Here’s a book I have been waiting eagerly for. Last year Sean Wallace approached WSFS with a suggestion for an anthology of Hugo-nominated short fiction. The first of these books is now available, and very splendid it looks too (thanks in no small part to a fine Donato Giancola cover).
The book is edited by Mary Robinette Kowal who does a fine job of introducing each story, save perhaps for “Evil Robot Monkey” where she is reduced to a shy, embarrassed, “Um. I wrote this.”
Only 9 of the nominated pieces of short fiction are included. (I have posted the table of contents over on the official Hugo Award website.) I don’t know why the other 6 stories are missing, but I suspect a combination of cost and contractual issues. Ted Chiang, for example, is very particular about how and where his work is published, which may explains why “Exhalation” is absent.
The book is special to me for two reasons. Firstly it has the Hugo Award logo on the spine. Kevin and I are always very pleased to see it in the wild. Also the last few pages of the book list all of the nominees and winners for the 2009 Hugo Awards.
Quite what value the book has in an age where everyone who cares deeply about the Hugos gets the entire fiction slate in their voter packet is perhaps questionable, but I for one love paper books and am very pleased to have such a fine anthology on my bookshelves (well, in the piles of books on my floor). I’m also very pleased to think that kids can once again go into shops and see the words “Hugo Award” clearly displayed on a book. Here’s hoping it creates a few more fans.
If all goes well, the Hugo Award Showcase will be a regular feature of the publishing schedule for many years to come. Prime might even go back in history to cover previous years. But for that to happen you folks have to buy the book. [buy isbn=”9781607012252″].