Without further delay, here are my selections for the 2011 WISB Awards (note: all links in this post will go to my reviews or interviews):
Plus, I had the pleasure of interviewing him for The Skiffy and Fanty Show. Love it.
Runner-ups: Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht (Night Shade Books)(a stunning debut that hits all the right emotional buttons), and Low Town by Daniel Polansky (Doubleday)(a noir romp with a fantasy twist that is well worth reading).
Best Collection or Anthology
my review. Simply put: the collection is gorgeous (read my review to find out why; there's also an interview here).
Runner-ups: Kafkaesque edited by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelley (Tachyon Books)(a quirky collection of stories in celebration of one of the greats) and Gateways edited by Elizabeth Anne Hull (another celebratory collection, but with a markedly nostalgic feel -- Brin and Haldeman have some brilliant work in here).
The Skiffy and Fanty Show, mind), Pyr has been pushing authors our way, which might explain why so many of our interviews were with Pyr writers! It also helps that the books we read were, overall, quite good. You can't go wrong with Pyr!
Runner-ups: Small Beer Press (I need to read more of their books, but the one text I got to read, After the Apocalypse, was absolutely brilliant), Tor (2012 is their year, I think), Tachyon, and Angry Robot Books (a previous winner, and still one of the most innovative publishers out there).
I have decided to temporarily leave this category blank. Adam Callaway and I are planning to do some kind of Awards Season Mega-Reading Fest. I will update this section then.
Kekai Kotaki definitely has the skill. A stunning work indeed!
(For interested parties, I have an interview w/ Peter Orullian here.)
Runner-ups: Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht (Claudia Nobles does a brilliant job with her oil-style rendition of a detention camp in Ireland) and Low Town by Daniel Polansky (Ben Wiseman's design for the U.S. cover is gritty and perfectly placed).
Adam Callaway. He and I have been friends for a while, so it goes without saying that I'm a little biased. But I've never given this award to a friend before (at the time of the award); it's simply unavoidable this year.
I've known Adam for a while now, have read a lot of what he's written (though not all, because I'm a terrible writing buddy who deserves to be stabbed with metaphorical pens filled with snake venom), and have watched him rise to the throne of greatness (getting ahead of myself, I know). The truth is this: Adam's writing is fantastic. If you haven't read anything by him, check out his bibliography page. Trust me, you will not be disappointed (and if you are, then you are reading the wrong blog).
Runner-ups: Cowboys & Aliens (good old satire), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two (see above), and Super 8 (until the last 10 minutes, when Abrams becomes Abrams).
Non-2011 Runner-up: Never Let Me Go (by far the best film I happened to see last year)
Best Television Show
You can find my reviews episode-by-episode reviews starting here.
Runner-ups: Doctor Who (not as good as the year before, but clever)
Best Non-Genre Film
Munich gets this award for two reasons: first, it's a chilling look at what violent revenge can do to a human being, and second, I remember it. When I thought back to all the movies I borrowed from the library or saw in theaters or rented with my sister, this film came up every single time. That's what great films do, in my opinion. They leave a lasting impression. Something about Munich has imprinted itself upon me, just like Never Let Me Go. Both will certainly be on my "best of the last 20 years" list in the future.
Runner-ups: A History of Violence (Aragorn must continue being awesome, please)
Best Non-Genre Television Show
Runner-ups: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (still one of the most chilling police procedurals out there) and Big Bang Theory (which remains hilarious as always).
I'm sidelining this temporarily. I've got a lot of listening to catch up on...
The 2011 Kudos Award
Jason Sanford. And you know why? Because he's an amazing supporter of aspiring writers, a delicious sport, and one of the nicest guys I've ever known. With his Million Writers Award, he's provided a fantastic venue for literature published online. With his blog, he's explored important topics in the SF/F field. With his voice, he's amused us on The Skiffy and Fanty Show. And he's a damned fine writer to boot. Whatever you're doing to be so awesome, Jason, keep it up!
The 2011 Wappa Wappa Wa Award (i.e. the Worst Person Who Happens to be a Published Writer Award)
--Sort of. I said my political stuff would primarily live on Duke and Zink Do America. Besides, politics is impossible to ignore, as everything is political in some way. But maybe you'd like to hear my explanation before getting upset?
--The Great Salamander isn't on this list because he's a politician. If that were so, I could hunt down any living politician who has written science fiction or fantasy and shove them on this list (I could even swing it to include Barack Obama, who is, at the very least, a character in a super hero comic). There are two reasons Newt is on this list.
--"Oh, this should be good..."
--First, he is the most arrogant man to exist on the public stage since Kanye West (so arrogant, in fact, that he believes it's acceptable to talk about things he'd do in his second term before he's even been nominated for his party for his first). I can't stand that kind of arrogance. A little humility is necessary in life, after all.
--"Alright, we get it. What about the second?"
--The second: despite saying relatively moderate things about immigrants (he's not in favor of shipping off your Mexican grandma just because she's illegal, though he's perfectly happy to make Little Timmy a work slave), he's also said loads of total B.S. about Barack Obama.
--"You stupid liberal..."
--Now now. Just hear me out. I'm not saying this because I'm going to vote for Barack Obama (I am). I'm saying it for two reasons: creating mythical versions of opponents out of lies is unethical and plain bastardly, and I think there are so many legitimate reasons to criticize Barack Obama that it seems silly to have to make them up just to win votes.
--"That's rather reasonable..."
--Yes. Which is why Newt Gingrich gets the 2011 Wappa Wappa Wa award.
--"But, wait, since when has he written science fiction?"
--"That's alternate history."
So there you have it. My selections for 2011.
Now for the big question: What would you include in the above categories?