The 2011 Hugo Award Winners were announced late last week when genre fans and industry insiders gathered in Reno, Nevada. The annual awards ceremony has been conducted by the members of the World Science Fiction Convention (also known as "Worldcon") since 1955. This year's ceremony honored some of our favorite books and movies and introduced us to several new names in the genre.
Connie Willis' duology, Blackout and All Clear took home the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The pair of books were nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Science Fiction last year, but ultimately lost out to Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death. Nonetheless, Willis' two-part tale about futuristic historians who get trapped in the Blitz while time traveling is both compelling and thought-provoking.
Another one of our favorite voices in the genre, newcomer Mary Robinette Kowal, was also honored. The Hugo Awards recognized her piece "For Want of a Nail" as the Best Short Story. We were thrilled to hear the good news for this author who we got to know well last year when her debut, the Regency England-set fantasy novel, Shades of Milk and Honey won the August 2010 RT Seal of Excellence. (Kowal candidly answered our questions in this author interview shortly afterwards.) Needless to say, we are not the only ones breathlessly awaiting the full-length follow-up to her series first, Glamour in Glass.
Outside of the traditional print formats, Hugo Awards are also given out for the several other categories such as the best editors, professional and non-professional artist.
We weren't surprised to learn that Inception won for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, or in layman's terms, "Best Movie of the Year." This film met with both critical and cult success, which we attribute to Nolan's direction, the excellent script and stunning visuals and, of course, the stellar cast.
But we were intrigued by the announcement that an episode of Dr. Who won for the category of Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. RT's Elisa is a fan of the show and suggests, "Although this complex series may seem overwhelming, but those who are interested in getting into the show should head to the first episode of the 2005 season, 'Rose'. This is the first episode of the show after it was brought back from a decade-long hiatus. It introduces viewers to the ninth doctor and is a good indication of what's ahead."