At WorldCon on Saturday, the Hugo Awards were an occasion for scifi book lovers to don their finery and come out for what can only be called geek prom. The Hugos are chosen by popular vote, and have the power to boost an author's reputation and book sales: Past winners include stars like Ursula Le Guin and Kurt Vonnegut. And so it was with palpable excitement that this year's nominees stood in the wings, and the audience waited in our gowns, tuxedos, and t-shirts in the vast auditorium at the awards ceremony. After our host Edward Bryant told stories about how the authors at a previous WorldCon had gone hot tubbing naked with their editors, the moment of truth arrived.
Here are the winners, as listed on the official Hugo website:
* Best Novel: The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins; Fourth Estate)
* Best Novella: "All Seated on the Ground" by Connie Willis (Asimov's Dec. 2007; Subterranean Press)
* Best Novelette: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang (Subterranean Press; F&SF Sept. 2007)
* Best Short Story: "Tideline" by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov's June 2007)
* Best Related Book: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher (Oxford University Press)
* Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust Written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Charles Vess Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Paramount Pictures)
* Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who "Blink" Written by Steven Moffat Directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)
* Best Editor, Long Form: David G. Hartwell
* Best Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder
* Best Professional Artist: Stephan Martiniere
* Best Semiprozine: Locus
* Best Fanzine: File 770
* Best Fan Writer: John Scalzi
* Best Fan Artist: Brad Foster
The winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Mary Robinette Kowal
Kowal and Scalzi should also have won for most glamorous self-presentations — Kowal's golden gown matched her winner's tiara perfectly, and Scalzi dressed like a secret agent and did action poses with his award.
The only controversial win, at least in my mind, was Michael Chabon's Yiddish Policemen's Union for best novel. Certainly it's a brilliant novel, and is undoubtedly a work of SF-ish alternate history, but it felt a little wrong to me that the award went to somebody who writes mainstream literary fiction that merely borrows a few tropes from SF. Chabon was too busy to attend the awards, but he did write a sweet and genuine acceptance speech which was read with ironic gravity by venerable fantasy author (and Chabon influence) George R. R. Martin.
The real fun began after the Hugos, when all the most elite non-winners headed to a local hotel for the "Hugo Losers Party," with a tightly-guarded guest list (several sources revealed to io9 that losers can bring as many dates as they want, thus resulting in a party packed with venerable writers and cute people they met in the elevators on the way up to the party). A few floors below the Loser's Party was a bash thrown by SF imprints Ace and Roc, also packed to the gills with SF fiction's biggest stars. Check out our party gallery, and see which luminaries you recognize.
At the end of the evening, everyone retreated to the Hyatt Regency bar, where the losers continued to drink their sorrows away and I had a chance to babble fannishly to Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell about how he'd written one of my favorite episodes of the new show.
Hugo Awards [via official Hugos site]