2016 Seiun Awards Shortlist

The 55th Japan Science Fiction Convention (Nihon SF Taikai) has posted the 2016 Seiun Awards nominees (linked site is in Japanese).

The winners will be determined by a vote of attendees at “Iseshimacon” in Toba and announced on July 9.

Reported here are the Best Translated Novel, Best Translated Short Story, and Best Dramatic Presentation. Interpretations of Japanese titles and translators’ names come from the Wikipedia or Google Translate.

The items in the Free Space category are rendered in English by Google Translate, more successfully in some cases than others.

Brief descriptions of nominees in the categories composed of Japanese language works are available in this post at Anime News Network.


  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, Tr. Hideko Akao
  • Zendegi by Greg Egan, Tr. Makoto Yamagishi
  • Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell, Tr. Kazuyo Misumi
  • The Water Knife by Paola Bacigalupi, Tr. Naoya Nakahara
  • The Violent Century by Ravi Tidoha, Tr. Takeshi Mogi
  • Vulcan’s Hammer by Philip K. Dick, Tr. Tatsuo Sato


  • “Good Hunting” – Ken Liu, Tr. Yoshimichi Furusawa
  • “The Road of Needles” – Caitlyn R. Kiernan, Tr. Jun Suzuki
  • “White Sin, Now” – Tanith Lee, Tr. Izumi Ichida
  • “Mask” – Stanislaw Lem, Tr. Koichi Kuyama
  • “Relays and Roses” – Gene Wolfe, Tr. Takao Miyawaki
  • “Alfred’s Ark” – Jack Vance, Tr. Toru Nakamura
  • “Beautiful Boys” – Theodora Goss, Tr. Jun Suzuki



Update 03/30/2016: Followed Petréa Mitchell’s recommendations for the names of several translators.

15 thoughts on “2016 Seiun Awards Shortlist

  1. Paolo (not Paola) Bacigalupi. A personal favorite, his short story collection “Pump Six and other stories” is a nice sampler of his work if you’re potentially discomforted by some content in “The Windup Girl”.

  2. Funny to see “Vulcan’s Hammer” as an award nominee so long after it was originally published. I think it’s my favorite Dick novel so far. I have always liked the obscure stuff for some reason. There’s a freshness and a delightful insouciance that really lifted me in that one. Most of his novels which have a better reputation I find ponderous or affected. VH is pure, unadulterated radioactive granola.

  3. Wish Upon the Pleiades was a cute show and I liked it, but I don’t think it was major award worthy. Especially not in a year that also produced Blood Blockade Battlefront, Yurikuma Arashi, and One Punch Man.

    I’m assuming the Psycho Pass nom is for the movie and not season 2, because season 2 was cringe-worthy garbage. But I do really need to see the movie; season 1 was fantastic and I’ve loved pretty much everything else Urobuchi’s worked on, so. (He notably did not work on season 2.)

    I’m kind of surprised neither of the Attack on Titan movies got a nod, but then, I haven’t seen them yet.

  4. @Miranda: I know that Trigun was significantly more popular in the US than it was in Japan, I wouldn’t be surprised if Blood Blockade Battlefront was the same way. Ikuhara is something of an acquired taste – Gen Urobuchi is generally very popular among the headier writers of Light Novels, Visual Novels, and anime, but I don’t know if Ikuhara is the same.

    To make a western cinema comparison, I’d say that Urobuchi might be as well regarded in Japan as Christopher Nolan is in the West, while Ikuhara (and probably also Mamoru Oshii) are probably on the same level of regard as Aronofsky or Malick – well regarded as a master of their craft, but not universally (or mostly universally) beloved.

  5. @Alexander Case

    I guess, but I’m still kind of confused by Wish Upon the Pleiades being nominated for a Seiun. Though BBB, YKA, and OPM stood out to me as being the best new shows last year, there were still a ton that were better than WUtP, more popular, and had better sales. And I’m pretty sure BBB and especially OPM both had great sales and popularity rankings in Japan.

    Maybe WUtP’s getting bonus points for originality as a magical girl anime that was used for marketing by a car company. Or hey, maybe Subaru ran a campaign for it! LOL.

  6. @Miranda: It’s not the first good anime to have a connection to a marketing project – Freedom Project had significant design work done for it by Katsuhiro Otomo, and it was a marketing vehicle for instant ramen!

  7. @Alexander Case

    Oh, by no means do I think WUtP was the first ever anime marketing vehicle (hyuck hyuck) ever made. The originality I meant was that it’s a magical girl show advertising cars. I don’t know what the thought process was behind that decision, but I admire it! 😀

  8. @Rich Lynch:
    The Martian movie was released on Feb 2016 in Japan, so it will be eligible for next year. The novel has won the Seiun Award last year.

    As for serialized works, they often tend to be nominated only after they were concluded even though the regulation allows us to vote while continuing. Sometimes nominees may seem to be a bit too late because of that.

  9. A few translator name corrections:

    Zendegi – Makoto Yamagishi
    The Water Knife – Naoya Nakahara
    The Violent Century -Takeshi Mogi
    “Good Hunting” – Yoshimichi Furusawa
    “Mask” – Koichi Kuyama

    (If you can read katakana and want to play along at home, nearly all the translators have author pages at Tokyo Sogensha’s site with pronunciation included. Simply paste the name into the search box, and the author page will be the first result, if there is one.)

  10. I’m pretty sure the Psycho-Pass nomination is for the movie, too. I think I could tell by checking the Anime News Network database, but ANN seems to be in DDOS-defense mode right now.

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