World Fantasy Award nominees announced

Haven't had a chance to read most of them, but the first thing that struck me was this: Apparently, you CAN have a genre awards ballot without a single thing by Neil Gaiman. Not that nominations for Gaiman really bother me, as I'm a pretty big Gaiman fan, but it was getting a bit much.

In any case, the nominees in selected categories are:

NOVEL

The Etched City, K. J. Bishop (Prime Books)

Fudoki, Kij Johnson (Tor)

The Light Ages, Ian R. MacLeod (Ace)

Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton (Tor)

Veniss Underground, Jeff VanderMeer (Prime Books)

The Etched City is one of the books I've been reading for a while. Fascinating, strange book. Veniss Underground and The Light Ages are books I very much want to read.

NOVELLA

"A Crowd of Bone", Greer Gilman (Trampoline: An Anthology Small Beer Press)

"Dancing Men", Glen Hirshberg (The Dark Tor)

"The Empire of Ice Cream", Jeffrey Ford (Sci Fiction 02.26.03)

"Exorcising Angels", Simon Clark & Tim Lebbon (Exorcising Angels Earthling Publications)

"The Hortlak", Kelly Link (The Dark Tor)

I'll be reading "The Empire of Ice Cream" soon, as I'm reading all the Hugo nominated short fiction (I hope to post an opinion before the announcement.) But more importantly, there's a new Kelly Link story I need to read. Maybe I should get The Dark. Kelly Link is good. Kelly Link is very good. Kelly Link is, in some strange way, the new Howard Waldrop, in that her stories are uniquely her own, uniquely original, and absolutely brilliant.

SHORT FICTION

"Ancestor Money", Maureen F. McHugh (Sci Fiction 10.01.03)

Circle of Cats, Charles de Lint (Viking)

"Don Ysidro", Bruce Holland Rogers (Polyphony 3 Wheatland)

"Gus Dreams of Biting the Mailman", Alex Irvine (Trampoline Small Beer Press)

"O One", Chris Roberson (Live Without a Net Roc)

Ok, how the hell did I miss the publication of Circle of Cats? A "picture book" for children by Charles de Lint and Charles Vess, set in the world of de Lint's Newford. Also, interesting to see a story with words and pictures nominated for this award. As some of you will recall, they changed the rules of the award to disallow comics after Gaiman's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" won in 1991. Interestingly, Charles Vess was the artist then as well. Without reading any of these, I'm rooting for the cats. Also, I want this book.

ANTHOLOGY

The Dark: New Ghost Stories, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Tor)

Gathering the Bones, Jack Dann, Ramsey Campbell & Dennis Etchison, eds. (Voyager Australia; Voyager UK; Tor US)

Strange Tales, Rosalie Parker, ed. (Tartarus Press)

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, Jeff VanderMeer & Mark Roberts, eds. (Night Shade Books)

Trampoline: An Anthology, Kelly Link, ed. (Small Beer Press)

An anthology with a Kelly Link story, and anthology edited by Link, and a fictional guide to fictional illnesses. A bunch of goodness here, it seems. Note that most of these are small press books. Small Beer and Nightshade are doing great work these days.

COLLECTION

Bibliomancy, Elizabeth Hand (PS Publishing)

Ghosts of Yesterday, Jack Cady (Night Shade Books)

GRRM: A RRetrospective, George R. R. Martin (Subterranean Press)

More Tomorrow & Other Stories, Michael Marshall Smith (Earthling Publications)

The Two Sams, Glen Hirshberg (Carroll & Graf)

It's GRRM's world, and the rest of the nominees are living in it. Of course, the RRetrospective is large enough for several people to live in… Also, most of the nominees here too are small press books, which says something about the quality of small presses these days (PS publishing and Subterranian are also outstanding), something about the unwillingess of big publishers to publish collections and anthologies, and probably something about the snobbery of the World Fantasy Awards.

A complete list of the nominees can be found at Locus, of course.

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