read and vote

Since I mentioned the Hugo Awards in my last entry, I thought it would be useful to list the nominees in the four fiction categories, especially since so many of the stories are online now. This is a sensible policy because it allows people to read the work before they vote – which is what I intend to do.

I received my ballot on the post yesterday, and I was intrigued by how few nomination ballots were cast in each category. I’ve included them for reference.

Best Novel (327 ballots cast)
Michael Flynn: Eifelheim (Tor)
Naomi Novik: His Majesty’s Dragon (Del Rey)
Charles Stross: Glasshouse (Ace)
Vernor Vinge: Rainbows End (Tor)
Peter Watts: Blindsight (Tor)

Best Novella (167 ballots cast)
Paul Melko: “The Walls of the Universe” (Asimov’s April/May 2006)
Robert Reed: “A Billion Eves” (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2006)
William Shunn: “Inclination” (Asimov’s April/May 2006)
Micheal Swanwick: “Lord Weary’s Empire” (Asimov’s Dec 2006)
Robert Charles Wilson: “Julian: A Christmas Story” (PS Publishing)

Best Novelette (191 ballots cast)
Paolo Bacigalupi: “Yellow Card Man” (Asimov’s December 2006)
Michael F. Flynn: “Dawn, Sunset and the Colours of the Earth” (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2006)
Ian McDonald: “The Djinn’s Wife” (Asimov’s July 2006)
Mike Resnick: “All the Things You Are” (Jim Baen’s Universe Oct 2006)
Geoff Ryman: “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” (Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct 2006)

Best Short Story (214 ballots cast)
Neil Gaiman: “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” (Fragile Things)
Bruce McAllister: “Kin” (Asimov’s February 2006)
Timothy Pratt: “Impossible Dreams” (Asimov’s July 2006)
Robert Reed: “Eight Episodes”(Asimov’s June 2006)
Benjamin Rosenbaum: “The House Beyond Your Sky” (Strange Horizons Sept 2006)

I’ll just touch upon my last entry regarding the lack of representation of women in the categories. It’s the three short fiction categories that bother me the most, since out of the fifteen nominations there isn’t a single woman up for a Hugo. Anyone who reads genre magazines knows that women are strongly represented now.

I’m struck by Asimov’s dominance in the categories. Asimov’s features women writers on a regular basis. In the current 30th anniversary issue, for instance, there is work by Lisa Goldstein, Karen Joy Fowler, Nancy Kress, and Liz Williams.

The implication is–if we lived in a world where no one has any hidden or inculcated bias–that women don’t write as well as men. I read a lot of genre magazines, both online and in print, and cannot agree with this conclusion because I know from experience it’s not the case. Women and men produce excellent work in equal measure.

I do not condone the notion that women should be given token nominations – that’s insulting to the wealth of talented women who are writing in the field. They should be getting the nominations based on the strength of their work.

But they’re not.

I suspect this is a problem that will be with us for some time to come.