Saturday, August 30, 2003

2003 Hugo Award Finalists

Location: TorCon 3 in Toronto, Canada.

Comments: In 2003 the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo was split into two separate awards, one for Long Form and one for Short Form. The formal definition is that a "Long Form" dramatic presentation is one that is ninety minutes long or long, and a "Short Form" dramatic presentation is anything shorter than that. In practice this means that the "Long Form" award is mostly for movies, and the "Short Form" award is for pretty much anything else. As soon as the award split, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers walked away with the Long Form trophy, beating out a collection of movies that included the second Harry Potter movie the Chamber of Secrets, and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode Conversations with Dead People won the short form award. This pattern more or less illustrates why the award was split, as the Buffy episode, like many television shows, simply had no feasible chance of competing against the collection of movies in the Long Form category, but when placed in a field against other works of its own media form its quality shines through.

In the other categories it was more or less business as usual for the Hugos. Robert J. Sawyer's serviceable Hominids won Best Novel over a field of solid but unspectacular competition. Neil Gaiman followed up his 2002 Best Novel win for American Gods with a Best Novella win for Coraline. And so on. One bad note regarding this year's nominees is just how male dominated the list is. In all of the the written fiction categories combined, there were only three works nominated that were written by women. This would have been sparse representation in the 1970s or 1980s, but for 2003 this is a travesty. It seems somewhat ironic that one of the nominees in this year for Best Nonfiction Work was Justine Larbelestier's The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction, because looking at the numbers, it seems that even at this late date the battle is still, sadly, very one-sided.

Best Novel

Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer

Other Finalists:
Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick
Kiln People by David Brin
The Scar by China Miéville
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

Best Novella


Other Finalists:
Breathmoss by Ian R. MacLeod
Bronte's Egg by Richard Chwedyk
In Spirit by Pat Forde
The Political Officer by Charles Coleman Finlay
A Year in the Linear City by Paul Di Filippo

Best Novelette

Slow Life by Michael Swanwick

Other Finalists:
Halo by Charles Stross
Madonna of the Maquiladora by Gregory Frost
Presence by Maureen F. McHugh
The Wild Girls by Ursula K. Le Guin

Best Short Story

Falling Onto Mars by Geoffrey A. Landis

Other Finalists:
Creation by Jeffrey Ford
'Hello,' Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick
Lambing Season by Molly Gloss
The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport by Michael Swanwick

Best Nonfiction, Related, or Reference Work

Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril by Judith Merril and Emily Pohl-Weary

Other Finalists:
The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction by Justine Larbalestier
Bradbury: An Illustrated Life by Jerry Weist
Dragonhenge by Bob Eggleton and John Grant
Spectrum 9: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art edited by Cathy Fenner and Arnie Fenner

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Other Finalists:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Minority Report
Spirited Away

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Conversations with Dead People

Other Finalists:
Angel: Waiting in the Wings
Firefly: Serenity
Star Trek: Enterprise: A Night in Sickbay
Star Trek: Enterprise: Carbon Creek

Best Professional Editor

Gardner Dozois

Other Finalists:
Ellen Datlow
David G. Hartwell
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Stanley Schmidt
Gordon van Gelder

Best Professional Artist

Bob Eggleton

Other Finalists:
Jim Burns
David A. Cherry
Frank Kelly Freas
Donato Giancola

Best Semi-Prozine

Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, and Jennifer A. Hall

Other Finalists:
Ansible edited by Dave Langford
Interzone edited by David Pringle
The New York Review of Science Fiction edited by Kathryn Cramer, David G. Hartwell, and Kevin J. Maroney
Speculations edited by Kent Brewster

Best Fanzine

Mimosa edited by Rich Lynch and Nicki Lynch

Other Finalists:
Challenger edited by Guy H. Lillian, III
Emerald City edited by Cheryl Morgan
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
Plokta edited by Alison Scott, Steve Davies, and Mike Scott

Best Fan Writer

Dave Langford

Other Finalists:
Bob Devney
John L. Flynn
Mike Glyer
Steven H. Silver

Best Fan Artist

Sue Mason

Other Finalists:
Brad Foster
Teddy Harvia
Steve Stiles
Frank Wu

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Wen Spencer

Other Finalists:
Charles Coleman Finlay
David D. Levine
Karin Lowachee
Ken Wharton

What Are the Hugo Awards?

Go to previous year's nominees: 2002
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2004

2003 Hugo Longlist     Book Award Reviews     Home