark Integers" (Greg Egan), "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" Ted Chiang, "Trunk and Disorderly" Charles Stross and "We Never Talk About My Brother" (Peter S. Beagle).

I was pretty impressed with "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang (review), but I can't judge the right or wrong of the winning choice, since I haven't read any of the other nominees.
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Short Story
"A Small Room in Koboldtown" by Michael Swanwick (link to the story in PDF format *I'm not sure if it's still available*)
Runners up: "The Last and Only, or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French" (Peter S. Beagle), "Last Contact" (Stephen Baxter), "Tideline" (Elizabeth Bear) and "Who's Afraid of Wolf 359?" (Ken MacLeod).
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Collection
---"The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories" by Connie Willis (Amazon: US, UK)
Runners up: "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" (Michael Swanwick), "The Jack Vance Treasury" (Jack Vance), "Overclocked" (Cory Doctorow) and "Things Will Never Be the Same" (Howard Waldrop).
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Anthology
"The New Space Opera" edited by Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan (Amazon: US, UK)
Runners up: "The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet" (Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant, eds.), "The Coyote Road" (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds.), "The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 2007: Twentieth Annual Collection" (Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant, ed.) and "The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection" (Gardner Dozois, ed.).
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Non Fiction
---"Breakfast in the Ruins" by Barry N. Malzberg (Amazon: US, UK)
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Art Book
---"The Arrival" by Shaun Tan (Amazon: US, UK)
-Editor
Ellen Datlow (read her lustrous bio here!)
Magazine
F&SF (link)
Publisher
TOR Books (link)
Artist
Charles Vess (Wikipedia)
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(example of Charles Vess' art)
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5 Comments:

Plinydogg said...

I haven't read "Heart Shaped-Box," but I'm really disappointed that "The Name of the Wind" didn't win the first novel category...

ThRiNiDiR said...

Trin bought a copy of "The Name of the Wind" so one of us should read/review it in the near future, but I can't comment on this before I read both books :); I can understand your position though and I believe many share your feelings on the topic.

To be frank, I'm really in no hurry to read "TNotW" anytime soon; the second book is not due until early 2009 and I have so many books to read before it as they intrigue me more (don't know why though; maybe it's just all the hype around the book that's a bit off-putting...setting up high expectations and the fear of being disappointed etc.).

Thea said...

I feel the confusion over Heart-Shaped Box taking the prize. I thought was a very good novel, but by no means a best first novel winner...just my opinion of course ;)

Thrinidir, I have TNotW on my shelf as well, but have been taking my sweet time getting to it. I definitely think all the hype around it factors in. I don't want to be disappointed! Maybe I'll just wait for your (or Trin's) review first...Hehe.

ThRiNiDiR said...

Do I look like a guinea pig to you !?! :)

Seriously, Trin will probably read it first; she bought it in the first place. thanks for the confidence though ;).

Plinydogg said...

I read the Name of the Wind long before I had heard much about it and so I didn't suffer from the "hype induced skepticism" you speak of :)

 

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