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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. 9th, 2018 12:50 am (UTC)
Are the Hugos you’ve received your proudest awards?


“...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.”

Massive respect for this. Class move.
Brian Bennett HD
Feb. 9th, 2018 04:11 am (UTC)
“Real Soon Now”? Subtle hints to perhaps a book? 🤔
Feb. 9th, 2018 04:45 am (UTC)
Hugo Award
Hi George,

You said Game of thrones season 7 is eligible and can be nominated.

Do you have any particular episodes in mind that caught your attention from S7 ?

George, I wish you good fortune in the days to come :)
(no subject) - nootropicsblog - Feb. 9th, 2018 06:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 9th, 2018 07:20 pm (UTC)
Funny thing: prior to cracking open A Game of Thrones, I had stopped reading Fantasy years and years ago. Maybe in my late teens or so.

My reasoning was that I would rather read non-fiction: real history about the real world, which can be just as dramatic as anything in fiction with the added bonus of having actually happened. I'm guessing you agree, given how deeply the series dips into the well of medieval Europe.

It was precisely because SoIaF and its related texts read like a dramatization of something from a history book that made it so effective for me, and caused me to start reading more Sci-Fi and Fantasy again.
Edward MacWhirter
Feb. 10th, 2018 01:13 am (UTC)
Sons of the Dragon was fake history (fictionography?) at it's best. If that was the abbreviated version then Fire & Blood's sure of a nomination next year.

Will there be anything on the Targaryens pre-conquest in it? I for one am very curious about what made Lord Gaemon so glorious.
Feb. 10th, 2018 10:46 am (UTC)
I wish you all the best! I have to say I really, really enjoy your creation of a fictional history for your universe. I prefer this to 'real-world'-set historical fiction, which can be dangerously misleading in the games it plays with real people's lives and actions. In your fictional universe, yes, one catches echoes and parallels of real-world events and people, but they've been reinvented in a new context. It's not pretending to be a 'true story', but has faith in the power of fiction to engage and inspire. Thank you for your work!
Feb. 11th, 2018 04:05 am (UTC)
Not exactly on topic
Les Haven wanted us to ask if you know about what was going on with Mike McFadden. I don't know how you know him, but wanted to pass it along. Mike is in desperately poor health.

If you want me to forward anything or get in touch, email me at paulahmurray@yahoo.com or message me on 816-718-7675.I promise it will all be handled correctly.

Paula Helm Murray
Feb. 11th, 2018 07:41 am (UTC)
Living longer & healthier so you can write everything you want to write
Dear George,
I am listening to an interview you gave, in which you said you want to write quite a few more books, and you seemed unsure whether you'll live long enough to write them all.

There are actions you can take to ensure you stay young longer, in terms of both body health and brain health (e.g. preventing dementia). I highly recommend you check out those 2 webpages to learn more:


Also, regarding that first webpage, when I watched the first season of "How To Stay Young", I made notes of actions we can take to stay young longer. Here they are:

The BBC documentary "How To Stay Young" explained the science of how we can stay healthy longer and live longer.

A summary of the BODY episode:

Only ~25% of how our bodies age is due to genetics - and ~75% is due to lifestyle.

Ways to stay young longer mentioned in the body episode of the documentary series include:

(1) reducing animal protein in one's diet (being vegan is the most effective way)

(2) eating legumes

(3) eating nuts

(4) exercise (especially dancing or other exercise which involves a variety of movement and feedback - e.g. martial arts)

(5) reducing stress

A summary of the BRAIN episode:

Only ~25% of how our brains age is due to genetics - and ~75% is due to lifestyle.

And here are ways that we can keep our brains as healthy as possible (e.g. memory and concentration) for our entire lives:

1. Being around people who show you respect (e.g. a community that respects old people) helps people to live longer.

2. Purple fruit and vegies containing Anthocyanins help maintain brain blood-vessel health and prevent vascular dementia.


The TV show mentioned: red cabbages, eggplants (aubergines), sweet potatoes that are purple inside (look beige on outside), black-currants, blackberries and blueberries.

3. For a group of people ~60+ years old, 10 weeks of walking showed:
(a) a benefit to the brain's overall cognitive test performance.
(b) increase of size of their hippocampus with new neurons - a region of the brain that deals with memory and learning. (The experimenters suspect this was due to the aerobic activity of the walking.)

4. For a group of people ~60+ years old, 10 weeks of Table Tennis showed:
(a) an increase in cortical thickness - the cortex is the part of the brain which shrinks the most as we age, and is part of the brain that deals with complex thinking. The experimenters suspect that this is due to the learning of a new skill.
(b) a reduction in negative emotions (perhaps due to the social aspect?).

5. Learning new skills that "stretch the brain", that use new parts of the brain, helps. E.g. learning to play a new instrument while learning sight-reading of music. E.g. learning to draw. E.g. learning a new language.

6. Challenging and exercising the brains of children and adults helps prevent dementia.

Feb. 11th, 2018 12:40 pm (UTC)
Regarding Fire and Blood, will it have some illustrations like The World of Ice and Fire? I really love the artwork of the world of Westeros. Is there any chance of a book thats just artwork? There are still so many wonderful and even iconic locations that don´t have a defining piece of art like White Harbour, the Citadel, High Heart or Volantis Black Walls and Red Temple.Thank you so much for your work!
Feb. 14th, 2018 04:27 am (UTC)
Yes, Fire & Blood will be illustrated.
Feb. 11th, 2018 12:43 pm (UTC)
I agree with you about the definition of a “series” - but I had never really thought about it before. While it’s best to read an entire series if you enjoy it, there are books in series which have a definite beginning and ending and can act as standalone books on their own. Then there are “series” which are only one long narrative broken up by spines. LOTR and ASOIAF are most definitely long stories broken up by spines and covers.
Feb. 12th, 2018 12:05 am (UTC)
Is it possible to contact you, regarding the receipt of copyrights, the fact is that I want to make a tekstovuyu game based on the events of the conquest of the Vesteros Eigon Targarien?
Excuse me for my bad english.
Feb. 14th, 2018 04:26 am (UTC)
I am sorry, but all game rights were licensed many years ago.
Stephen Richter
Feb. 12th, 2018 11:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Hugos
Believe it or not, I was able to nominate J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings for Best Series because of "Beren and Lúthien" had a 2017 release date which allowed it. My ballot is almost all filled save for the fan artist. I did nominate you and Not a Blog for Best Fan Writer.
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