Friday, March 6, 2020

2019 Campbell Award Nominees

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

Comments: With the renaming of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, this award is now the only major award that is named for the late editor. One has to wonder, however, how long that will last. Naming awards after people is problematic, in large part because people often do not age well. attitudes and opinions that are fine in one era are often considered abhorrent in later ones. Actions that were understandable in the past are actions that would likely lead to widespread condemnation, if not arrest and imprisonment now. Thomas Jefferson was one of the most enlightened minds of his era. He also kept slaves. John Adams didn't keep slaves, but he was willing to compromise on the basic humanity of black people to accomplish other political goals. Figures of the past often have feet of clay. Campbell didn't keep slaves, but he certainly had a lot of attitudes about slavery that have not aged well. He supported segregation. He was an impediment to the publication of black and female writers. In short, he is not someone that many in the present would find admirable. The question is, how long will he continue to be honored by having awards named after him?

Best Novel

Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley
Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
Semiosis by Sue Burke
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
A Spy in Time by Imraan Coovadia
Theory of Bastards by Audrey Sculman
Time Was by Ian McDonald
Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar

Go to previous year's nominees: 2018
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2019

Book Award Reviews     Home

1 comment:

  1. This one is getting a name change too: