2008 Hugo and Campbell Award Winners!


Congratulations to all the winners!

(I really like the Hugo Award statuette this year. It’s actually quite big, but really pretty. It’s the black wood and stars, I think.)

You can find the list of winners at the official Hugo site, and also at Tor.com.

Cheryl Morgan and John Joseph Adams live-blogged the Awards ceremony itself. Bring me the URL of whoever has the video and is posting it to YouTube.

In the meantime, I’m reprising the information from my 2008 Hugo Awards Countdown and the related novel thoughts series for the winning entries here, along with a new and pretty cool link for the Best Novel, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

div.story { margin: 3ex 0 3ex 0; }
div.story div.head { font-size: 1.2em; border-bottom: 1px solid black; margin: 0; }
div.story div.category { font-size: 1.3em; margin-bottom: 1ex; font-weight: bold; }
div.story div.head a { font-weight: bold; }
div.story dl dt { font-weight: bold; }
div.story dl dd { margin-left: 4ex; }

Tideline – Elizabeth Bear


They would have called her salvage, if there were anyone left to salvage her. But she was the last of the war machines, a three-legged oblate teardrop as big as a main battle tank, two big grabs and one fine manipulator folded like a spider’s palps beneath the turreted head that finished her pointed end, her polyceramic armor spiderwebbed like shatterproof glass. Unhelmed by her remote masters, she limped along the beach, dragging one fused limb. She was nearly derelict.

The beach was where she met Belvedere.

Hard Copy
Asimov’s June 2007
Electronic Copy
Author Website

Excerpt from latest post, I did not go to school today…

I was talking with another friend last night about the single worst stage of trying to break into print. It’s the “there’s nothing wrong with this story but I’m not going to buy it” stage. (Actual words (or a paraphrase thereof) from an actual rejection letter written by [info]ellen_datlow to me, circa 2004.) It’s the stage where you’re competent, but you haven’t yet found your voice. The snap isn’t quite there, the pop, the narrative drive. It’s the garage-band stage.



O MIGHTY CALIPH AND Commander of the Faithful, I am humbled to be in the splendor of your presence; a man can hope for no greater blessing as long as he lives. The story I have to tell is truly a strange one, and were the entirety to be tattooed at the corner of one’s eye, the marvel of its presentation would not exceed that of the events recounted, for it is a warning to those who would be warned and a lesson to those who would learn.

My name is Fuwaad ibn Abbas, and I was born here in Baghdad, City of Peace. My father was a grain merchant, but for much of my life I have worked as a purveyor of fine fabrics, trading in silk from Damascus and linen from Egypt and scarves from Morocco that are embroidered with gold. I was prosperous, but my heart was troubled, and neither the purchase of luxuries nor the giving of alms was able to soothe it. Now I stand before you without a single dirham in my purse, but I am at peace.

Hard Copy
Subterranean Press
F&SF Sept 2007

Electronic Copy

All Seated on the Ground – Connie Willis


I’d always said that if and when the aliens actually landed, it would be a let-down. I mean, after War of the Worlds, Close Encounters, and E.T., there was no way they could live up to the image in the public’s mind, good or bad.

I’d also said that they would look nothing like the aliens of the movies, and that they would not have come to A) kill us, B) take over our planet and enslave us, C) save us from ourselves à la The Day the Earth Stood Still, or D) have sex with Earthwomen. I mean, I realize it’s hard to find someone nice, but would aliens really come thousands of light-years just to find a date? Plus, it seemed just as likely they’d be attracted to wart hogs. Or yucca. Or air-conditioning units.

I’ve also always thought A) and B) were highly unlikely since imperialist invader types would probably be too busy invading their next-door neighbors and being invaded by other invader types to have time to go after an out-of-the-way place like Earth, and as to C), I’m wary of people or aliens who say they’ve come to save you, as witness Reverend Thresher. And it seemed to me that aliens who were capable of building the spaceships necessary to cross all those light-years would necessarily have complex civilizations and therefore motives for coming more compliated than merely incinerating Washington or phoning home.

What had never occurred to me was that the aliens would arrive, and we still wouldn’t know what those motives were after almost nine months of talking to them.

Hard Copy
Asimov’s Dec. 2007;
Subterranean Press
Electronic Copy
Author Website


Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles Vess
Matthew Vaughn
Paramount Pictures
Official Website:
Video Clips:

Stephen Moffat
Hettie Macdonald
Official Website:
Hard Copy
at Amazon.com; Oxford University Press
Author Website and Blog
Excerpt from post The lexicographer responds to his critics, or, A defense of fanspeak:

Several reviewers have commented, in less than glowing terms, on my inclusion of fannish words in Brave New Words. (It’s also worth noting that some reviewers liked the fannish entries. I wonder, but have no way to really determine this, if the response has anything to do with the relative fannishness of the reviewer.) Generally speaking, one of the main things people like to do with dictionaries is complain about words that aren’t included that they think should be, or about words that are included that they think shouldn’t be.


David G. Hartwell – Tor/Forge
Senior Editor

david-g-hartwell Sampling of Books in 2007

rollback Rollback
Robert J. Sawyer
2008 Hugo Nominee
gods-and-pawns Gods and Pawns

Kage Baker

book-of-joby Book of Joby
Mark J. Ferrari

SF Editor Watch Page

gordon-van-gelder Magazines

fsf The Magazines of Fantasy & Science Fiction

SF Editor Watch Page

Sample Art from 2007

brasyl2 Brasyl
Ian McDonald
mainspring Mainspring
Jay Lake
dragons-of-babel The Dragons of Babel
Michael Swanwick
– Charles N. Brown
– Kirsten Gong-Wong
– Liza Groen Trombi
Sample 2007 Issues (TOC only)
Locus December 2007
Locus November 2007
Locus October 2007

Sample Articles
Joe R. Lansdale: Little Horrors
Kelly Link: The Uses of Boredom
John Scalzi: Color in the World
1974 – current
File 770
– Mike Glyer
Sample 2007 Issues
File 770 #151, October 2007 [pdf]
File 770 #150, June 2007 [pdf]
File 770 #149, March 2007 [pdf]
1978 – current


A Brief Biography of John Scalzi
Out of This World: John Scalzi by James R. Winter

James R. Winter: Last year, you won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. This year, you’re up for a Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. We always hear it’s an honor to be nominated, but does the attention ever get overwhelming?

John Scalzi: Not generally. Fame in a literary genre is not comparable to actual, genuine fame, the sort where you can’t go to the grocery store without people staring. In order to get any sort of attention, I have to go somewhere where science-fiction fans hang out, like a convention. I get a couple of days of people being happy I’m around, and then I go back home. It’s single-serving-size fame, basically. I think that’s doable; I’m not sure I’d want to be any more “famous” than that.

As for the awards themselves, they’re nice, and I don’t want to pretend that they can’t be useful to one’s career — particularly a Hugo, if you’re a science-fiction writer. But I also think worrying about awards is a fine way to mess with your own head. In any event, winning awards is not the right way to win a reputation as a writer; writing books that people want to read is.



The Scalzi Creative Sampler

Sample Art
winterwolf Winter Wolf
buildbetterdragon Building a Better Dragon
Parking Orbit
Mary Robinette Kowal [2nd year of eligibility]
Sample Works from 2006, 2007
emrah_cello For Solo Cello, op.12
And more from Mary’s official free fiction sampler
Excerpt from entry My Take on Elevator Pitches:

I’ll start by saying that I learned about elevator pitches from booking theater shows, so an agent or editor might tell you that I’m totally wrong. This is not a “how-to.” This is just my theory on elevator pitches.

As I understand it, the term “elevator pitch” comes from the idea that you should be able to sum up your novel in the ride between floors at a convention. You might only share the elevator for one floor, so the shorter the better.

Think of the elevator pitch as verbal cover art. In an ideal world, it should be attention grabbing, give them a sense of the type of the book, and — most importantly — make them want to know more.


More links
Jon Armstrong interviews Mary Robinette Kowal
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union – Michael Chabon

Chapter One excerpt at USA Today
Hard Copy
More Links

Borders Book Club Feature Video, complete with separate chapters such as: “The Story Behind The Yiddish Policeman’s Union“, “The Imaginary Metropolis of Sitka”, “Ditching the First Draft”, and more.