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The Hugo ballot: A very male fiction ballot this year

The Hugo ballot is out. Looking over the fiction nominations, it seems a very male ballot. Of the 21 authors listed in the fiction categories, four are women (19%).

Best Novel
(639 Ballots / Bulletins)

Best Novella
(337 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
  • “The Political Prisoner” by Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF Aug 2008) – Read Online
  • “The Tear” by Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires)
  • “True Names” by Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2) — Free download
  • “Truth” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette
(373 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s Jan 2008) — Read Online
  • “The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2) — Read Online
  • “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF Jan 2008)
  • “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner (Asimov’s Feb 2008) — Read Online
  • “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008) — Read Online

Best Short Story
(448 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Jul 2008) — Read Online
  • “Article of Faith” by Mike Resnick (Baen’s Universe Oct 2008)
  • “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
  • “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
  • “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Feb 2008)

My own reading of the fiction of 2008 suggested to me that this was a much better year for sf&f by woman than that. Of the 23 names on our Year's Best SF 14 table of contents, 9 of the authors are women (39%). (We haven't announced our fantasy TOC yet, but assuming we get all the stories on which we've requested permission, the ration there will be 12/29 or 41%.) 

Of course, we used a different sample: short fiction. Nonetheless, I find this difference striking.

And here we are:

Best Editor, Long Form
(273 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Lou Anders
  • Ginjer Buchanan
  • David G. Hartwell
  • Beth Meacham
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden

. . . and . . .

Best Semiprozine
(283 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Neil Clarke, Nick Mamatas & Sean Wallace
  • Interzone edited by Andy Cox
  • Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
  • The New York Review of Science Fiction edited by Kathryn Cramer, Kris Dikeman, David G. Hartwell, & Kevin J. Maroney
  • Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

Year's Best SF 14 Table of Contents

YBSF14 cover Year's Best SF 14, David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds. table of contents. 

Arkfall • Carolyn Ives Gilman
Orange • Neil Gaiman
Memory Dog • Kathleen Ann Goonan
Pump Six • Paolo Bacigalupi
Boojum • Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
Exhalation • Ted Chiang
Traitor • M. Rickert
The Things that Make Me Weak and Stange Get
Engineered Away • Cory Doctorow
Oblivion: A Journey • Vandana Singh
The House Left Empty • Robert Reed
The Scarecrow’s Boy • Michael Swanwick
N-Words • Ted Kosmatka
Fury • Alastair Reynolds
Cheats • Gwyneth Jones writing as Ann Halam
The Ships Like Clouds, Risen By Their Rain • Jason Sanford
The Egg Man • Mary Rosenblum
Glass • Daryl Gregory
Fixing Hanover • Jeff VanderMeer
Message Found in a Gravity Wave • Rudy Rucker
Mitigation • Tobias Buckell & Karl Schroeder
Spiders • Sue Burke

The book is forthcoming from HarperEos in May

If the last few fantasy permission forms are waiting in our PO Box, I may be able to announce the Year's Best Fantasy 9 contents within a day or two.

Johanna Sinisalo on the Nebula Ballot!

Can I just say how pleased I am that Johanna Sinisalo's "Baby Doll" is on the Nebula ballot for best novelette? There's a reason we put this story first in our Year's Best SF 13, and that reason was that we thought it was a really strong story.

Congratulations Johanna, and congratulations to Jim & Kathy Morrow who published the translation from the Finnish in The SFWA European Hall of Fame.

Thanks to Michael Swanwick for telling us about her a few years ago.

Out sick from Boskone on Valentine's Day

I had dithered a bit about whether to go to Boskone. (David had always planned to attend and is there now.) The logistics were complicated. About a week ago, I made the decision to go, planning to driving up Saturday morning.

Didn't happen. I've been sick in bed and have been running a low fever, so, no, I didn't get the kids in the car and drive to Boston. David, who drove up Friday morning and is on the program and has a dealer's table, says it's smaller than usual, but a really pleasant time. Hi Boskonians! (KC waves at you through the screen.)

I may be sick, but I'm not having a bad day. Elizabeth brought me breakfast in bed. I pulled myself together to take the kids out for a child-appreciation Valentine's Day lunch, and then we went to the chocolate shop and stocked up on bonbons. 

So I may be sick in bed, but I am well-supplied with great kids and cats and chocolate. Things are all right.

io9's "Power List"

Charlie Jane Anders at io9 has come up with a list of "20 Movers and Shakers in Science Fiction" with the explanation, "Science fiction didn't conquer the media world in 2008 all on its own: A host of creative people helped power the mighty battlecruiser. Here's our list of the 20 biggest science fiction movers-and-shakers of 2008."

What I find interesting about it are two things: First of all, Did sf conquer the media world in 2008? I hadn't particularly noticed it doing that. 2008 was more a political odyssey than a space odyssey, from my point of view. But OK. If you say so.

Secondly, and even more interesting to me is that if I had been set the task of making a list of 20 "movers and shakers" in SF for 2008, it would have had no overlap with the io9 list. Most of the people on her list wouldn't even occur to me to include. And while Neil Stephenson and Michael Chabon have both received much acclaim, neither is so influential in a social sense that I would have put them on such a list. I don't want to try for a list of 20, but if I had composed such a list it would have had Lou Anders on it, and Jonathan Strahan, and Elizabeth Bear, and Cory Doctorow, and John Scalzi. Also, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, plus some other acquiring book editors (I haven't check out what people are buying). Also, some Secret Masters of Fandom who make our conventions and awards happen.

Also, there are those people like Gardner Dozois and Michael Swanwick and David Langford and Ellen Datlow and Connie Willis who are movers and shakers most years who would need to be included.

My own list would probably not have anyone from Hollywood on it, since I think I have a different view of Hollywood's importance to science fiction than does io9. Nor, I think, would my list end up with agents on it. I like literary agents and many of them are my friends, but in science fiction, they are not a particularly empowered lot.

My list would have catalogued science fiction's strange attractors, whose actions and opinions have disproportionate effects on the field.

What would your list be like?

I am not an employee of Tor Books

Since I began recently blogging for, I have discovered that out there in the world there are people who think I am an editor for Tor Books. I am not, nor have I ever been, an employee of Tor Books or Tom Doherty Associates. I have done a small amount of freelance work for Tor in the mid 80s and again in the mid-90s. My participation in the Tor blog is on essentially the same terms as people write for The New York Review of Science Fiction.

Correcting what appears to be a common misapprehension

In reading the Internet's post-Hugo coverage, there seems to be a misapprehension out there that David G. Hartwell has been winning Hugos for decades and really ought to stop that and let someone younger have a chance. Perhaps people have him confused with Gardner Dozois or Charles N. Brown. The Hugo awarded David the other night in the category of Best Editor, Long Form, is only his second Hugo, ever.

According to the Locus list, his total award wins of all kinds are 2 career awards: the Milford and Skylark, plus 2 Hugos (counting the new one), 2 World Fantasy Awards, 7 Science Fiction Chronicle Reader Awards, 1 SFRA, 2 Readercon Awards. There are also a few more whimsical awards kicking around the house that Locus doesn't list (one involving a bird wing encased in lucite). But no secret stash of rocket ships except in Hugo-Nominee-pin form.

Semiprozine rules change & NYRSF

Regarding the Semiprozine Hugo Award rules change reported by Cheryl Morgan . . .

Removal of Semiprozine Category
A proposal to remove the Semiprozine Hugo was passed and forwarded to Montreal for ratification. The old qualification criteria from semiprozine are now used to define what is not eligible to be a fanzine. (We’ll post the actual wording later when we get official electronic copy). The vote was 40-28, and the issue continues to be hotly debated.
. . . I note that The New York Review of Science Fiction only meets 2 or the 5 criteria for "Semiprozine", by virtue that it pays contributors (token payment: $10/review & $25/essay) and acknowledges being a "semiprozine." As for the other criteria, our circulation is well below 1,000 copies and has been for the life of the magazine; while occasional and rare issues may contain more than 15% advertising, most contain much less; and the magazine does not provide a substantial portion of anyone's income.

If -- speaking purely hypothetically and only for myself -- NYRSF stopped making token payments for reviews and essays and instead gave contributors credit toward a subscription (say, 4 issues for a review, 10 issues for an essay), then according to Hugo rules, NYRSF would be a fanzine and would compete (and perhaps even win) in that category.

Many NYRSF contributors already use such an arrangement to pay for their subscriptions, so this would not be a big change from our end. Those obsessive enough to care about such things might want to go through the past decade of Hugo Award Final Reports to see how this would have played itself out in the Fanzine category, had NYRSF been classed as a fanzine.

A quick look at this year's report suggests that NYRSF would have won in that category on first ballot. Whether things would actually have worked out that way is hard to know. That really depends on what portion of NYRSF's Hugo constituency is old-line fanzine fans and how offended they would be to see a perrenial semiprozine nominee in the fanzine category.

Though NYRSF is one of the iconic semiprozines, we are only in the awards category by a hair, rules-wise.

FURTHER REMARK: Does anyone have an actual transcript of what was said at the meeting in which the rules change was discussed? The emerging impression I'm getting from what I can gather online is that some very smart people said some unfortunate things based on perhaps foolish assumptions.

And yet: I am wary of drawing conclusions about the true nature of the discussion based on online and second-hand information, having read too many mangled accounts of the goings-on at convention panels. So. Did anyone either record or take careful notes of the discussion preceding the vote of whether to eliminate the Semiprozine Hugo category? If so, can you either publish it online or email it to me?

Note additional discussions here, here, & here. (Also there Kevin Standlee had a discussion going somewhere on his LJ which I can't seem to find now.)

David won a Hugo last night!

David G. Hartwell's 2008 Hugo Award for Best Editor (Long Form)

David Hartwell at the World Fantasy Convention, Fall 2005So, as I was saying, I didn't go to Denvention, so I was not at the Hugo Award ceremony last night. When the phone rang last night some time after midnight, I was quite solidly asleep. I stumbled around trying to find it in the dark, but it stopped ringing. I figured either David had won a Hugo or it was a wrong number and I could know in the morning. (That chances that we'd both won for NYRSF were smaller than those of a wrong number.) So now it's morning and now I know! David G. Hartwell won for Best Editor in the Long Form category (the category for book editors, created 2 years ago). Whee! Congratulations, David!

Wish I'd been there last night, though it's pretty nice in Westport, NY. My Facebook status line from last night reads, "Kathryn Cramer is not at the Hugo nominees reception; she is bathing mud-covered children following a concert in the park."

Here's Lake Champlain this morning.



Since I wasn't there, I would really like to see some photos of David winning the Hugo. Can people please send them to me?

Congratulations, David

Playing Hookey from the WorldCon


Cheryl Morgan has noted that my kids and I are absent from Denvention. Ah, I'm busted playing hookey from the WorldCon. No, I'm not in Denver, I'm in Westport, NY painting my basement and painting pictures of Lake Champlain.

SN852014Meanwhile, Peter & Liz performed last night at the Deport Theatre as part of the theater's summer apprentice program. Amazing action photos here. Today Elizabeth goes on a trip to a local farm.


SN852038This evening, the kids and I are going to an event at an "art farm." If by chance NYRSF wins a Hugo, I'm sure David will bring it home. I will, however, be in Montreal next year.

Confluence Pix

I've created a Flickr photoset for our Confluence photos  and will add more later. Here is the scene so far:

Mike Walsh sells books

Mike Walsh sells books in the Dealer's Room. (Didin't I see him last weekend?)

panel: Is the Internet Essentially Fungal?

Panel: Is the Internet Essentially Fungal? with Kathryn Cramer, Geoff Landis, James Morrow, Mary Turzillo

JJ presides over the beer tasting

JJ presides over the Beer Tasting. (Yummy!)

Charlie Oberndorf & Jim Morrow

Charles Oberndorf & James Morrow at dinner on the terrace.

Greetings from Confluence

confluence t-shirt

I have arrived at Confluence and have my first program item in  about two hours, a panel which I proposed on whether the Internet is essentially fungal, which I think it is.

Here's my program schedule. I'm expecting this will be a lot of fun.

Friday   6:00pm  Is the Internet Essentially Fungal?
      Kathryn Cramer   (M)
      Geoffrey A. Landis
      James Morrow
      Mary A. Turzillo
  In his book  Mycelium Running, mycologist  Paul Stamets argues that fungi are nature's Internet. Perhaps it's really the other way around. Is the Internet essentially fungal? Discuss from the SF  worldview (and perhaps from Lovecraft's as well).

Saturday 1:00pm  Critic Guest Talk: The Game of  Genre
  Kathryn Cramer

Saturday 4:00pm  Trends in Short Fiction: From Original Anthologies to Online Fiction
      Lawrence C. Connolly
      Kathryn Cramer   (M)
      David Barr Kirtley
      Paul Melko
      Karina Sumner-Smith
  Every year, we hear predictions of the death of short fiction. Yet, every year, some of the genres best works are not novels but short stories and novellas. And more new outlets are appearing.  There are more good original anthologies than we've seen since the golden  years of Universe, New Dimension, Orbit, and Dangerous Visions. And online markets are flourishing. The panel looks at some of the best  new short fiction, where it can be found, and the prospects for the future.

Saturday 5:00pm  What's Best?
      Kathryn Cramer   (M)
      David G. Hartwell
      James Morrow
      William Tenn
  Never mind what's best THIS YEAR, how do we decide what is best in  sf and fantasy anyway?

Sunday  10:00am  Kaffeeklatsch/Literary Beer

Sunday  12:00 noon Real Life Utopianism
      Kathryn Cramer
      Joe Haldeman
      James Morrow   (M)
      Kathryn Morrow
      Charles Oberndorf
  SF as a literature is  strongly concerned w /utopias and dystopias. How do we individually relate these visions to our real lives? What  have we done lately at  achieving utopia?

Right now I'm in my hotel room, having eaten lunch andd taken a shower. Against my better judgement, I spent a few minutes on the Internet and found myself trying to parse why    Violet Blue is trying to get a restraining order against some guy who had never previously impinged on my consiousness  (for his Wikipedia edits having to do with her Wikipedia entry).  What he had done to upset her looked to me simply like standard fairly reasonable Wikicrat behavior.  I never did figure out what this particular fuss is supposed to be about.

When oh when will I learn that I really don't need to try to follow the threads of this kind of Internet  mycelium? Fungal. Yes, the Internet is fungal.

Readercon Pix & Others

so many books, so little time!

I have posted our photos from Readercon, which was last weekend, as well as our photos from the NYRSF 20th Anniversary Party the weekend before.

NYRSF party

(Is Donald gesturing, or is that air guitar?)

Now, I am off to Confluence in Pittsburgh, where I will be  P. Schuyler Miller Critic Guest of Honor. Wheee! (Be there or be sqaure!)


(After that, I'm going back to the Adirondacks to rise with the sun and plant pretty flowers in the mountains.)

Cory Doctorow makes the New York Times Bestseller List

51dp3kqlrcl_sl500_aa240__2 I'm told that our friend Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother debuts at #9 on the New York Times Children's Bestseller list for 5/25/08.

Congratulations, Cory! And congratulations to his editor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

I am especially pleased at the book's success because not only is it a terrific book that I read from cover to cover in essentially one sitting, but it is a book that the world really needs.

Cory has set up a system whereby people can donate copies to teachers and librarians who request them. After you've bought a copy for yourself, why not buy one for a teacher or librarian who needs one?

(Republished from May14th; I took the post down after a few minutes since I wasn't sure if this information was embargoed. See also BoingBoing from yesterday.)

Friday night at Boreal

We're at Boreal, the French language sf convention held in Montreal: some of us come to the con even though we don't speak French.

Last night after a panel on genre and literary movements, a bunch of us sat around in a pub. Conversation turned to Cory Doctorow's new book Little Brother. Michael Swanwick, Jo Walton, and I all raved about what a terrific book it is. It is not often that one sees writers in a group pushing to get a work in edgewise about how wonderful someone's new novel is. I think this bodes well for the book's reception.

dinner at Boreal
Michael Swanwick, Don Kingsbury, Kathryn Cramer, Liz, & Peter at the Indian buffet

Today I take the kids over to Chinatown and David spends the day attending the program.