Thursday, March 1, 2007

Awards Nominations - Hugos and Nebulas

Its getting into the awards season for Science Fiction achievements of various types.

Nominations for the SFWA 2006 Nebula Awards have been announced that will be handed out in May. These are voted on by SFWA members and with having run the 2006 Nebula Awards Weekend held in Tempe, AZ last year, I have a much better appreciation of the whole process.

This year in the best script category, there are four things on the ballot as opposed to last year when there were only two. What this means is enough SFWA members made recommendations to put three scripts on the ballot this year as opposed to the one (Serenity) last year. The script jury can add one item and last year it was a two-part Battlestar Galactica script and this year it is the script for the "Unfinished Business" Galactica episode. The other three nominations this year are Batman Begins, Howl's Moving Castle, and Steven "Hugo" Moffat's "The Girl in the Fireplace" script for Doctor Who. I got a chance to talk with Steven about the nomination at Gallifrey One and he is excited to be nominated and I think his Hugo rocket would look even better with a Nebula award next to it (the picture is last year's, won by Joss Whedon and guarded by Puppet Angel before I shipped it off to Joss).

Some people may be confused by Batman Begins being on the ballot for this year when it came out in 2005, several months before Serenity, which won last years award. SFWA does a recommendation process to get nominated and recommendations can be given for up to a year after a book or script has been published or released. Serenity got enough recommendations before the end of 2005 to make the ballot in 2006. Batman Begins didn't have enough recommendations at that time, but did get enough before its eligibility period was up so that it ended up on the ballot in 2007.

It is also time for Hugo award nominations. As a member of LA Con IV, I'm eligible to nominate for this year's awards to be handed out at the Nippon WorldCon in Japan in August. I'm not going to attend, but I may get a supporting membership to vote for the Hugos and to vote in the site selection. The Hugos have two Dramatic Presentation awards, one for "Long Form" and one for "Short Form", having split the category a few years back to essentially have movies compete with movies and TV shows compete against TV shows. This has now sparked a debate this year on how to handle something like Heroes, which some people would like to nominate the entire season under the Long Form category instead of nominating individual episodes. I think there will be a lot of fans nominating the pilot and one or two other of the episodes. I could see the series make it onto the ballot next year for the first season as well as individual episodes. I guess it will be up to the Hugo administrators to determine what is allowed or appropriate.

I was pleased to see three different Doctor Who scripts nominated last year in the Hugo short form category with The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances getting the award. This year, there's plenty of strong TV episodes, again from Doctor Who as well as some from Battlestar Galactica and a few other series. On the movie front, there weren't near as many genre movies that seem worthy. I still have until midnight Saturday to figure out what I'm going to nominate. Last year, Serenity won the Hugo award for the Long Form.

Then there's all the other categories, the various fiction ones, fan writer, semipro zine, Campbell Award, etc. I guess I've still got some thinking to do.....


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