Thursday, August 9, 2012

World Fantasy Award Nominees Announced

The Nominees for this year's World Fantasy Award were announced yesterday.  The Lifetimes Achievement winners were announced earlier this year and are Alan Garner and George R. R. Martin.  I have to admit I've not anything on the list other that "A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong" by K. J. Parker, although I've got copies of a few others.  One or two are on my wishlist as well. 

Since I seem to be more deficient than usual in my reading of what got nominated, I'll not comment except to say that there doesn't appear to be much, if any, sword and sorcery.  No great surprise, I suppose.

So does anybody have any favorites?

World Fantasy Award Ballot
  Those Across the River, Christopher Buehlman (Ace)
  11/22/63, Stephen King (Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton as 11.22.63)
  A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)
  Osama, Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
  Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor)

  "Near Zennor", Elizabeth Hand (A Book of Horrors)
  "A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong", K.J. Parker (Subterranean Winter 2011)
  "Alice Through the Plastic Sheet", Robert Shearman (A Book of Horrors)
  "Rose Street Attractors", Lucius Shepard (Ghosts by Gaslight)
  Silently and Very Fast, Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA Press; Clarkesworld)

Short Fiction
  "X for Demetrious", Steve Duffy (Blood and Other Cravings)
  "Younger Women", Karen Joy Fowler (Subterranean Summer 2011)
  "The Paper Menagerie", Ken Liu (F&SF 3-4/11)
  "A Journey of Only Two Paces", Tim Powers (The Bible Repairman and Other Stories)
  "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees", E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld 4/11)

  Blood and Other Cravings, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Tor)
  A Book of Horrors, Stephen Jones, ed. (Jo Fletcher Books)
  The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, eds. (Harper Voyager US)
  The Weird, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, eds. (Corvus; Tor, published May 2012)
  Gutshot, Conrad Williams, ed. (PS Publishing)

  Bluegrass Symphony, Lisa L. Hannett (Ticonderoga)
  Two Worlds and In Between, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean Press)
  After the Apocalypse, Maureen F. McHugh (Small Beer)
  Mrs Midnight and Other Stories, Reggie Oliver (Tartarus)
  The Bible Repairman and Other Stories, Tim Powers (Tachyon)

  John Coulthart
  Julie Dillon
  Jon Foster
  Kathleen Jennings
  John Picacio

Special Award Professional
  John Joseph Adams, for editing - anthology and magazine
  Jo Fletcher, for editing - Jo Fletcher Books
  Eric Lane, for publishing in translation - Dedalus books
  Brett Alexander Savory & Sandra Kasturi, for ChiZine Publications
  Jeff VanderMeer & S.J. Chambers, for The Steampunk Bible
Special Award Non-Professional
  Kate Baker, Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan & Sean Wallace, for Clarkesworld
  Cat Rambo, for Fantasy
  Raymond Russell & Rosalie Parker, for Tartarus Press
  Charles Tan, for Bibliophile Stalker blog
  Mark Valentine, for Wormwood


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  2. I'm working my way thru "The Weird" and it's so well done. I can't think of any sort of survey of a genre that comes close to it except Hartwell's "The Dark Descent". The Tim Powers' collection, for a man who doesn't write too many shorts is excellent.
    As to the rest, I don't even know who half the authors even are. I feel so out of some sort of loop.

    1. THE WEIRD is definitely on my wishlist. I'm holding out for the hardcover. I haven't read the Powers collection, but I have no doubt it will be outstanding. Also on my wish list.

      Buehlman, Shearman, Hannett, and Oliver are the only names I didn't recognize among the fiction categories. Some of these authors write stuff that's about as far from S&S as you can get, which may be why you've not heard of them. Several are literary darlings who are routinely praised for the beauty of their prose (and in one or two cases their politics) and are published in venues that don't publish much or any S&S.

      The thing about the WFAs is that they're partially juried awards, which makes the selections somewhat subject to the whims and tastes of the individual judges. This can be good or bad, depending on how you want to look at it. Members of the convention can nominate, but only two nominations in each category come from the membership. The only judge I recognize this year is James Blaylock, for whom I have a great deal of respect. Also, fantasy as defined in this case of the WFAs also includes supernatural horror, fairy tales, some magic realism as well as the usual subgenres of popular fantasy.

      For more information, see the link at the top of the post or the Wikipedia entry on the WFAs:

  3. Thanks. I try to normally read a much wider variety of fantasy than I've been this past year as I get the blog up to a comfortable speed. I used to be fairly big on the sort of modern fantasy typified (as much as it can be) by Powers and Blaylock but I've let it slide lately.

    I recognize all the anthology editors (Jones' collections were always excellent) but I only know of Powers among the shorts writers and none of the ones you mentioned. As I try to catch up with older works I've missed I just get further out on the new stuff.

    I bought The Weird as an e-book. I'm jealous of a hardcover but I don't have room for a 1000 page tome. Powers is one of the few authors I still buy new the week his books are released.

    1. It never occurred to me that The Weird was available as an ebook. That changes the equation. I don't have the shelf space for a hardcover.

      K.J. Parker is worth checking out. Some of her novellas are up for free at Subterranean in various issues of their online magazine, including the current issue: Steve Duffy has written some really good modern ghost stories. A couple of volumes are available in ebook form from Ash-Tree Press Hand and Shepard have been around a while; she tends towards dark fantasy/horror and he's more known for his science fiction. Valente has a cult following; from what I've heard of the story on the ballot, I don't think it will be my cup of tea. I'll probably read it since it's in multiple Best of Year anthologies. Yu and Liu have gotten some critical acclaim, but I've not read much of their work. Karen Joy Fowler is primarily a short story writer. It's been a while since I've read any of her work, but I seem to recall enjoying what I have. None of it was S&S.

      It seems to me that the small presses have been getting more nominations on the major awards at the expense of the big periodicals. I should probably run some numbers to see if that holds true and isn't my imagination.

  4. Thanks, the Duffy looks like a lot of fun and Parker looks very interesting. Hand and Shepard never did much for me.