Terry Pratchett: an indictment

Chaos Horizon points out the essential absurdity and historical irrelevance of the Hugo and Nebula Awards:

Pratchett never won a Hugo or Nebula award. Neither awards have ever known what to do with humorous/satirical SFF. Both awards failed to live up to the imagination that Pratchett showed in his best work: it’s easier to celebrate the serious and prestigious than the fantastic. Our field should have done better. Pratchett did receive Nebula nominations late in his career, in 2006 (Going Postal) and 2009 (Making Money). Neither are among his best books. Mort, Guards! Guards!, and Small Gods all would have been worthy winners, but I’d draw your attention to 2003, the year that Robert Sawyer won the Hugo for Hominids. Pratchett published The Night Watch in 2002, a twisty time-travel caper, that would have been an outstanding winner for that year.

I am proud to be able to say that I am among those SFWA members who were responsible for both the 2006 and 2009 Nebula nominations. (I also used to regularly nominate Charles Stross for awards, to little avail, back when he actually deserved them.) The fact that Terry Pratchett wasn’t even being NOMINATED when the likes of Catharine Asaro were WINNING was one of the things that first led me to believe there was something very, very rotten in the state of SF/F awards. Here is the review of Going Postal I posted on this blog in September 2004. In case you’re wondering how the review could have been posted in 2004 while the nomination was in 2006, it was because a) the Nebula schedule was bizarre back then, and b) I received a pre-release review copy of it.

In fairness to the Hugos, Pratchett also received a belated Hugo nomination for Going Postal, but he declined it. It’s hard to believe he didn’t even receive a nomination for his best book, Night Watch, in a year when the likes of Picoverse, The Other Wind, Solitaire, Passage, The Curse of Chalion, The Chronoliths, Cosmonaut Keep, and The Bones of the Earth did.