The Hugo Award Nominees for 2007 have been officially announced. The one award I usually watch closely is Best Novel, and this year’s nominees are:
- Eifelheim, Michael Flynn (Tor)
- His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
- Glasshouse, Charles Stross (Ace)
- Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge (Tor)
- Blindsight, Peter Watts (Tor)
Kind of a mixed bag, really. I thought Rainbows End was terrific, and His Majesty’s Dragon was good fun, and there’s been really good buzz on Blindsight. Glasshouse frankly sounds pretty bad to me, though, and I’m not hugely enthused about Eifelheim.
In other Hugo news, John Scalzi was nominated for Best Fan Writer, and soon the Internet was ablaze with argument about whether he’s the right sort of fan for the award. On the one hand, I think this is a deeply silly conversation, but then again, I didn’t nominate him, or either of the Nielsen Haydens for “Best Fan Writer,” for reasons that are actually kind of similar…
Which is not to say that I question the fannish credentials of John, Patrick, or Teresa– I think they’re absolutely the right sort of fans to be “Best Fan Writer.” I just didn’t think they were the right sort of writers.
I didn’t nominate anybody for “Best Fan Writer,” actually, because of what pops into mind when I hear the phrase “Fan Writer” in the context of SF. Which is, basically writing about fandom, or, to put it another way, ” the stuff I don’t read in Locus.” Or, for another examples, the award has been won umpteen times by Dave Langford, and while I enjoy his book reviews when I run across them, he’s usually associated with Ansible, which is mostly a collection of news reports about conventions I didn’t go to and people I don’t know, mixed with some in-jokes that I don’t get.
As such, it never really occurred to me to put John, Patrick, or Teresa up for this award. They’re absolutely fans, and I enjoy their writing, but I don’t think of it as “fan writing.” Patrick and Teresa mostly write about politics these days, and John writes about whatever happens to strike his fancy. They occasionally write on fannish topics, and there’s a sort of fannish world view informing a lot of their other writing, but I don’t think of it as “fan writing.”
Which is just a long way of saying that I can’t really hack on Ulrika too much for what I think is a silly interpretation of the award category, because my own interpretation of it is probably equally silly. People who wear glasses shouldn’t get stoned, or something like that.