Monday, July 20, 2009

2009 Mythopoeic Award Nominees

Location: Mythcon XL in Los Angeles, California.

Comments: The roster of authors with works nominated for the 2009 Mythopoeic Awards include two amazing female authors - Patricia A. McKillip and Ursula K. Le Guin. Both women have had prolific careers that have combined substantial longevity and consistently high quality writing, resulting in nominations for this award and others across multiple decades. In a way, it was the writing of these two women that shaped me as a fantasy fiction fan, as I read several of their works when I was growing up, and because of their continued production of excellent fantasy fiction, they continue to shape my as a fantasy fiction fan.

Best Adult Fantasy Literature

Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone by Carol Berg

Other Nominees:
The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia A. McKillip
An Evil Guest by Gene Wolfe
Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin
Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory

Best Children's Fantasy Literature

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Other Nominees:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Savvy by Ingrid Law

Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies

The History of the Hobbit (Part One, Mr Baggins and Part Two, Return to Bag-End) by John D. Rateliff

Other Nominees:
Charles Williams: Alchemy and Imagination by Gavin Ashenden
The Evolution of Tolkien's Mythology: A Study of the History of Middle-Earth by Elizabeth A. Wittingham
Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Michael Ward
Tolkien on Fairy-Stories: Expanded Edition, with Commentary and Notes by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson

Myth and Fantasy Studies

Four British Fantasists: Place and Culture in the Children's Fantasies of Penelope Lively, Alan Garner, Diana Wynne Jones, and Susan Cooper by Charles Butler

Other Nominees:
Folklore and the Fantastic in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction by Jason Marc Harris
One Earth, One People: The Mythopoeic Fantasy Series of Ursula K. Le Guin, Lloyd Alexander, Madeleine L'Engle and Orson Scott Card by Marek Oziewicz
Oz in Perspective: Magic and Myth in the Frank L. Baum Books by Richard Carl Tuerk
Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn

Go to previous year's nominees: 2008
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2010

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

2009 Campbell Award Nominees

Location: Campbell Conference Awards Banquet at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

Comments: As glad as I am that Cory Doctorow won a well-deserved Campbell Award for his novel Little Brother, the 2009 slate of nominees seems to me to have been a distinct step backwards. In the couple of years leading up to 2009 women and minority writers were distinctly underrepresented in the lists of nominees for this award, but at least they had some representation. In 2009, there was a distinct lack of books penned by female or minority authors on the ballot. In effect, the judges seem to be saying there were no books by female authors or non-white authors that were even worthy of consideration for the award, which seems to be both an amazing and completely unbelievable statement.

The other striking thing about the 2009 Campbell Award ballot is the extremely truncated list of finalists included on the ballot. Since the Campbell Awards began reporting the list of non-placing finalists, most years had a roster of nine or ten "also-rans", but for some reason the 2009 list only included three. There seems to be no reason for such a short list - just as many good science fiction novels seem to have been published in 2009 as in any other year. As with so many of the odd and inexplicable decisions made by the Campbell Award judges, this one seems to be a complete mystery.

Best Novel

(tie) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
(tie) Song of Time by Ian R. MacLeod

Third Place:
The Philosopher's Apprentice by James Morrow

Anathem by Neal Stephenson
City at the End of Time by Greg Bear
Valley of Day-Glo by Nick Di Chario

Go to previous year's nominees: 2008
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2010

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