The biggest, the most exciting, the most SUPER event of the year! So THAT’S why they were out of party foods at the grocery store today…
The British Science Fiction Association announced the shortlist nominees for the 2015 BSFA Awards. The winners will be announced on March 26 at Mancunicon (Eastercon) in Manchester. This is one of my favorite SF book awards to follow, a great place to discover and celebrate excellent and sophisticated speculative fiction. The BSFA isn’t immune to cheesy sci-fi, but it’s not the pasteurized disappointment certain other big name SF book awards prove to be year after year.
The 2015 BSFA shortlists….
Dave Hutchinson: Europe at Midnight, Solaris
Chris Beckett: Mother of Eden, Corvus
Aliette de Bodard: The House of Shattered Wings, Gollancz
Ian McDonald: Luna: New Moon, Gollancz
Justina Robson: Glorious Angels, Gollancz
The inclusion of Dave Hutchinson’s Europe at Midnight on this list is the least surprising entry given the growing buzz, and I won’t be surprised at all if he wins. My review here.
… although Ian McDonald’s Luna might have a bigger shot, given the BSFA’s love of all things McDonald, and their recent tendency to nominate sophisticated works and then award the most bland. Review coming next week (in which the blandness is excused because intention, but not like anybody who votes for this book will see it as bland, and much less, intentionally bland).
de Bodard’s novel has been on my TBR, but I was holding off because I thought it might be interesting to read it alongside Mieville’s upcoming Paris novel.
Beckett has been getting good reviews for a while now, and that Robson novel looks mighty interesting.
Also, three books from Gollancz.
Best Short Story
Aliette de Bodard: “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, Clarkesworld 100
Paul Cornell: “The Witches of Lychford”, Tor.com
Jeff Noon: “No Rez”, Interzone 260
Nnedi Okorafor, “Binti”, Tor.com
Gareth L. Powell: “Ride the Blue Horse”, Matter
“Binti” is the only one I’ve read so far. Review coming this week.
I have that “No Rez” copy of Interzone around here somewhere. With Interzone, I use the Playboy mantra: I only read it for the articles. But I mean it.
Nina Allan: “Time Pieces: Doctor Change or Doctor Die”, Interzone 261
Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce: Letters to Tiptree, Twelfth Planet Press
Jonathan McCalmont: “What Price Your Critical Agency”, Ruthless Culture.
Adam Roberts: Rave and Let Die: The SF and Fantasy of 2014, Steel Quill Books
Jeff Vandermeer: “From Annihilation to Acceptance: a writer’s surreal journey”, The Atlantic, January 2015
I love Nina Allan, but I am so tuned out of Doctor Who, I didn’t even have the interest to read a critical article about it by one of my favorite authors.
Not read yet, but very, very interested in Twelve Planet Press’ Letters to Tiptree.
I’m pretty sure Jonathan McCalmont very assertively removed himself from consideration for any awards this year… which, apparently, for anyone taking notes, is the best way to jack up your cool factor and get nominated anyway. I wonder what that’ll do to his, ahem, critical agency; he’s already abandoned book reviewing. Like my reaction to most McCalmont pieces, I was alternately pleased and perplexed by this article.
Adam Roberts’ 2014 review collection, Sibilant Fricative, was deemed ineligible for nominations last year, so it’s nice to see Rave and Let Die appear on the list this year. As with most of Roberts’ nonfiction, I snatched it up immediately, and then read about 15% of it because of my don’t-read-reviews-until-I-review rule. I’ll break that rule for other reviewers, but, like Russ and Harrison and Clute, Roberts’ opinions and review style can be catching, so small doses are a must.
Also– and this deserves its own bullet– I do wish people would pay as much attention to Adam Roberts’ fiction as they do to his reviews. While his reviews are a delight to read, his 2014 novel, Bête, was a criminally ignored novel last year, a literary SF masterpiece, and a thousand times better than even those books he raves about.
Speaking of… Vandermeer, yeah, so.
Shame that Maureen K. Speller’s piece on Elysium didn’t make the shortlist. I really liked that one.
Jim Burns, Cover of Pelquin’s Comet, Newcon Press
Vincent Sammy: “Songbird”, Interzone 257
Wayne Haag: “Bus Stop”, Interzone 253
Sarah Anne Langton: Cover of Jews Versus Zombies, Jurassic London
I like the Jews Versus Zombies cover. Pelquin’s Comet, no. Will have to go dig out the others.
So, will I commit to reading any of these shortlists before the BSFA award ceremony on March 26th? Yeah, maybe, I s’pose… let’s see what The Kitschies offer first.