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Nebula Award Winners, Hugo Nominees Announced 122

CBNobi writes "The 2002 Nebula Award winners have been announced this weekend. The winner for best novel was American Gods by Neil Gaiman (reviewed here at Slashdot), and the winner for best script was LotR:The Fellowship of the Ring. The nominees for the 2003 Hugo Awards have also been announced; Episodes of Enterprise, Firefly, and Buffy are all nominated for best short form dramatic presentation, and LotR and Spirited Away are among the nominees for best long form presentation."
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Nebula Award Winners, Hugo Nominees Announced

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  • by ZPO ( 465615 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @07:22AM (#5772344)

    Firefly - Cancelled (and it was just getting fun)

    Enterprise - Might be cancelled soon

    Buffy - Wrapping up the series? (don't watch it, but recall the wife mentioning it.)

    Should it be seen as a sign of the times that the nominees are all either going or gone? Makes you wonder about the intelligence of the masses. Oh wait, we already know about the intelligence of the masses.

    • by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @07:34AM (#5772375)
      Unfortunately, it also says way too much about how short-sighted TV executives are nowadays.

      TV executives frequently do not like hour-long dramas due to the high cost of production per hour; they still (unfortunately for us TV viewers :( ) like reality shows because reality shows have relatively low cost of production per hour. Even with its exotic locales, the best-known reality show (Survivor) is still a bargain compared to shows like the now-cancelled Firefly, the soon-to-end Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and the potentially-cancelled Enterprise.

      The days of a network letting a show find its audience are long over. You'll never see anything like how NBC allowed Hill Street Blues to eventually become a big hit again.
      • As far as I can tell, people are getting sick and tired of "reality television". While reality shows may still be gaining viewers(I dunno, do you?), many, many people I know are sick to death of them and are turning away from television moreso than before.

        I think this just goes to demonstrate your point even further, that networks are only thinking short-term these days.

        Is there not a single competent businessman among the bunch? A competent businessman would think long-term instead of going after sho

        • They'll pass laws making it illegal to compete against them. After all, if people aren't watching them, there *must* be illegal competition causing it.

        • The thing is, "competent businessmen" these days are defined as those that only think about the short term. After all, that's what gets them the big bonuses, and when things start going all wahoonie-shaped, all the decision-makers can bail out with their golden parachutes and leave everyone else to die. Sacrificing short-term profits, even a little, for long-term stability and growth and an even bigger payoff ten years down the road is seen as stupid, unprofitable, irresponsible, and professional suicide.

      • They're also particularly down on shows that require a lot of special effects and sets every episode. Law & Order, for instance, is probably a lot cheaper, because it only needs an occasional stunt. The real problem is that they keep coming up with new shows to fill the timeslots and viewer segments vacated by shows they cancelled, meaning that sci-fi TV is full of shows you haven't gotten into yet and shows that are being cancelled. If the shows are trying not to be short or interchangable, it's not go
    • How do you vote anyway? :)
      • Re:Vote for firefly! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:00AM (#5772905)
        The Nebula Awards are selected by the writers themselves.

        The Hugo Awards are awarded by members of that year's World Science Fiction Convention, which this year is Torcon 3 [] in Toronto.

        If you just want to vote without attending the convention, you can buy a supporting membership. It's rather pricey ($40 US), but you get some other perqs. The attending membership is $185 US.

        I went to the Chicago Worldcon a few years back. It was a blast! Expensive, but fun.

    • I'm using this category as a yardstick for how much to care about the Hugos in the future. I'm not demanding that Firefly win, as I don't watch Buffy and can't fairly compare the two. But Enterprise should lose.

      A Night in Sickbay [] and Carbon Creek [] are absolutely atrocious and pretty bad, respectively. Neither is a shining example of drama.

      Do read the links, and note that while there is some continuity criticism that you might be willing to ignore for the sake of a Hugo (though even that should count again
    • Buffy is wrapping up but as a series probably has reached the end of its natural life. If you look at the season villains they have got larger and larger (by season 1: The Master - Uber Vamp; 2: Spike, Angel, Dru - Multiple uber vamps; 3: The Mayor - My personal fav big bad; 4: Adam - Frankenstein's demon; 5: Glory - a god; 6: Willow gone evil; 7: The first evil) to the point that it will be very difficult to top the current big bad. A spin off appears to be in the works. that may have SMG guest appearance
  • by Kibo ( 256105 ) <naw#gmail,com> on Monday April 21, 2003 @07:52AM (#5772409) Homepage
    I guess the Joss Whedon, Rick Berman & Brannon Braga mutual admiration society didn't leave any room for something watchable.
    • I'd have a hard time calling Alias sci-fi. The only sci-fi aspects (rather then fairly realistic and current science) are the Rambaldi storylines, and given what we've seen so far, I'm more inclined to call that fantasy then sci-fi.

      It's a hard call because that storyline is so small and not-well exposited (to keep it mysterious) that you can't get a "feel" for it. I call it fantasy because right now the artifacts are basically working like magic, returning life to long-dead things and so on.

      I admit that m
    • Alias isn't sci-fi/fantasy?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Oh man, this was an awesome book. It actually got passed around in my group of friends... one guy who doesn't read a whole lot really loved it. It's weird, that'd never happened before. It really is a great book.
    • I have to disagree. I found the book to be just 'ok'. It had some interesting ideas, but the main character was completely unintriguing (although, some of the other characters were more interesting). His name was 'Shadow', for Darwin's sake. The battle at the end was short and left much to be desired. I gave it to a friend to read as he found the topic interesting the way I had. He was also less than impressed. Doom's Day Book was awesome Sci-Fi and it won the Hugo and Nebula awards. I wouldn't put
    • 'awesome' ? Um don't think so. You know, when it was released and everyone was talking about it I got really enthused and went to various bookstores looking for it here (in au). Nope. No luck. Never heard of him. No sign of him on the bookshelves at all in the SF section. Finally, found a copy at a discount table in a supermarket at 1/3 normal price. Read it and ... it was ok, well written ... but as SF ? Eh. Not impressed, well not as SF novel of the year thats for sure! In fact it reminded me of R.L. Laff

  • by bsartist ( 550317 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @08:49AM (#5772599) Homepage
    At 3+ hours, The Fellowship of the Ring gives new meaning to the term "long form presentation." ;-)
  • Charles Stross (Score:3, Informative)

    by smugfunt ( 8972 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:33AM (#5772771)
    Nominations for the Best Novelette Category
    (377 people submitted nominations for 149 novelettes)

    "Halo" by Charles Stross (Asimov's 6/02)

    Go Charlie! []
    Apart from writing great science fiction Charlie writes the Linux column in the UK's Computer Shopper magazine.
  • or do these sci-fi and fantasy awards seem like people in these sectors of entertainment simply jerking each other off, because the long standing awards groups don't give them the recognition they feel they deserve.

    Don't get me wrong, i love sci-fi and fantasy. But some of the shows up for awards in the hugos, don't deserve any type of nomination or recognition. As for the nebula awards, I don't get to read much(I am too lazy, and I grew up in america so I don't know how to read), but shouldn't critical
    • Do you really need official awards saying that an actor or movie is good?.
      Hey, with a book it makes more sense. you need a lot more time to read a book than to watch a movie. If a movie sucks, you lost 2 hours. if you try to finish a novel for 3 weeks only to find out it doest get better, well then you lost a lot more time....

      So you want some kind of review/award system to see the gems of the genere, but if "conventional" media either ignores or geekifies all the stuff, you need special awards.
      HEy, it only
      • In a way, I was saying the the whole awards process is flawed(not that I have a better solution though). Merely, that unless we award everyone, there is always someone who complains. but who wants that kind of a situation, it would be like first grade art class. I think we are grown up enough to accept the fact that some peoples art is better than others.

        As for genre descrimination, I think that would be taken care of somewhat if awards were done in a similar fashion to dog shows. each genre as its awa
  • by derrickh ( 157646 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:04AM (#5772928) Homepage
    Enterprise gets 2 nominations and Whedon gets 3?
    How about dumping the Trek spinoffs and put a couple of episodes of Farscape in. I'll put 'Prayer' up agaist 'Night in SickBay' any day of the week. And 'Carbon Creek' pales up against 'Kansas'.

    Also, this shows you how important mindshare is. By many peoples account, Firefly was a show with potential, but it wasn't really good yet. But Whedon's name on it made people believe that it has to be great and deserves an award.

    Solaris was easily the most 'sci-fi' movie of the year but Spiderman gets a nod instead?

    • by Khomar ( 529552 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @11:44AM (#5773557) Journal

      Actually, Firefly was already quite good in its first season. The acting and writing was very good, and the crew really had excellent chemistry. It is true that the show did not really have a strong plot (it was just starting to get into the main story), but the characters were already well defined and joy to watch. There was a good amount of mystery that definitely added to the enjoyment. Unfortunately, we will never get to see where they were going.

      I have over the years watched less and less television due to the poor quality of the nearly every show until Firefly came along. I did not watch it because of Whedon. I had very little experience with any of his shows, and being somewhat anit-vampires, his name was actually more of a detriment in my mind (misguided or not). I watched the show because I was hoping to find a good sci-fi show that I could really get into, and I did. In my mind, the quality of the show had little to do with names but rather the care put into the dialog, the attention to detail (no sound in space), and the incredible acting and chemistry (especially for a first season). Its really too bad that Firefly is gone for good.

      • In my mind, the quality of the show had little to do with names but rather the care put into the dialog, the attention to detail (no sound in space)
        That's Whedon in a nutshell: fantastic dialog and attention to detail.
    • If that's how you feel, why didn't you nominate them. Nominations and votes are not done by some secret cabal. Nominations are from all of the members/attendees of last year's and this year's WorldCon (2002 ConJose in San Jose, and 2003 TorCon in Toronto), and the vote is by members/attendees of this year's WorldCon.

      If you don't join and vote, you have zero right to bitch about it.

      You don't even have to buy a full membership and fly to those cities, you can just buy a simple voting membership.
  • by esconsult1 ( 203878 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:21AM (#5773013) Homepage Journal
    I grew up reading Niven, Blish, Asimov, Silverberg Vance and others. Its kinda hard for me to start reading some of the new masters, not because I wouldn't like them, but maybe because I'm too lazy to explore new books (yeah, I know that's bad).

    But my dilemma is this, I've read all Sci-Fi/Fantasy from Asimov, Niven, Vance, but have not yet finished all the works of the old masters.

    Can any younger (or at least more flexible) Slashdot reader suggest a few authors that they've read and liked? I don't want to get into serials right now, perhaps something that is sort of standalone would be better as an introduction to a new author, I think.

    • Have you read any Orson Scott Card? He writes in various genres, but he has some excellent science fiction (particularly Ender's Game and Pastwatch)
      • The whole Ender's game series is awesome. Its perfect for introducing people to science fiction. The ideas that the books present get progressively deeper so that even non sci-fi fans can find themeselves enjoying some pretty geeky stuff.

        Speaker for the dead (the second in the Enders series) is my favorite. It starts slow, methodically laying out the backstory, but crescendos into a very satisfying ending. I think Card's discussion of a network that could be considered an intelligent "alien" lifeform

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I sympathize - I used to read tons of SF, but over the past decade or so haven't kept up. I want to get back into it, and my plan of action is simple - you might want to consider a similar approach. First, get the list of Hugo and Nebula and World Fantasy Award winners for the past 10 years. Read everything that's on both lists, then start in on stuff that makes one list. Then start following up on other works by authors who appeal to you. And start looking in on nominees for the awards who didn't win. Oh,
    • The "and others" leaves a lot of room but I'll try.

      David Drake - Great Military SF.

      Jerry Pournelle - But I'm sure he is one of the "others".

      John Ringro - I just started on some of his stuff and he is *good*.

      Neal Stephenson - Great just plain great.

      David Brin, Greg Bear,
      • I agree Neal Stephenson's books are good but I just wish he'd learn how to end a story. The endings to Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon were terrible. The ending to Diamond Age was slightly better but still not terribly satisfying. It's so frustrating to come to the end of a book that I've enjoyed only to be cheated by the way he wraps the story up.
    • Charles Stross. (Figure out what he's saying. Take him seriously.)
      Robert Forward. (Classic hard SF with new technology.)
    • Neal Stephenson - great what I have read so far.

      Orson Scott Card - some of the more interesting books I have read (pastwatch, ender's game, homecoming series)

      Iain (M.) Banks - Banks is in my opinion one of the most underated writers of the day. With (sci-fi) or without (reg. fiction) the 'M.' his books are very good. Particulaly Excession, Player of Games, and The Crow Road, and The Wasp Factory.
    • I'm also an old-school sci-fi reader, but there are a lot of relatively new authors that have very good books.

      I'm not sure what you call old scifi. I put in that category authors not because I think their stories looks like watching 2001, but because I grew knowing them so I don't remember when I first read something from them. In that category I put maybe modern writers like Greg Bear, Samuel Delany, Daniel Keyes, John Brunner or Alfred Bester, and all of them have good books.

      For a list of what I have

    • Although I'm only in my 20s, I read all of the sci-fi classics in high school, and then sort-of dropped the genre until recently. Some authors with which I have recently connected:

      Neil Gaman - More fantasy than sci-fi, but intelligent and very entertaining. Start with "Stardust". It's a quick read, and even my wife enjoyed it

      Bruce Sterling - He's not exactly new, but definitely more recent than Asimov and Niven. "Schismatrix" is a impressive and original piece of sci-fi.

      Neil Stephenson - Stephenson has b
      • One caveat with Stephenson - "Big U" is an interesting attempt to satarize a behemoth of a university, probably his first book. He hadn't developed his amazing chops yet. I worship the man, but I think he'd agree this is not worth the time.

        Zodiac was pretty good. Strong narrative, some good characters. You can see the emergence of some geek-friendly themes. It lacks the absolute truckloads of storytelling talent he lavishes on subsequent books, but for many writers this would be their best book ever.
    • by Scarblac ( 122480 ) <> on Monday April 21, 2003 @12:20PM (#5773812) Homepage

      To my amazement, no-one has mentioned Vernor Vinge yet. His last two novels, _A Fire Upon The Deep_ and _A Deepness In The Sky_ are absolutely superb. They both won both Hugo and Nebula, iirc.

      Another author I like is Greg Egan. Try _Diaspora_ and/or _Permutation City_. His ideas are way out there, but always very interesting.

    • First, you should check out the Internet Top 100 SF/Fantasy List [], which does contain many of the classics you've read, but also has a lot of newer authors you haven't read. It also usually has a number of classics from authors such as Lem and Strugatsky that you may not know.

      I agree with most of the suggestions given in this thread so far. I'd also suggest looking into: "Diaspora", Greg Egan; "A Fire Upon The Deep", Vernor Vinge; The Book of the New Sun series by Gene Wolfe.

    • Give Wil McCarthy's The Collapsium a try. It reads very much like Niven and Asimov at their best. You might also like some of David Weber's stand-alone books (Path of the Fury, The Apocalypse Troll). Greg Bear might interest you, though one must be careful - some of his books are great, while others are absolutely terrible. I found Moving Mars to be one of the best, having both interesting ideas and good writing. You might also like Timothy Zahn's Manta's Gift or Angelmass - again, they have a similar feel

    • Unfortunately most of the 'new masters' can't hold a candle to the old ones. I keep hunting for folks who can do the job, but they're few and far between with miles of dreck to trudge through from one distant shining light to another.

      Remember, this is the age where excruciatingly bad D&D novels are popular and are considered to be 'fantasy' instead of 'product placement ads'. With a few exceptions (George R. R. Martin comes to mind) the 'oldies but goodies' are pretty much still the best the market h
    • I am also an old school sf reader and there are only a few writers that I look forward to publications from at this point.

      1. Orson Scott Card - I have to plan on not sleeping when I purchase one of his books, I just read them until they are done to the exclusion of all else.

      2. Neil Gaiman - American Gods is well worth the time.

      3. Tim Powers - nearly always a new story

      4. Tonya Huff - mental junk-food but the good kind :-)

      5. Laurell K. Hamilton - Ann Rice with what is usually a different story every book
    • Its kinda hard for me to start reading some of the new masters, not because I wouldn't like them, but maybe because I'm too lazy to explore new books (yeah, I know that's bad).

      I've said it before, and I'll say it again. One of the best ways to discover new, good authors is to check out awards lists and award nominees. I've been reading SF since the late sixties, and most of my favorite new authors I've discovered in the last quarter century or so have come off of award nominee lists. Of course, I proba
    • A few more suggestions, in addition to the excellent ones already put forth:

      David Weber, the "Honor Harrington" series. Excellent military s-f, do not miss it.

      Sherri Tepper ("Gate to Women's Country" is quite apropos right now, and I really liked "Fresco." But these may be too feminist for some)

      C.S. Friedman--brilliant! Especially "This Alien Shore."

      Elizabeth Moon, "Deed of Paksenarrion" is very good, but long (and you can hear the dice rolling in the background from time to time in book one), and th
    • Noone mentioned Spider Robinson [very talented, he can make ya cry and laugh out loud, in the same short story - and he tells terrible puns ;-) Start with Callahan's Crosstime Saloon...], Harry Harrison [The Deathworld Trilogy, Soylent Green, The Stainless Steel Rat, ect.]. Frederick Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth, J.G. Ballard, Arthur C. Clarke[!!?], Alan Dean Foster, L. Sprague De Camp, Alfred Bester, A.E. Van Vogt...I could go on, for pages.
      • You left out Harrison's "Bill the Galactic Hero" stuff that is a great parody of so much.

        Then again no one has mentioned Kilgore Trout in any of all this name dropping.
    • I agree with a previous poster about looking at previous Hugo and Nebula winners. I started reading SF after the age of 25 and the prize lists were invaluable.

      Despite its many problems, I also like Amazon for this stuff. I bought most of my classic SF from them and the "recommendations" they offered introduced me to a lot of the writers suggested by others here. I also like to look at the lists at Amazon especially ones that include my favorite books and try to read the other stuff in the lists.

      In additio
    • Michael Swanwick Authorised Page here [] has some good stuff, from dark fantasy to post apocalyptic eastern US, space beaurocrats to asteroid mining colonies.
      I also like his short stories.
      However I am biased as I have known him since I was a little kid hiding under my partents tables at various sci-fi con dealer rooms.
  • hugo nomination (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kissmachine ( 667478 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @12:21PM (#5773823)
    ha! hey there -- so my husband and pals read slashdot regularly and one of his buddies messaged me in SILC to tell me about this post. all you people who hasn't read SF since the old greats should read my book (it's a finalist for best related book). it's called better to have loved: the life of judith merril. she was my grandmother, known as the little mother of science fiction. more info []
  • by Embedded Geek ( 532893 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @12:32PM (#5773896) Homepage
    To follow the Nebula race or pretty much anything about the SF or Fantasy trade, you just can't beat LocusMag [], the online version of Locus. Some reviews (the print version is known for the most exhaustive reviews of SF - anything printed anywhere gets at least a mention), but the big emphasis is on fandom, awards [] (not just the Hugos & Nebulas), opening and closing of new markets, and ongoing trends (check out this piece [] on how SARS, war, and economic changes are turning our world into one that SF readers will find familiar).

    It also has a disturbingly complete necrology [] of recently deceased members of the SF community. It seems like every other headline is "So & so dies," but that's to be expected with all the graying pulp era artists, writers, and fans.

  • How do you chose with such good movies? They're both good. I think if it were possible they should both win prizes, because both were excellent pieces of work.

    And Nemesis isn't up for one. How strange. (ha.)

  • I would like to congratulate fellow Twilight Tales [] member Richard Chwedyk for winning the Nebula for Bronte's Egg [] and for allowing Twilight Tales [] to post it on the Web site.

    <blatant plug>
    If any Sci-Fi or Horror fans visit Chicago, come to Twilight Tales [] on Monday night for Chicago's longest running (10 years) genre specific reading group.
    </blantant plug>
  • She's one of my favorites, and I have considered her a Grand Master ever since I read "The Disposessed," one of the best SF stories about anarchist society that I have ever read.
  • Looks like Michael Swanwick got a lot of nominations this year. I hope he picks up a Hugo or two, he's a great underrated writer.

    Check out Stations of the Tide if you haven't read any of his stuff yet. Great book, very much in the vein of The Void Captian's Tale by Norman Spinrad.

  • Judging from the review of American Gods, I have to ask... Is there any science in it?

  • According to the article and to Torcon 3's Web site, "Ted Chiang respectfully declined his nomination for the Best Novelette category." Anybody know which novelette, and why?

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!