Wednesday, August 20, 2014

News: Loncon 3

I’m back from attending my first WorldCon, Loncon 3, and it was as amazing as I expected it would be!  I was only there for Sunday, and that made for one incredibly full day. In the future, I hope I can make it for the whole convention, because there is so much to experience.

In the morning, I went by the art show and bid on a few pieces—I ended up winning a nice poster by Fred Gambino (of this piece). The book stands were also a major draw for me, as a long-time addict of buying books. They’ll all be showing up in my reviews soon enough.

After lunch, I had the opportunity to meet Kim Stanley Robinson, Alastair Reynolds, and Stephen Baxter, who were signing books. It meant so much to me to meet a few of the authors I’ve loved since I was a little young adult, and to find that they seem to be really friendly people! 

Alastair Reynolds gave an interesting talk about interstellar travel in science fiction.  Among other interesting ideas, people have long been telling stories of the rapid development of technology–that a generation ship may be made obsolete before it reaches its destination. Afterward, Reynolds, Baxter, and several others discussed interstellar travel in science and fiction.  Most of the panelists agreed that manned interstellar travel was still lifetimes in the future, but the general consensus seemed to be that unmanned could well happen this century.

My time at WorldCon concluded with the Hugo Awards Ceremony.  I couldn’t be happier with the results, even though they did not all match up perfectly with my picks. Here’s a quick rundown of the Hugo winners:

Best Novel – Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
As I’m sure is obvious from my previous post, I was thrilled to see Ancillary Justice take home the Hugo Award!  This must be an exciting year for Leckie, with all the awards ceremonies she must be attending!

Best Novella – “Equoid” by Charles Stross
This was one of my favorites of this year’s novella nominees, and easily the most disturbing Lovecraftian unicorn story I’ve ever read!

Best Novelette – “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal
I really enjoyed this story, and Kowal wore a beautiful dress (which I heard her say she’d sewn herself) to accept her award.  In her acceptance speech, she said she’d believed that this Hugo was probably going to Aliette or Ted. I think any of the three would have been a great choice, so lots of congratulations go to Kowal!

Best Short Story – “The Water that Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu
John Chu had a really touching acceptance speech.  He said that he’d always been told that no one would want to read the kinds of stories he wrote.  It seems like winning a Hugo Award is an excellent way to prove them wrong.

Best Related Work – “We Have Always Fought” by Kameron Hurley
Best Fan Writer – Kameron Hurley
Best Fanzine – A Dribble of Ink, by Aiden Moher
Kameron Hurley had a lot of success at this year’s Hugo Awards, and Aiden Moher even attributed half of his rocket to having hosted Hurley’s award-winning “We Have Always Fought” blog post. 

Best Graphic Story – “Time” by Randall Munroe (XKCD)
I used to read XKCD regularly, but I missed this somehow.  It seems like a really cool idea, and I’m a little sad I missed experiencing it while it was happening.  Here is the description.

Best Dramatic Presentation – Gravity
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short  Form) – Game of Thrones “The Rains of Castamere”
Gravity was a really entertaining movie, and "Rains of Castamere" was definitely a very memorable and effective episode.  At the awards ceremony, they played a clip near the end, right up to the point where Catelyn Stark realized what was happening at the wedding.  After the clip ended, there was some relieved laughter as people realized they weren’t going to show the rest.

Best Editor – Short Form – Ellen Datlow
Best Editor – Long Form – Ginjer Buchanan
Congratulations to the editors! Buchanan's award comes at the conclusion of 30 successful years as an editor, and in the year of her retirement.

Best Professional Artist – Julie Dillon
I’ve seen a lot of her art around lately, and she has a very distinctive style. You can check her out on Deviant Art.

Best Fan Artist – Sarah Webb
Webb is a stunningly talented young artist. Her compositions are positively gorgeous, and I hope I can buy some of her prints soon! You can also find her on Deviant Art.

Best Semiprozine – Lightspeed Magazine
Best  Fancast – SF Signal Podcast
Congratulations to SF Signal Podcast and Lightspeed Magazine, which are clearly things I should really be listening to and reading :).

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (Not A Hugo) – Sofia Samatar

I’ve now finished A Stranger in Olondria, and I think this is a well-deserved award.  Samatar was actually not far off in nominations for getting on the Hugo ballot.  Really, I think all of the nominees for the Best New Writer Award show that there’s a lot to look forward to in genre fiction!

What are your thoughts on the outcome of the Hugos this year?

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