Hugo winners, 2011

Last night's Hugo Award ceremony at the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno were just great, and some damned fine writers, creators, editors and books were nominated and won. Some of the balloted works/writers you've seen reviewed here this year include:

* The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Campbell Award for Best New Writer, winner)
* Zoo City by Lauren Beukes (Campbell Award for Best New Writer, nominee)
* Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Best Novella)
* The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Best Novel, nominee)
* Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 1: (1907–1948): Learning Curve, by William H. Patterson, Jr. (Best Related Work, nominee)

The winners were:
* Best Novel (1813 ballots): Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
* Best Novella (1467 ballots): The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
* Best Novelette (1469 ballots): “The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)
* Best Short Story (1597 ballots): “For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
* Best Related Work (1220 ballots): Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)
* Best Graphic Story (1263 ballots) Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
* Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (1755 ballots): Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)
* Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (1466 ballots): Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
* Best Editor, Short Form (983 ballots): Sheila Williams
* Best Editor, Long Form (898 ballots): Lou Anders
* Best Professional Artist (1304 ballots): Shaun Tan
* Best Semiprozine (1112 ballots): Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker
* Best Fanzine (870 ballots): The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon
* Best Fan Writer (814 ballots): Claire Brialey
* Best Fan Artist (993 ballots): Brad W. Foster
* John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (1138 ballots): Lev Grossman

2011 Hugo Awards: A good night for time travel, artificial intelligence, and Asimov’s Magazine


  1. I absolutely adore the work of Stephen Moffat, but at some point shouldn’t he reach a lifetime eligibility limit for the “Dramatic Presentation, Short Form” Hugo? At this point, I’d be more interested in hearing the result for “Dramatic Presentation, Short Form – And Not Moffat”.

    Oh, and congratulations to all the winners, and to the nominees as well, of course.

    1. Well, Moff DID get two years off.

      My objection’s not so much that he’s hogging all the glory as that they chose a 90-minute two-parter for “short form”.

      (Well, and that, seconding Franko, Vincent and the Doctor was a better episode.)

  2. It made my morning to see Mary Robinette Kowal’s Hugo post when I checked her site earlier.  She really deserved it.  And, congratulations to everyone else who won. 

  3. Ouch. The last Connie Willis won in the novel category? Really? I know Hugos often go to authors for works that are not their best when, in the previous years, a really good text missed out for some reason or other (like Passage, the last time one of Willis’s novels could be called outstanding), but this is becoming ridiculous…

  4. Thanks for the synopsis, Cory.  You da man.  I wish I could have been there.  Had I known about it a month in advance, I could have drove down from Idaho to attend.  Does George R. R. Martin still host the Hugo losers party?

  5. I really would not have picked “Pandorica/Big Bang” for an Hugo.

    “Amy’s Choice” or “Vincent and the Doctor”, now…

  6. I recently read Blackout from Connie Willis. Started ok, but I really got fed up with all the repetition and the annoyingly dumb historians. Had to stop at 80% of the book. Previous Hugo novel winners where fantastic, but this book…

  7. Are there any speculative fiction awards/lists that consistently recommend good books? Nothing against Hugo, Nebula and Locus, but I find that the books are often hit or miss. In fact, I’ve found that Ive enjoyed recent Nebula runner ups far more than the award winners. Of course, it could also be that I like easier reads than hard ones.

  8. You left out that the Forrest J. Ackerman “Big Heart” Award went to Gay Haldeman, to much applause.

  9. is there going to be any video of any of the presentations or the awards that you know of, Cory? i would love to see some of them. i’m bummed that for financial considerations i could not attend, even though i live in reno. also, while i loved the Pandorica/Big Bang 2-parter, i’ll second the vote for the van Gogh episode as being one that should have won.

  10. Ms Willis writes a book that’s so late that the first half gets published unedited, then suddenly stops mid-story.  A year or so later, the second half gets published as another book, full price just like the first half.  The whole thing bloated, sorely in need of editing, and not really very different to the novel it’s a sequel to.

    So, to punish her for this lazy and disrespectful fiasco, we sf fans give her another Hugo.


  11. I’d like to hear from anyone who voted for Willis’ books this year. Reviews have been uniformly bad. Why did you like them enough to vote for them? Was it just because you enjoyed her previous books? Did you not read the other nominations? I notice that Blackout/All Clear was trailing behind Feed for the first three rounds. Did you vote for another book, but give second vote to Willis’ books? Why was that?

  12. Just to take some heat off of Willis and place a little more on the voters, I wonder how many of Ted Chiang’s fans found “Life Cycle” to be his most disappointing work so far, as I did.

  13. I really enjoyed Blackout/All Clear, despite its flaws. I found it exciting, intelligent, and suspenseful.  The characters are fully fleshed out, imperfect people who make lots of mistakes and don’t necessarily deal at all well with the results, but who still manage to muddle through and keep their humanity in terrible situations.

    Yes, it’s ponderous.  Yes, there are anachronisms and errors of place.  I think it’s a ripping good yarn despite that.

    Just for contrast.

  14. jeligula: Okay, make your plans now for the next two years. The 2011 Worldcon will be in Chicago, and the 2012 Worldcon will be in San Antonio, both over Labor Day Weekend, and of course both will host Hugo Awards. Join next year’s Worldcon, Chicon 7, and you’ll get to nominate and vote for the 2011 Hugo Awards.The post-Hugo Party these days is hosted by the follow year’s Worldcon, so this year it was hosted by Chicon 7.Warren_Terra: How would you enforce such a ban? Based on the title of the series? Based on the name of the writer of the script? Based on the name of the director of the episode? What would you do if one of your banned names was involved, but if there were other co-creators? What if your banned author wrote an episode of a different series? Think about all of the trouble you’d have trying to actually enforce such a rule.Thad Boyd: “Short Form” is anything with a total running time (not including commercials and other unrelated matter) of less than 90 minutes. It’s explicitly designed to include most two-part or shorter television episodes, while Long Form is expected to put three-part TV episodes up against theatrical motion pictures.Anyone: This voting statistics for this year should serve to once again remind people that “vote splitting” doesn’t happen: Although none of the Who episodes was leading after the first round of balloting (the Bradbury video had more first-round votes than any other candidate), in general anyone who picked one of the Who episodes first picked the other two as their second and third choices, so as candidates dropped out and their votes were redistributed, they reinforced each other until the system selected the Who episode that was the most-preferred among the three nominated. That’s the way the system is supposed to work. The winner is the overall-most-preferred from among the available candidates even if it isn’t the Number One Fan Favorite of Everyone.

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