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RonO's Ramblings

Jun. 7th, 2011 01:57 pm Looking in a Crystal Ball

I foresee sometime next winter, on the SMOFs list and possibly elsewhere, a great debate about what Hugo category a particular work belongs.

You see, Audible.com sent me an e-mail (I’ve been a customer/subscriber of theirs for years) announcing “…Audible presents the first Polish-to-English translation of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris, endorsed by the author’s estate, and available only in digital audio.” {bold face  mine for emphasis}

Therefore, next year during Hugo Award nomination season, there will be great debate  whether this qualifies for “Best Novel” or “Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.”  Some will argue that since it is an audio book it is inherently a dramatic presentation and must be nominated in that category.  Others will argue either (1) that the fact that it is (first) presented in an audio format is not withstanding and the writing should be nominated or (2) that as a dramatic presentation it is not one of the best of the year.

While I know where I’d likely land – at least having not yet read the book/listened to the audio – I’m not going to share that here.

Of course, if there was an abridged or unauthorized translation earlier, then it might not be eligible for novel since that would probably make it not qualify for the “first time in English” {approximate quote}, which would make at least one argument moot.


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Date:June 7th, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC)
I can't see where this would qualify for "Best Novel" in any case. Solaris has been in English translation for years, hasn't it? A new translation isn't a new work by any reasonable definition. (Checking Wikipedia, it appears that there is an existing English translation, produced from a French to English translation of the Polish to French translation. So it may have been a lousy translation, but the book was available in English years ago.)

And I would also argue that a simple reading -- however good! -- of a printed work is not a dramatic presentation by any reasonable definition.

Now, we simply have to assume that:

a) I'm right.
b) Everyone is reasonable.

This could be a stretch. :)

Edited at 2011-06-07 11:03 pm (UTC)