World Fantasy Weirdness

I didn’t have many brain cells to devote to this at Worldcon, but my initial reaction on seeing the novel shortlist for the World Fantasy Awards was a profound WTF??? I was expecting Ysabel to win, but the rest of the short list looks very odd. I’ve heard good things about Territory, but it is apparently only half a novel, having suffered the dreaded Publisher Chop. The others I have hardly heard of at all. Maybe the judges know something that I don’t, but I was very much expecting to see A Secret History of Moscow and The New Moon’s Arms on that list. And The Name of the Wind, even though it wasn’t one of my favorites. Jeff VanderMeer is also bemused.

3 thoughts on “World Fantasy Weirdness

  1. Territory is a great book actually, and doesn’t feel like a chopped novel, unlike some. I wasn’t really surprised about Name of the Wind, as series books never seem to fare all that well. That said, I agree with the sentiment.

  2. I’ll second Nadine’s comment; Territory feels like a novel that could have a sequel, but not like a chopped novel. In fact, when I read it, I thought it ended at the perfect point in history.

    That said, I was also underwhelmed, although in all honesty, Ysabel was one of the books that underwhelmed me.

  3. I agree with Nadine. Territory is structured as a complete story, even though it ends before the famous fight. I’m delighted to see both Ysabel and Territory on the WFA list, as I nominated both for the Hugo and am somewhat bemused to see that the reported nominations stop well before they get to any fantasy nominations at all, with the exceptions of JK Rowling, Terry Pratchett, and (just barely) Pat Rothfuss, so clearly my enthusiasm wasn’t a strong concensus position. I haven’t read the other three titles, although both The Servants and The Gospel of the Knife are on my TBR list. Both of those were published, I believe, as YA titles, and I don’t think The Servants has yet been released in the US. I think fantasy, as a field, has fragmented more than SF. Concensus opinions may prove increasingly rare and difficult (and interesting, too, perhaps).

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