Monday, January 25, 2010

The BSFA Shortlist

The British Science Fiction Association has just presented the shortlists of nominations for this year's awards, which is available here, including complete details and the full range of links to nominee web sites, and such of their work as is available online. (Those who missed my earlier post on the subject can find a slightly out of date longlist here.)

A curosry overview of the shortlist, along with a few random notes:

* The list for best novel comes down to a mere four nominees-China Mieville (The City and The City), Stephen Baxter (Ark), Adam Roberts (Yellow Blue Tibia) and Ursula LeGuin (Lavinia, already a Locus Fantasy Award winner).

* Eugie Foster, formerly a managing editor at Tangent and then The Fix short story reviews (and whose site you can access here), made the short fiction shortlist of just six authors for her novelette "Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast," which ran in the February 2009 Interzone. (You can read it for free online at the Apex Books web site.) The others are Ian Watson, Ian Whates, Ian McDonald (three Ians in a row-and not a typo), Kim Lakin-Smith and Dave Hutchinson.

* Adam Tredowksi is one of the four nominees for the art award for three of his Interzone covers (issues 220, 224 and 225), while (interesting from a steampunk point of view) Nitzan Klamer is up for a cover he did for a reissue of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. (The other two offer still more alliteration, Stephanie Paul-Mun, and Stephan Martineire-the latter for a cover of best short story nominee Ian McDonald's Desolation Road.)

* The nonfiction list has five nominees-Nick Lowe, John Clute, Hal Duncan, Deepa D-and former Foundation coeditors Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James-the last for their book, A Short History of Fantasy. Incidentally, Dr. Mendlesohn was last year's winner of this award for her book Rhetorics of Fantasy.

A few additional, equally random comments on the longlist mentioned above:

* Strange Horizons received a good seven nominations. Four are for short stories-Lavie Tidhar's "The Shangri-La Affair," Veronica Schanoes' "Lily Glass," Helen Keeble's "Southern Waters by HMS Ocelot, As Observed by Professor Thaddeus Boswell, Dphil, MSc or A Lullaby," and Eric Hoel's "All the Anne Franks." Three more are in the nonfiction category, including Dan Hartlan's "On Orbus," Martin Lewis's "On the Ask and the Answer," and best novel nominee Adam Roberts's "On the Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun."

* Roberts wasn't the only "Best Novel" nominee to also make the nonfiction longlist. Also appearing there is China Mieville, for Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction (reviewed here).

* Finally, The Future Fire (where my first published story, "The Transmigration" appeared last year) got a longlist fiction nomination for Sam S. Kepfield's "Galatea's Stepchildren."

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