What I published last year, and the whole audio question.

As we kick off the New Year, it’s time for the traditional look back on what I published last year, but this year requires a little bit of annotation because there’s a curious question about audiobook fiction.

First the list.


  • Without a Summer – This was book 3 in the Glamourist Histories.

Short Story

  • “We Interrupt This Broadcast” — The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination (Tor)


Best Related Work

Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form

  • Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal, (Audible)
  • The Incrementalists, by Steven Brust, Skyler White, narrated by Ray Porter, Mary Robinette Kowal (Audible)
  • Chimes at Midnight: An October Daye Novel, Book 7, by Seanan McGuire, directed by Max Bloomquist, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal (Brilliance Audio)
  • Celebromancy: Ree Reyes, Book 2, by Michael R. Underwood, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal (Audible)
  • METAtropolis: Green Space by Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bear, Karl Schroeder, Seanan McGuire, Tobias S. Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Scholes, narrated by Dion Graham, Robin Miles, Mark Boyett, Scott Brick, Allyson Johnson, Sanjiv Jhaveri, Jennifer Van Dyck, Jonathan Davis (Audible)
  • The Far Time Incident by Neve Maslakovic, directed by Sandra Burr, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal (Brilliance Audio)
  • The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius, edited by John Joseph Adams (editor), directed by Nick Podehl, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Justine Eyre (Audible)

Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form

  • Forest of Memory – Metatropolis: Green Space (Audible)
  • “We Interrupt This Broadcast” — The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination (Brilliance Audio)

The Annotation

*”Lady Astronaut of Mars” was originally published in audio in 2012. It had enough nominations to land on the novelette ballot for the Hugos, but the committee ruled that it was a Dramatic Presentation and moved it to that category. It didn’t have enough nominations to make the ballot. It appeared on Tor.com in September, 2013 and, in theory, is  eligible in print for the Hugos. But only for the Hugos.  All the other major awards consider audio publication to be publication.

The Locus Awards:

While we don’t have official posted definitions for the Locus Awards…

At this point, for the Locus Awards we consider digital and audio books to simply be different delivery formats, like hardcover or mass market. The text is considered as first published and categorized by length. We do continue to evolve our definitions as the technology around publishing changes.


III. f. Works Debuting in an Audio Version: In general if any work that is otherwise eligible for a Bram Stoker Award® debuts as an audio book (whether as a tape, CD or similar physical format, or as a download) then that work is only eligible for Award consideration in the year that the original audio version was released. If a printed version is released in a subsequent year the work is ineligible for further Awards consideration. However, this is the only the case where the following pre-conditions are met: the audio version was available to at least 33% of the Association’s voting members; if physically produced in any format at least 751 copies must have been produced (but not necessarily sold); and, if available as a download, that download must be dedicated to selling or providing that work either stand-alone or collected with other works (works included in a one-off podcast or radio program that are not later made available in downloadable form are not covered by this rule, hence later audio or printed versions of those works are eligible for future consideration).

Nebula Awards

All works first published in English, in the United States, during the calendar year, in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, or a related fiction genre are eligible for the Nebula Awards® in their respective categories. Works such as comic books, graphic novels, and similar type works shall be placed in an existing category as deemed appropriate by the Nebula Awards Commissioner, based primarily on their word count.

(Note from me: The Bradbury is not a Nebula. In the past, the question came up about audio and the board at the time, which I was on, ruled that it counted as publication.)


3.3.7: Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. Any theatrical feature or other production, with a complete running time of more than 90 minutes, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year.
3.3.8: Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Any television program or other production, with a complete running time of 90 minutes or less, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year.

Based on what happened last year, it seems that the Hugo awards treat the printed version and the audio version as two different things. Print goes into a fiction category. Audio goes into Best Dramatic Presentation. BUT it’s not spelled out in the rules and each committee is responsible for interpreting the rules that year. So what happened last year does not necessarily set a precedent for this year, but similar rulings in previous years have set a precedent.

I’ve queried to get clarification, but have been told that decisions are made in response to nominations and that a ruling can’t be made on a hypothetical situation. So, the only way to find out is to nominate something and see what happens.

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon?
Become a patron at Patreon!

5 thoughts on “What I published last year, and the whole audio question.”

  1. Don’t you mean Writing Excuses Season 8?

    Good luck for the awards.
    It’ll be my first year voting for the hugos and I’m going to check out Lady Astronaut of Mars. Thanks for the link

  2. Re “hypothetical situations”: Really? At some point that starts to feel like an evasion. I can understand not wanting to deal with every picky permutation of the rules. But when the issue at hand is one that came up last year and is quite likely to recur, “rulings can’t be made on hypothetical situations” starts to sound like “we don’t want to answer that.”

  3. I just finished “Lady Astronaut of Mars” on audio during this morning’s commute. You definitely deserve an award for it. I was surprised to find that you didn’t perform it yourself.

  4. Well, I haven’t listened to it yet, but “Lady Astronaut of Mars” was the BEST thing I read last year. I hope it gets nominated for the Hugos because you certainly deserve it.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top