The Usual Award Whatsit

by wjw on February 14, 2022

It’s that time of year when the thoughts of writers turn to awards, and they try to gently urge their readers to nominator their works.

As it happens I had no novels published last year, so I won’t be nudging you toward that award. (I’ll have two novels published in 2022, both a Praxis and a Quillifer, so next year I’ll be eligible twice over for both for the novel award and the series award, and I urge you to vote your conscience, which is to say you should vote for me.

The only work I have eligible this year is The Best of Walter Jon Williams, from Subterranean Press. I am confident it’s deserving, but there’s no category for Best Collection in the Hugos, so it would have to be nominated as Best Related Work, a category dominated by nonfiction, and sometimes by ephemera like Chicks Dig Time Lords.

What the hell. Give it your best.

As for books not by me that should be nominated, I can think of a couple. James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series ended last year with Leviathan Falls, and I feel the series’ achievement should be recognized.

Ada Palmer’s Terra Ignota series ended last year with Perhaps the Stars. I think I can safely say that there are no books out there remotely like these, science fiction as it might have been written by Gene Wolfe, assuming that Gene Wolfe was a 15th century renaissance philosopher, and wrote what Ursula LeGuin would have called an “ambiguous utopia.” If you read SF for the ideas, you’ll find huuuuuge ideas, all set among a 25th century of utter and well-thought-out strangeness.

Even my description of the series has too many ideas, so I’ll quite here.

What else should we be voting for?

John Appel February 15, 2022 at 1:33 am

Best Series is going to be incredibly tough this year. Along with the Expanse and Terra Ignota, Fonda Lee’s incredible Green Bone saga (JADE CITY, JADE WAR, and 2021’s JADE LEGACY) also wrapped up. And I’m sure Seanan McGuire will be in the running too.

And while I have no illusions about winning a Hugo, or even the Astounding (for which I’m in my first year of eligibility, despite being 57), I am a finalist for the Compton Crook Award-again amongst a stellar line-up. We are truly in a golden age of SFF.

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