Thursday, July 27, 2017

2017 World Fantasy Award Nominees

Location: World Fantasy Convention, San Antonio, Texas

Comments: One thing about the 2017 World Fantasy Award nominees that seems notable is just how much they cross-over with the Hugo finalists. Despite the two awards really only sharing three categories, they share one Best Novel in common, four Best Novellas in common, and two Best Short Fiction stories in common. That's seven out of fifteen World Fantasy Award nominees in those categories that are also Hugo finalists. In addition, there were a total of three (well, technically two) nominees in the other categories who were also Hugo finalists. It isn't uncommon for there to be some cross-over between the two awards, but this year there seems to have been more than usual. I'm not sure what that means, but it is an interesting element of both awards this year.

This is also the first year at which the new World Fantasy Award statuette designed by Vincent Villafranca will be handed out during the award ceremony. The winners from last year also received the new statue, which replaced Gahan Wilson's bust of H.P. Lovecraft as the official award, but as the competition to determine the new version had not yet completed when the 2016 ceremony was held, the winners received certificates at the ceremony and their statuettes at a later date. This change has been needed for a while - Lovecraft is a polarizing figure in genre fiction, and no matter how much one might love his contributions, there is no question that there were a substantial number of winners and potential winners who felt anything but honored when presented with an award that was a statue of his face. In addition, having the award be a representation of Lovecraft always seemed to be a bit strange from a thematic perspective. Sure, he was a prominent figure in genre fiction history, but he represented a very specific corner of genre fiction, and was not a particularly good fit for an award that was supposed to be about the broad range of everything that could be considered fantasy fiction. Further, he always seemed like more of a science fiction author to me, mostly because his "fantasy" consisted of unintelligible and unimaginably old space aliens. In any event, the Lovecraft-statue era is over, and the World Fantasy Award is moving on, and I can't say anything else other than this seems to be a good development.

Best Novel

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

Other Nominees:
Borderline by Mishell Baker
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
Roadsouls by Betsy James

Best Novella

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

Other Nominees:
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Bloodybones by Paul F. Olson
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

Best Short Fiction

Das Steingeschöpf by G.V. Anderson

Other Nominees:
The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me by Rachael K. Jones
Little Widow by Maria Dahvana Headley
Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander
Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar

Best Anthology

Dreaming in the Dark edited by Jack Dann

Other Nominees:
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 edited by Karen Joy Fowler and John Joseph Adams
Children of Lovecraft edited by Ellen Datlow
Clockwork Phoenix 5 edited by Mike Allen
The Starlit Wood edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe

Best Collection

A Natural History of Hell by Jeffrey Ford

Other Nominees:
On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories by Tina Connolly
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie
Vacui Magia by L.S. Johnson

Lifetime Achievement

Terry Brooks
Marina Warner

Other Nominees:

Best Artist

Jeffrey Alan Love

Other Nominees:
Greg Bridges
Julie Dillon
Paul Lewin
Victor Ngai

Special Award, Professional

Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn

Other Nominees:
L. Timmel Duchamp
C.C. Finlay
Kelly Link
Joe Monti

Special Award, Non-Professional

Neile Graham

Other Nominees:
Scott H. Andrews
Malcom R. Phifer and Michael C. Phifer
Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
Brian White

Go to previous year's nominees: 2016
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2018

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