Those of you who are attending the Eurocon in Belfast after Worldcon will get to see the ESFS Awards in action. They are a very different beast from the Hugos, necessarily so because the members of the convention are unlikely to be familiar with most of the finalists because they don’t speak the necessary languages. Instead the ESFS Awards work on a system of national delegations, thereby ensuring equal representation for each member country. The full rules are available here.
The finalists for this year’s ESFS Awards have been announced, as reported by Europa SF. I don’t have a vote, but I am familiar with some of the finalists. Here are a few quick comments.
In Best Author, most people will be familiar with Charlie Stross. That may not count in his favour as delegates tend to mark down people who write in English precisely because they are so much more likely to be translated. I’m hoping for a win for Maria Turtschaninoff who has written some amazingly good feminist fantasies. I’d be happy with a win by Aleksandar Žiljak as well because he has a story in the anthology of Croatian SF that I published.
In Best Artist I’d love my friend Ninni Aalto to win, but it is a tough field with a bunch of professional illustrators, some of whom undoubtedly work internationally.
In Best Publisher I’m rooting for my pals Pete Crowther (PS Publishing) and Francesco Verso (Future Fiction). Pete has a huge track record, while Francesco deserves recognition for his commitment to translations.
In Best Promoter I note that Petra Bulić has worked tirelessly for Croatian fandom for decades (who remembes the Zagreb in ’99 Worldcon bid?), but Toni Jerrman absolutely deserves all of the awards for Tähtivaeltaja.
The only one of the Translator finalists that I know personally is Marko Fančović. Fingers crossed for him.
In Work of Fiction I’d like to highlight Mats Strandberg’s Slutet. Lots of people at Åcon were enthusing about this book. It has a 4-star rating from over 100 reviews on Goodreads. Mats tells me that an English translation has been made because there’s interest from TV companies. It needs an English language publisher.
If you happen to be a member of a national delegation, please take note.