Very pleased to once again be a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Editor (Short Form). I’m keeping great company.
A big thank you to everyone that nominated me this year.
Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists!
“Helicopter Story” by Isabel Fall (Novelette, 1/2020) (This is the replacement title for the story published in our January 2020 issue and later withdrawn by the author.)
“Monster” by Naomi Kritzer (Novelette, 1/2020)
“The AI That Looked at the Sun” by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko (Short Story, 1/2020)
“The Last to Die” by Rita Chang-Eppig (Short Story, 1/2020)
“The Perfect Sail” by I-Hyeong Yun (Novelette, 1/2020)
“The Ancestral Temple in a Box” by Chen Qiufan (Short Story, 1/2020)
“Outer” by Hollis Joel Henry (Short Story, 2/2020)
“Eyes of the Crocodile” by Malena Salazar Maciá (Short Story, 2/2020)
“Mandorla” by Cooper Shrivastava (Short Story, 2/2020)
“The Host” by Neal Asher (Novelette, 2/2020)
“Jigsaw Children” by Grace Chan (Novelette, 2/2020)
“Generation Gap” by Thoraiya Dyer (Novelette, 2/2020)
“Time Reveals the Heart” by Derek Künsken (Short Story, 3/2020)
“Coffee Boom: Decoctions, Micronized” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires (Short Story, 3/2020)
“Leave-Taking” by M. L. Clark (Novelette, 3/2020)
“The Amusement Dark” by Mike Buckley (Novelette, 3/2020)
“Grayer Than Lead, Heavier Than Snow” by Yukimi Ogawa (Novelette, 3/2020)
“The Whale Fall at the End of the Universe” by Cameron Van Sant (Short Story, 3/2020)
“Distant Stars” by P H Lee (Short Story, 4/2020)
“AirBody” by Sameem Siddiqui (Short Story, 4/2020)
“A System for Investigating Recapitulation and Evolutionary Novelty” by Kyle E Miller (Short Story, 4/2020)
“The ThoughtBox” by Tlotlo Tsamaase (Short Story, 4/2020)
“Debtless” by Chen Qiufan (Novelette, 4/2020)
“Angel Pattern” by Henry Szabranski (Novelette, 4/2020)
“What Happens in Solarium Square 21” by Ashleigh Shears (Short Story, 5/2020)
“Albedo Season” by Ray Nayler (Short Story, 5/2020)
“A Stick of Clay, in the Hands of God, is Infinite Potential” by JY Neon Yang (Novelette, 5/2020)
“Quantum Fish” by Bo Balder (Novelette, 5/2020)
“The Language Sheath” by Regina Kanyu Wang (Novelette, 5/2020)
“The Translator, at Low Tide” by Vajra Chandrasekera (Short Story, 5/2020)
“The Iridescent Lake” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires (Novelette, 6/2020)
“How Long the Shadows Cast” by Kenji Yanagawa (Novelette, 6/2020)
“Nine Words for Loneliness in the Language of the Uma’u” by M. L. Clark (Novella, 6/2020)
“Optimizing the Path to Enlightenment” by Priya Chand (Short Story, 6/2020)
“Own Goal” by Dennard Dayle (Short Story, 6/2020)
“Artificial People” by Michael Swanwick (Short Story, 7/2020)
“One Time, a Reluctant Traveler” by A. T. Greenblatt (Short Story, 7/2020)
“Three Stories Conjured from Nothing” by ShakeSpace (Short Story, 7/2020)
“Power to Yield” by Bogi Takács (Novella, 7/2020)
“Strange Comfort” by Tegan Moore (Novelette, 7/2020)
“The Oddish Gesture of Humans” by Gabriel Calácia (Short Story, 7/2020)
“The House That Leapt into Forever” by Beth Goder (Short Story, 7/2020)
“The Lori” by Fiona Moore (Short Story, 8/2020)
“Drawing Lines Between the Stars” by Frank Smith (Short Story, 8/2020)
“The Plague” by Yan Leisheng (Short Story, 8/2020)
“An Important Failure” by Rebecca Campbell (Novelette, 8/2020)
“The Immolation of Kev Magee” by L.X. Beckett (Novelette, 8/2020)
“Nameless He” by Robert Reed (Novelette, 8/2020)
“Blue And Blue And Blue And Pink” by Lavie Tidhar (Short Story, 9/2020)
“What Remains of Maya Sankovy” by G. D. Angier (Short Story, 9/2020)
“Lone Puppeteer of a Sleeping City” by Arula Ratnakar (Novelette, 9/2020)
“Certainty” by Isabel Lee (Novelette, 9/2020)
“Ask the Fireflies” by R. P. Sand (Novelette, 9/2020)
“Every Plumage, Every Beak” by Nin Harris (Short Story, 9/2020)
“The Book Reader” by Keishi Kajifune (Short Story, 9/2020)
“Callme and Mink” by Brenda Cooper (Short Story, 10/2020)
“To Set at Twilight In a Land of Reeds” by Natalia Theodoridou (Short Story, 10/2020)
“Wandering Rocks” by Gregory Feeley (Novelette, 10/2020)
“You and Whose Army?” by Greg Egan (Novelette, 10/2020)
“Last Wishes” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires (Novelette, 10/2020)
“All Living Creation” by Xiu Xinyu (Short Story, 10/2020)
“Ashes Under Uricon” by Adrastos Omissi (Short Story, 10/2020)
“The Land of Eternal Jackfruits” by Rupsa Dey (Short Story, 11/2020)
“Death Is for Those Who Die” by Jana Bianchi (Short Story, 11/2020)
“To Sail the Black” by A.C. Wise (Novelette, 11/2020)
“Lost in Darkness and Distance” by Clara Madrigano (Novelette, 11/2020)
“Niuniu” by Baoshu (Novelette, 11/2020)
“The Murders of Jason Hartman” by Brady Nelson and Jamie Wahls (Short Story, 11/2020)
“The Love Life of John Doe” by K Raghasudhan (Short Story, 11/2020)
“The Island of Misfit Toys” by Fiona Moore (Short Story, 12/2020)
“Things That Happen When You Date Your Ex’s Accidentally Restored Backup From Before The Divorce” by Lisa Nohealani Morton (Short Story, 12/2020)
“The Last Days of Old Night” by Michael Swanwick (Short Story, 12/2020)
“Conversations in the Dark” by Robert Reed (Novelette, 12/2020)
“No Way Back” by Chi Hui (Short Story, 12/2020)
“Forward Momentum and a Parallel Toss” by AnaMaria Curtis (Short Story, 12/2020)
“Songs of Activation” by Andy Dudak (Short Story, 12/2020)
The 2020 Hugo Award finalists were announced yesterday and I am deeply honored to once again be a finalist for Best Editor Short Form. (This is the eighth time. No wins so far.)
Like many conventions, however, Worldcon (New Zealand) has had to make the difficult decision to cancel their physical convention and replace it with an online convention and award ceremony. This will be the first virtual Worldcon and Hugo Award Ceremony and I’m looking forward to taking part in all they offer. I encourage you to do so too.
Being a finalist this year has been a source of some amusement for me. My career in publishing started online with Clarkesworld and it has occupied a dominate portion of the work I’ve done over the last fourteen years. I find novelty in the fact that there’s a chance that my first win could happen during the first digital Hugo Award ceremony. Somewhat poetic even. Win or lose, however, it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of, particularly after the last six months.
I’d also like to congratulate to my fellow short form finalists: Ellen Datlow, C.C. Finlay, Jonathan Strahan, Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, and Sheila Williams. Quite a fine club to be a part of, don’t you think?
Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists for the Nebula Award and in particular, A. T. Greenblatt. “Give the Family My Love” (from the February 2019 issue of Clarkesworld) is a finalist for best short story!
I’ll be at the Dublin Worldcon later this month. Here’s the program items I’ll be involved in:
Short fiction of 2018
16 Aug 2019, Friday 10:00 – 10:50, Wicklow Room-3 (CCD)
Alasdair Stuart (M), Jonathan Strahan, Sheila Williams, Neil Clarke
What makes a good short story? Can we find any similarities in the themes of recent short stories? Join our panel of editors for a rundown of the short fiction published in 2018, including the Hugo Award finalists for Best Short Story and the James White Award.
Bridging the language barrier: translated SFF
16 Aug 2019, Friday 12:00 – 12:50, Wicklow Hall-1 (CCD)
Cheryl Morgan (M), Julie Novakova, Neil Clarke, Francesco Verso, Emily Xueni Jin
How has the landscape of translated SFF changed in the last decade or so, both into English and from English into other languages? We’ve seen translated pieces triumph in the genre’s prime awards and gain dedicated magazines, the attention of more readers, and many specialised anthologies. The panel will discuss trends in translated genre fiction as well as possible future directions.
16 Aug 2019, Friday 14:00 – 14:50, Wicklow Room-3 (CCD)
Julie Crisp, Bella Pagan, Anne Perry, Navah Wolfe, Neil Clarke
Pitching a story can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to the field or are changing agents/editors. This is your chance to find out what agents, editors, and publishers want from their current writers, from writers fresh to the market, and from writers transitioning to someone new. Hear from the pros about what – and what not – to do when preparing the perfect pitch. (If there even is such a thing…)
17 Aug 2019, Saturday 15:00 – 15:50, Level 4 Foyer (CCD)
Darcie Little Badger, Corinne Duyvis, Stark Holborn, Neil Clarke, Michael Swanwick
Kaffeeklatsch: Neil Clarke
18 Aug 2019, Sunday 14:00 – 14:50, Level 3 Foyer (KK/LB) (CCD)
Hugo Award Ceremony
18 Aug 2019, Sunday 20:00-22:00, Auditorium (CCD)
For several years now, I’ve been involved in publishing and promoting translated science fiction. If you haven’t heard, there’s now a proposal to create a Hugo Award for Best Translated Novel. (The only place I’ve seen it mentioned is here: http://file770.com/best-translated-novel-hugo-category-proposed/)
The biggest problem I have with this proposal is the message it sends not only to domestic readers, but foreign authors, editors, and publishers: translated works are not as good as ours, so we’re making a special category for you so you can get awards too. I don’t believe that’s the intention of those who drafted this proposal. I think they approached it with the best of intentions, but simply got it wrong. For years now, I have been making the case that we should be treating translated and international works as equals: stories worthy of standing alongside those we have routinely seen published. This proposal sends the opposite message, and on those grounds intend to vote no.
Translated works are capable of winning the Hugo without any special treatment. As they point out in their own commentary, three translated works have won since 2015, despite the relatively low number of translations published among a wide sea of domestic releases.
If the source of the perceived problem is that not enough people are reading translations to provide a fair opportunity at nomination, though, then I would suggest that a special Hugo is not the solution to the problem and that their predicament is not unique. The same argument can be made for a wide array of self-published, small press, or even limited edition works.
I’ll counter their Wollheim quote with one by Lester Del Rey:
“…our stories are set to large numbers of fans and translators all over the world, while our own authors and fans seldom get even a hint of the work being done in our field by others. We’re in serious danger of becoming the most provincial science-fiction readers—and writers—on earth.” (International Science-Fiction, June 1968.)
That prediction came to pass and those three Hugos—among other things—are demonstrating that we might actually be waking up from that long provincial nap. The stigma of translations is starting to fade and more publishers are beginning to invest in these efforts. That said, there’s still a mountain of progress to be made with the wider community of readers, editors, and publishers. That’s a marketing problem and not one to solve with a Hugo.
I’m also concerned by the decision to specifically single out novels, when translations are possible across all categories. The proposal even draws comparison to the Academy Award’s “Best Foreign Film,” which it could have just as easily argued as a category for the Hugos, but didn’t. If the motivation was based on the body of work in a category, then surely the short fiction categories would have been more worthy of consideration as the greatest variety of translated science fiction and fantasy can be found there. If the selection of novel is based on the prestige of the category, then they are suggesting one of lesser prestige for those works to compete in.
Others might justify the category by saying that many non-Anglophone countries also include special awards for translated works—often in multiple categories. That, however, is often born of circumstances not applicable here. Anglophone SF is something of an invasive species in many markets. Our translated works can saturate a field, sometimes representing more than 50% of the novels published in a year. As a result, these awards have segregated in a way that allows their local communities to flourish. It’s a matter of pride to celebrate one’s own local community, particularly when another’s community dominates—even if it’s only a perception of quality. The inverse is not true. Breaking off translated works on their own reinforces the negative perception that anglophone SF is the king of the hill and that they aren’t welcome or as worthy. Every time a translated work wins, it helps shatter that illusion. Please don’t take that away.
[Side note: In short fiction, we have a several decades long history of well-meaning people trying to increase the audience for translated works in our field. Often this has been done by bundling translations together and setting them aside from domestic works. People who have an existing bias against translated works–or even foreign films–aren’t going to engage with narrowly-focused efforts. It’s simply preaching to the choir. This category would continue down that path.]