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2003 Hugo Award Winners Announced

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the fun-in-toronto dept.

Sci-Fi 177

securitas writes "For those that follow these sorts of things, the 2003 Hugo Award Winners list has been released (PDF). Robert Sawyer's 'Homonids' won Best Novel, fan favorite Neil Gaiman won Best Novella for 'Coraline', Geoffery A. Landis won Best Short Story for 'Falling Onto Mars', Buffy the Vampire Slayer's 'Conversations with Dead People' won Best Short Form Dramatic Presentation and predictably 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' won Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation. You can get all the details at the Torcon 2003 Hugo Awards section."

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not first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840704)

bitches

Good for Buffy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840707)

A lot of awards have overlooked the series in the past when they've been deserving.

Re:Good for Buffy (0, Flamebait)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840844)

Yeah...'cause "conversations with dead people" was chuck full of science-fiction huh?

In that case (2, Funny)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840872)

Yeah...'cause "conversations with dead people" was chuck full of science-fiction

In that case, I hearby nominate Jonathan Edwards for the 2004 Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award

Re:Good for Buffy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841007)

It's quite clear it covers Sci-Fi and Fantasy, or did I miss all the sci-fi in LOTR?

From the FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841017)

People may nominate works of science fiction or fantasy. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is on the Hugo Awards ballot because enough people felt it deserves a Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award. The key word is "best" - we want the Hugo Awards to be given to the best works of the year. The Hugo Awards existed long before the World Fantasy Awards. Why should we limit ourselves to just science fiction?

Buffy is fantasy.

Re:Good for Buffy (2, Flamebait)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840961)

Really?

Just because YOU think the series is the next best thing in the world, it might not be all that great after all. Personally, I think Buffy the series is beyond crap, at best. It's like watching Matrix Reloaded. I just don't fcking GET IT! That, and there's always a small legion of bozos around who claim that I'm the idiot for "not getting it" and that I should see all the previous episodes to understand and appreciate it.

True art is something which will always be remembered for the amount of creativity, effort and passion that was poured into something. Elvis Presley's music is art; I can't stand hearing it but it's art. In one hundred years people will still know about Elvis Presley, same thing for the Rolling Stones and Queen. Stanley Kubrick (sp?) is an artist too, even though I can't stand his movies either. You don't have to like something for it to be deserving of anything, and the reverse is true as well; as soon as YOU like something doesn't mean it automatically is the next best thing since sliced bread.

Re:Good for Buffy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840997)

Just because YOU think the series is the next best thing in the world,

Where did I say anything of the sort, exactly? They've had some really strong episodes, and some bad ones. Was the one that won the award the strongest? No, there were better, but it was still good. It wasn't even your typical episode, as there wasn't that much action or comedy in it. It dealt with the characters and their own self assessment.

Re:Good for Buffy (1, Flamebait)

Bendy Chief (633679) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841002)

Well, I'm certainly not going to disagree with you when I say that Matrix Reloaded tends to polarize people's opinions. However, it really is "hard to get" for a large number of people, especially the explanation of the Systemic Anomaly and how that ties into the existing control structure of the Matrix. It's mostly that concept, along with the emergence of Smith as a vastly important character, that makes me like the movie.

Buffy is different. There's nothing to "get". What you don't "get" is how people can enjoy it, and I'm in the same boat as you. That show always struck me as monstrously overrated and stupid. Poor acting, terrible fighting, and so forth.

Buffy fans in the audience forgive me, but I think the majority of that show's fanbase is composed of A) teen girls who think "Girl Power" is a blonde throwing fake punches, and B) Harry Knowles' demonic brood of fanboys.

Re:Good for Buffy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841030)

The show is perfectly aimed at much of the Slashdot crowd if they gave it a chance. Willow is a computer nerd, Xander is the sci-fi geek, and Buffy is cute. Spike once held one of the villains Boba Fett models as a hostage, and one of Xander's prize possessions is his Babylon 5 plate collection. Xander also spent a good amount of time discussing T'Pol's breasts... just like Slashdot!

Re:Good for Buffy (1)

110010001000 (697113) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841380)

"the explanation of the Systemic Anomaly and how that ties into the existing control structure of the Matrix"

*snicker*

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Is scifi just to placify geeks? (-1, Flamebait)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840712)

Why not do something to advance science rather than just read and wish you were born years later? Seems like they have a section in the bookstore to keep geeks happy and not taking over the world as they are destined to.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840743)

Sci-Fi does advance science; where do you think scientists get ideas, most modern tech was first thought up in science fiction. My PDA looks a lot like a star trek PADD, my cell phone looks like a communicator.

That's not even taking into account all the kids who grow up reading sci-fi and grow up to be scientists because of it.

You're an idiot.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (4, Insightful)

theoddball (665938) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840823)

Sci-Fi does advance science; where do you think scientists get ideas, most modern tech was first thought up in science fiction. No. In general, SF derives from existing scientfic concepts. It's not as if authors are sitting around and think "Hey, you know what'd be cool? Some kinda energy source from little tiny particles called atoms smashing into each other!" Enrico Fermi didn't learn how fission works from reading SF. Even pulling ideas from existing science, the genre has gotten it wrong plenty of times. It was Gibson (I think) that wrote a story where characters see all these bizarre rocketships and flying things in the sky, and strange vehicles on the ground...in the end, these crazy vehicles turn out to be all the pictures of silver ships and flying cars and nuclear thingamajigs from the 1950s pulp mags. Kim Stanley Robinson has written about a lot of prospective, uninvented things in his Mars series, but he didn't start from nothing--a lot of the ideas in those books was first proposed by NASA researchers and guys like Robert Zubrin. Hell, he even takes stuff from the 100 Day Plan. SF and science feed off each other, true...but SF != source of science.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840855)

I wrote an essay in HS english that basically said Science drives Sci-Fi forward and in turn Sci-Fi drive Science forware. Sci-Fi authors go a long way towards taking abstract concepts from the Scientists and proposing workable applications which the scientists then work out.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (1)

LauraW (662560) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840876)

It was indeed Gibson. The story was "The Gernsback Continuum". It was in his collection Burning Chrome and probably other places.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840945)

In general, SF derives from existing scientfic concepts. It's not as if authors are sitting around and think "Hey, you know what'd be cool? Some kinda energy source from little tiny particles called atoms smashing into each other!"

Nope. Instead they're sitting around thinking things like, "Hey, you know what'd be cool? Satellites that orbit the earth at such an altitude that they make one complete rotation per day. You could probably put a radio or TV transmitter on one of those and broadcast to half the globe!"

And voila, shortly thereafter we had communications satellites.

(The concept of the geosynchronous communications satellite was first invented by Arthur C. Clarke, famous science fiction author.)

Arthur C Clarke invented sattelite communication (1)

bstadil (7110) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840974)

In general, SF derives from existing scientfic concepts

Look here [lsi.usp.br]for a counter argument.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (1)

Snowspinner (627098) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840898)

There is plenty of important value to be placed on science fiction without resorting to making things up. Science fiction does not drive science - one would be hard pressed to come up with an important scientific advance that would not have happened without science fiction.

No. If you want to justify science fiction, look at the ways in which the ability to create future worlds, or alien civilizations allows new ways to talk about problems that humans face today. Look at the metaphorical capabilities of it. Look at the simple fact that it entertains people - both geeks and "normal" people.

But don't delude yourself into thinking that science fiction is somehow necessary to science. If nothing else, the Greeks, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment clearly did pretty well at science without science fiction.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (2, Insightful)

dspeyer (531333) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840958)

Science fiction occasionally advances science, the communications satellite being the famous example, but the real idea is to advance society around science. As science overtakes science fiction (usually co-incidentally) society struggles to adapt. It's good that there are at least a few people who have already thought about how to respond to changes like those which happen!

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (4, Insightful)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840786)

Not everybody wants to be a scientist, especially when you get low pay, poor advancement and lousy job opportunities. And that's after you have spent 5-7 years slogging away as a slave in grad school....

On the other hand, doing science is the most rewarding experience I've ever had*.

Btw, Geoffery Landis is himself a scientist...

* Other than hot, steamy sex.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (1)

DrLudicrous (607375) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841719)

You are correct about Landis. I met him back in 1995 when I was a summer intern at NASA. He works in the Photovoltaic Branch in Cleveland's Glenn Research Center.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (1)

kubrick (27291) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841856)

On the other hand, doing science is the most rewarding experience I've ever had*.

* Other than hot, steamy sex.


So, would you recommend work as a porn star instead? :)

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840937)

Wow. Tinfoil-hat, black-helicopter grade paranoia and delusions of grandeur all in one post! That's gotta be some kind of new Slashdot record. If not in the absolute sense, at least in the disfunctionalities-per-word metric.

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (1)

reallocate (142797) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840950)

Didn't you know? Everything that happens on Earth is planned and controlled by the Evil Minions of Emporer Ming.

I'm guessing your parents kept asking you "Is that really necessary?"

Re:Is scifi just to placify geeks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841640)

I assume you mean Prince Xenu. Even a modern operating system controversy was engineered in advance, eons ago. Don't believe me? Turn the letters in "Unix" around. See?

You have the capacity, but not yet the ability, to see past deceptions even more mind-bogglingly devious and obscure than that. And for a small fee, that potential can be unlocked. And it all starts with a simple (free!) personality test.

DON'T spell his name with two 'L's: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840718)

Philip K. Dick's last winner:

http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/you.html

Dangit.... (3, Funny)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840719)

And yet another year passes in which they fail to acknowledge the wonderous story that is Battlefield:Earth.

Re:Dangit.... (2, Insightful)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840810)

The book wasn't bad... not incredibly believable, but entertaining. The movie... eh... I feel bad for the trees that died to make the cellulose for the film...

Re:Dangit.... (1)

belroth (103586) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841336)

ObNitPick:
Cellulose hasn't been used for film stock for many years. It was far too flammable.

Not arguing with the sentiment though...

Re:Dangit.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840839)

ah yes, L. Ron "Rob us all of our Hollywood Money" Hubbard. Bad bloated book. Bad movie with a very fat John Travolta.

At least sci-fi fans had some taste when they stayed away from theatres when it came out.

Modern Sci-Fi (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840721)

I find modern sci-fi to be incredibly boring. Even the second foundation trilogy reads like second rate cyberpunk. Most modern stuff is written like trash romance novels set with Sims and assorted other sci-fi elements.

Re:Modern Sci-Fi (0)

Sphere1952 (231666) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840757)


There are exceptions, such as Brin.

Re:Modern Sci-Fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840845)

Brin wrote the 3rd book in the 2nd foundation trilogy. I've only read the first 2. The first by Benford, was one of worst pieces of trash I've ever seen. He seemed more interested in tearing apart all the featuers of Asimov's universe than it writing a good novel. Seldon is supposed to be a scientist, but his moves in Foundation's Fear would put James Bond to shame. What was that crap with the sims? It was so boring I ended up skipping all those passages. I'd see Foundation's Fear is the second worst book ever written (Scarlet is first), and as a huge Asimov fan, I think Benford should be shot.

The 2nd book in the series was a lot better and Bear tried to resolve Benson's crap with Asimov's universe, but he also added his own garbage. Even the Calvinist robots didn't act even remotely like asimov's robots...and of course he followed up on the sim garbage. I don't think I will read the 3rd book. The first 2 are just mutilations of Asimov's work.

Re:Modern Sci-Fi (1)

Sphere1952 (231666) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840888)


I must admit that I couldn't finish the first. Someday I'll read what Brin did to the third, but I was thinking more of his Uplift series, The Postman, and The Practice Effect.

I've always found Benford and Bear a bit on the edge -- usually, but not always, a good read.

I think they just randomly chose three B's to follow Azimov.

Re:Modern Sci-Fi (2, Interesting)

LauraW (662560) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840851)

>Even the second foundation trilogy reads like second rate cyberpunk.

That's because the second foundation trilogy sucked.

Well, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was totally derivative, had a fairly lame "cyberpunk-lite" plot, and was written by three different people. IMO, Asimov ruined both the Foundation and Robots series when he merged them in his later years. Not quite as badly as Heinlein messed up his own series with dreck like Number of the Beast, but still pretty bad.

There are still some good SF authors out there, though: Kim Stanley Robinson, CJ Cherryh, Ursula LeGuin, Connie Willis, Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, ....

Re:Modern Sci-Fi (1)

miu (626917) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841725)

Not quite as badly as Heinlein messed up his own series with dreck like Number of the Beast

I think RAH must have pissed of all the good editors by the time he wrote that stinker. But maybe I'm a poor judge, "the cat that walks though walls" and "the moon is a harsh mistress" are his only books I liked after the age of 14.

Awards.. (-1, Offtopic)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840738)

Hugo?

The 2003 Huge-O Award goes to..
GOATSE.CX GUY

Congratulations, come up and take a bow.

Ironic about Buffy.... (3, Insightful)

GrnArmadillo (697378) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840758)

Winning an award after the show bows for an episode about ghosts of the past. :) Also note how Buffy creator Joss Whedon has three of the nominated episodes [torcon3.org] (for his other two shows, "Angel" and the late "Firefly") while the other two noms belong to "Enterprize". It's a small world these days.....

Re:Ironic about Buffy.... (2, Insightful)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840878)

I was rooting for Firefly's "Serenity", but this Buffy ep was about as deserving. Far more so than the two nominated "Enterprise" eps.

Re:Ironic about Buffy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841437)

Nominating Buffy/Firefly/Angel eps alongside Enterprise seems like a weird attempt to please all of the people. They're basically dipoles; does anyone out there like both Buffy and Enterprise (or any other new Star Trek franchise)? I and most people I know who enjoy Buffy & Co loathe Enterprise, whereas it seems the majority of SF-watching TV viewers falls entirely the opposite way.

I'd nominate Our Mrs. Reynolds or Objects in Space over Serenity. The Message was also good, but I imagine they have to be aired to be eligible. I'd also put Lies My Parents Told Me above CwDP.

OMG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840761)

OMFG have you seen the Halo 2 trailer it's like slow and it's telling you all the stuff you did in the first one then the music kicks in and and the chief comes out and gets a gun the earf is on fire and chief is like fuck this im jumping and HE JUMPS PUT OF TEH SPACESHIP with angels singing and he lands on the bad guys and that annoying ai lady is like GO GET EM TIGER! WILDCAT IS ON TEH SPOKE!!!~`1 and theres less polys but rawkin bumb mappings you can view this on a special MICROSOFT xbox disk that comes with EB games store.

Yay Canada! (2, Informative)

optikSmoke (264261) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840768)

I've read a bunch of Sawyer's books (his present-day/near-present-day sci-fi) and they do not dissapoint. I found it funny that I spotted Hominids in the store the other day and picked it up, and now I hear it won the Hugo :)

Heh... he's also Canadian! Yay Canada!

Yay Sawyer, Too! (1)

reallocate (142797) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840895)

Sawyer deserves this. Nice to see recognition going to a writer who can build real stories around real characters.

Re:Yay Canada! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840949)

As a canadian, I am happy for Sawyer too. But, I don't think this book deserved a Hugo; it's just your average run of the mill parallel-universe sci-fi book. The plot was so mushy and most of the side-stories were just that without any contribution to the general progress of the story.
David Brin's 'Kiln People' should have gotten this years Hugo; all the stories of the different 'people' in this novel add to one consistent although unusual ending. I liked the way the story was told from the perspective of different characters who are just the image of a single character. Okay, the last 1/5 of this story was unnnessarily long, but the rest of the book redeemed it for me.
Anyways, this is a slight improvement from giving out Hugo award to the Harry Potter novel.

Re:Yay Canada! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841857)

Interestingly, Sawyer didn't win an Aurora award (Canada's SF award) with this book. Permanence, by Karl Schroeder, picked that up. I read Homonids, and enjoyed it, but I've read alot better.

Sawyer's Work Disappoints Plenty (3, Interesting)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841084)

>they do not dissapoint

That is, if you're not bothered by details like scientific plausability, plot, characterization, etc.

I have not read Hominids (although the reviews of it I have seen have not been promising [google.com]), but I did read Starplex, which was a Hugo and Nebula finalist, and that was such a singularly wretched novel [google.com] that I haven't read another Sawyer novel since.

This is clearly a case of "home cooking," since Worldcon was held in Sawyer's back yard. It's very sad that Sawyer won a Hugo before (and here's just a partial list) Gene Wolfe, Howard Waldrop, Pat Cadigan, China Mieville, Paul Di Filippo, Rudy Rucker, John Kessel, Iain Banks, Michaael Bishop...

Well, the list of science fiction writers better than Robert J. Sayer who haven't won a Hugo just goes on and on, doesn't it?

Re:Sawyer's Work Disappoints Plenty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841597)

I'm also sure now that Sawyer has won he again will not shut up about how great a writer he is, and he will have to do at least a dozen interviews and a long-form documentary of how great he is in 2003. Don't believe me? Look up what his "personal website" domain is (exercise left to the google user).

Re:Yay Canada! (2, Insightful)

allrong (445675) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841698)

I find it a bit sad that Sawyer's books have big blurb's trumpeting how he is Canada's answer to xxx. UK SF also seems to have had an inferiority complex up until recently with cover quotes of how author Y has revitilised UK SF.

I am very surprised that Australian SF book covers have not done the same over the past decade. We are usually quite noisy about promoting Aussieness, to our eternal detriment.

I enjoyed reading Sawyer's Calculating God, but after seeing his website sfwriter.com [sfwriter.com] I'm quite put off by this guy's self-promotion.

Hugos these days... (2, Insightful)

theoddball (665938) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840791)

Nice to see the literary Hugos are going to actual SF again...two years of solid selections. I think it was 2001 when Harry Potter won best novel, and I just shook my head... I have nothing against HP, but it doesn't deserve a Hugo. It's not adult fiction, and it's not even science fiction (which is, of course, the focus of the Hugo... I disagree with the folks who keep saying SF is "incredibly boring" these days, though--it's just on a different tack.

Re:Hugos these days... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840913)

According to what I read on the site, Hugos are given to both science fiction and fantasy. It's just that apparently lots of previous noms were mostly sci-fi, which is completely not their problem if the pendulum decides to swing the other way for a while.

I don't even follow the details behind the Hugo awards, but 2 minutes of reading unearths Section 3.2.1 [torcon3.org]: "Unless otherwise specified, Hugo Awards are given for work in the field of science fiction or fantasy..."

Re:Hugos these days... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840966)

I have nothing against HP, but it doesn't deserve a Hugo. It's not adult fiction, and it's not even science fiction

Well, narrowing down the Hugo awards to science fiction only isn't exactly correct. But setting that aside, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire most certainly is adult fiction. It's written in such a way that it's suitable entertainment for kids, but the themes are definitely adult. Murder, death, destiny, revenge, and the constant, underlying idea that you can't, so to speak, judge a book by its cover.

Don't assume that a book that's beloved by kids isn't for adults.

Science fiction? (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840794)

Why are fantasy and horror works winning sci-fi awards?

The award will stop to have any meaning if they don't stick to its niche.

Re:Science fiction? (2, Insightful)

fishexe (168879) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840858)

bah, sci-fi doesn't even mean anything anymore anyways. Haven't you seen how many books about wizards and dragons are in the sci fi section of the bookstore?

Re:Science fiction? (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840902)

Haven't you seen how many books about wizards and dragons are in the sci fi section of the bookstore?

Bookstore managers and their inability to classify their wares adequatly should not be a trend setter for people handing out awards. THEY should know better.

Re:Science fiction? (1)

hcduvall (549304) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841470)

Maybe bookstore owners classify it by customer taste- or their expected taste. Admittedly it might turn into a circle of expectation and execution, someone who reads sci-fi might read fantasy might play role-playing games might read comics.

Chris Ware, "graphic novelist" du juor of the nytimes and the other non-comic press has a blurb on one of his comics to the vendor:

Do not sell to minors, critics, estranged parents, or gym teachers; Do not display in respectable bookstore anywhere near fiction, art, or literature. File only under: Science Fiction and Role Playing Games.

Its just the way things are marketed- genre is a ghetto.

Re:Science fiction? (1, Troll)

reallocate (142797) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840967)

>> Haven't you seen how many books about wizards and dragons are in the sci fi section of the bookstore?

Yeah. I wish shops would put the fantasy books on their own shelves, so I can ignore them.

Re:Science fiction? (2, Insightful)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841024)

Anymore? Historicly Sci-fi did include fantasy, just look at all the old Andre Norton works that were more fantasy than sci-fi. For that matter anything fantasy was sci-fi.

Good authors write, bad authors worry about what catagory their books will be clasified in before they start. Start with an idea, and make it work. If it is hard science fiction, good, if it isn't, good. It might appeal more to someone if it fits a catagory, but only after a good book is written do you decide if you like it.

Re:Science fiction? (2, Informative)

Badge 17 (613974) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840982)

Hm... maybe because the Hugo is not just a science fiction award. You may recall that the Lord of the Rings "trilogy" was nominated for a best series award or something of that nature (incidentally, it was beaten by Asimov's Foundation series).

I'll copy a link given above that's useful in clarifying the award... http://www.torcon3.org/ballots/hugoWSFS.html [torcon3.org]

The lines between SciFi and Fantasy are not always clear, and if LoTR is valid for a Hugo, then it isn't going to dilute the meaning of the Hugo any more if we nominate fantasy. There's always been a division between hard and soft science fiction (or between Science Fiction and SciFi, according to some people).

Just look at the difference between Harlan Ellison and Isaac Asimov. Oh, and guess which one has won more Hugos.

Re:Science fiction? (2, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841074)

True. Pleasantville, The Truman Show and Harry Potter also got nominations in the past, despite not being science fiction.

If they don't make some adjustments, it will be the "Latest Hip Subculture Genre Awards".

I think a lot of this stuff may be winning on name recognition alone rather than on whether or not it meets basic criteria of deserving an award.

Re: Science fiction? (4, Insightful)

gidds (56397) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841561)

...The Truman Show... also got nominations in the past, despite not being science fiction.

Why doesn't The Truman Show count as science fiction?

The absence of space travel, laser guns and robots doesn't stop something being science fiction, just as their presence doesn't guarantee it is. Good science fiction has always been about ideas -- about ideas that change society or our relationship with the universe.

For example, I've always considered most 'space opera' such as Star Wars to be simply adventure stories that happen to be set in space - not science fiction at all. Conversely, stories like The Truman Show which are about ideas, about the nature of the world, and which invoke a sense of wonder, strike me as being much closer to the heart of science fiction. (Though there's actually quite a bit of technology involved in the backstory to TTS too.) And of course there are stories with both, like Bladerunner, which not only has a future setting with all the trappings, but a plot which directly involves the nature of that setting, and asks deep questions about personal identity.

Re:Science fiction? (4, Interesting)

Pikathulhu (550091) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841145)

Hugo-nominated fantasy novels include but are not limited to ...

Day of the Minotaur (1967)
Too Many Magicians (1967)
Goblin Reservation (1969)
Harpist in the Wind (1980)
Little, Big (1982)
Tea With the Black Dragon (1984)
Seventh Son (1988)
Red Prophet (1989)
Prentice Alvin (1990)
Towing Jehovah (1995)

By the way, Hominids is a dreadful book, and there's a coincidence in its win that Slashdot readers may not know about: the author couldn't possibly be more active in promoting himself as Canada's big-time SF writer [sfwriter.com], and all the Hugo voters this year were necessarily paid members of a convention taking place in Canada--in fact, Toronto where the winning author lives. Are Canadian SF fans really such parochial nationalist boosters that they would vote for a bad book just because it's Canadian? I wouldn't have thought so before yesterday.

You should read Hominids, The Scar, Bones of the Earth, Kiln People, and The Years of Rice and Salt if you'd like to judge for yourself. I'd have voted for any of them and even "no award" before I would have voted for Hominids.

Re:Science fiction? (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841465)

dunno, because there's not awful of new science fiction coming nowadays that is 'traditional' science fiction? especially not too much of good stuff that really have something to say about the world today and fit into that.

i still manage to find stuff to read though.. but i've rarely put much merit on awards anyways and since i haven't been around to read most of the stuff as fresh i can read decades old stuff as new(and why shouldn't everyone?).

besides they're more like of an obviously fiction awards than scifi awards.. to me scifi is speculative fiction at it's best, so i rank wide amounts of green little men from mars stuff out of it too(that doesn't mean i don't read them or like them when they're good)

more than that i'd much more like to see awards for books i shouldn't read(along with reasons, by people who have read the book completely and are not retards), of such books i've lately read jeff longs 'year zero'. it suck. heavily. it was _BAD_, i did give it the chance though and read it till the end but the book is nothing but pure populistic disease fear shit mixed with cloning(of _jesus_ none the less) and end of the civilised world scenario mixed with petty rivalry and broken family and resurrection-cloning nonsense. the kinda shit book why people fear cloning and the cloning being in it mostly for no reason at all than because cloning is hip,any other explanation for the multiple retarded jesuses would have done just as well, if not better. but wait! the jesuses itself had barely any function for the story at all anyways, heck, the cloning wasn't even used for a cause of the disease sweeping everyone away so there was totally zero reasons to use it all. the book could have been much much better with much of the stuff left out, so instead of 500 pages it could have been a great book at 300 pages.. one reason why i tend to stay away from books with 500+ pages, they generally are big just because they're bloated or the wording is bad, exceptions happen of course. the new harry potter for example is so thick just because it has outrageously big font and the lines are way too much away from each other too but i guess having '700pages' was a selling point too in it's weird way, perhaps a way to justify greater price too(more like 300 pages if it was printed like a normal book, scifi it certainly was not, childrens book is the most fitting description, while it's not that bad it's not _great_ either).

yes this turned into a slash-rant that begins vagely following the subject at hand and then runs away.

Top Ten Differences Between Democrats and Republic (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840802)

Top Ten Differences Between Democrats and Republicans (from the perspective of a Democrat):

10. Democrats take your money and give it to social programs. Republicans take your money and give it to their friends.

9. Democrats lie about sex. Republicans sex up their lies.

8. Democrats think international cooperation means working with the United Nations. Republicans think international cooperation means working with Exxon/Mobil.

7. Democrats try to save the planet. Republicans try to pave the planet.

6. Democrats are elected. Republicans are selected.

5. Democrats make treaties. Republicans break them.

4. Democrats support a social welfare system. Republicans support a corporate welfare system.

3. Democrats defend the rights of white supremacists. Republicans are the white supremacists.

2. Democrats govern. Republicans rule.

1. Democrats call people who don't believe in the separation of church and state a threat to civil liberties. Republicans call them judicial appointees.

You completely inhale the pastes in crust (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840822)

It has come to my attention that you completely inhale the pastes in crust. Read on for more about this fascinating topic.

The world went into shock a few weeks ago when goatse.info [goatse.info] [goatse.info] reported the results of a study which concluded that inhaling paste is a very dangerous pastime, one that no one is advised to take up. Eventually, everyone adapted to the new state of affairs and began inhaling other things. Almost everyone, that is. But not you! According to my records, you still inhale paste!

Why?! What the fuck is wrong with you?!

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Dubious value award. (-1, Flamebait)

sakusha (441986) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840827)

I bet Neil Gaiman felt really great when he won the award that Harry Potter won last year.
I looked through the past Hugo lists, it's all the same people giving themselves the same awards. Are these awards really important to anyone outside the authors' circles?

Re:Dubious value award. (4, Informative)

soundofthemoon (623369) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840892)

I don't think it's the same people giving themselves awards. The Hugos are awarded by the membership of the World Science-Fiction Convetion (http://www.worldcon.org/). Yes, many authors are members, but the bulk are just fen. So the awards are given by a few thousand people active in the SF fan community.

That said, yes, it's not particularly scientific or democratic. But that's what the award means - WorldCon thinks this book is the best. If you aren't happy with the selections, you can do what I did this year. I purchased a relatively inexpensive associate (non-attending) membership which allowed me to vote for the Hugos, and I'll be able to nominate for next year's awards too.

Of course none of the entries I voted for won. Too bad, because Kiln People rocked.

Since when are Buffy and Coraline Sci-Fi? (5, Insightful)

Snowspinner (627098) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840856)

This is not a knock against either Buffy or Coraline - I have Buffy seasons 1-7 on my bookshelf, and my Neil Gaiman collection is probably worth about $1000. But neither of them are science fiction. Coraline is a children's horror novel. A wonderful children's horror novel, but a children's horror novel all the same.

Maybe a case can be made for Buffy, since it's at least had sci-fi moments in its series, but Conversations With Dead People was not one of them.

I mean, yeah, a case can be made that the Hugos need to start acknowledging things beyond straight sci-fi if they're going to survive as a relevent and interesting award. But if they're going to do that, they should stop calling themselves a science fiction award. And they should also pause to ask whether, with the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker awards around, such a move is really necessary.

Oh well. Grats to Gaiman and Whedon anyway. =)

Re:Since when are Buffy and Coraline Sci-Fi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840970)

I have Buffy seasons 1-7 on my bookshelf...
Pretty impressive considering that season four was only released a couple of months ago...

Re:Since when are Buffy and Coraline Sci-Fi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841004)

Yeah, he must have TAPED IT or something. That high-tech thingy called a VCR? Look it up before you make a complete shitstain of yourself...

Re:Since when are Buffy and Coraline Sci-Fi? (1)

Snowspinner (627098) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841059)

Buffy 1-6 [amazon.co.uk]
7. [amazon.co.uk]

Pardon my slight exaggeration - the second half of season 7 is only on pre-order.

Re:Since when are Buffy and Coraline Sci-Fi? (1)

Snowspinner (627098) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841075)

We're just going to pretend that I can close my HTML tags the first time, OK?

Buffy 1-6 [amazon.co.uk]

Buffy 7. [amazon.co.uk]

Pardon my slight exaggeration - the second half of season 7 is only on pre-order.

Re:Since when are Buffy and Coraline Sci-Fi? (3, Interesting)

soundofthemoon (623369) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840988)

I haven't read Coraline yet (it's on my list, which is kind of long right now), but there's a strong case to be made that Buffy is science fiction, not fantasy. I'd say The Two Towers, and all of LOTR, is definitely fantasy. But you don't need gadgets and flying cars to be science fiction.

I've had this conversation with some other SF authors (yeah, I have pretentions), and it seems the big distinction between SF and fantasy isn't the way the world differs from our own (high-tech vs. magic), but how the characters relate to it. In SF, technology is external and understandable. In fantasy, magic is beyond understanding, and it's a mostly internal thing. Being able to do spells and make potions is just a different flavor of technology. But the One Ring isn't technology, it's a force of nature, and thus magic.

The supernatural in Buffy is very much magical technology. Anyone, even Xander, can pick up a stake and nail a vamp. Even the Slayer is technology - the Shadow Men just bound the essence of a demon to the slayer line and presto!, superchicks to fight vampires.

magic in Tolkein (1)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841496)

But the One Ring isn't technology, it's a force of nature, and thus magic.

Tolkein's thesis (insofar as he even had one) was that the One Ring was a sort of technology, inasmuch as it was most definitely not a force of nature -- it was specifically a work of Sauron's artifice.

This is well-supported in his writings; I also ran across an essay on the subject [theonering.net] recently.

Re:magic in Tolkein (1)

soundofthemoon (623369) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841751)

Of course the One Ring was the creation of Sauron. But Sauron himself was sort of a force of nature. He is never quite personified in the stories, existing mostly as a lurking presence off-stage. The Ring is still beyond the understanding and control of even the greatest of the Wise, and so even while created as an act of art, exists more as a force of nature for the characters in the story.

Re:magic in Tolkein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841872)

This fits into a central science-fictional trope, I'd say; Faust via Frankenstein, absolute power corrupting absolutely.

Re:Since when are Buffy and Coraline Sci-Fi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841571)

My impression was that the slayer line existed and had power before the shadow guys did that - for them it was about instilling a power they could control, and thus controlling the preexisting power manifested in the slayer. I always figured the slayer's original power stemmed out of anger and pain at having lost people to vampires (this is vaguely communicated by the first slayer in Restless, I think). But let's face it, that was a bit difficult to follow (kind of like the "Summers' blood" thing in The Gift). ;)

Buffy and particularly Angel are often about alternate universes, parallel dimensions and so on, which is very much a staple of ("soft") scifi. Angel also has an X-men style superhero now, assuming she's not permanently written out.

It occurs to me that this might be why Buffy fans get so militant about perceived or actual discrepancies where the writers fail to follow the rules; Angel enters an apartment without an invitation or the like. It's perceived as an alternate universe with a set of hard and fast physical laws that differ from our own (or, it's this universe and we're all to blind to see). I can't see a way to differentiate that from scifi, even much of the "hard" stuff (much of which has FTL travel or the like).

Re:Since when are Buffy and Coraline Sci-Fi? (5, Informative)

Justinian II (703259) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841188)

Does no-one bother to educate themselves before they post? This comes up every year. The Hugo is not just a "science fiction" award. The most cursory checking would have revealed this fact. From the WSFS constitution:

"Unless otherwise specified, Hugo Awards are given for work in the field of science fiction or fantasy appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year."

Got that? "Work in the field of science fiction or fantasy". Can we please stop with the "but that isn't science fiction!" stuff now?

That said, _Hominids_ is a truly awful book and as a winner is an embarrassment to all involved in the Hugo process.

Can someone explain to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6840860)

the appeal of Sawyer's work? Now, if you want good Canadian scifi, read some James Alan Gardner.

Just how many times has locus won best semipro ? (2, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840919)

Is it just the fact that locus is about the only quality entry in the category ? They seem to win every year.

Re:Just how many times has locus won best semipro (1)

andyhat (9136) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841610)

Interzone is excellent, and would get my vote if I were voting. NYRSF and Ansible are both excellent, as well, and I've heard good things about Speculations. Locus is excellent, too, of course, but at this point I think its wins are as much about the name recognition and momentum as because there aren't other great semiprozines.

Hey now. What about... (1)

militantbob (666209) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840932)

Orson Scott Card? I don't read a lot of scifi but i randomly picked up enders game a few months ago and am now finishing the last book (so far) in the series. ender series is still definitely scifi, but in a more vague sense, like rand's 'atlas shrugged' was scifi. but it's still an excellent series, which will given a movie treatment (enders game and enders shadow combined in one film) and which won the hugo and nebula awards back in the mid 80's....

anyone still reading card?

Re:Hey now. What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841220)

Orson Scott Card hasn't written any 'true' SF in a while. Unlike some, I enjoy all his stuff (not just the sci-fi, which is really just Ender's {Game | Shadow} and maybe Pastwatch), but he's mostly shifted into other genres.

Re:Hey now. What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841473)

Just finished "Sarah" and "Rebekah". Neither are SF, of course.

Oddly, he preaches less while writing about the Women of Genesis than he does in the Ender series :)

Re:Hey now. What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841509)

If you enjoy SF written by cultish wackjobs, you may enjoy Battlefield Earth (though arguably Hubbard was merely a calculating sociopath at the time he wrote it and not yet a cultish wackjob with a true-believer agenda to sell, unlike Card and Rand - any others I've missed in this "subgenre"? I'm seriously interested).

Re:Hey now. What about... (1)

erikharrison (633719) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841689)

Well, the cultish whackjob really crosses genres . . . .

Thing is Orson Scott Card may be a touch cultish - though frankly, the Christians have numbers over the Scientologists - but he ain't a whackjob. He doesn't live far from here, and comes up to read at the local bookstore everytime he publishes. He's really a nice guy, and unlike Hubbard, Orson Scott has written things worth reading. Ender's Game is one of the great SciFi novels, period in my opinion.

Ayn Rand is a whackjob with diareaha of the typewriter.

New entertainment industry (1)

asr_man (620632) | more than 10 years ago | (#6840972)

People will eventually get bored not doing anything, so they'll pay to enter a theme park where they can have "immersive retro experiences" where the robots will let them join in flipping burgers or whatever, "just like they used to in the old days". The great grandparents (that's *you*) will think they're nuts.

Hello this is the Internet, HTML is what we use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841006)


TORCON 3 The 61st World Science Fiction Convention August 28 to September 1, 2003 Metro Toronto Convention Centre
The 2003 Hugo Award Winners

PO Box 3, Station A, Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1A2, Canada info@ torcon3. on. ca www. torcon3. on. ca
Best Novel Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer (Analog 1-4/ 02; Tor)
Best Novella Coraline by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
Best Novelette "Slow Life" by Michael Swanwick (Analog 12/ 02)

Best Short Story "Falling Onto Mars" by Geoffrey A. Landis (Analog 7-8/ 02)
Best Related Book Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril
Judith Merril and Emily Pohl-Weary (Between the Lines)
Best Short Form Dramatic Presentation Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Conversations With Dead People"

(20th Century Fox Television/ Mutant Enemy Inc.) Directed by Nick Marck; Teleplay by Jane Espenson & Drew Goddard

Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(New Line Cinema) Directed by Peter Jackson; Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Phillippa Boyens,
Stephen Sinclair & Peter Jackson; based on the novel by J. R. R. Tolkien
Best Professional Editor Gardner Dozois

Best Professional Artist Bob Eggleton
Best Semiprozine Locus
Charles N. Brown, Jennifer A. Hall, and Kirsten Gong-Wong, eds.
Best Fanzine Mimosa

Rich and Nicki Lynch, eds.
Best Fan Writer Dave Langford

Best Fan Artist Sue Mason
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (sponsored by Dell Magazines)
Wen Spencer 1

Bzzzzt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841080)

I think you mean "This is the web" or "This is the world wide web." The internet was around long before HTML.

Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy (3, Interesting)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841127)

A lot of people seem to think that the Hugos are being lessened by being granted to works that aren't strictly sci-fi.

But these days there's very little sci-fi that's actually science fiction. Most of it is fantasy with computers.

China Mieville (one of the Hugo-nominated authors this year) has an excellent essay on the subject of what he calls "weird fiction" at his website, http://www.panmacmillan.com/features/china/debate. htm [panmacmillan.com]

Re:Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy (0, Flamebait)

nagora (177841) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841132)

A lot of people seem to think that the Hugos are being lessened by being granted to works that aren't strictly sci-fi.

Personally, I think they're being lessened by being awarded to third-rate crap like the Two Towers.

TWW

_Hominids_ is book one of a trilogy (4, Informative)

DragonMagic (170846) | more than 10 years ago | (#6841241)

_Hominids_ is the first book of a Neanderthal trilogy, where Neanderthals on an alternate earth, where Homo sapiens died out instead, use a quantum computer which opens a portal to our world.

The other two books, _Humans_ and _Hybrids_, are now both available. _Humans_ and _Hominids_ are paperbacks and _Hybrids_ *just* came out in hardcover.

If you enjoy good science fiction, read all three. And hopefully _Humans_ or _Hybrids_ makes the ballot again next year (both published first in 2003).

Ah, it's a TV novelization! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841341)

I'm glad someone is finally making novels based on the Sliders TV show.

And winning awards for them, no less.

Robert Sawyer's 'Homonids' won Best Novel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6841684)

'Homonids' - An epic story of the struggle for acceptance amongst ancient Neanderthal interior decorators.
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