Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Then There Was One

by J. D. Popham

Regular readers will recall that on May ninth I pointed out only three works managed a nomination for all three of the major Science Fiction/Fantasy awards, the Nebula, the Hugo and the Locus.

All three were mid-length works. Two novellas, Wakulla Springs, by Andy Duncan & Ellen Klages (Tor.com 10/2/13) and Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean) were nominated for all three awards in the Novella category.  Aliette de Bodard's  The Waiting Stars (from The Other Half of the Sky) was nominated for all three awards under Best Novelette.
As many of you will know, the Nebula's were announced last weekend.  The Weight of the Sunrise by Vylar Kaftan (Asimov’s 2/13) took the Nebula award for Best Novella, denying both Wakulla Springs and Six-Gun Snow White a chance at a sweep.  The Waiting Stars, on the other hand, took Nebula honors for Best Novelette and Aliette de Bodard is left as the last author standing with a chance at ending award season with the possibility of a Nebula, a Locus and a Hugo over her fireplace.  

Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice (Orbit US/Orbit UK), the only book nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, took the Nebula for best novel, blocking Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Morrow; Headline Review) from picking up both the Nebula and Locus awards.  Meanwhile, Rachel Swirsky's If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love (Apex 3/13) and Sofia Samatar's Selkie Stories Are for Losers (Strange Horizons 1/7/13) were both up for the Nebula and the Hugo awards in the in the short story form.   Rachel Swirsky took the Nebula honors, and retains the hope of picking up two of Science Fiction's most prestigious awards.

The Locus Awards will be held in Seattle at the end of June. The Hugos are, of course, awarded at the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, hosted in London this year by Loncon 3 from August 14 - 18.   Should The Waiting Stars be blessed with a Locus in June, it will open the road toward a hat-trick in August.  Mind, if that occurs I don't expect London's eminently civilized con attendees will be waving brooms and chanting 'Sweep! Sweep!'; at least not for anything short of a novel.  

Such speculation might seem silly. This is Science Fiction and Fantasy writing, after all, and not a sporting event or music award season. However, this genre of ours is both broad and deep, producing a large body of works each year that are very diverse in terms of subject and style for a readership with equally diverse tastes and preferences.  Concurrence across this community as to the praise-worthiness of a given work is, I think, increasingly rare, and therefore noteworthy.

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