The Hugo Award nominees for this year have been released. The category I care most about is Best Novel, where we have:
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)
Does Robert J. Sawyer have secret mind control powers, or something? The Chabon is a fantastic book, Scalzi’s book is the best thing he’s written, the Stross is very good and he’s a buzz-worthy author, and I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Brasyl. I’ve never heard anybody mention Rollback at all– Locus doesn’t list it, NESFA doesn’t list it, and yet, there it is. What the hell?
I’m really amazed by this, mostly because every time I’ve looked at the cover copy of one of his books, it’s looked unreadably awful to me. But, really, I don’t recall anybody talking about this book as a possible nominee, and I read a whole bunch of nomination lists when I was trying to fill out my own ballot. So what gives?
– Not a huge improvement in the gender balance area– only four nominated works by women, out of twenty. Still, better than last year.
– Shaun Tan’s The Arrival made the list in Best Related Book. It really is a terrific piece of work, and eveybody should read it and vote for it.
– A really good slate of Professional Editor, Long Form nominees. I always forget about Beth Meacham, because she’s quiet and sensible, but she does a terrific job for Tor. And Lou Anders (who looks and talks like a hit man) is doing really good things at Pyr. Any of these people would be a fine choice for the award.
– Another Fan Writer nomination for Scalzi, which is particularly amusing given that he’s also nominated for Best Novel. That ought to make some heads go all explodey.
– Scott Lynch for the Campbell in a walk.