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Right. The deadline is tomorrow, so it's about time for me (and every other Interaction or LACon IV member who hasn't done so) to be nominating for the Hugo Awards. I think I've decided on most of my Best Novel ballot:
The Summer Isles, Ian R. Macleod
Counting Heads, David Marusek
Living Next-Door to the God of Love, Justina Robson
Accelerando, Charles Stross
Given its limited print run, The Summer Isles presumably has little chance of actually making the ballot, but it's the best 2005 novel I've read. I haven't quite finished Counting Heads, but unless Marusek fluffs up the ending spectacularly it deserves a nomination. Living Next-Door to the God of Love and Accelerando both have flaws, but as far as I'm concerned those are outweighed by their considerable strengths. I regret that I haven't managed to get to Robert Charles Wilson's Spin, but don't think it's going to need my help to get nominated. (If it does miss out by one vote, you can all lynch me later.) The last nomination will go to ... er ... well, could be Learning the World, could be Transcendent, could be Double Vision. It'll probably depend on how I feel this evening.

In novella the three shoo-ins are Kelly Link's 'Magic for Beginners', Ian McDonald's 'The Little Goddess', and Paolo Bacigalupi's 'The Calorie Man'. The other two will likely be Yume No Hon by Catherynne M. Valente and 'The Emperor' by Lucius Shepard. Novellettes: Darryl Gregory's 'Second Person, Present Tense', Geoff Ryman's 'The Last Ten Years in the Life of the Hero Kai', possibly Vandana Singh's 'The Tetrahedron', possibly Cory Doctorow's 'I, Robot', possibly Link's 'Some Zombie Contingency Plans', possibly Chris Beckett's 'Piccadilly Circus', plus something from Strange Horizons. Short stories: 'Anyway' by M. Rickert, 'Heads Down, Thumbs Up' by Gavin J. Grant, 'Singing My Sister Down' by Margo Lanagan, and a couple of things from Strange Horizons. Given that I'm a judge for the BSFA's non-fiction award, I probably shouldn't say anything about my thoughts on related book (except to say that The Complete Calvin & Hobbes counts, right?)

And then we start to get to the categories where I have much less fixed opinions. Dramatic Presentation, for instance. I know I didn't get to the cinema much last year, but--other than Serenity--which films really deserve a nomination? Similarly for short form: if I'm going to go for a single episode of Battlestar Galactica, which one should it be? And what else was there to nominate? (Note: don't even bother mentioning Doctor Who.) Was 2005 just a bad year?

I haven't made a full survey of the Campbell Award website yet, but I'm thinking some of KJ Bishop, Karen Fishler, David Moles, Frances Hardinge, Holly Phillips, Steph Swainston, and Sonya Taafe. Who am I missing?

Artists and editors (aside from the magazine editors) I'm always underinformed about: if you want to pimp your choices to me, now's the time. I have firmer ideas about fanzine and fan writer (Claire Brialey for the latter, plus don't forget that bloggers count), but I'd still be interested to hear everyone else's thoughts. So: bring 'em on.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Who am I missing?

Hannah Wolf Bowen. Also, is Holly Phillips eligible? (Do not go by the list on the page, many many people do not add themselves to the page.)
is Holly Phillips eligible?

Don't know; and I'm not sure who has my copy of In the Palace of Repose. (It might be me, in which case I'll check her publication credits when I get home.)
According to Graham, who turns out to have my copy, she has previously published stories in On Spec and HP Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror. Which, as far as I can tell, means she's eligible.
(Note: don't even bother mentioning Doctor Who.)

Name 5 episodes of anything from 2005 that were better than The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.

As for films, Howl's Moving Castle and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. And don't forget to pimp Star Wars Lego for best interactive video game.
Name 5 episodes of anything from 2005 that were better than The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.

Firstly, there were probably at least five episodes of Battlestar Galactica and Carnivale better than those. But secondly, I'm not filling up spaces on my ballot just because they're there. :p

As for films, Howl's Moving Castle and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Didn't see Howl. I was planning to nominate Wallace and Gromit, but find myself strangely ambivalent about doing so now that the time has come.

And don't forget to pimp Star Wars Lego for best interactive video game.

You mean the one reviewed here? (etc etc.) I think that's almost the only new computer game I played in 2005, you know.
You continue to be very very wrong about The Doctor Dances.
'The Empty Child'/'The Doctor Dances' is probably the best of the Ecclestone Who stories. It might even be, objectively, quite good. It's a bit of a stretch to give it a Hugo.
It's got a proper sf plot with nano-things, it's got scary armies of zombies, it's got a ray gun which disintegrates things in nice neat square holes, it's got the joke about the woman's leg growing back, and they all dance around to Glenn Miller at the end. I fail to see how that's not worth a Hugo nom.
Personally I would nominate it solely on the basis of the "who looks at a screwdriver and thinks that could be more sonic?" routine, but I understand that that is less appealing to the younger generation.
thanks man. And I agree re Summer Isles --far and away the best novel I read in the slot.
You're welcome. And glad at least someone else has read The Summer Isles. Apparently there should be a less limited edition of the book at some point--doesn't help with the Hugos, but anything that gets the book more widely available is a Good Thing.
Artists and editors (aside from the magazine editors) I'm always underinformed about: if you want to pimp your choices to me, now's the time.

Well, I do have one but in your particular case, I think she would be inappropriate: Ellen Asher (who I don't work for, although I freelance for someone who does), who has been doing a pretty good job at the SFBC since the 1970s. Since the SFBC is confined to the US, though, I can't see that her choices would ever have affected you.

It seems to me that magazine editors and anthologists enjoy a significant edge over the editors who work behind the scenes in the book trade. In fact, I will go farther: unless an editor plants his or her name on the masthead or on the spine of a book, there is no chance that they can will the Hugo. None.

Since the SFBC is confined to the US, though, I can't see that her choices would ever have affected you.

I have been sneakily acquiring Jonathan Strahan's Best Short Novels volumes, but yeah, that's the only thing.

I agree with your second point as things stand. Obviously if the split of the editor Hugo gets passed, then we have to start worrying about whether the new category gets enough nominating votes to be credible.
Strahan's SFBC anthologies just keep getting better: I have his collection of Best Short Novels 2006 on the HD and it was very good.


Films: Batman Begins?

Short Form:
Battlestar: Downloaded, Pegasus, Ressurection Ship and probably the final episode once it airs tomorrow ;0)
Stargate Atlantis: Coup d'Etat, Inferno
Stargate SG1: Ripple Effect

Um... there must have been some other 1/2 decent sf last year surely?
Battlestar: Downloaded, Pegasus, Ressurection Ship and probably the final episode once it airs tomorrow

The only one of those that's eligible is 'Pegasus'--the others are all 2006 episodes.

I think I'm leaning towards 'Colonial Day' and one of the first four of s2. I know I particularly liked one of those four, I just can't remember which.
To remind you, the official site episode guide. (Or my reviews: 2x01, 2x02, 2x03, 2x04).

I remember you saying something good about the third or fourth one - don't think it was one of the first couple.
Thanks. I think I'm thinking of 2x04, but really that quartet runs together so much that it could be any of them.
Mirror Mask?
((((Lucas Back In Anger Short Form Dramatic)))) Sorry, but I promised Phil and Ian I'd pimp it.
Kim Newman and Paul McCauley's Hugo Awards script was superb, but not exactly "dramatic" and I don't think you can nominate partnerships for best fan writer.
Nice to know that Lego Star Wars is eligible, I couldn't remember if it was 2004.
> single episode of Battlestar Galactica,

S02e18

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Probably outside the date range though.
Yes, that'd be one for next year. Along with some Life on Mars, I expect ...
You mean episode 18, or 19? I like 18, but it lacked something for me. 19 was superb, as was 15.
Definitely 18. 19 was boring. (19 was the to be continued one right?)

I may have enjoyed 18 because of the humour in it.

Or maybe I just like Lucy Lawless.
Let's be brutally honest, up until probably the late 70s, when most of the Worldcon attendees could be reasonably expected to have read most of the year's sf, the Hugos were a reasonable if far from infallible record of what was good in the genre. But since then they seem to have progressively less to do with anything that might be considered good or interesting in the field. The few occasions over the last 20 years when a worthwhile book has won, or even been shortlisted, seem abberations. Nowadays I suspect most of the voters are voting for friends, for past favourites, or for reputation rather than because they have actually read the work (I have a feeling that is probably also true for nominations). So it is a very long time since I have been able to muster anything more than a vague, cursory interest in the Hugos.
All true, but to me, that's why it's important to encourage people to nominate in good faith. The number of nominations needed to make the final ballot is not so high (except in Dramatic Presentation Long Form, and possibly in Best Novel) that we can't make a difference. I won't have voting rights this year, since I'm not going to LACon, but if I can help get a decent ballot in place then hopefully those who are voting won't be able to screw up too badly. ;-)
There was a LibDem PPB some years ago in which John Cleese argued that if all the people who said they would vote LibDem if they thought the LibDems could win did vote LibDem then the LibDems would in fact win.

If I have Hugo nominating rights and some kind of informed opinion on at least some of the categories then at worst I spend some time reminding myself about the stuff I liked last year -- which is probably no bad thing in itself -- and then a few minutes with a computerised ballot form, so if the shortlists don't reflect my tastes I haven't exactly lost a great deal. I don't take Worldcon supporting memberships just to secure nominating and voting rights, but when I have the nominating rights anyway it seems daft not to use them, especially when, as you say, it really is the case that one person can make a difference.

In the same way I still vote in general elections, even if I'm living in a safe seat where I don't support the incumbent party. And even safe seats change hands sometimes...
---Mark
fan writer ... don't forget that bloggers count

If I were a cooler person I'd know how to graciously say thank you, but instead you'll just have to imagine me blushing and sputtering. In order to draw attention away from that embarrassing sight, I'll second the mention of Matt Cheney, and also point out Andrew Rilstone. He's been disappointingly silent these last few months, but in the earlier half of this year he was the blogger I wanted to be when I grew up.

if I'm going to go for a single episode of Battlestar Galactica, which one should it be?

In ascending order of awesomeness, "Kobol's Last Gleaming 1 & 2", "Fragged" (Crashdown takes a bullet in the back), "Pegasus". I think "Downloaded" has next year's Hugo all sewn up.

Note: don't even bother mentioning Doctor Who

I'm going to assume that this means something other than the unthinkable, i.e. that you don't actually like DW.

Oh, and you're tragically wrong about there being five episodes of Carnivale that were better than "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances". I'll say this again: second season = rancid.
I'm going to assume that this means something other than the unthinkable, i.e. that you don't actually like DW.

Hmm. I'd forgotten you weren't here this time last year. :)

To be fair, I enjoyed 'The Christmas Invasion', but that might just be because David Tennant's Doctor kept reminding me of pikelet.
David Tennant's Doctor kept reminding me of pikelet.

Both true and, given that he eventually chose to dress a la Hartland, rather disturbing.
Oh dear.

Tell you what: I'll pretend that I haven't read these and you'll pretend that I've never said anything uncomplimentary about Quantum Leap or the second season of Carnivale. We'll both cling desperately to our shared affection for The West Wing.
Deal. And I'll throw in not-even-asking-about-Due South, too.
If I were a cooler person I'd know how to graciously say thank you, but instead you'll just have to imagine me blushing and sputtering.

So if I were nominating you, I shouldn't mention it, right?
Probably not :-)
The Summer Isle is a brilliant novel. I do hope it wins.
Shoo-in, not shoe-in, unless this is some kind of order-of-the-boot, only in reverse.
D'oh. You're right, of course.
As I understand it, the eligibility criteria for Dramatic Presentation are based on date of first broadcast, which because of the way that BSG Season 1 debuted in the UK means that the 2005 eligibility covers from S1E08 to S2E09. Within that range, I'd probably pick 'Fragged' and 'Pegasus' as the standouts. Honorable Mentions would go to 'Colonial Day' (although it is rather blatantly 'West Wing' In Space) and 'Home, Part II', one of those episodes where BSG belatedly recalls that it's meant to be sf.