Tuesday, May 5, 2015

2015 Locus Award Nominees

Location: Seattle, Washington.

Comments: In 2015, due to the fracas surrounding the Hugo Awards instigated by the manipulation of the Hugo nominating process by the supporters of the Sad and Rabid Puppy slates, the Locus Award nominee list took on greater significance than it had in many previous years. Several people have already taken to calling the works on the Locus Award list the "real" Hugo nominees, and noting that none of the works or individuals promoted by either of the Puppy slates appear on the Locus Award finalist list. What I think this list, and the general reaction to it reveals, however, is simply this: Even in the best case scenario for the Puppies, they will never get what they want.

The Puppies have advanced a myriad of reasons for their organized campaign to put poor quality works onto the Hugo ballot. This is in part because there are two very slightly different groups of Puppies, but it is mostly because they have been avoiding bringing up the rather obvious reason that is apparent in all of their actions: They crave the prestige and legitimacy that have been accorded to Hugo winners and nominees. What they have failed to realize is that the legitimacy and prestige of the Hugo Awards derives from the fact that it bestows honors upon individuals and works that are already regarded as legitimate and prestigious. What the Puppies crave has to precede the Hugo Awards, and cannot be obtained as a result of being nominated for or winning one. Awards don't grant prestige, rather awards are prestigious because of who they honor.

Despite the Puppies sticking out their bottom lip while saying that they did so legitimately get nominated, fandom doesn't perceive them as having been legitimately nominated. And perception is really the only thing that matters when it comes to awards. No matter how much the Puppies kick and scream about it, they will never be seen by most of the fan base as deserving their nominations. As the Hugo Awards are seen as being illegitimate, fans have turned their attention elsewhere. Even the best case scenario for the Puppies - that nominees from their slates garner enough votes to actually win some Hugo Awards - will be a hollow victory for them. Should they win, the Puppies are likely to find themselves clutching their trophy while standing in an empty room, wondering why the accolades they expected simply aren't forthcoming.

The reaction of the science fiction community to the unveiling of the Locus Award nominee list has been exactly what I predicted would happen. Because the Hugo award ballot is seen as being filled with illegitimate nominees, fans have moved their attention elsewhere. Nothing compels fans to continue to regard the Hugo awards as the most prestigious award in genre fiction. Fans have done so because it was seen as such. There is no objective, intrinsic indicator of value that defines whether an award is prestigious or not. The number of voters does not matter when making such a determination (indeed, if it did, then the People's Choice Award would be seen as being a much more prestigious award for cinema than the Oscars). The popularity of the nominees of winners is also not an indicator of prestige. How highly rated winners and nominees are on places like Amazon also does not matter. The only thing that matters is how the award is viewed by the community at large, and if the community loses faith in an award, they will simply move elsewhere. Right now, possibly because of the timing of this announcement, it seems like the Locus Awards are gaining some of the prestige that has been leached from the Hugo Awards.

Is this likely to be a permanent shift? At this point I think it is unclear. If the backers of the Puppy slates continue their campaign against the "social justice warriors" using the Hugo Awards as their battleground, they will drain the Hugo Awards of credibility. But all that will really happen as a result is that fans will look to other awards as the signals of quality genre fiction. Whether the "other award" fans would choose to designate as their new focus would be the Locus Awards, the Nebula Awards, the British Science Fiction Awards, or some other award, is not clear at present, but what is clear is that fans will move away from any Puppy dominated Hugo Awards towards other venues.

Best Science Fiction Novel
1.   Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

Other Nominees:
2.   The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu)
3.   Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
4.   The Peripheral by William Gibson
5.   Lock-In by John Scalzi
6.   My Real Children by Jo Walton
7.   Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
8.   Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey
9.   The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
10. Afterparty by Daryl Gregory
11. The Causal Angel by Hannu Rajaniemi
12. Echopraxia by Peter Watts
13. War Dogs by Greg Bear
14. Shipstar by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven
15. Work Done for Hire by Joe Haldeman
16. Ultima by Stephen Baxter
17. Dark Lightning by John Varley
18. Tigerman by Nick Harkaway
19. The Memory of Sky by Robert Reed
20. Wolves by Simon Ings
21. (tie) Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold
      (tie) The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
23. World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters
24. Bête by Adam Roberts
25. The Blood of Angels by Johanna Sinisalo
26. Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson
27. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
28. All Those Vanished Engines by Paul Park

Best Fantasy Novel
1.   The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Other Nominees:
2.   City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
3.   The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
4.   Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear
5.   The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
6.   Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone
7.   The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
8.   Revival by Stephen King
9.   Beautiful Blood by Lucius Shepard
10. California Bones by Greg van Eekhout
11. The Widow's House by Daniel Abraham
12. A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar
13. Hawk by Steven Brust
14. The Dark Defiles by Richard K. Morgan
15. Bathing the Lion by Jonathan Carroll
16. The Bees by Laline Paull
17. Heirs of Grace by Tim Pratt
18. The Winter Boy by Sally Wiener Grotta
19. The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue
20. Resurrections by Roz Kaveney
21. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Best Young Adult Book
1.   Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Other Nominees:
2.   The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi
3.   Empress of the Sun by Ian McDonald
4.   Clariel by Garth Nix
5.   Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
6.   Lockstep by Karl Schroeder
7.   Exo by Steven Gould
8.   Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta
9.   Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond
10. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
11. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
12. (tie) Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
      (tie) Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson
14. Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
15. (tie) The Child Eater by Rachel Pollack
      (tie) The Grasshopper's Child by Gwyneth Jones
17. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
18. Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Best First Novel
1.   The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert

Other Nominees:
2.   A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias
3.   The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley
4.   Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett
5.   The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato
6.   The Girl In the Road by Monica Byrne
7.   The Race by Nina Allan
8.   The Stone Boatmen by Sarah Tolmie
9.   Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson
10. Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
11. The Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman

Best Novella
1.   Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress

Other Nominees:
2.   The Lightning Tree by Patrick Rothfuss
3.   We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory
4.   The Regular by Ken Liu
5.   The Man Who Sold the Moon by Cory Doctorow
6.   The Mothers of Voorhisville by Mary Rickert
7.   Grand Jeté (The Great Leap) by Rachel Swirsky
8.   The Things We Do for Love by K.J. Parker
9.   The Madonna and the Starship by James Morrow
10. Dream Houses by Genevieve Valentine
11. The Adventure of the Ring of Stones by James P. Blaylock
12. Entanglement by Vandana Singh
13. Kur-A-Len by Lavie Tidhar
14. The Black Sun by Lewis Shiner
15. Where the Trains Turn by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen
16. The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
17. Children of the Fang by John Langan

Best Novelette
1.   Tough Times All Over by Joe Abercrombie

Other Nominees:
2.   The Jar of Water by Ursula K. Le Guin
3.   The Hand Is Quicker by Elizabeth Bear
4.   A Year and a Day in Old Theradane by Scott Lynch
5.   Memorials by Aliette de Bodard
6.   The Devil in America by Kai Ashante Wilson
7.   The Fifth Dragon by Ian McDonald
8.   Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind) by Holly Black
9.   Wine by Yoon Ha Lee
10. A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i by Alaya Dawn Johnson
11. The New Boyfriend by Kelly Link
12. The Colonel by Peter Watts
13. A Better Way to Die by Paul Cornell
14. Tawny Petticoats by Michael Swanwick
15. The Cryptic Age by Robert Reed
16. The Insects of Love by Genevieve Valentine
17. (tie) I Can See Right Through You by Kelly Link
      (tie) A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon a Star by Kathleen Ann Goonan
19. Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8) by Caitlín R. Kiernan
20. The Magician and Laplace's Demon by Tom Crosshill (reviewed in 2015 WSFA Small Press Award Voting)
21. Collateral by Peter Watts
22. Of Finest Scarlet Was Her Gown by Michael Swanwick
23. The Last Log of the Lachrimosa by Alastair Reynolds
24. A Hotel in Antarctica by Geoffrey A. Landis
25. The Litany of Earth by Ruthanna Emrys
26. The Cats of River Street (1925) by Caitlín R. Kiernan
27. Among the Thorns by Veronica Schanoes
28. Heaven Thunders the Truth by K.J. Parker
29. The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics by Caitlín R. Kiernan
30. The End of the End of Everything by Dale Bailey
31. Seventh Sight by Greg Egan
32. Home is the Hunter by Garth Nix
33. Kheldyu by Karl Schroeder
34. Shadow Flock by Greg Egan
35. A Wish from a Bone by Gemma Files
36. I'll Follow the Sun by Paul Di Filippo

Best Short Story
1.   The Truth About Owls by Amal El-Mohtar

Other Nominees:
2.   Covenant by Elizabeth Bear
3.   Ogres of East Africa by Sofia Samatar
4.   The Dust Queen by Aliette de Bodard
5.   In Babelsberg by Alastair Reynolds
6.   This Chance Planet by Elizabeth Bear
7.   West to East by Jay Lake
8.   I Met a Man Who Wasn't There by K.J. Parker
9.   Invisible Planets by Hannu Rajaniemi
10. Passage of Earth by Michael Swanwick
11. The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family by Usman T. Malik
12. Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying by Alice Sola Kim
13. Left Foot, Right by Nalo Hopkinson
14. The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders
15. How to Get Back to the Forest by Sofia Samatar
16. The Long Haul From the ANNALS OF TRANSPORTATION, The Pacific Monthly, May 2009 by Ken Liu
17. Moriabe's Children by Paolo Bacigalupi
18. The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link
19. Someday by James Patrick Kelly
20. The Contemporary Foxwife by Yoon Ha Lee
21. Amicae Aeternum by Ellen Klages
22. Hibbler's Minions by Jeffrey Ford
23. The Scrivener by Eleanor Arnason
24. The Instructive Tale of the Archaeologist and His Wife by Alexander Jablokov
25. Pernicious Romance by Robert Reed
26. Combustion Hour by Yoon Ha Lee
27. Shay Corsham Worsted by Garth Nix
28. Nanny Anne and the Christmas Story by Karen Joy Fowler
29. A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide by Sarah Pinsker
30. The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile by Aliette de Bodard
31. The Tallest Doll in New York City by Maria Dahvana Headley
33. Cimmeria: From the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology by Theodora Goss
34. The Walking-Stick Forest by Anna Tambour
36. Aberration by Genevieve Valentine

Best Collection
1.   Last Plane to Heaven by Jay Lake

Other Nominees:
2.   Academic Exercises by K.J. Parker
3.   The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg, Volume Nine: The Millennium Express by Robert Silverberg
4.   Questionable Practices by Eileen Gunn
5.   The Collected Short Fiction Volume One: The Man Who Made Models by R.A. Lafferty
6.   Young Woman in a Garden by Delia Sherman
7.   Prophecies, Libels, and Dreams: Stories of Califa by Ysabeau S. Wilce
8.   They Do the Same Things Different There by Robert Shearman
9.   The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings by Angela Slatter
10. Gifts for the One Who Comes After by Helen Marshall
11. Secret Lives of Books by Rosaleen Love
12. How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales by Kate Bernheimer
13. The Court of Lies by Mark Teppo
14. Death at the Blue Elephant by Janeen Webb

Best Anthology
1.   Rogues edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Other Nominees:
2.   The Time Traveler’s Almanac edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer
3.   Reach for Infinity edited by Jonathan Strahan
4.   Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older
5.   The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-first Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois
6.   Monstrous Affections edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant
7.   Upgraded edited by Neil Clarke
8.   Kaleidoscope edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios
9.   Fearful Symmetries edited by Ellen Datlow
10. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Eight edited by Jonathan Strahan
11. Lovecraft's Monsters edited by Ellen Datlow
12. Hieroglyph: Stories & Visions for a Better Future edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer
13. The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women edited by Alex Dally MacFarlane
14. Solaris Rising 3 edited by Ian Whates
15. Fearsome Magics: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy 2 edited by Jonathan Strahan
16. The Book of Silverberg: Stories In Honor of Robert Silverberg edited by Gardner Dozois and William Schafer
17. Nightmare Carnival edited by Ellen Datlow
18. The Very Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Volume 2 edited by Gordon van Gelder
19. The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2014 Edition edited by Paula Guran
20. Year's Best Weird Fiction Volume One edited by Laird Barron and Michael Kelly
21. The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2014 Edition edited by Rich Horton
22. The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Six edited by Ellen Datlow

Best Nonfiction, Related, or Reference Book
1.   What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton

Other Nominees:
2.   The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
3. Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better: 1948-1988 by William H. Patterson, Jr.
4.   Ray Bradbury Unbound by Jonathan Eller
5.   Harry Harrison! Harry Harrison! by Harry Harrison
6.   Greg Egan by Karen Burnham
7.   Stay by John Clute
8.   The Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction by Rob Latham
9.   The Heritage of Heinlein: A Critical Reading of the Fiction by Thomas D. Clareson and Joe Sanders
10. Sibilant Fricative: Essays & Reviews by Adam Roberts
11. Vintage Visions: Essays on Early Science Fiction by Arthur B. Evans
12. Call and Response by Paul Kincaid

Best Art Book
1.   Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art edited by John Fleskes

Other Nominees:
2.   The Art of Neil Gaiman by Hayley Campbell
3.   The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, from the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era by Ron Miller
4.   Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Tales by Brian Froud and Wendy Froud
5.   The Art of Jim Burns: Hyperluminal by Jim Burns
6.   The Collectors' Book of Virgil Finlay edited by Robert Weinberg, Douglas Ellis, and Robert T. Garcia
7.   Dreamland by Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell
8.   The Art of Ian Miller by Ian Miller
9.   Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy edited by Anonymous
10. Biomech Art: Surrealism, Cyborgs and Alien Universes by Martin de Diego Sádaba
11. The Art of Fred Gambino: Dark Shepherd by Fred Gambino

Best Editor
1.   Ellen Datlow

Other Nominees:
2.   Jonathan Strahan
3.   Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer
4.   Gardner Dozois
5.   John Joseph Adams
6.   Neil Clarke
7.   Gavin Grant and Kelly Link
8.   Patrick Nielsen Hayden
9.   David G. Hartwell
10. Gordon van Gelder
11. Sheila Williams
12. Liz Gorinsky
13. William Schafer
14. Alisa Krasnostein
15. Teresa Nielsen Hayden
16. Lynne M. Thomas
17. Beth Meacham
18. Terri Windling
19. Betsy Wollheim
20. Toni Weisskopf
21. Ginjer Buchanan
22. Sharyn November

Best Magazine
1.   Tor.com

Other Nominees:
2.   Asimov's Science Fiction
3.   Clarkesworld
4.   Fantasy & Science Fiction
5.   Lightspeed
6.   Subterranean
7.   Strange Horizons
8.   Analog Science Fiction and Fact
9.   Beneath Ceaseless Skies
10. SF Signal
11. Interzone
12. The Coode Street Podcast
13. Ansible
14. Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet
15. Apex
16. Galactic Suburbia
17. Daily SF
18. The New York Review of SF
19. File 770
20. (tie) Amazon
     (tie) Black Gate
22. Cemetery Dance
23. Shimmer
24. SF Squeecast

Best Publisher or Imprint
1.   Tor

Other Nominees:
2.   Subterranean
3.   Orbit
4.   Small Beer
5.   Angry Robot
6.   Gollancz
7.   DAW
8.   Baen
9.   Tachyon
10. Ballantine/Del Rey
11. Solaris
12. Ace
13. PS Publishing
14. Aqueduct
15. Twelfth Planet
16. Centipede
18. ChiZine
19. Harper
20. St. Martin's
21. Pyr
22. Roc
23. Penguin
24. Night Shade
25. Tor UK

Best Artist
1.   John Picacio

Other Nominees:
2.   Michael Whelan
3.   Shaun Tan
4.   Charles Vess
5.   Jim Burns
6.   Bob Eggleton
7.   Donato Giancola
8.   Stephan Martiniere
9.   Julie Dillon
10. John Harris
11. Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon
12. Daniel Dos Santos
13. John Jude Palencar
14. Thomas Canty
15. Frank Wu
16. Boris Vallejo
17. Vincent Chong
18. Todd Lockwood
19. Don Maitz

Go to previous year's nominees: 2014
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2016

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