Fans are divided over the proposal to add a Hugo category for YA books. No matter your opinion, it’s worth hearing what a leading YA author thinks about the idea.
Jane Yolen has enjoyed success in many literary categories and is renowned among YA audiences. Craig Miller had an opportunity to ask for her views. Here’s what she said about adding a YA book category to the Hugos:
All the YA and children’s book writers I know who do sf and fantasy WANT a Hugo within a designated category and don’t feel it would ghettoize the award at all. It will also make it much easier to “sell” sf/fantasy books to the teachers and librarians. They LOVE to see award stickers and lists of award winners and buy from those lists. It would make a huge difference.
[Thanks to Craig Miller for the story.]
A proposal to create a Best Young Adult Book Hugo category has been submitted to the Chicon 7 business meeting by Juli Hanslip, Lou Berger, Dan Kimmel, Stu Segal, Bobbi DuFault and Chris M. Barkley.
Barkley reports the category definition is:
(a) A young adult science fiction or fantasy book of any length published in the previous calendar year.
(b) Any work nominated in this category may not be simultaneously considered, if eligible, in any other fiction category.
(c) Two years after being implemented, this Constitutional Amendment may be repealed by a simple majority vote at the subsequent Main Business Meeting.
(A young adult book is defined as one in which the author(s) and/or the publisher specifically targeted a potential nominee to this intended audience. In the event of any confusion on the issue, the Hugo Administrator may inquire with the author(s) of potential nominated work for clarification.)
Note: The parenthetical phrase is part of the proposed rule.
Barkley and others submitted a YA Hugo motion last year at Renovation which was disposed of by a vote to object to consideration, although this was done in the expectation he would come back with a revision in 2012.
John Scalzi cannot believe there’s a conspiracy among YA writers to crush the careers of rival authors who say bad things about their books — it would just be too much bother:
Because, I gotta tell you, after everything else I do on a daily basis, I don’t have a lot of time left over to take your dreams, lovingly cradle them in my arms and then just when they feel safe fling them into a pit filled with gasoline and napalm and laugh boisterously while they shrivel and burn.
I guess John’s gotten awfully busy since he was elected President of SFWA. Because he always had time for those things when he was a fan writer.
[Thanks to Janice Gelb for the hilarious link.]
Baen Books has spiffed up its website — www.baen.com – and reloaded it with free fiction and other features aimed at people who work with YA readers.
“Space Hero” by Patrick Lundrigan is the first free story, winner of the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest, co-sponsored by Baen Books.
Free tools for teachers, librarians and book groups also are available, to help them use Baen fiction to reach YA readers. There are author interviews, all-new teacher’s study guides and reading group discussion question topics. The first of these offerings is a guide to Robert A. Heinlein’s The Rolling Stones, written by Felecia McDuffie, PhD.
The full press release follows the jump.
Science fiction and fantasy novels made the shortlist of the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards in the YA/Middle Reader category.
Included among the five finalists are Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel and The Shadow of Malabron by Thomas Wharton. I highly recommend a visit to Starclimber’s wonderful website to see the animated space elevator.
These awards for Canadian children’s literature are co-administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council which manages the jury process, and Canadian Booksellers Association whose members choose the short list of books. Awards are given in two categories (the other category is Children’s Picture Books). The winners, selected by juries of young readers, each receive $6,000. The results will be announced on May 20, 2009.
[Thanks to John Mansfield for the link.]