Tonight, the National Book Foundation will honor and celebrate some of the year's best American literature at the 2016 National Book Awards ceremony. Hosted by Larry Wilmore, the event will be livestreamed, or you can follow on Twitter at #NBAwards. If you can't wait for bookish goodness, the recording of last night's readings by the finalists is available; Young People's Literature finalist Nicola Yoon called it one of the most inspiring nights of her life. This season hasn't been without controversy, however: the various ways the awards reflect the current state of publishing have been criticized but also defended.
The Sputnik Awards are a new prize for speculative fiction. The voting system is not like the other awards. [more inside]
The finalists for Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards have been announced. Winners to be announced Oct. 28. Categories, as usual, are fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction, children's literature (text and illustrated), and translation.
The Omnivore's Hatchet Job of the Year rewards "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past 12 months," with the winning critic taking home a golden hatchet and a year's supply of potted shrimp. 2013's winner: Camilla Long, for her devastating review of Rachel Cusk's divorce memoir, Aftermath. Among other things, she described it as a nasty, bizarre memoir written by a "brittle little dominatrix and peerless narcissist." (Via) [more inside]
What I wrote was unquestionably fiction — was fantasy. Among Others has magic and fairies. But I was writing fantasy about a science fiction reader who had a lot of the same things happen to her that happened to me. It’s set at the end of 1979 and the beginning of 1980, and it’s about a fifteen year old just when I was fifteen, and from a family like mine and in the time and place and context where I was. I was using a lot of my own experience and memories. But this is Mori, not me, and she lives in a world where magic is real. Jo Walton, who as editor for tor.com revisisted the Hugos 1953-2000, now has one of her own, taking home the 2012 Best Novel Award for Among Others. Other winners include Kij Johnson for her Novella The Man who Bridged the Mist (excerpt) and io9 regular Charlie Jane Anders for her novellete Six Months, Three Days. The Best Graphic Story award went to the webcomic Digger by Ursula Vernon. E Lily Yu took home the Bets New Writer award (technically not a Hugo) and was also nominated for her short story The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees. A couple of TV shows you have heard of also got awards. Links to many of the nominated stories here.
How can one describe it? For fuck’s sake, it is a quest saga and it has a talking horse. There are puns on the word ‘neigh’. Christopher Priest on the 2012 Clarke Award shortlist, the self-described "most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain".
"Even if you ignore the embarrassing ceremony and clichéd platitudes, few of these awards actually reflected genuine quality or what is happening in mainstream genre publishing today."
British Fantasy Award winner returns prize; Sam Stone hands back award after criticism of judging process. [The Guardian] "Controversy has riven the 40-year-old British Fantasy Awards, with the winner of the best novel prize handing her award back just three days after it was bestowed. But the organisation and presentation of the awards has been drawing criticism since then, culminating in Sam Stone, the winner of the best novel award – named after American writer and editor August Derleth – announcing yesterday that she is giving it back. The biggest attack on the awards was delivered by editor and anthologist Stephen Jones, who on Tuesday posted a lengthy blog decrying the organisation of the BFAs and making several allegations against awards co-ordinator and British Fantasy Society chairman David Howe."
Due to a rewording of the rules Science Fiction podcast StarShipSofa (previously, previously, previously) could be eligible for a Hugo award. Meanwhile the current episode features The Gambler (text version here), a story by Paolo Bacigalupi - best known as the author of The Windup Girl, one of TIME Magazine's ten books of the year ("Not just science fiction, mind, but fiction, generally") and almost certainly a favorite for the Hugo's best novel category.
Nova Swing by M John Harrison has won the 2007 Arthur C Clarke Award. Named after the famous author and announced on the opening night of the Sci Fi London film festival the award is one of the most prestigious in science fiction. Everything you could possibly wish to know about this year's shortlist.
The 2004 Lyttle Lytton winners were announced. The premise is simple: write a terrible opening line (of 25 words or less) of a hypothetical novel. In case you're wondering the winners in 2003 and 2002 were discussed previously. [via kathrynyu]
Franzen wins National Book Award. Another logo to go on the dust jacket next to the O. Pulitzer next?
2001 National Book Award Finalists Awards tonight in New York mc's by Steve Martin. Will Franzen win despite the raging controversy? Pick the winners, anyone? Any good ones left out?
OK, this whole Harry Potter thing - while completely out of proportion to any real value in the books - has up till now been pointless but essentially harmless. But wasting a Hugo Award on this crap?! To quote (oh, I don't know, some Clinton-hating Republican): "Where's the outrage?!"