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Book Buzz: Hugo Winners Announced

Michael Chabon takes top honors at this year's World Science Fiction Convention

By Pat Ferrara     August 11, 2008

World of Warcraft Volume One(2008).
© Wildstorm
The 2008 World Science Fiction Convention concluded yesterday amidst fanfare by Guests of Honor Tom Whitmore, Rick Sternbach and Lois McMaster Bujold along with Robert A. Heinlein filling in as the official Ghost of Honor. The third convention ever held in Denver, this year’s Worldcon put to rest all of the Hugo speculation by announcing, among other winners, that Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union took top honors for Best Novel of 2007. Here is the complete list of Hugo Award winners:
Best Novel: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins; Fourth Estate)
Best Novella: “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s Dec. 2007; Subterranean Press)
Best Novelette: “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean Press; F&SF Sept. 2007)
Best Short Story: “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s June 2007)
Best Related Book: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher (Oxford University Press)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust Written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Charles Vess Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Paramount Pictures)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who “Blink” Written by Steven Moffat Directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)
Best Editor, Long Form: David G. Hartwell
Best Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder
Best Professional Artist: Stephan Martiniere
Best Semiprozine: Locus
Best Fanzine: File 770
Best Fan Writer: John Scalzi
Best Fan Artist: Brad Foster
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Mary Robinette Kowal
In other book-related news Wildstorm Press unveils Walter Simonson’s comic adaptation of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft universe in the hardback World of Warcraft, which collects issues 0-7 in one tome.
Houghton Mifflin debuts a comprehensive print on the father of modern fantasy, J.R.R. Tolkien, with On Tolkien: Interviews, Reminiscences, and Other Essays in hardcover while BBC Audiobooks collects Douglas Adams’ fully dramatized Dirk Gently serials in the CD set Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
New in Hardcover:
World of Warcraft, Walter Simonson (Wildstorm Press)
Collecting WORLD OF WARCRAFT #0-7, based on the world's most popular massively multiplayer videogame, written by comics legend Walter Simonson! A human is found unconscious on the shores of Kalimdor, with no memory of who he is or how he arrived there. Enslaved by the Orc Shaman Rehgar Earthfury, this man must fight for survival against members of both the Alliance and the Horde, striking uneasy relationships with other races in his quest to find the secrets of his past! Illustrated by Ludo Lullabi and Sandra Hope.
Hespira: A Tale of Henghis Hapthorn, Matthew Hughes (Night Shade Books)
As magic begins to reassert its ancient dominion, Old Earth's foremost freelance discriminator, Henghis Hapthorn, and his intuition (now a separate person named Osk Rievor), are living apart, though they remain on good terms. But now there comes between them a woman of alluring mystery. Who is Hespira? Does she truly want either of them? Or has she come to destroy them both?
The Early Stories of Philip K. Dick, Vol 2, Philip K. Dick (Prime Books)
Edited and selected by Crawdaddy!-founder and scholar Paul Williams, The Early Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume One and Volume Two encompasses a total of thirty-five stories from the early years of Philip K. Dick. With extensive story notes by Williams, introductions by some of the most respected authors in the field, and packaged to belong on any shelf, The Early Stories of Philip K. Dick promises an early peek into the many worlds created by one of the acclaimed masters of science fiction and fantasy.
Jeff Hawke: The Ambassadors, Willie Patterson (Titan Books)
Thought of as one of the most influential and intelligent comic strips ever published, Jeff Hawke is a high point in adult-oriented science fiction storytelling! Jeff Hawke is once more forced to be an ambassador for humankind, as strange aliens make contact with humanity in “The Ambassadors”; a mysterious alien toys with time and becomes the “Pastmaster”; and an excavation unearths mysterious artifacts of incredible power in “The Immortal Toys” — plus two more strange sci-fi tales! The sharp but subtle intellect of Willie Patterson’s scripts make Jeff Hawke’s plots and characters truly compelling, and Sydney Jordan’s groundbreaking linework and unique character designs fully capture the peculiarities of the aliens in Jeff’s universe! Illustrated by Sydney Jordan.
On Tolkien: Interviews, Reminiscences, and Other Essays, Ed. by Douglas Anderson & Marjorie Burns (Houghton Mifflin)
An extraordinary glimpse into the world of J.R.R. Tolkien through his own words and those of family, friends, and colleagues…A collection of rare interviews and personal reminiscences found nowhere else. Beginning with a short interview with Tolkien from 1957 and continuing with remembrances and essays up through Peter Jackson's films, the book gives a developing picture of Tolkien the man and writer, first in his own voice and later from recollections of his friends and family. Among the unique pieces are two lengthy recorded interviews that reveal Tolkien's conversation style. Also included are a discussion by Priscilla of her father's painting and drawing, and Christopher's description of the making of The Silmarillion.We hear, too, from Tolkien's colleagues and contemporaries at Oxford and in publishing, who discuss how Tolkien felt about his work's reception in the wider world. And we read previously unpublished reflections from the man who arguably knew Tolkien as well as anyone, Humphrey Carpenter, his biographer.
New in Paperback:
Veins, Lawrence C. Connolly (Fantasist Enterprises)
Fleeing from what should have been a perfect crime, four crooks in a black Mustang race into the Pennsylvania highlands. On the backseat, a briefcase full of cash. On their tail, a tattooed madman who wants them dead. The driver calls himself Axle. A local boy, he knows the landscape, the coal-hauling roads and steep trails that lead to the perfect hideout: the crater of an abandoned mine. But Axle fears the crater. Terrible things happened there. Things that he has spent years trying to forget. Enter Kwetis, the nightflyer, a specter from Axle's ancestral past. Part memory, part nightmare, Kwetis has planned a heist of his own. And soon Axle, his partners in crime, and their pursuer will learn that their arrival at the mine was foretold long ago…and that each of them is a piece of a plan devised by the spirits of the Earth. Illustrated by Star E. Olson.
Star Wars Dark Times Vol 2: Parallels, Various (Dark Horse)
At the dawn of the Galactic Empire, two beings a galaxy apart will do the unthinkable to save those in their care, only to risk losing themselves in the process. After "Order 66" forces Jedi Master K'Kruhk to take desperate measures in defense of some Padawan younglings, he believes he has found them a peaceful oasis in an oppressed galaxy. But little does K'Kruhk know, a far away drama involving Bomo Greenbark and the smuggling crew of the Uhumele will alter his future forever. Meanwhile, these dark times have taken much from Bomo Greenbark, but he cannot - will not - let it take his new-found friends. No matter what it takes, Bomo will fight to his last breath!
Endymion Spring, Matthew Skelton (Delacorte Books)
In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snow-covered streets. The chest can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent’s-head clasp taste blood. Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something pierce his finger. The volume is wordless, but fine veins run through its pages, and they seem to quiver, as if alive. Words begin to appear in the book—words only the boy can see.
Jaz Parks: Bitten to Death, Jennifer Rardin (Orbit)
Jaz Parks here. My latest mission has taken me to the ancient Greek city of Patras; but instead of soaking up its splendor, I'm here to infiltrate a Vampere Trust. Only two vamps have ever escaped the tightly bound communities and lived to tell the tale: Edward "The Raptor"Samos, the most reviled criminal mastermind in recent memory, and Vayl, the CIA's number one assassin who also happens to be my boss. The Raptor is trying to take over Vayl's former Trust. Unfortunately the Trust's new leader has her own plans. This job is going to be the death of me.
The Dread Empire: A Fortress in Shadow, Glen Cook (Night Shade Books)
Once a mighty kingdom reigned, but now all is chaos. In the vast reaches of the desert, a young heretic escapes certain death and embarks on a mission of madness and glory. He is El Murid - the Disciple - who vows to bring order, prosperity, and righteousness to the desert people of Hammad al Nakir. After four long centuries, El Murid is the savior who is destined to build a new empire from the blood his enemies. But all is not as it seems, and the sinister forces pulling the strings of empire come into the light. Who and what lies behind El Murid's vision of a desert empire?
Science Fiction: The Best of the Year 2008, Ed. by Rich Horton (Prime Books)
Here is a collection of the best science fiction written in 2007, by some of the genre's greatest authors, and selected by Rich Horton, a contributing reviewer to many of the field's most respected magazines. Authors include Ken Macleod, Geoffrey Landis and Greg Egan.
Star Trek Myriad Universes: Echoes and Refractions, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Chris Roberson & Geoff Trowbridge (Star Trek Books)
It's been said that for any event, there are an infinite number of possible outcomes. Our choices determine which outcome will follow, and therefore all possibilities that could happen do happen across countless alternate realities. In these divergent realms, known history is bent, like white light through a prism -- broken into a boundless spectrum of what-might-have-beens. But in those myriad universes, what might have what actually happened.
The Chimes at Midnight: In a continuum where Spock died during childhood, an Andorian named Thelin became Captain Kirk's stalwart friend and first officer. But at the moment of Khan's final defeat, history takes an even stranger turn, and the emerging potential of Project Genesis is revealed as the galaxy's greatest hope...and its most ominous threat.
A Gutted World: Terrorist Kira Nerys -- from a Bajor that was never liberated -- may hold the key to winning a war that has engulfed half the galaxy. But with the Romulans and the Klingons at each other's throats, and the Federation pulled into the conflict, even victory may not bring salvation.
Brave New World: Dr. Noonien Soong's dream has been realized: androids are now woven inextricably into the fabric of the Federation, revolutionizing Starfleet and transforming the quality of humanoid life. But when Soong's long-missing breakthrough creation, Data, mysteriously resurfaces, civilization reaches a crossroads that could lead to a bright new future, or to ruin.
Outlanders: Pantheon of Vengeance, James Axler (Gold Eagle)
The war to pull Earth and humanity back from the iron grip of slavery shifts against an inhuman enemy both calculating and unpredictable. For those with the knowledge and will to reclaim their planet, a blueprint for survival has emerged: to challenge the future, they must reckon with the chilling and immutable past. Several baronies have disappeared, as if swallowed by the earth. Strange disturbances lead Kane and the others to a giant sinkhole in a remote and wild area of Mexico, where reality merges with an ancient culture of sorcery. Here, a beautiful, mysterious guerilla leader wages war against a terrifying army of demons spiriting humans into the subterranean netherworld. Joining the fight, the Cerberus rebels invade the cavernous chambers of a hidden world, and confront a self-styled warlord using preDark nuclear tech to rule the depths of the planet.
Mad, Shaun Van Dragen (NPub)
In a desperate attempt to flee his past failures, Marlowe becomes embroiled in a capricious and reckless love affair with Fiona, a volatile nymphette illegally working the naughtiest casino in town. But freakish holograms and ominous clues bespeak of dark tidings when Marlowe slowly uncovers a plot to turn his ex-girlfriend Celeste into something more human than human.
Moon Flights, Elizabeth Moon (Night Shade Books)
Over the past two decades, few authors have garnered the critical acclaim and fan following of Elizabeth Moon, Nebula Award-winning author of The Speed of Dark, The Deed of Paksenarrion, and Remnant Population. Moon Flights, the definitive Elizabeth Moon short story collection, represents the highlights of an impressive career. Gathering together fifteen tales of fantasy, alternative history, and science fiction, Moon Flights features an original story, "Say Cheese," set in the Vatta's War cosmology, and an all-new introduction by Anne McCaffrey, legendary creator of the Dragonriders of Pern series.
New in Audiobook:
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams (BBC Audiobooks)
A full-cast dramatization of a novel by one of science fiction's most beloved authors! This production is based on Douglas Adams' novel of the same name, adapted by Mike Stott and directed by the hugely acclaimed Dirk Maggs. This series of six half-hour episodes features a stellar cast with Harry Enfield as the eponymous Holistic Detective, Billy Boyd as his client Richard Macduff, Olivia Coleman as his secretary Janice Pearce, Jim Carter as his nemesis DS Gilks, Andrew Sachs as Professor Reg Chronotis, Felicity Montagu as Susan Way, Robert Duncan as her brother Gordon, Toby Longworth as the Electric Monk and Michael Fenton Stevens as Michael Wenton Weakes. Although this adaptation will maintain the element of comic absurdity and wit that appeals to Hitchhiker fans, it stands in its own right as a comedy for listeners new to Adams. Essentially a science fiction mystery comedy, the series explores everything from quantum physics, Norse Gods and an electric monk, to Coleridge, Schrodinger, fractal theory, computer software & Bach. Presented fully dramatized on 4 CDs.
Check back next Monday for all the latest info on current sci-fi, fantasy, and horror book releases. Questions or comments? Hit me up at


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mortellan 8/11/2008 1:15:39 PM
Walt Simonson did a WoW comic? NOOOOOOO!
smegforbrain 8/11/2008 8:43:27 PM
It kind of tells you something about the World Science Fiction Convention when it takes place in Denver, where I live, and it's about sci-fi, which I utterly love, and I have no smegging clue that it was even happening. But three Hugo's in a row for Steven Moffat. Nice!


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