Hugo Award nominations are out, and congratulations to all the nominees. The nominations for Best Novel are:
Ken MacLeod, Learning the World
George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows
John Scalzi, Old Man's War
Charles Stross, Accelerando
Robert Charles Wilson, Spin
We at Fantastic Reviews did rather more poorly than usual predicting these nominees. In early February, we predicted the novels we thought we be nominated, and we got only two right: A Feast for Crows and Spin. We did at least peg Accelerando and Learning the World as contenders, but the nomination of Old Man's War caught us quite by surprise.
At the time, we thought Accelerando's chances would be hurt by the fact that it is a fix-up of short stories, several of which have previously had their chance at the Hugo Award. From the buzz of the last couple weeks, we already had an inkling we were wrong about that.
As to omissions, the biggest surprise to us is that Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman is not on the list. It is apparent that, notwithstanding George R.R. Martin's nomination, the voters had a strong preference for science fiction over fantasy this year.
Other than that, there is no easily discernible pattern to the nominations. The four SF nominees are all quite different in style. The nominations are split between two Americans, two Brits, and a Canadian.
Who will win? Hey, don't look to us for predictions!