BSFA Awards Winners

Congratulations to all those who won the BSFA Awards for work produced in 2011!

Best Non-Fiction: The SF Encyclopedia, third edition (beta), edited by John Clute, Peter Nicholls, David Langford and Graham Sleight.
Best Artwork: Cover of Ian Whates’s The Noise Revealed by Dominic Harman (Solaris)
Best Short Fiction: “The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s, July)
Best Novel published in Britain: The Islanders by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)

At Eastercon, as well as four other conventions held that same weekend, the Hugo shortlists were announced. The BSFA Award winners for best non-fiction and best short fiction both made that ballot, so their fans will have another opportunity to vote for them, should they wish!

Gollancz did extremely well this year, since they host/publish The SF Encyclopedia as well as The Islanders.

P.S. Please see the BSFA’s apology for the way the awards ceremony worked out.

Reading Books of 2012

With those extra days’ reprieve for online nomination for the BSFA Awards, I went back to see what I’d read that had been published in 2011. I knew it hadn’t been much. Six novels. Two short story collections.

I vowed I would do better this year.

The problem is, award season is such a distraction because it highlights all those interesting 2011 books I didn’t get around to reading in the calendar year itself, but which I bought, or noted, or for which I put in library requests. I want to finish reading the BSFA award shortlists. I’d like to read A Monster Calls, newly winner of the Red Tentacle at yesterday’s Kitschies. I know I’ll be tempted by the Clarke Award shortlist, the Hugo shortlists…. and it’s not as if one desire precludes the other goal.

Last year’s books are the shiny things I’m reading about right now, not the new ones, the potential winners of next years’ awards, the books which are only just beginning to be read. Last year’s are the ones I have handy already, the ones I know I’ll read at some point anyways, and I could just pick one up now since I already have it in the house….

I know it’ll be easier later in the year, when the awards peter out and novels published earlier in 2012 have had the time to accrue a critical mass of other peoples’ recommendations or reminders, in a way that the award-neglected books of Decembers’ publishings rarely do in time for the next round of award nominations.

There are still the better part of eleven months to go before other peoples’ “best of 2012” lists start appearing. But it sure feels like a betrayal of new resolution to begin 2012 by reading lots of last year’s books.

End-of-the-year books

The best-of-2011 lists are coming out and, as every year, they make me feel sorry for any book published in the last few weeks of the calendar year. They don’t make it onto best-of lists published before the year is over. They’re out after the brightest glow of holiday-season publicity. As a result, they don’t do as well on awards lists.

From Locus: New Books Dec 6, Dec 13, Dec 20. (Post by week received, so not all December books.) Here are some of December’s, listed by Kirkus. Here are some of the fantasy novels out this month, by date.

There’s work there from Emma Bull, Connie Willis, Bruce Sterling, Rob Sawyer, and the BSFA’s own Ian Whates. For non-fiction, there’s Jessica Langer’s Postcolonialism and Science Fiction in the UK (out in Jan 2012 in the US).

Which December books do you think need a higher profile than they might otherwise receive? Which of these do you most hope won’t be overshadowed by being left off of the end-of-year profusion of best-of lists?

Best novels of 2011 so far

I knew it was halfway through the year when my thing-a-day calendar required flipping on the fourth of July. And halfway through means another quarter has passed and you have read more books.

Back in April, these were the books suggested for next year’s award nominations:

  • Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City (Published 2011 in the US)
  • Daniel Abraham’s The Dragon’s Path
  • James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes.
  • Joe Abercrombie’s The Heroes.
  • Jo Walton’s Among Others
  • Andrea Hairston’s Redwood & Wildfire
Are these still the best contenders for next year’s novel awards, or have new books trumped or added to them since? What would you nominate as of now?

Next Year’s Art Awards

Has 2011 brought any science fictional artistic highlights with it for you? Cover art? Print? Paintings? Watercolours? Mosaics? Sculptures? What work from this year so far might you consider nominating for next year’s awards?

I left this question until last for a specific reason: Eastercon begins tomorrow. And at Eastercon – and quite likely other conventions this weekend – there will be an art show.

For those of you attending Eastercon, consider, as you walk around the art show, if any of the work there strikes you as worth nominating for next year’s art awards. Indeed, consider keeping this in mind at whatever conventions – or other venues for sharing science fictional artwork – you run across this year.

There’s nothing the least bit wrong with nominating good cover art; but it’s not the only place that good science fictional artwork is being produced.

Next Year’s Short Story Awards

What about the short stories of 2011 so far? Three months in, and what highlights have stuck with you? What short stories have you read recently, from this year, which you would seriously consider nominating for next year’s science fiction awards?

P.S. Thank you for all your award nomination suggestions so far!

Next Year’s Novel Awards

With all the awards discussion, I have spent much of the past three months looking back to last year’s publications. But here we are, already a quarter of the way through 2011. In theory, this should mean that a quarter of the year’s novels which are eligible for next year’s award cycles have already been published.

So tell me – of the science fictional novels already published in 2011, which one(s) might you consider nominating for next year’s awards?