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Monday, January 23, 2012

2011 BSFA Shortlist with Comments (by Liviu Suciu)


Via SFSignal from which I grabbed the image above and then from Torque Control here are the 2011 shortlist nominees for the British SF Association best novel award. After a few comments, I will include the nominees in the other three categories below.

Best Novel

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COMMENTS: While smaller that its US analog Nebula, and not on the scale of the best sff award today - the British Arthur Clarke one - the BSFA awards are (imho) much more interesting and "respectable" than the often butt of jokes Nebula ones and I always take a look at them. This year the shortlist contains three major sf novels that have all made my top 25 list of 2011.

You can find more information and comments in the reviews linked above.

In addition, there is the provocative "Osama" from Lavie Tidhar (the author of the superb "Bookman Files" series from which the third installment The Great Game will be published soon and I plan to review it in early February, while the first two books have been reviewed HERE and HERE). I have a review copy of Osama and I will definitely take a look in the near future too.

Then for the last nominee, Cyber Circus by Kim Lakin-Smith, a book and author I have not heard of before - one of the beauties of these lists is bringing such to attention - but as it is available inexpensively as an ebook at the link above, I have just bought it and will take a look as the blurb is intriguing and the sample reads well.

Of the three major novels above, I would go with By Light Alone as my clear top choice and I give it 33% odds to win, though I would say the big favorite remains Embassytown. The Islanders is an extraordinary book in its way, but I would say it is the "most acquired taste" of the three.

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As promised here are the rest of the nominees in the other 3 categories.

Best Short Fiction
The Silver Wind by Nina Allan (Interzone 233, TTA Press)
The Copenhagen Interpretation by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s, July)
Afterbirth by Kameron Hurley (Kameron Hurley’s own website)
Covehithe by China Mieville (The Guardian)
Of Dawn by Al Robertson (Interzone 235, TTA Press)

Best Non-Fiction
Out of This World: Science Fiction but not as we Know it by Mike Ashley (British Library)
The SF Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition ed. John Clute, Peter Nicholls and David Langford (website)
Review of Arslan by M J Engh, Abigail Nussbaum (Asking the Wrong Questions blog)
SF Mistressworks, ed. Ian Sales (website)
Pornokitsch, ed. Jared Shurin and Anne Perry (website)
The Unsilent Library: Essays on the Russell T. Davies Era of the New Doctor Who (Foundation Studies in Science Fiction), ed. Graham Sleight, Tony Keen and Simon Bradshaw (Science Fiction Foundation)

Best Art
Cover of Ian Whates’s The Noise Revealed by Dominic Harman (Solaris)
Cover and illustrations of Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls by Jim Kay (Walker)
Cover of Lavie Tidhar’s Osama by Pedro Marques (PS Publishing)
Cover of Liz Williams’s A Glass of Shadow by Anne Sudworth (Newcon Press)



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI----you have the cover for The City and the City listed for China Mieville but Embassytown in the text of the article.

Take care,
Troy

Liviu said...

just aw that - as mentioned the picture was grabbed from sfsignal - but I will superpose the right one soon.

thanks for the comment

ediFanoB said...

I agree with you that Cyber Circus has a promising blurb and the ebook is indeed cheap.

Looking forward to read what you think about it.

Liviu said...

I have so many 'asap" books to read that I am a bit frustrated regarding time, but I plan to give this one a full try too in the next few weeks

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