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Gobsmacked in Ontario
This is the list of John W. Campbell Memorial Award nominees for 2006 (I've marked the ones that I have read with an *):

Ben Bova  	         Titan*  	                       Tor
Nick DiChario 	         A Small and Remarkable Life 	       Robert J. Sawyer Books
David Louis Edelman 	 Infoquake 	                       Pyr
M. John Harrison 	 Nova Swing* 	                       Gollancz
Jack McDevitt 	         Odyssey* 	                       Ace
James Morrow 	         The Last Witchfinder 	               William Morrow
Justina Robson 	         Living Next Door to the God of Love*  Tor UK
Barbara Sapergia 	 Dry 	                               Coteau Books
Karl Schroeder 	         Sun of Suns* 	                       Tor
Charles Stross 	         Glasshouse* 	                       Ace
Vernor Vinge 	         Rainbows End* 	                       Tor
Jo Walton 	         Farthing* 	                       Tor
Peter Watts 	         Blindsight* 	                       Tor

And from that list, the winner was Ben Bova's Titan, which is not what I would have predicted given the selection.

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Source? (It's not up on Locus yet.)

I wish I could say I was surprised, but given that the past few years have seen Sawyer's Mindscan beat Accelerando, Counting Heads, Spin and The Summer Isles, and Morgan's Market Forces beat Air, I'm not.

The nominees were announced a couple of months ago.

The winners were announced at the Heinlein Centennial this past weekend.


I've read Farthing and Blindsight, and am reading Sun of Suns and Glasshouse, and any of those would have been a fine winner. They all had different strengths, but were definitely well-written.

Not having read Titan, I can't comment on it. Maybe more of the voters liked thrillers, or maybe it was more accessible because it was already in paperback?

(Looked it up in amazon: entering just "Titan" gave me a list that included a bunch of Modesty Blaise comics, but no Bova book. Dunno what that says.)


That makes the choice even odder.

That list of jurors in full: Gregory Benford, Paul A. Carter, James Gunn, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Christopher McKitterick, Farah Mendlesohn, Pamela Sargent, and T.A. Shippey.

That list you just gave, Mindscan beating Accelerando etc, is causing steam to come out of my ears.

At least this year's is only silly, not totally ludicrous.

Mindscan was an excellent book. I do agree with you on Accelerando, though.

Speaking of Karl Schroeder

Am I the only one who sees Mennonite-related themes in his fiction? I'm curious if they are there or if I am projecting.

Re: Speaking of Karl Schroeder

He is a Mennonite by background... So I doubt it's just projection!


Huh. Not my choice, anyhow.

(Deleted comment)
I support whatever good things you've heard about A Small and Remarkable Life. It was a book I found myself thinking about long after I finished reading it.

A Small and Remarkable Life was just beautiful. On a sentence-by-sentence basis alone, DiChario is a great stylist. And the story itself did make me cry . . . a couple of times.

If anyone's looking for it, you can buy it from and

[And no, I didn't link to my store with these links. I get no money if you decide to buy this book. I just thought it was a great book.]

When the nominees came out, you asked "What is Titan doing on that list?" and when I saw the winners my first thought was "The answer to James's question is clearly 'Winning it'."

Oh well.


There are six books on that list I'd have been delighted to see win. I haven't read Titan on the general grounds that Bova is boring. Maybe the jurors thought it was the safe choice?

But at least it was nice to see Sun of Suns on the shortlist.

Titan? That book left me sorely unimpressed.

What voting mechanism to they use? If it's first-past-the-post, then the plethora of good books diluted the good book vote, letting a bad book got in.

Stolen from Torque Control

Gregory Benford, born 1941
Paul A. Carter, born 1926
James Gunn, born 1923
Elizabeth Anne Hull, born 1937
Christopher McKitterick, born 1967
Farah Mendlesohn, born (?)
Pamela Sargent, born 1948
Tom Shippey, born 1943

So there's something of a generational split there, with two Gen Xers (I think), one Boomer and a lot of Silents.

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