Anime News Network has the results of this year’s Seiun Awards. For those who are unfamiliar with the awards, the Seiun Awards (Seiun being the Japanese word for Nebula) are handed out every year at the Nihon SF Taikai (or Japan Science Fiction Convention). Voting is done in a manner similar to the Hugo Awards – voting is open to attendees of the convention. Here’s a link to a Google Translated version of the results, and I’ll have my own list below the cut. The full list of Nominees can be found here.
A Posthumous award was given to Kaoru Kurimoto, creator of the Guin Saga series of swords & sorcery fantasy novels, who died last year. The anime based on the series has been licensed for US release by Sentai Filmworks.
The Best Japanese Short Fiction Award went to “Interview with the Columns of Clouds” by Hirotaka Tobi. I can’t fin a plot summary, so I can’t tell what that one’s about.
Best Translated Long Fiction went to the Japanese edition of The Last Colony by John Scalzi. Other books nominated were the Japanese editions of Accelerando by Charles Stross, Perdido Street Station by China Miéville, Rainbow’s End by Vernor Vinge, Probability Space by Nancy Kress, and the Jewish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon. All of which, by the way, are on my “Modern Sci-Fi I need to read” list.
Best Translated Short Fiction went to “Dark Integers” by Greg Egan. The other nominees included “Beggars in Spain” by Nancy Kress, “The Pear-Shaped Man” by George R. R. Martin, “Fluted Girls” by Paolo Bachigarupi (apparently only published in Japan, which is odd), a story by the late C.L. Moore which has a title translated as “Tour Came When the Encounter”, and “A Crab Must Try” by the late Barrington J. Bailey.
Best Film went to the anime film Summer Wars, which has currently been licensed by Funimation. Other nominees were Star Trek, Avatar, Watchmen, Terminator: Salvation, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the Fresh! PreCure Magical Girl film, and some live-action period film called Jin that I’ve never heard of before.
Best Manga went to Pluto, an re-imagining of the “World’s Strongest Robot” storyline from Astro Boy, which has been released in English by Viz. Other nominees which I can confirm the correct titles of are Hellsing by Kouta Hirano, Twin Spica by Kou Yagiunuma, Tale of the Hakodate Youjin Outlaws – Himegami (unlicensed) by Nozomu Tamaki – creator of Dance in the Vampire Bund, and Yomikiri Monono… (also unlicensed) by Izumi Takemoto.
Best Art went to the work of Naoyuki Katoh, who did the cover art for the Japanese editions of the Guin Saga novels. Other nominees were Katou Ryou and Gotou Keisuke (same site as for Ryou), Washio Nao (Some NSFW stuff in his gallery of the girls in tight-swimwear variety), Nakagawa Yuu, and Takeshi Nakamura.
Best Nonfiction went to “The Intellectual History of Japanese SF 1857-1975” by Yasuo Nagayama, which sounds like something I probably would seek out and read if it were translated into English – and something that would probably be up the Science Fiction Museum & Hall Of Fame’s alley. Hint. Hint. Anyway, the other nominees include a collection of science-fiction art from the Showa period – specifically the 40s and 50s, an encyclopedia of Japanese Fantasy Writers, a book about living and working in space, a history of a science fiction fan-group, and a collection of essays from Japanese SF Writers.
The Free Award for general SF/Fantasy stuff in pop culture went to the life-sized Gundam Statue, built by Sunrise. Other nominees were the Sekai Camera Augmented Reality app for the iPhone (the concept being that in certain locations, your iPhone’s Camera would display specific images and text based on where you were – for example, you go to a museum, and your iPhone would display additional information based the item you were looking at), a life-sized statue of Tetsujin 28 (aka Gigantor) in Kobe, and the Love+ series of Dating sims for the Nintendo DS. I might be able to put together an argument why the Sekai Camera app is better, but I’d have to work at it.
Finally, there was one more posthumous award given out, to Takumi Shibano, who edited Japan’s first SF magazine Uchūjin (“Space Dust”), while teaching High School math, and later translated western SF novels and short fiction into Japanese. He also consulted on several Tatsunoko productions, including Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets/G-Force), Casshern (which later inspired the Mega Man series – along with Astro Boy, of course). He attended almost every WorldCon after 1979, and was a WorldCon Guest of Honor at WorldCon 54, in 1996 in LA. He died on January 16 of this year from pneumonia at the age of 83.