Checking the Other SFF Awards: BSFA, PKD, Tiptree, and Arthur C. Clarke

As the winds of winter continue to swirl around the Hugo, it’s a great time to check in on the rest of the SFF awards. There’s been a series of winners and nominees announced over the last week, and much of this has been lost in the furor over the Hugo. If you want a broad view of the field, looking beyond the Hugo and the Nebula is a must. Both the Hugo and Nebula are so peculiar in their assessment of Science Ficiton and Fantasy that they ignore a great deal of interesting fiction.

Chaos Horizon has been collating these lists into one master list; see the bottom of the post for that info.

BSFA: Ann Leckie won her second straight BSFA, taking the prize for Ancillary Sword, beating out such books as Lagoon, Europe in Autumn, and Wolves. Voting stats (found at the link) show that it wasn’t even close: Leckie almost doubled the vote total of Hardinge and Hutchinson in the first round, and ended up with a comfortable victory. Lagoon, for all the critical praise it received, wound up in last place. I think Leckie’s win here is a good indicator for the Nebula and Hugo; we may be in store for another Leckie sweep.

Philip K. Dick: The PKD award went to Meg Elison’s The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. The PKD picks the best paperback SF novel of the year published in the US; since the award is limited to paperbacks, it’s always a little offbeat compared to the Nebulas and Hugos. Elysium received a special citation as well.

Arthur C. Clarke: The Clarke shortlist was announced:

The Girl With All The Gifts – M.R. Carey (Orbit)
The Book Of Strange New Things – Michel Faber (Canongate)
Europe In Autumn – Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
Memory Of Water – Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)
The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August – Claire North (Orbit)
Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel (Picador)

Faber and Mandel make that a very literary shortlist. Hutchinson and North are having good years across the board; I wonder how close North would have been to making the Hugo ballot without the Puppy slates. The absence of Leckie is a little surprising, given that she won last year. Despite the acclaim for VanderMeer’s Annihilation, it has been basically been shut out of the awards season (except the Nebula). This doesn’t speak well for its Nebula chances.

Tiptree: The Tiptree is given to “science fiction or fantasy that explores and expands the roles of women and men for work by both women and men.” The Tiptree website lacks a permanent link, but here’s the File 770 list of works.

The Girl in the Road, Monica Byrne (co-winner)
My Real Children, Jo Walton (co-winner)
Novels from the Honor List (short list):
Elysium, Jennifer Marie Brissett
Memory of Water, Emmi Itaranta
Ascension, Jacqueline Koyanagi
Lagoon, Nnedi Okorafor

No Leckie (she made the Honor list last year), and I’m surprised Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire missed the short (or long) list.

Gemmell Legend: The initial voting for the Gemmell has opened, and lasts until May 15th. The Gemmell goes to the best Fantasy novel, and is awarded in an open internet vote. If you want to imagine what the Hugo would look like if it were open to everyone, the Gemmell can give you some insight into that.

Locus Award: The Locus Awards, voted on by the subscribers of Locus Magazine, are also open for voting.

The Chaos Cup: I’ve been collating all these awards into a meta-list, to see if anyone breaks out of the pack. So, if we sum up all our current slates (Arthur C. Clarke, BSFA, Hugo, Kitschies, Nebula, PKD, Tiptree), we wind up with the following list. Everyone gets 1 point for each nomination list they appear on, and we’re about halfway through the awards season (my list is going to collate 15 different awards). Here’s everyone with more than 1 vote:

Ancillary Sword: 3 nominations, 1 win (BSFA)
Memory of Water: 3 nominations
Lagoon: 3 nominations

Elysium: 2 nominations
Europe in Autumn: 2 nominations
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August: 2 nominations
The Goblin Emperor: 2 nominations

All told, 31 novels have received nominations. Unlike last year, where Leckie had already broken away from the pack, everything is bunched up. I wonder how Lagoon would be doing if it had gotten a US publication (it is ineligible for several of the American awards).

It’s looking to be a very spread-out year, without any necessarily “consensus” SFF novel in 2015. If you want to see the Excel file with all the awards and nominees, e-mail me at


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