1998 In Review

Posted 26 December 1998

Not a startling year. 1998 was neither as good as 1996 nor as bad as 1992. Short fiction was slightly better than 1997, while long fiction was about the same. The action was in nonfiction, with John Clute's Encyclopedia of Fantasy, Tom Disch's The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of, and the printing/reprinting of parts of James Gunn's essential collection The Road to Science Fiction (Part 3: Heinlein to Here, Part 4: From Here to Forever, Part 5: The British Way, Part 6: Around the World).

And now, without further ado, the envelope, please:

Best Speculative Fiction Novel of the Year Mary Doria Russell, Children of God
Honorable Mention: Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents
Worst Big-Name Speculative Fiction Novel of the Year Anne M'Caffrey, The Masterharper of Pern
[this category is open only to authors who have previously won a Nebula, a WFA, or a Hugo--people who should know better]
Best Speculative Fiction Anthology of the Year Gardner Dozois (ed.), The Year's Best Science Fiction (15th Annual Collection
Honorable Mention: Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling (eds.), The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (11th Annual Collection)
Best Speculative Fiction Dramatic Presentation [no award]
The new releases this year were all so seriously flawed that none deserves an award. Go watch 2001 again instead.
Best Book Publisher Tor Books (St. Martin's Press)
The Aegian Stables Award Bantam/Doubleday/Dell [for shoveling horse manure at both the book-buying public and authors]
Dishonorable Mention: Writer's Digest Books [only managed to shovel horse manure at the book-buying public]
Best Professional Print Magazine [tie] The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Interzone
Best Semiprofessional Print Magazine Crank!
Treated as "semiprofessional" only because of irregular publication. [Officially "died" a few days after this was first posted.]
Best Webzine Jackhammer

Overall rating for 1998: 3 stars
Good.
A few memorable works, but not a year to jump—or cringe—over. This may be a bad sign of arteriosclerosis; we'll know by next year.


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