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Connie Willis Wins Eleventh Hugo, Absolutely No One is Surprised

Inside of a dog it's too dark to read

The votes are in, and WorldCon attendees in Reno learned Saturday night that this year’s Hugo for Best Novel goes to Connie Willis, perennial favorite ever since her first win for Best Short Story over 30 years ago.

The author of the Oxford Universe, made famous in the time-traveling steampunk fantasies The Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog, Willis picked this one up for her 2010 omnibus release of the latest two novels in the series, Blackout and All Clear. Like To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout/All Clear return the reader to World War II and Willis’ relish for combining meticulous historical realism with brilliant technological innovation and moments of pure fantasy.

Though To Say Nothing of the Dog made Willis the author with the most Hugo wins all the way back in 1999, she has continued to have a prolific career, winning four more Hugos and a whopping 7 Nebulas, a total only approached by that other marvelous fantasy author Ursula Le Guin, who has won 6.

The win comes just  two weeks after NPR named Doomsday Book to its list of the Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy novels.  And while we’re happy for Willis, we’re even happier to see that the list itself included so many fantastic female writers–as did this year’s Hugo noms.  Fellow nominee for Best Novel, N.K. Jemisin, whose debut The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was one of my personal faves of last year, tweeted after the announcement that, “After all, if I gotta lose a Hugo, losing it to CONNIE WILLIS is the way to go.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Also notable is the winner of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Lev Grossman. Grossman is the author of the Magicians adult fantasy series, as well as being a noted Harry Potter fanboy and vocal proponent of all things fandom.  We love when fans become creators, and love it even more when they win stuff.

Congrats to Connie and Lev!

Aja Romano blogs regularly at Bookshop.

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