Sunday, August 9, 2009

2009 Hugo Awards

The results for the 2009 Hugo awards can be found here. Here are some comments on a few of the winners:

Best Novel went to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. (I guess when you win the Newberry Medal, you better win the Hugo!) I can't offer much comment on the winning novel since I didn't read it or any of the other nominees. (Which is unusual since I typically have read 2-3 of them.) Much has been made of this year's list of mediocre nominees. Again, I can't comment specifically; but I can say that the best genre books of 2008 that I read were: The Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick, The Hidden World by Paul Park, Pump Six and Other Stories by Paulo Bacigalupi, Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams, Matter by Iain M. Banks and Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. Surely one of these books at least deserved nomination! (Tender Morsels has been nominated for World Fantasy Award, though. So good news there.)

Best Short Story went to "Exhalation" by Ted Chiang. The best choice, absolutely. A stunning story.

Best Novelette went to "Shoggoths in Bloom" by Elizabeth Bear. A good story but this award should have gone to “The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Best Novella went to "The Erdmann Nexus", Nancy Kress. I haven't read it. I thought "The Tear” by Ian McDonald would have grabbed this award.

Wall-E won for best dramatic presentation, long form. I think this easily the best choice. The Dark Knight was also nominated. Another classic, yes. The best super-hero film of all time, yes. But Wall-E was superb science fiction. And that's where the Hugo should go.

Dramatic Presentation: Short Form went to Dr Horrible's Singalong Blog by Joss Whedon. A fine choice and an excellent DVD (the audio commentary, alone, is worth it). But I would have given the Hugo to "The Constant" from LOST-- the first great science fiction episode from the series.

Best Professional Artist went to Donato Giancola. Wow, I would have given this to Shaun Tan in a heartbeat.

Best Editor: Short Form went to Ellen Datlow. I would have given the Hugo to Jonathan Strahan for all the great work he did last year. I'll be rooting for him next year.

Best Semiprozine went to Weird Tales. Really? No Locus? Or Interzone? Or how about New York Review of Science Fiction? Hmmm.

So that's it. Not that exciting, really.

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