April 8, 2010 10:33 AM   Subscribe

The recently announced 2010 Hugo awards nominations include a semi-regular mefite appearance, a fanzine nomination for a podcast (previously) and, under Best Graphic Story, a nomination for Captain Britain And MI13 by occasional Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell - a title which, um, Marvel have already canceled. Oops. Still, you can read the first two issues of the nominated story online for free.
posted by Artw (38 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You can also read Peter Watt's Hugo-nominated novelette "The Island" online.
posted by 256 at 10:45 AM on April 8, 2010

Of course, the Neil Gaiman written Batman story will almost certainly win in the comics catergory, despite being fairly rubbish. And all those Doctor Who specials under Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form... oh dear...
posted by Artw at 10:51 AM on April 8, 2010

In related awards... 2010 Eisner Award Nominees
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on April 8, 2010

Captain Britain and MI:13 was easily the best title to come out of the Secret Invasion. It had fairies and Shakespearean elder gods and a flying horsie and Fazia Hussain saving the day! What else could you want?
posted by fight or flight at 10:54 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also Dracula has a secret base on the moon.

'Nuff said.
posted by fight or flight at 10:57 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yea! James Morrow is nominated. It's about time.
posted by Toekneesan at 11:00 AM on April 8, 2010

I should probably correct myself and mention that there are actually 2 semi-regularly nominated mefites on the list, and they are head-to-head against each other. Fight! Fight!
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on April 8, 2010

and they are head-to-head against each other. ...and James Morrow
posted by Toekneesan at 11:03 AM on April 8, 2010

...and James Morrow. Fight! Fight!
posted by Artw at 11:07 AM on April 8, 2010

I don't hold out much hope for a Morrow win... Towing Jehovah lost to what? Mirror Dance?
posted by JaredSeth at 11:18 AM on April 8, 2010

Towing Jehovah won World Fantasy, lost the Nebula to Bear's Moving Mars, and, yeah, lost the Hugo to Mirror Dance. Personally, I hated it; I found it such an ineptly facile critique of religion that it failed to function as the satire as which it was intended. It left a sufficiently bad taste in my mouth that I haven't touched Morrow since. I was a Hugo voter that year and read all the nominees (except maybe Mirror Dance) and don't remember exactly how I voted but as I recall my feelings about the books, I probably put No Award ahead of Towing Jehovah.
posted by Zed at 11:31 AM on April 8, 2010

Derail: If The Unwritten doesn't win at least one Eisner then there is no justice and I will be sad, because it is a great comic book that deserves more recognition and a wider readership.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:37 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ditto that -- The Unwritten rocks.
posted by Zed at 11:46 AM on April 8, 2010

Also Dracula has a secret base on the moon.

Didn't Dr. McNinja do that first? The one that ends with Dr. McN in a space suit surfing into the earth atmosphere on a deteriorating Draculabot? Nobody (including Dr.McN) has topped that one yet.

Too bad thwere was no Dr. McNinja publication that could be nominated. The webcomics representatives in the category are the same two as last year, Girl Genius (the one Mensa loves) amd Schlock Mercenary (by some Mormon guy who couldn't even draw when he started). But an obvious oversight: nothing from the awesomne VERY scifi Goats.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:48 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Chew by rights should not only win the award for the category it was nominated in, but best continuing series as well. Frankly, it should just win every category that Asterios Polyp isn't nominated in.
posted by X-Himy at 11:59 AM on April 8, 2010

Quite a lot of the short fiction is available online:

"Act One", Nancy Kress
"Palimpsest", Charles Stross

"Eros, Philia, Agape", Rachel Swirsky
"The Island", Peter Watts
"It Takes Two",Nicola Griffith
"One of Our Bastards is Missing", Paul Cornell
"Overtime", Charles Stross
"Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast", Eugie Foster

Short story:
"Bridesicle", Will McIntosh
"The Moment", Lawrence M. Schoen
"Non-Zero Probabilities", N.K. Jemisin
"Spar", Kij Johnson

They announced the nominations at the convention I was at this weekend, and it was great fun to watch the nominees dancing about to celebrate, and also to judge the popularity of the nominees by the volume of applause. Also, we figure this makes Paul Cornell the first person to be nominated for comics, TV and prose, at least until the inevitable nomination for Gaiman's Doctor Who. I am being happy about the Cap nomination and ignoring the possible problems with the Fables volume nominated.
posted by penguinliz at 12:00 PM on April 8, 2010 [10 favorites]

Alright. I see my plan to extol the virtues of Captain Britain, since it had "Dr. Doom calling Dracula a racist ... on the Moon" has already been done. Fine.

Then allow me to also say that Asimov's is also scheduled to have the Mike Resnick story "The Bride of Frankenstein" on its website shortly, as well.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:32 PM on April 8, 2010

Oh, oh: one more thing -- in spite of it running against some hometown heroes around here (Charlie Stross, Paul Cornell, Peter Watts) that Eugie Foster story is really at least worth a read as well. Just my two cents.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:34 PM on April 8, 2010

Started reading the free Captain Britain issues, but that Marvel comic reader thing was crap.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:55 PM on April 8, 2010

Howard Tayler's "The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse" is also available for free online. Great stuff!
posted by J-Train at 3:39 PM on April 8, 2010

I haven't read all of the Novels on the list (I'm currently reading The City & The City), but Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl is the best sciencefictionspeculativefantasyscifiwhateverthefuck book I've read since maybe Perdido Street Station. I can't recommend it highly enough.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:57 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Funny. I'm reading The City & The City too, and my opinion of The Windup Girl is roughly the same. Good stuff!
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on April 8, 2010

*stares through the breach at Artw*

posted by eyeballkid at 4:07 PM on April 8, 2010

I did read Hyperion in between the two though (which had been a bit of a gap in my SF reading history).
posted by Artw at 4:13 PM on April 8, 2010

I read The City & The City and loved it to death, recommended it to all my friends, etc. At the same time, I'm having trouble understanding why it's in the running for the Hugo's. The idea of the cities is fantastical, but not fantasy or sci-fi.

At the same time, I want Mieville to win a damn Hugo already.
posted by Hactar at 8:42 PM on April 8, 2010

At the same time, I'm having trouble understanding why it's in the running for the Hugo's. The idea of the cities is fantastical, but not fantasy or sci-fi.

I'm having trouble understanding what you mean. How is The City&The City not fantasy? Or are you applying a dubious definition along the lines of "fantasy has dragons and stuff!"
posted by Justinian at 10:12 PM on April 8, 2010

The only fantastical element I see is a psychological twist and a suspension of disbelief in a historical trend. Otherwise it is set on the earth we know and love. I suppose it could be put into the alternative history genre, as the creation of two cities like that is definitely alternative history. But outside of that it doesn't have any violations of the laws of reality (my definition of fantasy) or speculation about how things may have changed in a certain period of time in the future, including technology/speculation about how things would be different now given a technological shift (my loose definition of sci-fi). Or some combination of the two (eg the Laundry books by mefi's own cstross).

So I guess I'm not seeing the fantasy. Fantasy to me has, for lack of a better term, magic in it to some degree or another, even if just slightly. The laws of the universe are broken, not just bent or technobabbled around through exercise of ritual or human will. (This definition, upon examination is unsatisfying, as certain sci-fi tropes and ideas are encompassed without meaning too, but it does work for the moment.)

That's the answer as I see it, so I turn the question around- how do you see The City and the City as fantasy?
posted by Hactar at 10:32 PM on April 8, 2010

The fact that Naoki Urasawa's Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka and 20th Century Boys aren't nominated for Best Graphic Story, while that Fables and Batman crap are, is a minor tragedy.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:36 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nthing the Captain Britain and MI:13 love.

One of the most crucial factors in costumed-hero comics is the ratio of ho-hum to FUCK-YEAH. Cornell consistently cranked the FUCK-YEAH dial up to motherfucking 11. Even his Secret Invasion arc didn't suck, which is saying something.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:59 AM on April 9, 2010

Apparently it only took 19 nominations to get something on the Best Graphic Story shortlist this year.
posted by ninebelow at 3:51 AM on April 9, 2010

Only 864 people nominated at all this year; nominations for everything but novel are routinely decided by a handful of votes. (I'm heartened to see a lot more nomination in the other prose fiction categories -- I've seen those under 200 total in other years.)

But anyone with $50 for a supporting membership to the Worldcon every year (maybe every other -- I think voting rights for one year carries with it nomination, but not voting, rights for the next year) can do his or her part to remedy the situation and see that his or her own favorite fiction isn't neglected again.

Actually, considering next year's in Reno is just a reasonable train ride away from me, I should go get a full attending membership. Meetup, anyone? (Not actual meetup proposal, but maybe some 14 months from now there'll be a real one.)
posted by Zed at 9:26 AM on April 9, 2010

Hactar: That's actually a thoughtful and interesting reasoning; sorry if I came across as snarky. I suppose my position is that virtually any definition of fantasy or SF based solely on the presence or lack of certain content is doomed to fail at edge cases. Obviously your definition of fantasy is extremely broad so finding those edge cases is rarer than usual. But I think this particular novel is one such. To me, the definition of fantasy and SF is as much historical and stylistic as it is anything else. Much like the definition of "hard SF". "Hard SF" is supposedly science fiction that is based rigorously on actual science but even a cursory look at various novels people call Hard SF will reveal this to be false. "Hard SF" is actually used to describe a certain stylistic and historical subgenre.

The City&The City falls squarely in the modern urban fantasy genre in this way. It looks like urban fantasy, it reads like urban fantasy, it's by an author known for urban fantasy, and it contains, as you say, at least fantastical elements. It's as much fantasy/SF as Cryptonomicon or Stephenson's Baroque trilogy. Which are generally considered SF without a lot of controversy.

I understand that defining SF like this, where a broader understanding of the history and modern trends of the genre are important, presents difficulties for a wider audience. But I don't think that's actually a problem since a wider audience can simply look at where a book is shelved or what publishing category it is in; in this case the novel is published by Del Rey as Fantasy, so I'm good there as well.

In summary, it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, was written by a writer of ducks, is published by duck-publishers as a duck, so it's a duck.
posted by Justinian at 11:29 AM on April 9, 2010

But like I said, your definition of fantasy is the one I disagree with the least of those based solely on content, if you see what I mean.
posted by Justinian at 11:31 AM on April 9, 2010

Ah, genre definition discussions. Someday I'll have to draw up a diagram explaining my "big fuzzy circle that fades out at the edges" theory of is-SF/Fness.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on April 9, 2010

So SF/F is like a fungus rash?
posted by Justinian at 11:49 AM on April 9, 2010

communicable too.
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on April 9, 2010

864 people nominated at all this year; nominations for everything but novel are routinely decided by a handful of votes.

And Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form. It took about three times as many votes to get something on that shortlist as it did for the Best Novel shortlist.
posted by ninebelow at 6:11 AM on April 11, 2010

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