Freddie Mercury was Wrong.

You may remember a while back when I squeed about “The Things” being nominated for a BSFA. As it turned out yesterday, it didn’t win — which would have left me bitter and resentful if not for the fact that the same story has also made the finals for the Shirley Jackson Award. (This has actually been out there for a while now, but I held off on announcing it until I’d accumulated enough related news to meet critical mass for a legitimate blog posting). And as of a few minutes ago, I am also allowed to confirm that “The Things” is now in the running for the 2011 Short-Story Hugo, up against Kij Johnson’s “Ponies”, Mary Robinette Kowal’s “For Want of a Nail”, and Carrie Vaughn’s “Amaryllis”.

A short list this year, you’ll notice. Only four nominees in the Short Story category, despite the fact that this year’s noms set a record for votes received, and Short Story was the most heavily-voted category. Apparently a work has to receive at least 5% of the available ballots in order to qualify for the finals, and no other story did that this time around. Which means that “The Things” is facing off against fewer candidates, and a disproportionately high vote count per candidate.


I’d also take this opportunity to point out that the venue in which “The Things” first appeared — Clarkesworld, last year’s semiprozine Hugo winner — is up for the Hugo this year as well. As is Tony Smith over at Starship Sofa, and James Nicholl, and — hell just go over and check out the complete list.

So no disrespect to Queen, but as it turns out that there is, in fact, time for Losers. Just as long as new chances to win pop up on the horizon every now and then.

In the meantime, I’m just glad that Ted Chiang decided to throw his hat into the Novella category this time around.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Sunday April 24 2011at 02:04 pm , filed under writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

16 Responses to “Freddie Mercury was Wrong.”

  1. Congratulations!

  2. Congratulations! The Things is one of my favorite short stories. I read it and loved it, and then later fell in love with Blindsight without being aware that you were the author of both until you posted that is was up for a BSFA. So, in a semi-blinded study, you’re one of my favorite authors. (apologies for the shameless gushing, hope you win)

  3. Congratulations. It’s one of the most memorable stories I’ve read in recent years. I think you have a good shot at another mantlepiece trophy.

  4. Phew. For a second there, I thought you were going to claim that fat-bottomed girls don’t make the rockin’ world go round.


  5. Congrats Peter! Once can never have too many chrome-plated phalli.

  6. Saw this yesterday and I really hope you get it (and let’s throw in an “it’s an honor just to be nominated” in case you don’t). “The Things” is one of my favorite short stories and I have forced it upon most people I know (and those who actually read it also loved it).
    Fingers crossed!

  7. Congratulations Peter! Another silver rocket would be just what you
    need and deserve. Might I suggest a slight wardrobe change for this
    year’s ceremony? No? Just a thought. Besides, the taylor would
    probably have a nervous breakdown trying to fit you for a monkey-

  8. Congratulations, sir. Read about the nomination on boing boing and hurried over to leave this note. Best of luck!


    Ditto Scott Westerfeld, tho’ I went right to a different song. Seaside Rendezvous, I think.

  10. Damn, up against “The Ponies” and “For Want of a Nail”. Gotta love a heavyweight competition; all the stories on that short list are howitzers, sci-fi heavy artillery in their own way.

    Right on, Peter!

  11. Bravo Peter!
    Take care and heal fast, to walk to the podium with your next Hugo, clad in your nifty “Welcome Squid Overlord” T-shirt. (Or an ordinary tuxedo.)

  12. Polish review of “Starfish”. Sorry for using google translate 😛

  13. Hope you heal soon. Are you going to be able to vote in the upcoming election? I hope youse guys kick Harper out.

  14. Just nominated ‘The Things’ for the Aurora Award. I presume someone has beaten me to it, but the more the merrier is usually the case with these things is it not? Deadline is April 30th.

  15. Congratulations!

    BTW, it’s James “Nicoll”.

    I’m intrigued by the small number of short story nominees on the final list, ditto the *seven* nominees for long form editor (three-way tie for fifth place?!), not to mention three Dr. Who episodes vs. an Oscar winner vs. Fuck me, Ray Bradbury. Oh, and the first time in years female nominees in the novel category are in the majority.

  16. @Peter Watts:

    I just read this “the Things”. And as usual it’s outstanding. And as to the conclusion… well, our ET visitor just doesn’t understand what’s important to us… that being mostly that it not be what it is, nor do what it does.

    Shirley Jackson could write some genuinely terrifying stories. A lot of her approach was making it easy to understand where the monsters were coming from, so to speak. Yet in the end, understanding them makes it only all the more easy to understand why they should be understood as being monsters. And you’ve written something much the same. As to “the Thing”, you’ve just deconstructed (in “the Things”) and re-interpreted one of my favorite stories, as well as (or better than) Saberhagen deconstructed Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. Don’t think you’re settling for second-best for getting the Shirley Jackson Award. You’re in fine company. The best part of horror — however much it’s also scientific — is that it makes one’s mind retch. Sometimes we should, so to speak, take a tonic of mental syrup of ipecac.

    Just now reading this piece, I was thinking “you know, this makes so much sense from the alien viewpoint” and then I hit the conclusion, and hurled mental chunks — so to speak — across the room.

    My vote is that you get the award. And special mention, as well.