Yes Virginia, people are still giving out awards for 2008.
Before we get to the movies here are the Best Novel competitors which one might add to one's kindle, library request or shopping list if one knows how to read.
- Anathem by Neal Stephenson
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman the awesome.
- Little Brother (download free) by Cory Doctorow. It's post-terrorist attack speculative sci-fi about a 17 year old in San Francisco, now a police state.
- Saturn's Children by Charles Stross is about a 23rd century femmebot. With no humans left to service (we've been wiped out!) she agrees to a job transporting a mysterious package. I included the cover left because it made me chuckle but also because I have a question for you. The cinema has a long love affair with prostitutes but have you ever noticed that when genre stories approach the world's oldest profession (A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, Blade Runner, Firefly) it's always sort of backgrounded and sexless? Why is that? Here's a review from i09 that makes this sound like a strong satirical sci-fi read. I think I shall try it out. Who's with me?
- Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi.
Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form
The Dark Knight, which one assumes will win, is up against the year's other critical and populist triumphs: Iron Man and Wall•E. The "one of these things is not like the others" nominee is an audio story collection called METAtropolis which you can download/experience here (Flash required). Galactica groupies should note that two of its men, "Saul" and "Gaeta", are among the voices therein. Finally there's Guillermo Del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army. I never know quite what to make of Del Toro as a filmmaker. He definitely has visual prowess and a "voice" but his storytelling skills can be suspect. So I worry about The Hobbit (2012?) because Peter Jackson wipes the floor with him in terms of "story". Anyway, Hellboy II is a marked improvement over the first. It retains the fun and the color but it's way more coherent.
Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form
I tend to think that the Hugos (and any other awards that split categories this way) have their awards reversed. It's television, not film, that's the "long form" drama. Barring classic old school sitcoms, all of the best television has understood the cumulative potency of slowly unfolding narratives and complex and ever-complicating character arcs. Hollywood has this reversed, too. They really ought to be gravitating towards short stories and novellas for their transfers. Short stories are ideal for cinematic transfers (think Away From Her and Brokeback Mountain) allowing for both fidelity to the source material and the imagination of the new interpreter since they're expected to flesh them out. Hefty novels and comic books really are more suited for serialized television though that's not the way the film and television industries tend to see them. Their eyes can only focus on the green.
So since Battlestar Galactica -- which you can't miss any 45 minutes of lest you be hopelessly confused -- is in "short form" its mid-season finale "Revelations", a total stunner, is a nominee. It's up against two episodes of Doctor Who ("Turn Left" and "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead"), one chapter of Lost named "Constant" (I don't watch Lost but a good 50% of my friends are obsessed with it so maybe I've missed out), and Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
I'm rooting for Battlestar as I tend to but my favorite episode in Season Four might just be "Six of One" rather than "Revelations". But that's like asking if I'd like a cash prize of 10 million dollars or a cash prize of 10,225,000 euros. It's all good. It's all gold.
The full list of Hugo Nominations
PLEASE NOTE: Some of us will not see the Battlestar series finale when it airs tonight so please no spoilers in the comments.