I know that to many of you, the science fiction awards (and the occasional drama surrounding them) are of little interest. However, I think it is important for me to support these awards, as they are valuable for our community.
Science fiction and fantasy, as genres, have become increasingly mainstream. In addition, those outside fandom are coming to understand us better. However, we continue to face unfair treatment by certain literary circles. We can’t simply say, “Hey, you shouldn’t regard an entire genre with derision, particularly when the genre is so wide,” without in turn saying, “Take a look at these books as great examples of what we do well.”
It is important that we in the genres uphold what we think is excellent about what we do. Those authors—and the world at large—deserve to understand that we’re proud of ourselves and of what we accomplish.
At worst, awards are a popularity contest. And that’s just fine. At their best, though, they are the means by which we grow as a community.
This year has a special difference from previous years, in that the Hugo Awards is trying out an award for Best Series. Below I've listed what I have that is eligible for the Hugo and Nebula awards this year.
Hugo Awards nominations are open to all members of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Science Fiction Conventions, and the deadline is March 17. You had to be a member by January 21st to nominate, but it's not too late to become a member of the 2017 Worldcon in order to vote on the final ballot once it's announced.
The Nebula nomination deadline, for SFWA members, is tomorrow, February 15.
- The Bands of Mourning
- The Dark Talent
(Note: Calamity and possibly The Dark Talent are also eligible for consideration by the Andre Norton Award jury.)
- Mistborn: Secret History
- Edgedancer (appeared in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection)
(Note: Both of these novellas are slightly over 40,000 words and thus are eligible as novels for both the Nebula and Hugo Awards. However, under the Hugos’ 20%/5,000-word category relocation rule, they are also eligible for the Best Novella Hugo Award, where they fit best.)
Best Series (Hugo Awards only)
- The Stormlight Archive
- Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
In these award eligibility posts, I generally pick one thing I’d like to highlight for awards consideration. Usually it’s a novella or novel I think represents my best work of the year, or the one that I think stands best on its own.
This year, however, I feel that my novellas and novels don’t work independently. The novellas are both parts of larger series, requiring foreknowledge to really work. The two novels I released were the third in their respective series.
(Arcanum Unbounded could be eligible for the World Fantasy’s anthology award, but that is juried by a committee. So it’s up to whoever is part of that jury, not the voting public.)
Therefore, the thing I’d like to highlight this year is Mistborn for the Best Series Hugo Award. Mistborn had two entries this year, and I do think I’m doing something particularly interesting with that series. (Taking an epic fantasy world and pushing it toward a modern-day urban fantasy.) I would rather people consider it, than the Stormlight Archive, as I’d prefer the attention be on Stormlight in a year when it has a full novel in consideration. Hopefully we will have many more years of the Series Hugo to consider worthy works.