Saturday, February 13, 2016

Time to Think About Hugo Nominations

I have my official numbers and I’m licensed to nominate! I've got a lot of bookmarks leading to eligible works and I'm going to be reading as many of them as possible before the deadline. Here are my thoughts so far. 

Editor:             I still have no idea what these editors actually do, or whether they do it well, and I haven’t read nearly enough books to develop a feel for any particular editor’s style. I remember being guilted by the puppies, along with the other no-awarders, for shooting down Toni Weisskopf of Baen last year. Since I’ve heard some good arguments (from both sides), I will nominate her this year.

                        Beyond that, editors are for fancy shmancy authors with corporate publishers, and I’m staying out of this trade-oriented category. 

Fanzine:         File 770 is now appearing on my “frequently clicked pages” homescreen, so it wins.

Novel:             Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore  
My summary/review: The adorably juvenile incarnation of death has two mommies. San Francisco-style urban fantasy. Christopher Moore writes sort of like how Terry Pratchett would’ve written if he’d lived in San Francisco. My Golden Gate Bias strikes again.  

I’m about to start Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky and expect good things.

                        And since there is confusion whether
                        Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Bear
                        Is a novel or a novella, I shall nominate it for both.

Novel-like things:      Wylding Hall.

Short Stories:             Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Novik
                                   Children of Dagon by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Related Works:          NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
by Steve Silberman
Because (1) It has a big section on Hugo Gernsback as well as the intersection of the autistic spectrum and the science fiction establishment; and (2) possibly science fiction could use a reminder that acceptance of diversity is built into its core from time to time.

Campbell Award:       Andy Weir

Long-Form Drama:    The Martian. Finally saw it.  It’s like the book.  I liked the book better, but the movie was good too.
                                    Oh, all right, The Force Awakens. I don’t have to watch it again, do I? 
                                    Inside Out (hi Golden Gate Bias, haven’t seen you in several paragraphs, missed you, mwah). 
                                    If I manage to watch The Good Dinosaur before the deadline I’m going to nominate it too.  Pixar (GGBias activated) and dinosaurs – I don’t see anything non-likeable about that. 

Short-Form Drama:  Five episodes of Outlander are going here as soon as I figure out which ones.
Puppy Considerations:

At times I wondered if the puppies and their detractors had planned this to stir up interest, like the Wiggins kids in Ender’s Game. If so, it was a great plan, and it worked on me, and here I am to throw some Outlander votes on top of all the votes for Dr. Who – possibly an unforeseen repercussion. I can’t really get behind the puppies on much else, though. And I think they should be ashamed of themselves for hosing poor Mr. Weir out of his rightfully deserved awards for writing the kind of rip-roaring science fiction that turns all those colorful amoebae into an actual Venn Diagram. Let’s all fix that together.

Goldilocks and the Hugo Nominations

Just as Goldilocks was experiencing the abrupt falling sensation she sometimes experienced right before falling asleep, she woke up. She lay there, completely awake, staring at the dark ceiling. Insomnia. Even though the bed she had found was just right, her troubled mind refused to relax.

Goldi had been troubled by insomnia before. Reading usually helped. She had memorized all the books in the humble cottage where she lived, but she re-read them anyway, just in case she noticed something new, which she frequently did.

Fortunately, these bears seemed to be literate. They had three bookcases: a towering solid one made of dark wood, a slender and decorative one that only had room for a few books, and one from Ikea that had a couple of the shelf fasteners installed backwards. 

Goldi went to the first bookcase and grabbed a random tome. The cover showed a robot wrestling with a big spider, and that sounded promising, so Goldi opened it to the middle and began reading. 

“You see, Doctor Chaoticus, women are innately delicate and reticent, and this idea of yours that a woman would enter a strange dwelling and sort through a bookcase is laughable! No woman would do that! Their womanly brains would immediately implode inwards!”

After carefully feeling her skull to verify it hadn’t imploded, Goldi put this lying book back on its shelf and went to the decorative shelf, which held a couple of potted plants and a jar of potpourri in addition to a handful of books. Goldi selected one, opened it in the middle, and began reading.

M’ia’o’u adjusted the diamond-patterned red and fuchsia silk bandaggle fastened around her gold and white taffeta fanfaroony and sat up slightly straighter, reminding the counsel in a soft but emphatic voice that they had been discussing the matter of the princessling closing doors too loudly for the past six hours, and that clearly an Elven tutor was needed to instruct the princessling on matters of subtle courtly etiquette via poetic recitations.

Goldi replaced this book on its shelf, loudly. She turned to the Ikea bookcase, which was jammed with an eclectic mix of genres done up in cheap and sleazy bindings, their colorful covers hinting at the wonders lying therein. She plopped down on the floor and began sorting through them.

And that was where the bears found her hours later, surrounded by seventeen partially-read books and clutching the eighteenth in her sweaty grasp, blinking her reddened eyes as her brain adjusted to the fact she was in a roomful of bears.

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