Sunday, July 18, 2010

2010 Campbell Award Nominees

Location: Campbell Conference Awards Banquet at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

Comments: In 2010, two women made it to the finalist list for the Campbell Awards. Nancy Kress, an author with a long and impressive career writing thought-provoking science fiction, was nominated for her novel Steal Across the Sky. And Margaret Atwood, an author with an impressive writing career but who also continues to yelp that she doesn't write science fiction even when she clearly has, was nominated for her novel The Year of the Flood. Even though the female representation on this ballot is paltry, I kind of wish that the Campbell Award judges had given Atwood her wish and not nominated her novel, perhaps replacing her book with a work by one of the many female authors who are proud to be science fiction novelists. As long as Atwood insists that she doesn't write science fiction, and as long as she looks down her nose at the genre, there is simply no reason to bother honoring her for her work with genre awards rather than honoring people who enjoy and respect science fiction.

Best Novel

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Second Place:
Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America by Robert Charles Wilson

Third Place:
The City & the City by China Miéville

The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling
Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
Gardens of the Sun by Paul J. McAuley
Makers by Cory Doctorow
Steal Across the Sky by Nancy Kress
Transition by Iain M. Banks
WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts

Go to previous year's nominees: 2009
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2011

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Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 Mythopoeic Award Nominees

Location: Mythcon 41 in Dallas, Texas.

Comments: From a certain perspective, the two scholarship categories look a little bit like a figure skating competition. Every year it seems that one or both of the winners are works that appeared on the list of final nominees in a previous year, creating the impression that in order to win, a work has to "wait its turn" before being selected. This also creates the impression that the nominees are of progressively declining quality. If, One Earth, One People, the current winner in the Myth and Fantasy Studies category, was the second or third best nominee in 2009, does that mean that all of the nominees in 2010 are worse than a work that was at best the second-best nominee of 2009? If one of the also-rans from 2010 wins in 2011, does that mean that all of the other 2011 nominees are no better than the second best option from 2010, and compare even more unfavorably to the nominees from 2009? I'm sure this isn't impression that the Mythopoeic Society wants outside observers to take away from their process, but it is the impression that their process gives nonetheless.

Best Adult Fantasy Literature

Lifelode by Jo Walton

Other Nominees:
Avilion Robert Holdstock
Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter's Tales Greer Gilman
Palimpsest Catherynne M. Valente
Trickster's Game trilogy (Heartwood, Bloodstone, and Foxfire) by Barbara Campbell

Best Children's Fantasy Literature

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Other Nominees:
Ash by Malinda Lo
Books of Bayern (The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets, and Forest Born) by Shannon Hale
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker

Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies

Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits by Dimitra Fimi

Other Nominees:
Arda Reconstructed: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion by Douglas Charles Kane
Charles Williams: Alchemy and Imagination by Gavin Ashenden
The Evolution of Tolkien's Mythology: A Study of the History of Middle-Earth by Elizabeth A. Whittingham
Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Michael Ward

Myth and Fantasy Studies

One Earth, One People: The Mythopoeic Fantasy Series of Ursula K. Le Guin, Lloyd Alexander, Madeleine L'Engle and Orson Scott Card by Marek Oziewicz

Other Nominees:
Lilith in a New Light: Essays on the George MacDonald Fantasy Novel by Lucas H. Harriman
Metamorphoses of the Werewolf: A Literary Study from Antiquity Through the Renaissance by Leslie A. Sconduto
Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn
The Victorian Press and the Fairy Tale by Caroline Sumpter

Go to previous year's nominees: 2009
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2011

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