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2003 Nebula Awards 106

Posted by Hemos
from the the-winners-awarded dept.
seattlenerd writes "The 2003 Nebula Awards were awarded late Saturday night in Seattle (for the first time ever) by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Winners: The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, "The Empire of Ice Cream" by Jeffrey Ford, "What I Didn't See" by Karen Joy Fowler (the previous two both published on the SCI FICTION site), and the script for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Noteworthy were comments made by GrandMaster honoree Robert Silverberg and Harlan Ellison, who introduced Silverberg, along with guest speaker Rick Rashid of Microsoft Research. To say nothing of Cory Doctorow's acceptance speech he didn't get to make, but has made available for "alternate historians."" I was at Penguicon this weekend, along with Neil Gaiman - congrats to him on the win, and to all the others.
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2003 Nebula Awards

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  • by kronak (723456)
    The Empire of Ice Cream....I want to live there
  • Anyone else read that as the "Nebulon" Awards? As in "get out of here Nebulon, no one likes your style." -- S.B.
  • Coraline? Pfft (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I picked up this book, expecting an original and exciting story. Instead I got a patronising modern-day Alice in Wonderland with a simplistic and unchallenging story, two dimensional charicatures for characters and a boringly predictable plot. It had no point. Try Darren Shan, Anthony Horowitz or Frank Cotteral Boyce instead.
    • Re:Coraline? Pfft (Score:5, Informative)

      by rtos (179649) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:53AM (#8903726) Homepage
      Um... you do know that Coraline [amazon.com] is meant for ages 8 and up, right? It's a kids book... and a damn good one at that. Creepy as hell, but told in classic children's story-book style.

      Taken in that context, it's highly enjoyable, quick read for adults too. I thought it was a fun little book.

      If you want Gaiman fantasy made more for adults, check out Neverwhere [amazon.com] (1997). It was one of the best books I read last year.

      • Neverwhere is good, but it has a strong British bent to it that won't necessarily carry over everywhere. American Gods might do better.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Lord of the Rings is good, but it has a strong Elvish bent to it that won't necessarily carry over everywhere... ;)
      • Hmm...I think American Gods is better Gaiman book. Neverwhere was adapted from a BBC miniseries he wrote, and while enjoyable, it ended up a bit too loose, it even ends with sequel bait. The plot is straightforward, but it feels like the setting is the star of the show. American Gods, while it has a couple of long digressions, has a stronger showing I think.

        That said, I've read a lot of Gaiman, so whats vaguely uninteresting to me, may be new to other readers.

        If we're going for younger fare, I've enjoyed
  • hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spangineer (764167) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:38AM (#8903576) Homepage
    I could be mistaken, but wasn't the script for The Two Towers written long before 2003? And even the film itself opened in 2002, right? How then does it win the 2003 award?
    • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday April 19, 2004 @10:13AM (#8903916) Homepage Journal

      Nebulas are given for works released during the previous year (i.e., the 2003 awards go to 2002 works, etc.) When the work was written doesn't matter -- remember these are primarily literary awards, and it's not uncommon for a book to take several years to be written, and then several more to be published. (I would assume the same is true of scripts, in general, though of course LOTR is kind of a special case.) For those interested in the process, it works like this:

      1. At any time, a SFWA member may nominate a work published a year ago or less at the time of nomination.
      2. At the end of the year, works with sufficient numbers of nominations are placed on the preliminary Nebula ballot.
      3. Early in the following year, SFWA membership votes on the works on the preliminary ballot; in each category, up to a certain maximum number of works -- 5, IIRC, but don't quote me -- are qualified for the final ballot.
      4. The membership then votes on the works on the final ballot, and the awards are determined.
      5. This being science fiction writing, you'll notice there is no "Profit!!!" step in the list. Er, unless you're Peter Jackson. <1/2 g>

      So this is why it takes so long, and why the 2003 awards are given for 2002 works in 2004.

    • And while the actual visual/acting aspects of the scenes are well-scripted, the storyline is obviously not original.

      Does "script" cound as just the acting cues etc, or is storyline included. I'd imagine that the latter has a seperate award - but if that isn't the case then it doesn't make much sense for a book-based-movie to win a script award?
      • There are so few good sf movies realeased in a given year that splitting the award into 'Original' and 'Adapted' like the Oscars, would result in frequent years where some piece of crap won, or no award was given.

        Also, some people have noticed some differences between the books and the movies...
    • There's got to be a reason, because if time of authoring wasn't factored in then the Hitchhiker's Guide would have taken EVERY award, even the award for "best musical set to the beat of a tribal drum!"
    • Re:hmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

      by squiggleslash (241428)
      It's just one of a long line of inappropriate awards dished out to LotR.

      Remember, this trilogy includes an Oscar under its belt for best editing. Read that again: the (complete) film is twelve and a half hours long. And it apparently was the best edited film in 2003. Does this make any sense? What was it before they edited it, twelve and a half days long?

      I understand it's taken a certain amount of the popular imagination, and introduced children who would have just got the book and never ventured into a

      • Editing isn't just taking x hours of film and reducing it by 90%, any more than sculpture is just taking a big rock and reducing it by 90%. When to use a slower pace of cuts or a faster one, when to wchoose a better 'emotional' result over a better 'technical' one, tying the rhythmn of shots to the score, which montage of shots, etc.

        "If I wanted to be frivolous, I might say that everything that precedes editing is merely a way of producing film to edit." - Stanley Kubrick (Some of his movies sure could
      • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MenTaLguY (5483)

        Remember, this trilogy includes an Oscar under its belt for best editing. Read that again: the (complete) film is twelve and a half hours long. And it apparently was the best edited film in 2003. Does this make any sense? What was it before they edited it, twelve and a half days long?

        I believe they were working from at least a week of raw footage, yes. On any film you're going to have a LOT more stuff shot than will find its way into the final product.

        What did you think was involved with editing, th

    • Given how much the movie differed from the novel, I'm disappointed this was recognised.

      When I was in the theater the first time seeing the movie, I thought.."This feels like The Two Towers, but I don't quite remember it this way...". So i re-read the novel. I was frustrated by the end of it -- so many departures, supposedly for 'dramatic pacing' and 'constraints of the medium'...what a bunch of horsepucky!

      The divergences from the text are legion...
  • by fingerbear (602605) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:42AM (#8903625) Homepage
    I read Coraline for the first time this weekend. The book says it's for ages 8 and up, but this would have freaked the hell out of me when I was that young. It is definitely worth picking up if you like Gaiman's other stuff.
  • did they? (Score:4, Funny)

    by eclectus (209883) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:42AM (#8903626) Homepage
    Did the writer of 'Gigli' get anything?
  • by Slashdot Hivemind (763065) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:50AM (#8903702)
    With amazing computer skills. I expect it will go down well with Slashdot readers
  • You know. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kiryat Malachi (177258) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:50AM (#8903706) Journal
    There's something sort of arrogant about publishing your acceptance speech when you didn't even win.
    • by outrage98 (99696) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:59AM (#8903776)
      There's something sort of arrogant about publishing your acceptance speech when you didn't even win.

      I haven't written my book yet, but I've just about finished my acceptance speech.
    • Re:You know. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday April 19, 2004 @10:03AM (#8903811) Homepage Journal
      Cory Doctorow is like that. Trust me. He's a very clever guy, but not as clever as he thinks he is.
      • Re:You know. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AndroidCat (229562)
        And in person, it's a very friendly arrogance. Quite a lot of successful F&SF writers have gone a long way on friendly arrogance. :)
        • Oh, I have no doubt that he's a lot easier to deal with in person. I've known him online for several years but never met him; OTOH, people I do know in person and whose opinions I respect say he's really a very nice guy. But his online persona strikes me as clever but, well, bratty, and not in a cute way.
    • Both ways... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Allen Zadr (767458) *

      I took it the other way. It is that the artist called himself out. In a way, after winning a Hugo (already recognized once) it's not out of the ordinary to imagine himself having won another award.

      It's embarrassing enough that he thought that he could have won, but couldn't make it anyway. But to go as far as finding someone to read the acceptance speach by proxy...and then NOT win. My goodness. Well may as well tell the whole world himself.

      The other way to take it? He thought his short speach to wi

    • Re:You know. (Score:3, Insightful)

      There's something sort of arrogant about publishing your acceptance speech when you didn't even win.

      I think he just really wish he could have said "holy fuck, I've won a Nebula" after winning a Nebula. And thank the people who have helped him, which deserve thanking either way. It is weird on the face of it, but I'm not seeing the arrogance.
      • I'd love to win a Grammy for my music, but I'm not expecting to, so I sure as hell wouldn't write and publish an acceptance speech.

        Maybe arrogant wasn't quite the right word, but the man, after NOT winning an award, went right ahead and published the "This is what I would have said if I'd won that award".

        No, I'd say arrogant is the right word.
        • Re:You know. (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I'd love to win a Grammy for my music, but I'm not expecting to, so I sure as hell wouldn't write and publish an acceptance speech.
          But if you were nominated for a Grammy, like he was nominated for a Nebula, you'd sure as hell write an acceptance speech, and arrange for someone to give it for you if you couldn't make the ceremony. So "arrogant" is the wrong word. I'd suggest "normal" as a better word.
          • I sure as hell wouldn't publish it after the fact, when I'd *lost*.

            I call that arrogant, not the writing it. Writing it is sensible. Publishing it after he lost is arrogant.
    • Re:You know. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by theLOUDroom (556455) on Monday April 19, 2004 @10:34AM (#8904085)
      There's something sort of arrogant about publishing your acceptance speech when you didn't even win.

      Dude, it was on his 'blog.

      Blogs are a place where people often post their casual musings, like what they'd say if XXX happened. It's not really any more arrogant than posting what you'd do if you won the lottery on slashdot.
    • Dude, the day you are nominated for a major award, by your peers, and don't win, and then don't tell anyone what you would have said, is the day you get to call Cory Doctorow arrogant.
  • Tee hee. (Score:4, Funny)

    by gregduffy (766013) on Monday April 19, 2004 @09:52AM (#8903723)
    Fanfiction conglomeration heaven - What I Didn't See was the Empire of Ice Cream because The Speed of Dark was too great.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Tomorrow, Microsoft announces support for Open Source.
  • Neil Gaiman (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lurwas (518856) on Monday April 19, 2004 @10:10AM (#8903877) Homepage
    Congratulations to not only a great author, but also a great person.
    If you don't beleive me, read his journal at:
    http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/journal.asp
    Keep up the good work with your journal Mr Gaiman, in these dire times of terror attacks and economic instability, your journal gives us poor lost souls an interesting and inspiring reading and above all, hope.

    For those who hasn't done so already, please consider reading American Gods and the Sandman stories they are great :)
  • a plea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moviepig.com (745183) on Monday April 19, 2004 @10:12AM (#8903895) Homepage
    (Hope this isn't way off-topic...)

    Reading the awards-list makes me wish I read more sci-fi.

    I recently finished a piece of horror-fiction, Michael Gruber's Tropic of Night, whose literary quality was high enough not to require the reader to make allowances for the genre. In my experience, such a requirement is a pervasive shortcoming of both the horror and sci-fi fields.

    If there are astute slashDot readers out there who understand my lament, and who know an elusive sci-fi title (or two) that does manage the rare crossover, please identify.

    • Re:a plea (Score:5, Informative)

      by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday April 19, 2004 @10:24AM (#8903999) Homepage Journal
      Well, you could do worse than to look up Nebula winners of years past. The list is on the SFWA Web site:

      Past Winners of SFWA Nebula Awards [sfwa.org]

      I have to say, though, that if your opinion of SF is so low that you think only " an elusive sci-fi title (or two)" will make your cut, I'm not terribly optimistic. As someone who reads (and writes) mostly SF but does read a fair amount of other fiction, I'm of the opinion that the crap-to-good-stuff ratio is pretty much equal no matter what section of the bookstore you're browsing. A lot of readers, OTOH, tend to mark down a book simply because it is SF, rather than judging it fairly on its merits. If you're one of them, nothing I or anyone else says is going to help you.
      • I have to say, though, that if your opinion of SF is so low that you think only " an elusive sci-fi title (or two)" will make your cut, I'm not terribly optimistic.

        My point's not all that elitist. "Great" sci-fi (e.g., Arthur C. Clarke) is usually so deemed for its scientific perspicacity/creativity ...but is (understandably) lacking in the enteratining and/or engaging qualities we tend to demand from "genre-less" fiction. But, very occasionally, a book holds its own in both arenas. Any dearth of such

        • Well moviepig, I'd hope you're not being elitist since you have a spelling error in your post. ;)

          Anyway, when you read 'genre-less' (whatever that means) stuff, what do you look for? Are you a characterization guy, er, pig? Can great prose cover all the sins in your world? Do you like Deep Thoughts on Big Ideas? You can always hit rec.arts.sf.written on Usenet or Google groups and say "I like AB&C for their XY&Z qualities, who else writes like that?" They'll be able to give specific and pro
        • "My point's not all that elitist."

          Not if this is still the 1950s. What are you, a time traveller? The "big three" of the '50s and '60s were Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein, yes. But we've come a long way since then (baby). The sixties introduced the first major "literary" movement in the F&SF genre(s), the "New Wave", and gave us Bradbury, Vonnegut and others, whose literary credentials are, I think, unchallenged. While the older, "pulp" style is still around and going strong, the descendents of the
    • by mactov (131709)
      moviepig.com writes: If there are astute slashDot readers out there who understand my lament, and who know an elusive sci-fi title (or two) that does manage the rare crossover, please identify.

      Take a look at some of the books Robert Silverberg wrote in the 1970's; some of them are "Dying Inside," "Son of Man," and "Thorns" -- they are little gems. You have to ignore the dates in SF of that age (the "future" is now, at least chronologically speaking) but there were some interesting people writing interes
    • Well there is one author you could try. He might even be horror as well as sci-fi, depending on your definition.

      Check out Altered Carbon [amazon.com] and Broken Angels [amazon.com] by Richard Morgan.

      The first is more sci-fi / noir, although there are some Very bloody torture and violence scenes. Broken Angels is more a sci-fi war story, with elements of vodun thrown in with slow death from radiation.

      Both very good, both horrific in their own way. I've never made any allowances for either book based on it's genere.

    • Try William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Mikhail Bulgakov (I think "The Master and Margarita" qualifies as sci-fi, and it's amazing, ask literally any Russian, if they've read at all they will have read it, and I haven't met anyone who hasn't liked it), Douglas Adams, Stephen Donaldson (OK, he tends to try real hard to make his stuff really unpleasant but his prose is great, "Daughter of Regals is a little more positive), Michael Crichton (hit or miss on the plots, but his better stuff is well written), Clifford
    • You might enjoy China Miéville (Perdido Street Station is the only one I've read -- sort of an urban fantasy/horror).

      I've really liked the Starlight series of short SF collections. I think they're out of print, but $ONLINE_BOOKSTORE should have them.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The 2003 Nebula Awards were awarded late Saturday night in Seattle (for the first time ever) by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.


    When and by whom are the 2003 Nebula Awards likely to be awarded next?

  • He's supposed to be working on "Again: Dangerous Visions"; he hasn't got time for this stuff.

  • by Andy_R (114137) on Monday April 19, 2004 @10:49AM (#8904262) Homepage Journal
    If you follow the nebulas, you might be interested to see the recently announced shortlist for the other big SciFi awards, the Hugos:

    http://www.noreascon.org/hugos/nominees.html

    The Hugos are voted for by the attendees/supporters of the World Science Fiction Convention, whereas the Nebulas are voted on by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, in case you were wondering what the difference is.
  • by Jack William Bell (84469) on Monday April 19, 2004 @11:00AM (#8904379) Homepage Journal
    My Nebula report is here [trufen.net], on the new Slashcode site TruFen.net [trufen.net].
  • Futurama Vs. LOTR? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aslate (675607)
    When it was announced on PEELified that Futurama was to be nominated for another award (2 years after cancellation now) we were surprised to see that it was in the same category as LOTR and 3 other films, "Best Script".

    Does this not show the high-quality of the show, being able to be nominated in the same category as 4 other films? Of course, we weren't surprised when it was beaten by LOTR, but it was reassuring that, try as they might, FOX can't ruin the show's brilliance and reputation.
  • typography... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bambi Dee (611786)
    Can somebody tell me why some titles are in boldface whereas the others are double-quoted?
  • Jeffrey Ford (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Björn (4836) * on Monday April 19, 2004 @01:00PM (#8906103)
    It's good to see Jeffrey Ford get some more recognition. I really enjoyed his novels; The Well Built City Trilogy (consisting of The Physiognomy, Memoranda, and The Beyond) and The Portrait of Mrs. Charburque. All of which are bizarre surreal fantasies. Don't expect anything like Tolkien. I think a link to Empire of Ice Cream may have been posted on slashdot before, but here [scifi.com] it is again. He also has an excellent short story collection, The Fantasy Writers Assistant and Other Stories [amazon.com]. And a few of the stories are actually SF. :-)

    Oh, and naturally Gaiman is terrific a writer as well.

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