Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Few Images from the Upcoming Coraline Movie...

One advantage of having the "Movie edition" of a novel several months before the movie comes out is getting some of the promotional stills...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

World Fantasy Awards of the 2000's

2000 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Thraxas by Martin Scott
Novella - Tie between "The Transformation of Martin Lake" by Jeff VanderMeer and "Sky Eyes" by Laurel Winter
Short Fiction - "The Chop Girl" by Ian R. MacLeod
Anthology - Silver Birch Blood Moon edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Collection - Tie between Moonlight and Vines by Charles de Lint and Reave the Just and Other Tales by Stephen R. Donaldson
Artist - Jason Van Hollander

2001 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Tie between Declare by Tim Powers and Galveston by Sean Stewart
Novella - The Man on the Ceiling by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem
Short Fiction - "The Pottawatomie Giant" by Andy Duncan
Anthology - Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora edited by Sheree R. Thomas
Collection - Beluthahatchie and Other Stories by Andy Duncan
Artist - Shaun Tan

2002 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin
Novella - "The Bird Catcher" by S.P. Somtow
Short Story - "Queen for a Day" by Albert E. Cowdrey
Anthology - The Museum of Horrors edited by Dennis Etchison
Collection - Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson
Artist - Allen Koszowski

2003 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Tie between The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce and Ombria in Shadow by Patricia A. McKillip
Novella - "The Library" by Zoran Zivkovic
Short Story - "Creation" by Jeffrey Ford
Anthology - Tie between The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling and Leviathan 3 edited by Jeff VanderMeer & Forrest Aguirre
Collection - The Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories by Jeffrey Ford
Artist - Tom Kidd

2004 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton
Novella - "A Crowd of Bone" by Greer Gilman
Short Fiction - "Don Ysidro" by Bruce Holland Rogers
Anthology - Strange Tales edited by Rosalie Parker
Collection - Bibliomancy by Elizabeth Hand
Artist - Donato Giancola and Jason Van Hollander

2005 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Novella - "The Growlimb" by Michael Shea
Short Fiction - "Singing My Sister Down" by Margo Lanagan
Anthology - Tie between Acquainted With The Night edited by Barbara Roden & Christopher Roden and Dark Matter: Reading The Bones edited by Sheree R. Thomas
Collection - Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
Artist - John Picacio

2006 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Novella - Voluntary Committal by Joe Hill
Short Fiction - "CommComm" by George Saunders
Anthology - The Fair Folk edited by Marvin Kaye
Collection - The Keyhole Opera by Bruce Holland Rogers
Artist - James Jean

2007 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe
Novella - "Botch Town" by Jeffrey Ford
Short Fiction - "Journey Into the Kingdom" by M. Rickert
Anthology - Salon Fantastique edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Collection - Map of Dreams by M. Rickert
Artist - Shaun Tan

2008 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
Novella - Illyria by Elizabeth Hand
Short Story - "Singing of Mount Abora" by Theodora Goss
Anthology - Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural edited by Ellen Datlow
Collection - Tiny Deaths by Robert Shearman
Artist - Edward Miller

2009 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Tie between The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford and Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
Novella - "If Angels Fight" by Richard Bowes
Short Story - "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss" by Kij Johnson
Anthology - Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy edited by Ekaterina Sedia
Collection - The Drowned Life by Jeffrey Ford
Artist - Shaun Tan

World Fantasy Awards of the 1990's

1990 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Lyonesse: Madouc by Jack Vance
Novella - "Great Work of Time" by John Crowley
Short Fiction - "The Illusionist" by Steven Millhauser
Anthology - The Year's Best Fantasy: Second Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Collection - Richard Matheson: Collected Stories by Richard Matheson
Artist - Thomas Canty

1991 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Tie between Only Begotten Daughter by James Morrow and Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
Novella - "Bones" by Pat Murphy
Short Fiction - Sandman #19: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess
Anthology - Best New Horror edited by Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell
Collection - The Start of the End of It All and Other Stories by Carol Emshwiller
Artist - Dave McKean

1992 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon
Novella - "The Ragthorn" by Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth
Short Fiction - "The Somewhere Doors" by Fred Chappell
Anthology - The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: Fourth Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Collection - The Ends of the Earth by Lucius Shepard
Artist - Tim Hildebrandt

1993 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Last Call by Tim Powers
Novella - "The Ghost Village" by Peter Straub
Short Fiction - Tie between "This Year's Class Picture" by Dan Simmons and "Graves" by Joe Haldeman
Anthology - MetaHorror edited by Dennis Etchison
Collection - The Sons of Noah and Other Stories by Jack Cady
Artist - James Gurney

1994 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Glimpses by Lewis Shiner
Novella - "Under the Crust" by Terry Lamsley
Short Fiction - "The Lodger" by Fred Chappell
Anthology - Full Spectrum 4 edited by Lou Aronica, Amy Stout, and Betsy Mitchell
Collection - Alone With the Horrors by Ramsey Campbell
Artist - Tie between Alan M. Clark and J.K. Potter

1995 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Towing Jehovah by James Morrow
Novella - "Last Summer at Mars Hill" by Elizabeth Hand
Short Fiction - "The Man in the Black Suit" by Stephen King
Anthology - Little Deaths edited by Ellen Datlow
Collection - The Calvin Coolidge Home for Dead Comedians and A Conflagration Artist by Bradley Denton
Artist - Jacek Yerka

1996 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - The Prestige by Christopher Priest
Novella - "Radio Waves" by Michael Swanwick
Short Fiction - "The Grass Princess" by Gwyneth Jones
Anthology - The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women edited by A. Susan Williams and Richard Glyn Jones
Collection - Seven Tales and a Fable by Gwyneth Jones
Artist - Gahan Wilson

1997 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack
Novella - "A City in Winter" by Mark Helprin
Short Fiction - "Thirteen Phantasms" by James P. Blaylock
Anthology - Starlight 1 edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Collection - The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye by Jonathan Lethem
Artist - Moebius

1998 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - The Physiognomy by Jeffrey Ford
Novella - "Streetcar Dreams" by Richard Bowes
Short Fiction - "Dust Motes" by P.D. Cacek
Anthology - Bending the Landscape: Fantasy edited by Nicola Griffith and Stephen Pagel
Collection - The Throne of Bones by Brian McNaughton
Artist - Alan Lee

1999 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich
Novella - "The Summer Isles" by Ian MacLeod
Short Fiction - "The Specialist's Hat" by Kelly Link
Anthology - Dreaming Down-Under edited by Jack Dann and Janeen Webb
Collection - Black Glass by Karen Joy Fowler
Artist - Charles Vess

World Fantasy Awards of the 1980's

1980 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Watchtower by Elizabeth A. Lynn
Short Fiction - Tie between "Mackintosh Willy" by Ramsey Campbell and "The Woman Who Loved the Moon" by Elizabeth A. Lynn
Collection/Anthology - Amazons! edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
Artist - Don Maitz

1981 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
Short Fiction - "The Ugly Chickens" by Howard Waldrop
Anthology/Collection - Dark Forces edited by Kirby McCauley
Artist - Michael Whelan

1982 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Little, Big by John Crowley
Novella - "The Fire When It Comes" by Parke Godwin
Short Fiction - Tie between "The Dark Country" by Dennis Etchison and "Do the Dead Sing?" by Stephen King
Anthology/Collection - Elsewhere edited by Terri Windling and Mark Alan Arnold
Artist - Michael Whelan

1983 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Nifft the Lean by Michael Shea
Novella - Tie between "Confess the Seasons" by Charles L. Grant and "Beyond Any Measure" by Karl Edward Wagner
Short Fiction - "The Gorgon" by Tanith Lee
Anthology/Collection - Nightmare Seasons by Charles L. Grant
Artist - Michael Whelan

1984 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford
Novella - "Black Air" by Kim Stanley Robinson
Short Fiction - "Elle Est Trois, (La Mort)" by Tanith Lee
Anthology/Collection - High Spirits by Robertson Davies
Artist - Stephen Gervais

1985 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Tie between Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock and Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
Novella - "The Unconquered Country" by Geoff Ryman
Short Fiction - Tie between "Still Life with Scorpion" by Scott Baker and "The Bones Wizard" by Alan Ryan
Anthology/Collection - Clive Barker's Books of Blood I, II, III by Clive Barker
Artist - Edward Gorey

1986 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
Novella - "Nadelman's God" by T.E.D. Klein
Short Fiction - "Paper Dragons" by James P. Blaylock
Anthology/Collection - Imaginary Lands edited by Robin McKinley
Artist - Tie between Jeff Jones and Thomas Canty

1987 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Perfume by Patrick Suskind
Novella - "Hatrack River" by Orson Scott Card
Short Fiction - "Red Light" by David J. Schow
Anthology/Collection - Tales of the Quintana Roo by James Tiptree, Jr.
Artist - Robert Gould

1988 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Replay by Ken Grimwood
Novella - "Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight" by Ursula K. Le Guin
Short Fiction - "Friend's Best Man" by Jonathan Carroll
Anthology - Tie between The Architecture of Fear edited by Kathryn Cramer & Peter D. Pautz and The Dark Descent edited by David G. Hartwell
Collection - The Jaguar Hunter by Lucius Shepard
Artist - J.K. Potter

1989 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Koko by Peter Straub
Novella - "The Skin Trade" by George R.R. Martin
Short Fiction - "Winter Solstice, Camelot Station" by John M. Ford
Anthology - The Year's Best Fantasy: First Annual Collection edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Collection - Tie between Storeys from the Old Hotel by Gene Wolfe and Angry Candy by Harlan Ellison
Artist - Edward Gorey

World Fantasy Awards of the 1970's

1975 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip
Short Fiction - "Pages From a Young Girl's Journal" by Robert Aickman
Collection/Anthology - Worse Things Waiting by Manly Wade Wellman
Artist - Lee Brown Coye

1976 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson
Short Fiction - "Belsen Express" by Fritz Leiber
Collection/Anthology - The Enquiries of Doctor Eszterhazy by Avram Davidson
Artist - Frank Frazetta

1977 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Doctor Rat by William Kotzwinkle
Short Fiction - "There's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding" by Russell Kirk
Collection/Anthology - Frights edited by Kirby McCauley
Artist - Roger Dean

1978 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber
Short Fiction - "The Chimney" by Ramsey Campbell
Collection/Anthology - Murgunstrumm and Others by Hugh B. Cave
Artist - Lee Brown Coye

1979 World Fantasy Award Winners
Novel - Gloriana by Michael Moorcock
Short Fiction - "Naples" by Avram Davidson
Collection/Anthology - Shadows edited by Charles L. Grant
Artist - Tied between Alicia Austin and Dale Enzenbacher

Monday, December 8, 2008

The World Fantasy Award

The Hugos and Nebulas hold a very clear position at the top of the food chain when it comes to SF awards but that doesn't mean that the ones living close to them in their shadow aren't worth looking over. In my mind there's two different awards that are close but because of their narrower perspective can't quite reach the big two: the Locus Awards and the World Fantasy Awards.

The World Fantasy Award is handed out yearly at the World Fantasy Convention. Rather than being voted on by a general body like the Hugos and Nebulas it is a juried prize. A panel of five judges first form a list of three nominees and two more nominees are provided by the members of the World Fantasy Convention. Then this panel of five selects the winning novel. Surprisingly this has led to quite a few ties in the awards; presumably a 2-2-1 vote that becomes intractable.

A juried prize offers something different from the populist Hugos or the SFWA-driven Nebulas: the selection of something outside of the mainstream. With a jury of five you'll still find biases and blind spots but if the jury is doing their task correctly (and that's a big assumption) then they're more likely to locate the minor deserving books than the ones that needs the mass support of fandom or the attention of the members of an organization.

You'll note that when it comes to novels only one book has won both the Hugo and the World Fantasy Award: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. There have been dual nominees between the World Fantasy Award and the two big awards many times but just that one crossover winner. I like to read that as the sign of a unique viewpoint.

The award itself is a bust of H. P. Lovecraft:

(That image is Zoran Zivkovic's 2003 World Fantasy Award with the ear of a second award just edging into frame; for some reason there are few images of the actual award around.)

For the time being I don't plan on pursuing the short fiction winners of the World Fantasy Award. I have nearly forty years worth of Nebula Winners to cover after all. I did want to point out two categories for the awards that stand out: best anthology and best collection. The difference between the two is that the anthology category is for original anthologies and the collection is for reprint, single author anthologies. Categories like this would not be a bad addition to the Hugos or Nebulas.

One thing that drew me to reading the World Fantasy Award winners next rather than the Locus Award winners was the fact that I don't read an awful lot of fantasy. I recognize that there are good fantasy books out there but sorting the wheat from the Tolkien-derivative-chaff is a painful task. Of the winners list on the World Fantasy Awards there's two books I had read before starting down this path and three on my "I'd like to read that sometime" list; so the list is very new to me. I honestly don't have a clue what I'm getting into for the majority of these books.

I'll be breaking down the list of winners in the next few days and reviews of the novels will start on Monday. Let's see what they have for me...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Review - Coraline, "Slow Time", and "Falling Onto Mars"

Bob Eggleton
2003 Hugo Winner for Best Professional Artist

The image is Eggleton's cover for Nancy Kress's Probability Moon.

Wow, twelve stories away from wrapping up the Hugo winning short fiction and I'm starting to hit the major problems with story availability. "Falling Onto Mars", for example, has never been published anywhere except the issue of Analog that it first appeared in. Fortunately Analog has made it available on their website but if one wants a book collection that has all of the winners that isn't a desirable solution. At least Coraline was published as a Young Adult novel and "Slow Time"

The winners in 2003 struck me as being familiar. All three cover concepts and themes so well worn that ruts have been dug into them. None of them are bad stories by any definition but in all three cases I said to myself, "I've read this before and done better."

by Neil Gaiman
2003 Hugo Winner for Best Novella
2003 Nebula Winner for Best Novella

Yeah, I have the movie edition since I bought my copy a few weeks ago.

Let me describe the standard Neil Gaiman plot: a mundane person with a notable character quirk encounters something supernatural. At first it's wondrous and populated by convenient archetypes but sinister undercurrents are there and something goes horribly wrong. Fortunately with the help of a magic talisman provided by a wise woman and their own skill the person manages to get the better of their supernatural opponent and life returns to normal.

Gaiman writes in archetypes; you can practically map Joseph Campbell right onto his stories. Fortunately his skill at crafting prose and character carries a lot of weight.

Coraline might be considered the most standard of Neil Gaiman stories. It hits all the beats dead on with little variation. Coraline is the adventurous young girl in a strange house who finds a door to another world where things initially seem better to her but a monster lurks. It goes through all the same motions that Gaiman always does.

Consequently if you're a fan of Neil Gaiman then you'll probably enjoy Coraline but I won't say that you would be thrilled with it. The book is written for children and the prose and wit just isn't as sharp as it is in other Gaiman books. If you're not a Gaiman fan read American Gods instead.

"Slow Time"
by Michael Swanwick
2003 Hugo Winner for Best Novelette

The first astronaut to visit a new world that was thought to be devoid of life makes the shocking discovery that there's something there. Unfortunately for the astronaut they get into some technical trouble which may kill them. There's a chance that the new life found is intelligent and by bridging the gap between species the astronaut may survive.

If you just said to yourself, "Hey, that's the exact same plot as the 1999 Hugo winner 'The Very Pulse of the Machine'!" then give yourself half a cookie; you only get a whole one if you recognize that this has been a standard SF plot since the 1950's (a fact I mentioned briefly in my previous review). At this point an author really has to offer something special to make me interested in how they handle it; the author of "The Very Pulse of the Machine", for example, included a threatening atmosphere. Unfortunately the author of "The Very Pulse of the Machine" was none other than Michael Swanwick and repeating oneself a few years later but not as skillfully leaves a bitter taste.

The astronauts this time around just aren't that interesting; they barely react to each other let alone the exploration of Titan. The story is very setting heavy with a lot of clumsy dialog and situations created specifically to pile on setting details for the story. Unfortunately the setting is just as uninteresting as the astronauts. The bright spot is the alien encountered has some interesting reactions to the exploration.

This story is decisively average; it's the bog standard, run of the mill stuff I would expect to find in any given anthology or magazine. Give this a pass and read "The Very Pulse of the Machine" instead; it's just a more interesting take on the exact same subject matter.

"Falling Onto Mars"
by Geoffrey A. Landis
2003 Hugo Winner for Best Short Story

After my comments on the last two stories you might thing that "Falling Onto Mars" is nothing more than a weak copy of Landis's other work. If it is then it's a copy of something I'm not familiar with. Landis's story hits familiar concepts but it does so in a distinct manner.

In the future Mars is used as a cheap dumping ground for undesirables. Some of these undesirables band together to survive and others come together to take what they want. The bandits overrun the only science station on Mars and torture, rape, and kill almost all of its staff. It is retaken by those seeking to survive.

This is a very short story; even printed it would only be three or four pages (which might be why it has never been collected). That helps it, I think. "Falling Onto Mars" is told as a family anecdote and because Landis moves quickly through the point it never gets a chance to overstay its welcome. I recommend taking the ten minutes to browse over and read it.