The Hugo Awards for excellence in science fiction were presented Saturday night in a ceremony in Reno, Nevada, during the sci-fi convention Renovation, and the winner in the Best Graphic Story category was Phil and Kaja Foglio’s Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse. This is the third year that comics have been included in the Hugo categories, and it is also the third year in a row that Girl Genius has won the award, volumes 8 and 9 having taken the honors in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
The Foglios weren’t the only sequential artists to win an award, however; Shaun Tan, creator of The Arrival and The Lost Thing, won the award for Best Artist. Tan’s mantelpiece must be getting crowded; earlier this year he won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for excellence in children’s literature, and the film version of The Lost Thing, which he directed, won an Oscar.
Finalists have been announced for the 2011 Hugo Awards, which recognize the best in science fiction and fantasy.
Presented annually since 1955 by the World Science Fiction Society, the Hugo is among science fiction’s most prestigious awards. This year’s winner will be presented Aug. 20 in Reno, Nevada, during Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention.
The nominees for best graphic story are:
• Fables, Vol. 14: Witches, written by Bill Willingham; illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Jim Fern, Craig Hamilton and David Lapham (Vertigo)
• Girl Genius, Vol. 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
• Grandville Mon Amour, by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
• Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, written and illustrated by Howard Tayler; colors by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton (Hypernode)
• The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man, written by Mike Carey; illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
This is the third year for the graphic story category. Girl Genius won the award the two previous years.
The full list of nominees can be found on the Renovation website.
Add a new holiday to your calendar: Phil and Kaja Foglio, creators of the long-running webcomic Girl Genius, have dubbed Jan. 12 Girl Genius Day. “We’re hoping you’ll do something suitably mad and/or steampunkalicious for the occasion,” they write at their site. In particular, they are hoping you will buy a copy of Agatha H and the Airship City: A Girl Genius Novel, which is based on the comic and officially went on sale yesterday. The idea is to give the book a boost in the Amazon ranking, a la Machine of Death, and hopefully bring it to the attention of booksellers.
In fact, the Night Shade Books site already shows the print version as “sold out,” but that turns out to be a good thing, as Phil found out when he asked:
Everybody thinks this book is going to do well, so everybody “ordered heavy”, so they’ll have a lot of books ready to meet demand. Great. Now there’s performance anxiety. And the publisher is still sold out, but they fully expect that they will have to reprint. The question is when. Thus they are now waiting to see how quickly the shops and wholesalers “sell through’ on the books they have in stock.
There are also two e-book editions, and this is where it gets a bit sticky. The Kindle version is $7.99, but you can also buy a DRM-free e-book edition from Webscription for $6. Obviously these sales won’t count in the Amazon rankings, though, so fans might want to consider whether it’s worth spending an extra two bucks to help give the Foglios that boost. If it helps, today is Kaja’s birthday as well, and if you’re in Seattle, you can wish her well in person, as the Foglios will be doing a book signing at Ravenna Third Place Books.