- Novel: American Gods
by Neil Gaiman (Morrow)
Looking at what showed up on the ballot this year, it is not surprising that hands down, American Gods won. There were other good books on the list (including two of which are on my to read stack), however American Gods is a stunning book that one must read several times through and brush up on classical mythology of many cultures to get a good chunk of the background of the book that is implied (such as the choice of names as 'Mr. Wednesday' rather than 'Mr. Thursday' given the storm).
- Novella: "Fast Times at Fairmont High" by Vernor Vinge
(Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge, Tor)
- This story is classic Vernor Vinge, set in the not too distant future. The characters in the story are students at a school preparing for various tests - tests that will test them in the old ways too - not connected to the net. Computers are part of the actual clothing people wear. One student seems to have his fingers in everything.
- Novelette: "Hell is the Absence of God" by Ted Chiang (Starlight 3, Tor)
There are some stories out there that are troubling in some way or another. I find this to be one of them. The story is reasonably well written and tells of a world where the existence of God, angels, and Hell is an objective truth - miracles happen, angels appear, and manifestations of Hell happen from time to time. The story is mostly about the main character, Neil Fisk, who's wife was taken into heaven (her soul was seen ascending) when the shock-wave of the angel's appearance caused a window at a cafe to... well... shred her. The story continues with Neil's question of faith and his quest to be reunited with his wife in Heaven - even though he doesn't believe in salvation.
This is available for free (yes, free - though you still have to join) at
http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/eBook4145.htm in a large number of formats other than html.
- Short Story: "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" by Michael Swanwick (Asimov's 10-11/01)
The dog, Sir Blackthorpe Ravenscairn de Plus Percieux (or Sir Plus, or "Surplus") is the main character of this tale. The setting is England in the future, bio engineering is common - electronics, forbidden. In the days of the Utopian era, centuries prior to the time frame of the story there was a war between Man and Machine.
Unfortunately, the language of this story makes it difficult to read (it appears to have reverted back to Victorian style), and thus the plot not the most obvious. Not my first choice for the Hugo... but hey, I didn't go.
This story is available at
- Best Related Book:
The Art of Chesley Bonestell,
by Ron Miller, Frederick C. Durant III, Melvin H. Schuetz(Paper Tiger)
This book has more than 300 drawings by one of the greats in the Golden Age of Science Fiction. The pictures are beautiful landscapes and rockets poised for takeoff, distant double stars with red landscapes,
Bonestell was born in San Francisco, California on January 1, 1888. In the 1930s, he was one of the most sought after artists in Hollywood for his matte (backdrops in movies) work. He is best known for drawings of manned missions to various planets and other astronomical drawings - most especially the one of Saturn that appears on the cover.
Chesley died on June 11, 1986 at the age of 98 in Carmel, California. It is noted that he was still painting daily at the age of 95.
While the book may be a bit difficult to get at, this is the web, and a gallery of his pictures exists at
ISBN 1855858843 (for those who want the book)
- Professional Artist: Michael Whelan
Michael Whelan (last name pronounced "Waylan") did the artwork for the modern 2001 cover, Larry Niven's Destiny's Road, C.S. Friedman's Madness Season, and the current run of Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern and Crystal Singer covers along with many others.
His paintings feature saturated colors and fantastic, but still believable landscapes.
Google lists Michael Whelan's official website as:
http://www.glassonion.com/ - however, this fails to resolve as of the time of the writing (chances are, it is now http://www.michaelwhelan.com/). There are many other sites that have his photographs:
- just do a google search...
- Professional Editor: Ellen Datlow
Ellen Datlow was the editor of Omni between 1981 and 1998 and has since continued as the editor in larger published collections of short stories such as Event Horizon. One topic that Ellen appears to more frequently dip into than other editors is that of sex and erotica (Alien Sex, Sirens and other Daemon Lovers, Leathal Kisses - just a few of the names that jump out). (Side note - looking at her gallery, she has a few cats that she likes taking pictures of when they sleep in strange positions).
Ellen's website is http://www.datlow.com/
- Dramatic Presentation: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
So last year it was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and I commented that it doesn't always fit. This year the winner should have been a forgone conclusion from last November (and I suspect that next year, we shall have a fairly good idea too). This was a stunning work of cinematography that presented classic, epic fantasy to a wide range of people (and given its release almost concurrent with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - children too). This years nominees included Shrek, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone, Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the episode "Once More, With Feeling", and Monster's Inc.
- Semiprozine: Locus (Charles N. Brown, ed.)
Locus has won it again - and there isn't too much more that I can say than I did last year... soo...
The Semiprozine falls between that of the numerous Fanzines that exist and the professional magazines such as Analog and Azimov's. The semiprozines are often more in tune with the popular science fiction, fantasy and horror scene than the classic magazines doing revives on such things as Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show and The Lord of the Rings movies.
Locus's website is found at: http://www.locusmag.com/
- Fanzine: Ansible (David Langford, ed.)
This really shouldn't be much of a suprise either...
Fanzines are one of the best ways to stay in touch with the conventions and clubs that are out there. These fanzines continue to move to the web as a way of publishing information - cheaper than sending out paper to everyone who is interested and reaching a wider audience.
Dave's website (and fanzine) are found at:
- Fan Writer: Dave Langford
Wait a moment, didn't I just... oh... yea...
Dave Langford is the author of "Different Kinds of Darkness" (See Hugo Awards: 2001) and collected numerous Hugos for fanzines, non-fiction and fan writer (a total of 17 now). He is a professional book reviewer and works with Terry Pratchett as a 'beta-tester' for his books. I suspect the thing that keeps him a 'Fan Writer' is that he hasn't sat down and written a big name book... yet.
Dave's website (and fanzine) are found at:
- Fan Artist: Teddy Harvia
The 'Fan' categories don't change much from year to year. This makes it rather similar to last year... and the year before, and the year before. Teddy has been nominated for the Hugo fanart every year since 1988. Teddy's works are most often seen in news letters for LoneStarCon,
a Texas sci-fi conference. The art itself is black and white line art most often part of a one frame cartoon.
Teddy's web page is: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/4159/
- Web Site: Locus Online
Given that this took place in San Jose - part of the Silicon Valley, it was only appropriate that the Web site be awarded too. Other sites for consideration where SciFi.com,
Strange Horizons, and SF Site.
Hugo Awards: 2001 << Hugo Award >> Hugo Awards: 2003