Hugo Awards 2010: some of the best results in recent memory

Last night, the Hugo Awards, one of science fiction's most prestigious prizes, were presented in Melbourne at Aussiecon 4. The Hugo ceremony is one of my favorite parts of any WorldCon, and last night's event, emceed by Garth Nix, was a particularly outstanding edition. The ballot was extremely strong, with works that I really enjoyed competing in several categories. The voter and nominator turnout were both much higher than usual, and the program moved at a very, very good clip. This year's award, designed by Nick Stathopolous, was gorgeous, incorporating aboriginal motifs and an organic, Belle Époque look inspired by the Paris Metro signs. Kudos to the administrators on a smooth, well-run ceremony!

The fiction prizes were especially sweet this year. Best novel was an almost-unheard-of tie between China Mieville for his brilliant, mind-bending The City and the City and Paolo Bacigalupe for his stellar debut novel The Windup Girl. Best novella went to my collaborator Charlie Stross for Palimpsest, from his wonderful, mind-bending solo short story collection Wireless. Best novelette went to Peter Watts for The Island, from The New Space Opera 2. Boing Boing readers will remember Peter as the SF writer who was beaten and gassed near the US/Canada border when he got out of his car to ask why US customs officers were searching his car; he spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting the charge and the potential two-year sentence; was found guilty but received a suspended sentence. SF fans raised money to bring Peter to Australia, and his acceptance speech in which he called this the "best and worst year of his life," was brilliant. The best short story, which I presented, went to Will McIntosh for "Bridecicle," a lovely story.

Net-based media was a big winner this year: the podcast Starship Sofa (often presented here) won for Best Fanzine. And of course, there was Fred Pohl's Hugo for Best Fan Writer for his excellent blog The Way the Future Blogs.

Other categories whose winners made me especially glad include the Best Editor prize for my editor at Tor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden (this was his second prize in the very new category, and he has taken his name out of the running for next year). The graphic novel category went to Phil and Kaja Foglio's steampunk comic Girl Genius. The Campbell Award for best new writer to Seanan McGuire, whose heartfelt acceptance speech made me burst into tears. has the full list of nominees and winners here.