2014 Hugo and Campbell Awards

The committee of Loncon 3 have announced the nominees for the 2014 Hugo and Campbell Awards. I am delighted to be nominated for Best Editor, Short Form and to share a nomination with my dear friend Gary K. Wolfe for the Coode Street Podcast.  My sincere thanks to everyone who nominated me and the podcast. If I can be forgiven a moment of quiet pleasure, these are my 9th and 10th nominations (seventh as editor and 3rd for fancast), which I believe is the most for anyone from Australia. I’ve a bit humbled if that’s true.

My congratulations too, to all of the other nominees, but specifically to  my many friends on the ballot: Charles Stross, Andy Duncan, Ellen Klages (!!!), Cat Valente, Ted Chiang, Aliette de Bodard, Jeff VanderMeer, Ginjer Buchanan, Ellen Datlow (and the rest of the editor gang!), John Picacio, my podcast pals (special insane shout out of delight to Mondy and Kirstyn!!),  Ramez, Sofia and Bees!

I wish everyone good luck and can’t wait to see you all at the Loncon3 ceremony.

On Lucius Shepard and Life Achievement

I have mixed feeling about posthumous recognition. There is no doubt in my mind that acknowledging a person and their work, and acknowledging them and it fulsomely, during the person’s lifetime is the best and most appropriate approach when it comes to presenting awards, prizes and so on. There’s a feeling though, which I share to some extent, that if the person being acknowledged isn’t able to enjoy that recognition, it is somehow unnecessary or pandering or flawed.

This overlooks or undervalues a context for recognition that has value. Awards, especially career awards, are intended for their recipients, but they also act as part of our cultural memory. The recipients of lifetime achievement awards are admitted to a hall of fame where they join the company of their peers, so that they are counted when we look back our shared history.

This is very much why I welcome the recognition of Samuel R. Delany with the SFWA Grand Master Nebula, and why I continue to call for that recognition to be extended to C.J. Cherryh (both happily very much with us to enjoy the honour). But it is also why I continue to consider allowing posthumous recognition for some of these awards to be an idea that has merit.

The reason I am raising this now is that, very sadly, Lucius Shepard died recently at the age of 70. A Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award winner, Shepard for more than 30 years wrote some of the most incendiary and memorable fiction the field has ever seen. Classics like “R&R”, “The Jaguar Hunter”, “Delta Sly Honey”, “The Man Who Painted the Dragon Graiule”, “The Scalehunter’s Beautiful Daughter”, and many, many more. Were he still alive he would, in my opinion, be an obvious choice for the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. That award, however, can only go to living recipients, or to recipients that have died during the year of nomination (in other words, 2014 is the final year Shepard could be recognised with the award).

And so I am curious, oh readers, what your thoughts are. I probably will nominate Shepard for the award, but do you think it’s an idea that has merit?

Episode 184: Nnedi Okorafor and Lagoon

Lagood, Nnedi Okorafor
Lagood, Nnedi Okorafor

On the eve of the publication of her new adult science fiction novel, Lagoon, the wonderful Nnedi Okorafor joins our intrepid podcasts to discuss the evolution of the book, what she’s been working on since  we last spoke in April 2012, Nigerian literature, and much more.

As always, our thanks to Nnedi and we hope you all enjoy the podcast.

Other books mentioned in the podcast:

NB: This post was retitled from Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon and Nigerian Fiction to more correctly reflect the content of the podcast.

Peter McNamara Convenor’s Award – Aurealis Awards

It would seem that I have been incredibly fortunate and been presented with the Aurealis Awards’ Peter McNamara’s Convenor’s Award for Excellence. I’m incredibly honoured and would like to thank everyone involved, especially my dear friends Cat Sparks (who presented the award) and Sean Williams (who accepted the award on my behalf).   I’d also like to thank everyone for their kind words and congratulations. I feel deeply honoured tonight.

I had been asked to provide a few words, and this is what I sent Sean to say on my behalf:

I have only attended one Aurealis Awards ceremony, a small affair held in a Melbourne book store what seems like a hundred years ago.  I hear they’ve grown and become something very swish and special.  My friend Cat Sparks is always telling me they are wonderful and that I should come and enjoy the champagne and glamour.  Sadly timing and other mundane things mean I can’t be there, but I wish I could be, especially tonight.

I am deeply honoured to be presented with the Peter McNamara Convenor’s Award. As I look back through the list of previous recipients I see dear friends, respected colleagues, and even a book that I helped to publish way back when. This award bears the name of one of my oldest colleagues and friends: Peter McNamara. He was a great editor and publisher,  a passionate supporter of Australian science fiction and fantasy, and a wonderful person.  It pleases me more than I can say that this award is linked to him.

I’d like to thank the judges and everyone at the Aurealis Awards, Sean Wlliams (who is reading this for me and who has been a dear, dear friend since the very beginning), everyone in the Australian SF community who has worked with me or helped me over the past 25 years, and my family, who allow me the time to do this.

The Aurealis Awards have been very kind to me and I’m deeply grateful to everyone there, especially Tehani Wessely who works incredibly hard each year on them.

I’d also like to repeat my sincere congratulations to all of the winners, the nominees and the judges at tonights awards. What a night it seems to have been!