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Worlds Without End Blog

2012 Hugo Award Nominees Announced Posted at 3:50 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Among Others A Dance With Dragons Deadline Embassytown Leviathan Wakes

The 5-convention simulcast is over, and the 2012 Hugo Award nominees have been announced. The nominees for Best Novel are:

See the the complete list of nominees in all categories on the home page of the Chicon 7 website.  Congratulations to all the nominees.

What do you think of this year’s lineup? Anything you really like on this list? Anything make you scratch your head in confusion? More importantly, will it satisfy Christopher Priest?


Mattastrophic   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 15:57

I’m actually pretty excited by this because I’m ready to read each of these books! Last year I hadn’t even started Bujold’s or Willis series, and I’m loathe to jump in the middle of a series. Dance with Dragons is next for me in Martin’s series, and I read Feed last year for the Hugos (so I’m ready to read Deadline), and I’ve already read Embassytown. I’m pretty jazzed about this since I can read the entire best novel lineup and really get engaged in the outcome!

Dave Post   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 16:12

@Mattastrophic: You’re doing much better than me. I’ve not read a one of these, as usual. I’m just happy to know which books are going to be on this year’s WWEnd Hugo bookmarks. I better get busy.

Rico Simpkins   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 16:49

I can’t wait to see the members unleash their reviews on this list of books. I’d also like to see how we match up in preferences to the actual awards in September. By the way, Worldcon members get to read these books (and novellas, novelettes, short stories, etc) for free. Considering you can get a supporting membership for only $50, that’s a bargain.

Jenny Colvin   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 16:55

I think I’m going to have to finally read Embassytown, this is what, list 3 for award nominees? I was excited to see The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees on there, my favorite from the Nebula nominees, and the author is also on the list for the best new author award. Loved the Walton, and see lots of familiar names on the list. I’m still not going to read the Martin until the series is finished, so I won’t be able to make as educated of a guess this time around.

Rico Simpkins   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 17:02

Jenny: It’s the fourth: BSFA, Nebula, Clarke, and Hugo, so far. I have high hopes for the novel, too.

Rico Simpkins   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 17:04

Oh, damnit…now I have to read all A Song of Ice and Fire.

Emil   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 17:11

May well be a Hugo for Mieville, despite Mr C Priest’s contestations. Although, popularity suggests that Song and Ice may finally win one, considering the travesty of 2001. "Deadline" is a big surprise, though. It is nowhere near as good as "Feed" was – quite disappointing, actually. A shot from left field, it is.

Emil   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 17:15

Oh, I wanted to mention the very good run that Orbit is having this year. Hat tip.

Mattastrophic   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 17:30

I actually had some significant issues with Feed. I thought it had earned a spot on last year’s committee due to its interesting setup and some good character development between the two protagonists, but since I’ve also heard that Deadline doesn’t even really live up to Feed. I’m surprised too.

Rico Simpkins   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 17:42

We did some informal polling at our fan table last year, and Feed was mentioned more than any other book (we knew Connie Willis would win, due to her name recognition). At the time, I thought Feed was worthy of inclusion just because it was such a fresh approach. I’ll read Deadline as soon as I get the reader’s packet and see if it got any staler.

Jenny Colvin   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 17:45

Honestly, I tried Deadline when it was nominated for the Phillip K. Dick, but I just couldn’t get into it. I liked Feed, but didn’t feel a need to continue the story, if that makes sense (and I don’t often find myself enjoying zombie books, so that is saying something). I’d happily have voted for Feed….

Scott Laz   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 17:47

I’m pulling for Among Others. I read it over a year ago and it’s stuck with me…a wonderful story!. Leviathan Wakes was enjoyable, but nothing really special. I’ve got no interest in Deadline, and won’t get to Song of Ice and Fire in the near future, but I agree with Jenny that’s it’s time to move Embassytown up the reading list. There’s still a chance it could beat Among Others for me…

Mattastrophic   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 17:49

Deadline is going to spark some interesting conversations, I expect. I’m excited to read all of these that I haven’t yet (including Deadline, to give it the benefit of the doubt), but I’m probably most excited for Among Others since the nomination gives me impetus to bump it up on my To Read Soon list.

Jenny Colvin   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 19:25

Mattastrophic, if you ever do audio, the audiobook for Among Others is really enjoyable. The story itself I liked despite not expecting to, but the Welsh accent just makes it!!

Mattastrophic   |   07 Apr 2012 @ 22:40

@Jenny: I am a devoted customer and I haven’t looked at it yet, so thanks for the recommendation! I’m going to go put it on my wish list now.

DrNefario   |   08 Apr 2012 @ 05:57

I’m quite disappointed by the list, even though I haven’t read any of them. It’s partly my fault for not nominating, too,I have the GRRM, but haven’t read it yet. By all accounts it doesn’t stand out from the rest of the series, and seems to have been included because of its TV popularity. I also still feel the Hugo is an SF award, not a fantasy award, even though I gave my vote to the Jemisin last time.I thought Feed was pretty poor, last year. I’d rather have seen no award than Feed to have won it. If Deadline doesn’t even live up to that…Mieville seems to get a free nomination for everything. I’m willing to give it a try, though.I’ve just got to hope I really like one of the other two I’m not familiar with.

Allie   |   08 Apr 2012 @ 06:10

I really liked "Feed" last year, but I was also really disappointed with "Deadline". I think "A Dance with Dragons" got the nomination more on the popularity of the series than the strengths of that particular book. I liked it, though there were things that bothered me in it, but I don’t think it deserves a Hugo. I’m going to try to read "Embassytown" and "Among Others" soon. Jo Walton’s a pretty good writer, in my opinion, so I have high hopes for hers. I’ve not read much Mieville, but I’ve at least heard good things about "Embassytown". Also, I don’t know anything about "Leviathan Wakes". I’m betting Mieville will win it this year, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens!

Danny   |   08 Apr 2012 @ 20:20

I’m almost done with Among Others and have been enjoying it, though it really forces me to admit that there are huge swaths of SF/F that I’ve never read and, at this rate, won’t ever get to. I read Embassyville months ago. While I agree with Priest’s criticisms of the novel, I found Mieville’s ideas about language interesting enough to make it a very worthwhile read.

Mattastrophic   |   08 Apr 2012 @ 21:22

I just read Priest’s screed on the Clarke awards. Damn! I also agree with Priest’s criticisms of Embassytown, but the overall tone of the article…hmmm. Let’s just say I like Charles Stross and he apparently…yeah. Meh, I’m still probably going to read The Island at some point. Anyone else see this rebuttal article titled "Understanding Christopher Priest"? (

Eric   |   09 Apr 2012 @ 09:06

Well, my Hugo reading this year will be easy. The only one of these five I haven’t read is Among Others. Quite a bit surprised by Deadline’s nomination, but there’s always one or two head scratchers every year.

Rico Simpkins   |   09 Apr 2012 @ 14:47

Eric: I think there is definitely a "popularity contest" element to this. Seanan McGuire is very engaging, willing to do many panels and socializes with writers and fans. I think that sort of thing definitely weighs in the balance for gaining nominations and votes. Matt: Have you seen the latest blog post? Priest finally won something. Perhaps his ire will be diminished, now?

Mattastrophic   |   09 Apr 2012 @ 17:54

@Rico: yeah, I just noticed that, I hope he enjoys it! As for the "popularity contest" thing, I think it really is just that. The most concise explanation of the Hugo award I’ve heard was from Robert Sawyer: "The Nebula is like the Academy Awards, chosen by a committee, and the Hugo is like the People’s Choice Award." It’s also the people’s choice award voted on by people who at least attend Worldcon if not other such events, so if she’s making the rounds and socializing then she’s making herself known to her voting public, as it were.

DrNefario   |   11 Apr 2012 @ 14:49

Christopher Priest’s novels had already won the BSFA three times, as well as a World Fantasy Award and, indeed, a Clarke award. It surprised me to learn that he wasn’t that well known in the US. He’s one of my favourite writers at the literary end of the genre, alongside Gene Wolfe, and others. He did apparently say that he had no problem with the Hugo shortlist because it’s a popular vote, whereas the Clarke is a jury award, which means the judges have some responsibility to the genre.

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