Friday, August 14, 2009

Author Joe Haldeman on 2009 Hugo Awards: “I'm sort of glad I wasn’t up for Marsbound”

SF author Joe Haldeman, who has won two Hugo Awards in the past for best novel of the year, had an interesting reaction to the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novel, which was recently awarded to The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, at Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention. In the August 11, 2009, entry of his LiveJournal, Haldeman wrote:
As to the Hugos ... congrats to the winners, and I'm sort of glad I wasn't up for Marsbound. I would've hated to have lost to Neil for The Graveyard Book, which I'm sure is good, won the Newbery for children's lit and all. But the Hugo used to be a science fiction award. The Graveyard Book is a fine ghost story.

I can't complain about the award being influenced by personality, since I'm sure I wouldn't have won as many if I just sat here and wrote, rather than going out and exposing myself to the fans. But still. A YA ghost story?
According to a detailed list of nominees for the 2009 Hugo Awards released by The Anticipation Hugo Committee, Joe Haldeman's novel Marsbound (2008) received 28 votes for best novel of the year, putting it at #16 in the rankings, well behind Cory Doctorow's Little Brother (#1, 129 votes), Neal Stephenson's Anathem (#2, 93 votes), and Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book (#3, 82 votes).


Republibot 3.0 said...

I'm glad someone in the industry has finally spoken up about this kind of thing. I'm ok with SF and Fantasy being lumped together in the Spec-Fic ghetto, but come on! Fantasy awards shouldn't go to SF stories, and SF awards shouldn't go to Fantasy stories

Crotchety Old Fan said...

Republibot - there is a simple solution:


F. Dreier said...

They've been giving Hugos to fantasy stories since at least 1959, when “That Hell-Bound Train” by Robert Bloch was the fourth winner for short story (I don't know that the previous year's winner, "Or All the Seas with Oysters" by Avram Davidson, can be very strongly claimed to be science fiction either). With forty years of precedent, it's just very hard to take the assertion that they're "supposed to be" or "used to be" for science fiction as particularly valid.