From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

In A Teapot: And The Phallic Symbol Goes To…

Denvention posted this year’s Hugo nominees a few days ago, and much rejoicing was heard across the land. I’m happy to see that there wasn’t a repeat of last year’s ovary-free fiction categories, though there are still fewer women than I’d like. Just means I’ll have to work harder for next year!

The list looks pretty solid, though there are several really amazing books and stories missing. Good thing we can still nominate for the World Fantasy Award. That nomination ballot isn’t due until June 30th.

Which works on the Hugo ballot do you think should win? Which to you think will win?

For my part, I really, really loved “The Fountain of Age” (novella) by Nancy Kress, but then I always love her stories. I also liked “Finisterra” (novelette) by David Moles but I’m reserving judgment until I read Ted Chiang’s story. I thought he wasn’t going to write, anymore! I’ve read three of the short story nominees and am not impressed with any of them. I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on the other two. I hear that The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community by Diana Glyer is really wonderful, but my money is on The Arrival, by Shaun Tan, in the Related Books category.

Major congrats to those nominated for the Campbell Not-A-Hugo. I was very excited to see David Anthony Durham on the list because, as you know, we here at Fantasy were quite taken with his novel. My friend Mary Robinette Kowal is also nominated, and if you’re interested in reading her work to determine if she’s truly the best new writer in town, she’s made it easy for you.

I’d really appreciate it if voters would refrain from giving Dave Langford the Dave Langford Award this year (Best Fan Writer) and instead bestow it on John Scalzi or Cheryl Morgan, both of whom are more than deserving.

The dramatic presentations categories have many strong contenders. For short form, I’m torn between the two Doctor Who episodes and Torchwood’s “Captain Jack Harkness”. “Blink” is a favorite because Stephen Moffet charms everyone. But I have to say that I’m wary of awarding a Mary Sue story the Hugo. “Human Nature” / “Family of Blood” is another good choice, but the first part, I felt, was awful until the second part came ’round. Put together, they make one hell of an episode. I find it funny that “Captain Jack Harkness” is not nominated in tandem with the second half of its arc, probably because the second half was so bad. Torchwood’s first season was often hit or miss, but most of the time they managed to contain all badness in one episode and all goodness in another. With “Captain Jack Harkness” and the finale, they scattered the bad and good throughout both episodes, though the first one was the stronger of the two. And contains a hot gay kiss. It’s a contender.

I’m interested to hear what our readers think. And if there are any books or stories on the ballot that you’d suggest reading because they really deserve the win.

As for the World Fantasy Ballot, that’s still wide open! In the novel category, I think the best fantasy books I read last year were The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia, The New Moon’s Arms by Nalo Hopkinson, and The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice by Cat Valente.

According to Fantasy readers, the best of our 2007 stories were: Swan by Eilis O’Neal, Time to Say Goodnight by Caroline M. Yoachim, and Soft like a Rabbit by Andrea Kail.

I’m still reading through short fiction published online last year. Once I’m done, I’ll be able to pick five stories, novellas, and novelettes I really loved. What are your favorite fantasy books and short fiction from 2007? Your favorite collections & anthologies? Use this space to pimp your favorites. And if you’re eligible to nominate, do so!

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