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The 2012 Hugo Award Finalists Include George R.R. Martin, Mira Grant, and China Mieville


The Hugo Award finalists for 2012, honoring excellence in science fiction and fantasy, have just been announced at EasterCon in the UK. In the best novel category, the finalists are:

Among Others, by Jo Walton (Tor)

A Dance With Dragons, by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)

Deadline, by Mira Grant (Orbit)

Embassytown, by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey)

Leviathan Wakes, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

The Walton, Martin, and Miéville aren’t surprises, and given Mira Grant’s skyrocketing popularity Deadline also isn’t a surprise—she appears again in the best novella category. Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey, a pen name for the writing duo of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, might be the dark horse, if one needs to be designated. Some may find the list slightly conservative given what was on offer in 2011—compare it with the Nebula Award finalist list—but quality-wise it’s very solid and three titles made my own year’s best list.

Other sections of the finalist list reflect a variety of constituencies and trends, with an emphatic exclamation point given to the extraordinary quality of the fiction being written by Ken Liu, who is up in both the novella and short story categories. Kij Johnson, Rachel Swirsky, and Catherynne M. Valente are among the other nominees, and in general the short fiction selections represent a very strong field indeed.

In the best related work category, my own The Steampunk Bible (with S.J. Chambers) has been nominated, along with such varied creations as the book Jar Jar Binks Must Die...and other Observations about Science Fiction Movies and a web-based beta version of The Encyclopedia of SF, among others. Mira Grant also pops again under her real name, Seanan McGuire, for a CD entitled Wicked Girls and season six of the podcast "Writing Excuses" (season five was nominated last year). The inclusion of an encyclopedia-in-progress, a podcast, and an album indicates that the category is becoming more varied than usual.

As my collaborator on The Steampunk Bible and fellow nominee S.J. Chambers said in response to the news, “It may be cliché, but for me this is completely unexpected. It is an absolute honor, and I'm very proud to be included in such prestigious company—and pleased for the hundreds of creators we profiled, spotlighted, or interviewed for the book. So far, I've mostly published and worked within the non-fictional side of things, and have found that non-fiction is a grossly underestimated genre in SF…I really respect the Hugos for recognizing non-fiction.”

A wonderful bonus about the Hugo finalist announcement is that it always also includes the finalist list for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. This year, that field is very strong:

Mur Lafferty

Stina Leicht

Karen Lord

Brad R. Torgersen

E. Lily Yu

Redemption in Indigo author Karen Lord’s immediate reaction to the announcement expressed a hectic schedule and an emphasis on community: “I'm so busy right now that I think the most I will be able to manage is an afternoon off with a few friends and maybe a glass of wine I had few expectations, so that everything has been a delightful surprise. I didn't expect to be noticed by academics and literary reviewers. I certainly didn't expect awards and nominations. One thing I did expect which has indeed happened—lots of communication with people who love speculative fiction in particular and literature in general. That's been the best part.”

Here’s the full Hugo ballot of finalists, listing all of the categories. We’ll have continuing coverage here at Omni during the coming week.


Best Novel

Among Others, by Jo Walton (Tor)

A Dance With Dragons, by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)

Deadline, by Mira Grant (Orbit)

Embassytown, by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey)

Leviathan Wakes, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)


Best Novella

, by Mira Grant (Orbit)

“The Ice Owl,” by Carolyn Ives Gilman  (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)

“Kiss Me Twice,” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov's)

“The Man Who Bridged the Mist,” by Kij Johnson (Asimov's)

“The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary,” by Ken Liu (Panverse 3)

Silently and Very Fast, by Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA)


Best Novelette

“The Copenhagen Interpretation,” by Paul Cornell (Asimov's)

“Fields of Gold,” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse Four)

“Ray of Light,” by Brad R. Torgersen (Analog)

“Six Months, Three Days,” by Charlie Jane Anders (

“What We Found,” by Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)


Best Short Story


“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees,” by E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld)

“The Homecoming,” by Mike Resnick (Asimov's)

“Movement,” by Nancy Fulda (Asimov's)

“The Paper Menagerie,” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)

“Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue,” by John Scalzi (


Best Related Work


The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition, edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight (Gollancz)

Jar Jar Binks Must Die...and other Observations about Science Fiction Movies, by Daniel M. Kimmel (Fantastic Books)

The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature, by Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers (Abrams Image)

Wicked Girls, by Seanan McGuire

Writing Excuses, Season 6, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson


Best Graphic Story


Digger, by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)

Fables Vol 15: Rose Red, by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)

Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys To The Kingdom, Written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)

Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication, Written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)

The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan, Created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross.  Written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)


Best Dramatic Performance (Long Form)


Captain America: The First Avenger, Christopher Markus and Stephan McFeely, screenplay; Joe Johnston, director (Marvel)

Game of Thrones (Season 1), David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, creators; David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin, writers; Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor, directors (HBO)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Steve Kloves, screenplay; David Yates, director (Warner Bros.)

Hugo, John Logan, screenplay; Martin Scorsese, director (Paramount)

Source Code, Ben Ripley, screenplay; Duncan Jones, director (Vendome Pictures)


Best Dramatic Performance (Short Form)


“The Doctor's Wife” (Doctor Who) Neil Gaiman, writer; Richard Clark, director (BBC Wales)

The Drink Tank's Hugo Acceptance Speech,” Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon (Renovation)

“The Girl Who Waited” (Doctor Who) Tom MacRae, writer; Nick Hurran, director (BBC Wales)

“A Good Man Goes to War” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Peter Hoar, director (BBC Wales)

“Remedial Chaos Theory” (Community) Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna, writers; Jeff Melman, director (NBC)


Best Semiprozine


Apex Magazine, edited by Catherynne M. Valente, Lynne M. Thomas, and Jason Sizemore

Interzone, edited by Andy Cox

Lightspeed, edited by John Joseph Adams

Locus, edited by Liza Groen Trombi, Kirsten Gong-Wong, et al.

New York Review of Science Fiction, edited by David G. Hartwell, Kevin J. Maroney, Kris Dikeman, and Avram Grumer,


Best Fanzine


Banana Wings, edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer

The Drink Tank, edited by James Bacon and Christopher J Garcia

File 770, edited by Mike Glyer

Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, et al.

SF Signal, edited by John DeNardo


Best Fancast


The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan & Gary K. Wolfe

Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts (presenters) and Andrew Finch (producer)

SF Signal Podcast, John DeNardo and JP Frantz, produced by Patrick Hester

SF Squeecast, Lynne M. Thomas, Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, and Catherynne M. Valente.

StarShipSofa, Tony C. Smith


Best Professional Editor – Long Form

Lou Anders

Liz Gorinsky

Anne Lesley Groell

Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Betsy Wollheim


Best Professional Editor – Short Form

John Joseph Adams

Neil Clarke

Stanley Schmidt

Jonathan Strahan

Sheila Williams


Best Professional Artist

Dan dos Santos

Bob Eggleton

Michael Komarck

Stephan Martiniere

John Picacio


Best Fan Artist

Randall Munroe

Spring Schoenhuth

Maurine Starkey

Steve Stiles

Taral Wayne


Best Fan Writer

James Bacon

Claire Brialey

Christopher J. Garcia

Jim C. Hines

Steven H Silver


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