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Hugo Nominations Open

Nominations for the 2018 Hugo Awards have now opened, I am informed. If you are a member of last year's worldcon in Helsinki, this year's worldcon in San Jose, or next year's worldcon in Dublin, you are eligible to nominate. You should be receiving an email with a link to the ballot. (I have not actually received mine yet, but I'm told that others have, so I expect mine Real Soon Now).

I have a few things eligible for nomination myself this year... more for editing than writing, however.

GAME OF THRONES is eligible in the Dramatic Presentation category, of course. The whole of Season 7 can be nominated in Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, and any or all of the individual episodes can be nominated in Short Form. GOT has won in both categories in the past. Last year in Helsinki, three episodes actually had enough votes to make the ballot, but the new rule limits any series to no more than two places on the ballot, so we had to withdraw one. But you can nominate as many episodes as you like.

Wild Cards had a big year last year. We celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the series, and our twenty-fourth mosaic novel, MISSISSIPPI ROLL, was published in the fall. A couple of the older books were reissued, and we had two original Wild Cards story on Tor.com -- "When the Devil Drives" by Melinda M. Snodgrass, and "The Atonement Tango" by Stephen Leigh. The two Tor.com stories are both novelettes and are eligible in that category. MISSISSIPPI ROLL is a more complex case. Like most Wild Cards books, it is a mosaic novel, with individual stories by half a dozen writers woven together to make a whole that is, we hope, more than the sum of its parts. One could argue that our mosaics are anthologies, I suppose... but they feel more like collaborative novels to me. If the former view prevails, the individual components of MISSISSIPPI ROLL are eligible in the short fiction categories, Steve Leigh's "In the Shadow of Tall Stacks" in novella, the other stories as novelettes. If the latter, the volume as a whole could be nominated in novel.

In either case, I'm eligible for nomination in the editing categories. Short Form, most likely, for the stories in Tor.com as well as the book. (If you consider MISSISSIPPI ROLL a novel, then it counts for me as a Long Form editor, but I don't think one book is enough to make me eligible in that category). My Wild Cards work was the only editing I did in 2017. The big cross-genre anthologies I co-edited with Gardner Dozois all came out in previous years.

Wild Cards as a whole is definitely eligible for nomination as Best Series. That's a new category that first appeared on the ballot last year, as an experiment, but now it has been made permanent.

The only writing I had published in 2017 was "The Sons of the Dragon," which was published in THE BOOK OF SWORDS, Gardner Dozois's massive anthology of original sword & sorcery stories. Like "The Rogue Prince" and "The Princess and the Queen" before it, "Sons" is more of my (fake) history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros. By length, it is a novella... but it's not a traditional narrative. By design, it reads like history, not fiction; but since the history is entirely imaginative, it's still fiction, even if dressed up as (fake) non-fiction.

It has been pointed out to me that the publication of "The Sons of the Dragon" makes the entirety of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE eligible to be nominated as Best Series. I suppose that's so. All I can say to that is : please don't. If you like fake history and enjoyed "The Sons of the Dragon," by all means nominate the story as a novella... but it's really not part of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, and sneaking in the entire series by means of a technicality seems wrong to me.

If I may broaden the discussion a bit, while I think it is good that the Hugo Awards now have a category to recognize series books, I would quibble somewhat with how a "series" is defined. The rules were written very broadly, to include not only true series, like last year's winner, the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold, but also any grouping of stories set against a common background, what we used to call "future histories," as well as what I'd term "mega-novels," those massive epics too long to be contained in a single volume. Three-quarters of the SF I wrote back in the 70s was set against a common background, but I never considered that I was writing a series when I visited the Thousand Worlds; it was a future history, made up of stories set hundreds of years apart, on planets separated by thousands of light years (though within the future history there was a series, the Haviland Tuf stories). On the other extreme, I don't consider A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE a series either; it's one single story, being published in (we hope) seven volumes. FWIW, Tolkien wasn't writing a series when he wrote LORD OF THE RINGS either. He wrote a big novel and his publisher divided it into three parts, none of which stands on its own.

Anyway, that's my own perspective on the matter. Obviously, the good folks who drafted the Best Series rules disagree. Ultimately I think the fans will decide the matter by what they choose to nominate. Worldcon committees have traditionally been reluctant to overrule the fans, even in cases where a nominated work would seem to be ineligible for one reason or other.

FWIW, Wild Cards is a series, plainly, so if you want to consider any of my work for Best Series, that's the one I'd ask you to look at. Thirty-one years and twenty=four books is something to be proud of, and I am.

Regardless of whether or not you nominate any of my own work, I do urge all the worldcon members reading this to be sure to nominate. There are a lot of awards being given in SF, fantasy, and horror these days, but the Hugo was the first, and it's still the one that means the most. It is, of course, important to vote on the final ballot too... but you can't vote for works that have not been nominated, and it is crucial to have widespread participation in the nominating stage.

((Comments and debate allowed, but ONLY on these subjects. Stay on topic)).


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Feb. 7th, 2018 08:09 pm (UTC)
We Hope?
"... being published in (we hope) seven volumes."

We hope?

Is there a secret eighth book?
Feb. 7th, 2018 08:19 pm (UTC)
Re: We Hope?
If so, that's news to me.
Re: We Hope? - neveradullmomen - Feb. 7th, 2018 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: We Hope? - l_ms - Feb. 8th, 2018 02:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: We Hope? - PoorTheLeach - Feb. 8th, 2018 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: We Hope? - andaman23 - Feb. 7th, 2018 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: We Hope? - GibiLynx - Feb. 9th, 2018 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2018 08:33 pm (UTC)
Hi George! I'm looking for something new to read, so I'm wondering what works you plan on nominating?

Love your work, good luck for Wild Cards winning best series!
Feb. 7th, 2018 09:28 pm (UTC)
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Stephen Richter
Feb. 7th, 2018 09:43 pm (UTC)
re: Hugos
Well for best series I have two so far, Robert Jackson Bennett finished up his Divine Cities Trilogy with City of Miracles, V.E Schwab finished her Shades of Magic Trilogy with Conjuring of Light. Both landed the finish in fine style. Finished up my Long Video with Guardians of the Galaxy V2, Logan, Last Jedi, Shape of Water and GOT S7. Long editor I have problems with in the past but if the author thanked their editor in some fashion in the book I wrote down the name and follow them on Twitter. Which reminds me, thanks for joining Twitter. I was surprised but happy.
Kevin Wade
Feb. 7th, 2018 10:03 pm (UTC)
Worldcon in San Jose?
George, are you going to attend Worldcon in San Jose?
Feb. 8th, 2018 01:59 am (UTC)
RE: Worldcon in San Jose?
Sure. I always attend worldcon.
Re: Worldcon in San Jose? - Kevin Wade - Feb. 8th, 2018 09:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2018 10:05 pm (UTC)
a comment on how stories are related
i would argue that past events in the same universe might lead to the very same story in the future. thus an indirect part that lead to the latter story's basic details. as small as it will be after all

i mean it may be a separate work, separate category, separate characters, but related events, scenes, memories. i would not rule it out entirely as two different things.
Gregory Hullender
Feb. 7th, 2018 10:17 pm (UTC)
Rocket Stack Rank Short-Fiction List
For people looking for stories to read (or just trying to remember which stories they already read), Rocket Stack Rank has its annotated list of eligible stories from major magazines and anthologies up.

Robinson Thompson
Feb. 7th, 2018 11:24 pm (UTC)
RE: We Hope?
Any plans for Asoiaf-related writing (releases) for 2018?

TWoW certainly would be awesome, but anything else planned?
Feb. 8th, 2018 04:55 pm (UTC)
Re: We Hope?
FIRE & BLOOD is planned.
RE: Re: We Hope? - Robinson Thompson - Feb. 8th, 2018 05:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: We Hope? - Mitchell Kengor - Feb. 8th, 2018 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: We Hope? - grrm - Feb. 11th, 2018 03:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Pre-Doom Valyria - ADragonDemands - Feb. 13th, 2018 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pre-Doom Valyria - grrm - Feb. 14th, 2018 05:27 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: We Hope? - Rilind Sahiti - Feb. 9th, 2018 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: We Hope? - grrm - Feb. 11th, 2018 02:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: We Hope? - mrwho995 - Feb. 11th, 2018 11:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: We Hope? - jsitems - Feb. 11th, 2018 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: We Hope? - RilindSahiti - Feb. 11th, 2018 10:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2018 11:30 pm (UTC)
I'm in agreement with you that a series and a shared world and a multi-volume novel are all different things. And since I had a hand in drafting the rules for the Mythopoeic Awards, that's why Song of Ice and Fire, which is as you say a single story, won't be eligible until it's finished, even as The Lord of the Rings would have to be taken as a whole, not volume by volume. Unfortunately there are many who work on the awards (which are juried) who take that as meaning that any series, even any shared world, must also be delayed in consideration, but that was not the intent.

Still, the Hugo definition of series has a long history, as the original Best All-Time Series award back in 1966 used a similar definition as the current one, having been designed to provide a Hugo for The Lord of the Rings, although in the end it went to Foundation (series of eight stories re-packaged as a book trilogy).

Nor are you the first author to have followed the delightful practice of writing fiction that reads like history. Even leaving aside imagined-document stories, like H. Beam Piper's "He Walked Around the Horses," there's Peter Dickinson's "Flight" which is written as the scholarly history, complete with footnotes, of an imaginary realm. And, I'm sure, many others.
Drew Malone
Feb. 8th, 2018 01:24 am (UTC)
Worldcon Dublin
Worldcon is in Dublin next year?! That's awesome. Are you going to be there or is it too early to say?
Jeff Hartline
Feb. 8th, 2018 03:31 am (UTC)
Hugo Award for Best Fancast - ASOIAF Podcast
Hi George,

One award that caught my attention was the "Best Fancast" award. In the past, award-winners have been "Tea and Jeopardy", "Galactic Suburbia Podcast", "SF Signal Podcast" and "SF Squeecast". Given that there is a burgeoning A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE podcast community out there with great podcasts that produced wonderful content in 2017: A Podcast of Ice and Fire, Boiled Leather, History of Westeros, Radio Westeros, Davos Fingers, Maester Monthly, Close the Door, Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire and many, many others, I was curious: do you think it appropriate to nominate a ASOIAF podcast for this category or is this award more intended for general SFF podcasts?

Thank you!

Edited at 2018-02-08 04:16 am (UTC)
Feb. 8th, 2018 05:32 am (UTC)
RE: Hugo Award for Best Fancast - ASOIAF Podcast
There is nothing in the rules that says a podcast has to be “general.” The podcasts you mention would all be appropriate nominees, sure.
Steven 'Slick' Nestor
Feb. 8th, 2018 02:05 pm (UTC)
"Fake History"
George, I know people have said this before, but I feel I must add my voice to theirs. Would you possibly, even slightly, perhaps consider no longer referring to your wonderful work as 'fake'? Every time I read/hear it, I die a little inside.
I wouldn't live in Westeros for all the gold in Casterly Rock, but I cant deal with being reminded that there is no Casterly Rock. I know "The history of my secondary universe" is long winded. But really, you are the king of long winded! It would suit you just fine!

That very significant issue aside. I hope you get all the Hugos, and ill do what I can to make that happen.

(The following statement is somewhat off topic, but i'm hoping the lack of a question mark makes it okay)
Regarding your progress on you know what: Take all the time in the world to get it finished and polished to GRRM perfection. I'm still dumbfounded you managed two books of such scope and complexity in a single lifetime. When people call you a slow writer, I roar with a laughter that would put Robert Baratheon to shame.

Keep doing what you do and good luck with the Hugo.

Edited at 2018-02-08 02:17 pm (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2018 12:47 pm (UTC)
RE: "Fake History"
Agreed. A world of the imagination isn't "fake".
Feb. 8th, 2018 03:34 pm (UTC)
I'm of the opinion that mega-novels like ASOIAF shouldn't be nominated for anything until they are finished and awards shouldn't be accepted. It cheats authors who know how to write a finished story. Finishing a story is part of an author's skill set, and needs to be demonstrated before awards are given. The ending is half the story.
Feb. 8th, 2018 04:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Mega-novels
Half is a bit much, but yes, of course, endings are crucial.
Re: Mega-novels - nihilsciens - Feb. 8th, 2018 11:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Mega-novels - sdschaffer - Feb. 8th, 2018 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Felipe Bini
Feb. 8th, 2018 07:00 pm (UTC)
Authorship of "The Sons of the Dragon"
Hi George, little question about "Sons", since you mentioned it.
Both "The Princess and the Queen" and "The Rogue Prince" have subtitles that explain their subjects and that they were "set down by Archmaester Gyldayn of the Citadel of Oldtown" (and are "transcribed by GEORGE R. R. MARTIN").
"Sons" does not (or at least the published version doesn't, I'm aware that in readings prior to the publication you mentioned Gyldayn).
Was the omission deliberate? In-universe, is "The Sons of Dragon" also authored by Gyldayn, or was it another (arch)maester?

Edited at 2018-02-08 07:56 pm (UTC)
Feb. 11th, 2018 03:01 am (UTC)
Re: Authorship of "The Sons of the Dragon"
"Sons" is Gyldayn too.
Jordan Feigerle
Feb. 8th, 2018 07:59 pm (UTC)
Typical Worldcon Schedule
I know it is fairly premature to ask what events you will be holding while at Worldcon this year but I wanted to get a sense of what events you typically do at worldcon. Do you do signings, panels, readings, etc.? Also, how accessible and interesting is it for newcomers? I ask because I am not so far away from San Jose and am debating whether I should attend.
Feb. 11th, 2018 02:57 am (UTC)
Re: Typical Worldcon Schedule
Signings, readings, panels... yes, I do all of that.

If you love science fiction and fantasy, and not just my own stuff, worldcon would be very interesting. There are hundreds of writers, artists, and editors in attendance. And newcomers are always welcome. Of course, some of that depends on your personality. Fans are friendly, by and large, but I've known people who were introverted and shy who felt "alone in a crowd" at cons. But most newbies do just fine.

And the program is only part of the fun. The real heart of the con is the parties at night. One of the best is always thrown by the Brotherhood Without Banners, the Ice & Fire fan club.

Edited at 2018-02-11 02:59 am (UTC)
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