- The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)
- Dying Bites, D.D. Barant (St. Martin’s)
- Soulless, Gail Carriger (Orbit)
- Johannes Cabal, the Necromancer, Jonathan L. Howard (Doubleday)
The Compton Crook Award is presented for the best SF/fantasy/horror first novel published each year. The winning author will receive $1,000, a plaque, and an invitation to attend Balticon as a Guest of Honor for two years, with BSFS paying transportation and lodging. Selection is by vote of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society membership.