Sunday, July 26, 2015

Voting for the Hugos

Voting on the Hugos

I think I’ve got a handle on this Hugo mess.  Of great help was File 770, which kept me supplied with updates on the positions and antics of the nominees. 

(Serendipitously, this File 770 addiction led me to one of my favorite science fiction stories: Protection, by Robert Sheckley. I read it years ago and forgot the author and title, because my brain mainly stores music; most of the words slide right on through.)

I also read the nominated works. Here’s how I’m voting. 

Best Novel

1.  The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator
This is a hard science fiction novel which was a best-seller in China. I’m not going to lie about how “oh yeah, I understood all the physics, it’s wrong in fact.” But the aliens’ game based on Chinese myth and history, the cultural revolution scenes and the animal-communism man planting his trees stuck with me. And made me realize I would love to read more translated best-sellers from other cultures.  

2.   Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Butcher invented a genre. How many people can do that? Although personally, noir is not my thing. That’s why I’m putting it second. If I liked noir, this is the kind of noir I’d like best.

3.       The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette)This is a story about some imperialist and patriarchal (and cyberpunk!) elves, and how their wise and benevolent new leader sets them right, bringing them peace and feminism and awesome new clothes.  There’s some action, but don’t worry, most of it’s offstage.

4.       The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson
This space opera found its way right into my neutral zone. It kept me entertained for a couple of days and now I can’t recall anything about it.

5.       Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
Any empire that uses neurologically-damaged wetware in place of computers is too gratuitously evil for me to comfortably suspend my disbelief enough to get into the story, although the gender thing is clever

Best Novella
No award.
I didn’t like any of them, especially the three (3) entries by John C. Wright.

Best Novelette
1.       “The Day The World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
I do like surrealism.

2.       “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” by Rajnar Vajra
This was a fun story with lots of action.

3.       “Championship B’tok” by Edward M Lerner
Gamers in space! Nice worldbuilding.

4.       “The Journeyman: In the Stone House” by Michael F. Flynn
This one felt very much inspired by Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and seems to take place off in a corner of that world.

5.       “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” by Gray Rinehart
A little parable about stubbornness.

Best Short Story

1.   “Totaled” by Kary English
             In the future, insurance companies will do whatever they can to avoid playing claims. And now Kary English has given them the idea that they can save bucks by converting workers into jarred brains to avoid costs associated with bodily repair

2.       “Turncoat” by Steve Rzasa
In a race for the shortest short story, this one would win.

3.       “A Single Samurai”, Steven Diamond
That’s one way to deal with a kaiju.

4.       “On A Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli
This story isn’t bad, about chaplain exploring a planet where ghosts really do exist.

5.       No Award

6.  “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” by John C. Wright
Needs some raptors.

Best Related Work

1   "Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF” by Ken Burnside
2.    “Letters from Gardner” by Lou Antonelli
3.     No Award

Best Fan Artist
1.            Brad W. Foster
2.            Steve Stiles
3.            Ninni Aalto
4.            Spring Schoenhuth
5.            Elizabeth Leggett

Best Fan Writer
1.       Laura J. Mixon                  
2.       Amanda S. Green
3.       Cedar Sanderson
4.       Dave Freer
5.       Jeffro Johnson

Best New Writer
1.                   Jason Cordova                          
2.                   Wesley Chu               
3.                   Eric S. Raymond                       
4.                   Kary English                               
5.                   Rolf Nelson                

I did some research into some of the other categories, and I watched a couple of the movies and TV shows, but ultimately decided to not vote, citing my own ignorance. 

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