2007 Year-End Awards: The Hotties

Well, it's that time of year again!:-)

Originally, this was going to be another Goodkind spoof. Last year's awards turned out to be so popular that it had to be that way, right!?! But a few days back someone suggested another name that stuck, so my year-end awards will henceforth be known as the Hotties! With this being the Hotlist, methinks the Hotties have a nice ring to them.

The categories are more or less what you have come to expect since 2005. This is my third annual year-end awards, which means that you should know by now what you're going to get! By popular demand my SFF Top 10 of 2007 was posted a while back. As promised, you'll find it here, with the 10 runner-up titles as an added bonus.

It's been another very good year for speculative fiction fans, so here's to hoping that 2008 will be even more satisfying!

As always, feel free to disagree with my selections. . .:-)

SFF TOP 10 OF 2007

1- Black Man/Thirteen by Richard Morgan (Del Rey/Gollancz)
2- Reaper's Gale by Steven Erikson (Tor Books/Bantam Press)
3- Ink by Hal Duncan (Del Rey/Pan MacMillan)
4- Brasyl by Ian McDonald (Pyr/Gollancz)
5- Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay (Penguin Books/Simon & Schuster)
6- The Terror by Dan Simmons (Little, Brown and co./Bantam Press)
7- Dreamsongs, Volume 1 by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Dell/Gollancz)
8- Red Seas under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (Bantam Dell/Gollancz)
9- Fatal Revenant by Stephen R. Donaldson (Putnam/Gollancz)
10- Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik (Del Rey/Voyager)
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11- Renegade's Magic by Robin Hobb (Eos/Voyager)
12- Feast of Souls by C. S. Friedman (Daw Books/Orbit)
13- The Dark River by John Twelve Hawks (Doubleday/Bantam Press)
14- Killswitch by Joel Shepherd (Pyr)
15- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Daw Books/Gollancz)
16- Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie (Pyr/Gollancz)
17- The Electric Church by Jeff Somers (Orbit)
18- The Devil You Know by Mike Carey (Warner Books/Orbit)
19- Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn (Warner Books)
20- Making Money by Terry Pratchett (Eos/Doubleday)

PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR AWARD

- Gollancz

With 5 titles in my Top 10 and 7 titles overall if you include the runner-up titles, Gollancz deserves the nod. Kudos to Simon Spanton and his crew for a terrific year!

MOST IMPROVED AUTHOR AWARD

- Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself was a nice debut, but Abercrombie took it up a notch or two with Before They Are Hanged. And I'm told that Last Argument of Kings is even better. Could Joe win back-to-back awards???

MOST AMBITIOUS PROJECT AWARD

- The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont

2008 will bring us Toll the Hounds by Erikson and the eagerly awaited Return of the Crimson Guard by Esslemont. All in all, a good year for Malazan fans!

MOST ACCESSIBLE AUTHOR AWARD

- David Anthony Durham

Honorable mentions: Joe Abercrombie and Brandon Sanderson

BEST SFF MESSAGE BOARD

- Ran's Westeros (http://asoiaf.westeros.org/) remains the best place to hang out, in my humble opinion. Sure, things heat up a little from time to time, but that's usually when the fun begins!;-) And there's the naked avatar week each fall!:p

Honorable mention: http://www.sffworld.com/

Whether you wish to be a regular poster or simply a lurker, I invite everyone to visit more SFF message boards in 2008.:-)

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR AWARD

- Daw Books

With the highly successful launch of Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, C. S. Friedman's return to the fantasy genre with Feast of Souls, and Tad Williams' Shadowplay and Kristen Britain's The High King's Tomb showing up on the NYT bestseller list, I daresay it was a great year for Daw Books!

MOST OVERRATED NOVEL

- The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner

Holy crap, this could well be the most overhyped book I've ever read! And I don't want to get into that "fantasy chick lit" debate again. . .

MENTAL MASTURBATION AWARD

- M. John Harrison

Harrison managed to irritate a vast number of SFF fans with various blog posts throughout the year. The man talks and talks, but he doesn't really say much. Maybe he should have a been a lawyer. . .

The funny thing is that some people like Gabe Chouinard and Larry (Dylanfanatic) feel the need to "interpret" what Harrison is saying when the bulk of the online community is irked by his elitist quotes, which are little more than an exercice in mental masturbation for the most part. Rather prolific in that regard, one could say that M. John Harrison is quite the heavy cummer. He could well be the Peter North of SFF. . .

SHAME ON YOU AWARD

- Tor Books, for those awful Erikson covers

Tor Books came up with some splendid covers in recent years. One only has to think about the artwork that graces Daniel Abraham's works to realize that fact. So how the heck did they come up with the atrocious covers for The Bonehunters and other Malazan installments???

Honorable mention: Daw Books, for the "Fabio" or "gay" cover art for Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind.

MOST UNDERRATED NOVEL

- Renegade's Magic by Robin Hobb

INTERVIEW OF THE YEAR


Here's an excerpt:

- Previous depictions of homosexual characters in fantasy/scifi books have always been somewhat clumsy and didn't ring true. And yet, instead of trying to get readers to "accept" it, you just went ahead and put Jack and Puck's relationship as a central storyline throughout both volumes. Was that intentional from the beginning? INK contains graphic sex scenes between the two, and I was wondering what sort of responses those sequences generated among readers and critics?

One of my pet hates is the fetishisation you get in certain types of fantasy, particularly vampire fiction, I have to say, where gay equals frilly shirts, sensitive pouts and lingering looks with doe-eyes. Man, at least slash is subversive in applying that aesthetic to straight characters, and at least slash has the guts to get down and dirty. That stuff is just softcore boy-on-boy goth porn. Even when it's not so deeply fetishised, there still seems to be a tendency to stereotype gays as refined rather than rough, fey rather than fiery, cats rather than dogs.

The second problem with gay characters in genre fiction is that they're generally marginalised as subsidiary characters, which smacks of PC tokenism. Yeah, so your heroine has a Gay Best Friend; big deal. So your team of heroes has a tagalong queer; I'm not impressed.

The last problem is that even when you get a fully-fledged protagonist they're generally just not genre enough. By which I mean, the writer feels the need to show that it's "normal" to be gay, so the characters are rendered in a Realist mode rather than as Romantic heroes. They're intelligent, sensitive portraits of gays as "just like everyone else". Bollocks to that. The fetishised gays are annoying. The marginalised gays are frustrating. But the normalised gays are just plain dull. I want a gay character who blows shit up. I want a gay James Bond, a gay Jerry Cornelius, a gay Superman, a gay Indiana Jones, a gay Clint Eastwood in Where Eagles Dare. Achilles wasn't normal. He was an uberfag, dragging Hector's body ten times round the gates of Troy for killing his boyfriend. Now that's what I call a hissy fit!

[...]

Honorable mentions: I was very fortunate in that 2007 saw me participate, by myself or with a few partners in crime, in some interesting and insightful interviews. Some of my favorites include David Anthony Durham, Richard Morgan, China Miéville, C. S. Friedman, Katherine Kurtz, and the huge Wild Cards Q&A.

UNEXPECTED SURPRISE AWARD

- It's a tie between Jeff Somers' The Electric Church and Mike Carey's The Devil You Know.
MOST PROMISING NEW VOICE

- Hands down, Patrick Rothfuss for The Name of the Wind.

2006 saw the emergence of a slew of talented SFF writers, but in 2007 Rothfuss was in a class of his own.

MOST DISAPPOINTING NOVEL

- The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Its predecessor, The Final Empire, was a wonderful read. But this sequel was all filler, no killer. . .

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: BEST DEBUT

- Patrick Rothfuss, for The Name of the Wind

The final numbers haven't been tallied yet, but it appears that Rothfuss' debut will beat both Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule and George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones initial hardcover sales. Who else, then, could possibly have the SFF debut of the year???

WORST NOVEL OF THE YEAR

- The Wanderer's Tale by David Bilsborough

If someone farting the national anthem is your brand of humor, this one might just be for you!

DUMBASS OF THE YEAR

- Terry Goodkind for this delightful quote from an interview:

Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action.

There's another quote about raping Swedish grandmothers in a recent interview with Goodkind, but the gang rape bit takes the cake, no question.

MVP AWARD: SFF AUTHOR OF THE YEAR

- Patrick Rothfuss

Though I didn't enjoy The Name of the Wind as much as other reviewers did, I can't possibly give this award to any other writer. Few SFF authors have had such an immediate impact, both commercially and critically, in the history of the genre. In a few short months, Patrick Rothfuss has made a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic. Moreover, Rothfuss was all over the place, giving interviews and doing more than his part to help promote his debut.

Okay, so this wraps up the Hotties! Let me take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for helping me make Pat's Fantasy Hotlist the most popular SFF book reviewing blog on the internet.:-) I wouldn't be where I am without you guys, and I'll try to keep up the good work so you'll continue to drop by in such vast numbers!

Happy Holidays!

27 commentaires:

David said...

That's a cool bit of info from Hal Duncan. I think I'll have to try his books now. Also, I for one, really liked the "gay" cover for "The Name of the Wind". It was much better than the alternative one. :D

Anonymous said...

Nice name for an award, Pat.Real catchy :-)
I agree with most of your choices but the Mental Masturbation Award definitely put a big smile on my face and deserves a special mention.
I fucking hate that M. John Harrison and I'm glad that someone has the same feelings towards him, especially since your fellow bloggers seem to be on the opposite side (like the guy from Blog of the Fallen)
For the record, I haven't read anything that Harrison has written but I hate arrogance, and quotes like the "clomping foot of nerdism" or the one where he says that at some point reading just for the purpose of escapism is undignified just make me wish he caught cancer and died.

Larry said...

How nice of you, Pat, to include me in this edition, all for liking someone's writing and trying to view his statements differently than what certain others do. I wouldn't go around and claim a "majority" opinion on this, unless you are limiting it to the circles in which you frequent, since elsewhere, others are saying "Right the fuck on, MJH!" Just thought I'd add that bit, just to be contrary, while I plot how best to get you back later on... ;)

As for the Anon person, you can "fucking hate" without ever really being familiar with someone and his/her work? Impressive. I usually have to have had sustained and prolonged contact before another, especially an author, could get my goat the way that a single statement from an author you've never read seems to have boiled your bottom. I always wondered if going Anon was the internet equivalent of drinking a few 40s before going out in public...

And as for the Awards themselves, Pat, well...we have a few in common, many not in common. That's the way it ought to be - to ensure more exposure to deserving authors, no? :D

Anonymous said...

Here comes the Anon attack! Happens every single time. Just because I don't feel like picking a nickname doesn't mean I can't write my opinion.
Yes, it's perfectly possible to hate someone I've never met or been in contact with his/hers work. This being the case.
Like I said, I hate arrogance. That's it. It's a character trait of mine, sorry. And although I've never met MJH I can at least make the assumption that he's arrogant based on his posts.
This sparkles an (possibly irrational) hate that I can't control. Therefore, I stay firm on my earlier claim that the dude should get cancer and die.But I make no criticism of you whatsoever.
Well, this post seemed sober enough. maybe I need to down a few more brewskies :-)

Larry said...

Sweet! :D I just wanted to make sure, since mentioning me in passing in that diatribe made me wonder. I'll leave you in peace to hate on MJH and instead will look for some pills to take away this fever I'm developing. Fair enough?

Anonymous said...

You've got it all wrong, Larry :D
I'm a huge fan of your blog. I love the Gene Wolfe reviews you've been doing recently.

And by the way, I'm Portuguese and I was really surprised to read one of your posts where you mentioned José Saramago. You don't see that on other blogs. Really impressive. Your blog definitely has diversity.

But the MJH hate is something that won't go away. Maybe I'll read Viriconium one day and even enjoy it, but I don't think I'll ever enjoy the author.
Take care

etrangere said...

I need to pay more attentions to your interviews. That bit by Hal Duncan terribly amuses me!

Larry said...

You're right, Anon, I am wrong in this case. And yeah, I do have a love for Saramago's works, although I read most of them in Spanish translation (I did attempt Memorial do Convento in Portuguese though, got most of it but there were still those blanks). Glad you've enjoyed the Wolfe posts, as there'll be about 5-6 more in January, once I have the energy to sit down and think for hours about how to write those!

Patrick said...

Hey Larry,

You know I like and respect you, my friend.:-)

But you have to concede that, other than you and a scant few souls, MJH has never garnered much support regarding those quotes of his.

And for the record, I'm speaking of MJH "the reviewer" here, not MJH "the author." Still, the man is entitled to his opinion, that goes without saying. But when he seems to imply that anyone who doesn't agree with him is a dumbass, then I have to take exception...

etrangere said...

You say "mental masturbation" as if it was a bad thing.

Adam Whitehead said...

Generally good list, Pat, although Un Lun Dun would figure in my top list as well as a few other titles I know you didn't get to. I was mildly surprised to see no mention of some of the big SF&F names we sadly lost this year (such as Robert Jordan and Fred Saberhagen).

Good call on Joe getting the most improved author award. And as for Last Argument...let's just say that he has written the defining epic fantasy war sequence that pushes Steven Erikson's Chain of Dogs and Siege of Capustan into the shade, which is some achievement. Last Argument I think will be the benchmark against which other epic fantasy will be measured in 2008.

I agree with the Tor Books cover art award. It looked like they had gotten the message: House of Chains was okay and Midnight Tides was reasonable. Then they lost the plot altogether with The Bonehunters and Reaper's Gale. Seriously disappointing.

I'd be tempted to add an award for 'Most Inexplicable Disappearing Act', which should go to a certain Mr. Bakker... ;-)

Larry said...

Pat, I can't admit that when I saw comments in support over in the usual spots. William Gibson, via Warren Ellis, lauds him for it. Another author, Mark Chadbourn, agrees. Cory Doctorow cites it on Boing Boing, which is leaps and bounds larger than any of our audiences combined would be. These are just from searching "harrison+worldbuilding" on Google and looking at the first two pages of 4310 links. I'd have to say it's a bit more divided than that, as the field is very, very diverse.

That's not to say one can't arguably call MJH a bit arrogant in that post. I can see why many would feel justified to do so. But I think the thrust of his argument is one that ought to be considered and not just blithely dismissed, especially since it resonates so well with those writing/reading in those subgenres of spec fic that are different from the preferred ones of much of your audience.

Besides, he knows a helluva lot more about what he's talking about than Tairy and I think that's the part I objected to the most ;)

Kendall said...

Pat: I love Hotties! ;-)

Anon: Viriconium put me to sleep after a few pages; try something else unless you need a rest!

Anonymous said...

Really kendall? Then I won't go near it :D
It's weird because guys like China Mieville and Jeff Vandermeer (both authors I enjoy) really like MJH's work and count him as an influence. I suppose it must have gotten to his head.
MJH deserves his opinion of course, but the tone in which the opinion is given should also be taken into account.
I can respect China Mieville criticising Lord of the Rings but when he says "Tolkien is the wart on fantasy's arse" (I think that's an exact quote, I don't know :D) I have to call him arrogant and pompous. While still liking his books

Ed S. said...

I'm certainly glad to see Gollancz as Publisher of the Year, a well deserved honor for this old name. They've taken a chance - and been very successful - with a handful of new authors recently and are continuing that effort with the introduction of several new authors in 2008.

Pie said...

John Harrison does sound like an elitist jerk but I won't let that influence how I feel about his books.

It's the same with Goodkind. Sounds like a horrible person, but sure writes some entertaining novels, that guy.

more examples: Card, Simmons

-garlicpotatopie

Pat said...

Woo Hoo! I'm a Rockstar!

No, wait. I have a speech written down somewhere here.... Ah. Here it is!

"I'd like to thank the Acadamy....

Adam Whitehead said...

Actually, agreed on the Gollancz award. I felt too biased to do the same thing on my blog since they're the only company sending me ARCs at the moment, plus they're the only publishing people I've actually met (Simon & Gillian are very cool in RL as well, but for the love of God don't get Simon into a map discussion after a few drinks!).

And yes, based on Robert Redick and what I've been hearing about Alex Bell, plus the excellence of the new Abercrombie and their sister-imprint Orion bringing us the 'new' Bakker, they look like winning this award again next year.

Anonymous said...

Goodkinds quote is quite right, anyone who understands what REAL democracy is and its modern roots from greece will take into account its little more than a governance of mob rule, might or numbers make right.
its not the highty flighty stuff the politicians speak of glowingly, fact is america is not or was meant to be a democracy, though the powers that be are trying to push it more and more.

I think pat you should focus on your own writing projects and bitch about well established others when you finally have a book published and just hope that you receive half the accolades and support goodkind does. Your jealously makes me pity a man who feels the need to prop himself up on a throne of condensations.ene

Maurice said...

@Anonymous

It's the voice of many that decide what is right and wrong, but when people take that power and use it for something else, then it's abuse. Rape is abuse. It's not like the rapists gather round and cast votes. They don't think rationally, they just act and become part of the 'mob'. The 'mob' is a mindless mass acting as one not a group of individuals, each making up their own minds and voting for what they want.

Pat's a reviewer. When somebody writes crap and after talks crap in interviews, than they deserved to get slammed. Goodkind arrogantly believes that he is the best thing out there in the fantasy genre, even though he *doesn't* write fantasy...

Larry said...

For the first Anon:

I think MJH's better works are those closest to mimitic fiction, while still straying quite a bit away from those strictures as well: The Course of the Heart and Signs of Life. I think those are the easiest of his works for most to read and they showcase his ability with the English language.

As for the arrogance bit, I suppose it can be taken as such, but I do think there are some discussion-worthy things in there that some are being too quick to deny, just because they dislike the author's tone. As for Miéville, if memory serves, he backed off of that 2000 quote of his a few years ago, being sick and tired of having to address it over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Mr maurice,
Morals and the rights of human beings are but illusory if its only decided by the current whims of the populace.
Democracy is rule of the majority at the price of the minority, you should study greecian democracy where the modern form originated, when a speaker at a public forum did hold the crowds interests they would forcibly remove him from the podium. This was anti free speech and a poisonous danger to a free thinking society where ideas should be exchanged freely.

Rapists make a conscious decision to commit their act, while the US senate makes the same purposeful intent to declare war under troubling circumstances.
Democracy is NOT interchangeable with freedom though the politcos and common use of the term would confuse most.

As for not writing fantasy,
He says he chose to write certain themes he wanted to get across with fantasy trappings if you will. Is see no problem, his books are a good read and do have intriguing musings that are rarely found in the pulp fantasy genre

My main point was pat is burning bridges talks a lot of shit for an author without even one book in print

Larry said...

Dear latest Anon:

Say "Hellenic" or "Greek," as your misspelling of the atrocious "Grecian" makes one think of Grecian Formula for Men.

Secondly, there are no pure democracies in the world today and no "modern" form began in Athens. Constitutional republics with elements of democratic principles is what has been the norm. The comparing of political actions to rape makes me wonder if you, like Mr. Goodkind apparently, has too much of a fixation on the physical violation of another.

And finally, I wouldn't worry overmuch about Pat "burning bridges," considering authors don't have to play nice to each other. In some cases, the tension might even be "palpable," as if one were to reach out and palp another's jugular...or heart.

Myshkin said...

I hate it when some moron claims that you have to have written a book in order to be qualified to judge other books. It's just so stupid!

Anonymous said...

One word and thats the criticism you latch on how pathetic.

You inadvertently prove my point, yes democratic elections are usually a facet of free societies but beyond that when it comes to the realm of "morals and social issues" that is where the tyranny begins and why our government is not democratic and never should be though there are elements pushing for this.

Political actions(like voting for instance) have direct consequences upon people, albeit on a larger scale than the gang rape example pat is so fond of bashing on his blog.
The public votes to accept certain land rezoneing and as a result private property is seized by corporate interests. Thats an example, I see that you and pat it seems are looking at the broader picture and stuck that the most holy word taught in schools should dare be associated with something as violating as gang rape.
I think mr goodkind understands well the power and impact of words and he used it to provoke an intense reaction and debate from those pro and opposed, like were having now.

As for the other fellow,
If you read this blog you will see that pat cries about mrt goodkind. A lot.
Also for how vitriolic pat can get,
he just coming off to me personally as a bigmouth with a chance to preach fire and brimstone while behind a computer.
This is only a guess but when his books do drop, even the most biased fan will be able to see how goodkind tops pats stories on all levels.

Oh and its that he doesnt have a right to critique(we all do of course!) but his very antagonistic name calling shows what kind of a person he is and why I take issue.
When someone in disagreement with you resorts to name calling or defamation it only shows there lack of substance and need to distract from there faulty assumptions.

Larry said...

It is quite ironic that "Anonymous" says that Pat is the one hiding behind a computer... ;)

As for "proving" your "point," I have to disagree. There's quite a bit of difference between an inherently conservative thing such as "democracy" (where all ideals, actions, etc. have to be vetted by the populace, which tends to reduce, if not completely eliminate, the chances for radicals of the left or right to effect sudden change) and the hierarchal, violence-ridden assertion of power dominance in such a thing as rape. The very fact that one equates a system of government with the violent abuse of one human being by another is quite telling of this "Anonymous" person's character, no? No, if you want to talk about the abuses of democracy, a more apt comparison would be to the percentages who text in their votes for American Idol or other such programs.

That, or you could just instead misuse the "bandwagon" argument (as "Anonymous" does at the end) and argue that quantity of items produced/sold=quality/"right" to assert an opinion. In such a case, what that would indicate is a belief in a sort of "mobocracy," which is quite distinct from democracy in any of its applied forms, in that a group ethos would seek to impose its will upon another. Quite ironic that in attempting to deplore another's comments in referencing that asinine "gang rape" comment of Goodkind's, this "Anonymous" person almost seems to be condoning such a violent usurpation of one's presumed "natural right" to speak one's mind. Which of course would make a certain internet posting, in which I suspect "Anonymous" to have taken a part, quite ironic and amusing to me.

But in the end, if Miéville once famously remarked that Tolkien "was the wen on the arse of fantasy," one might conclude that Terry Goodkind is little more than the segma licked off the pustulent cunt of a disease-ridden whore. His comments are mock-worthy and outside of his apparently rabid, possibly goose-stepping fans, very few bother to give his thoughts the time of day, except to mock and to ridicule them.

Anonymous said...

Well,I'm the first Anon :D and I just want to distance myself from the guy that thinks that "gang rape is democracy in action" is a reasonable and constructive thing to say. I'm totally on Larry's and Pat's side on this one

My criticisms were just of MJH and Mieville(and the latter was just regarding a particular quote he made.I'm a big fan of his Bas-Lag novels) but I can totally extend my complaining to Goodkind.

If you take a look at the most popular fantasy blogs, Goodkind is on almost everybody's shitlist, and for good reason: He can't stop being a douche. Just read a random interview of his and you'll find an idiotic quote like the one Pat used.

And being totally honest, he's a shitty writer. When writers like Orson Scott Card or Dan Simmons get critised for their politics,they have the writing chops to back it up. Goodkind just regurgitates Ayn Rand rethoric on his books while pilfering the rest from Wheel of Time.