Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2017 Hugo Finalists!

The list of 2017 Hugo finalists (note: not nominees, because anyone can be a nominee, but finalists) came out today and I’m pasting it down below my comments for your perusal.

Best Novel: none of my favorites – Arabella of Mars! Lovecraft Country! – were selected so I have an initial grudge against all six of these books for squatting in their way.  I did really like Cixin Liu though, and a quick internet search tells me Ada Palmer is into philosophy and … Osamu Tezuka! 
*screeches to a halt*

My Vote: tentatively leaning toward the Tezuka fan although no doubt my inner sense of fair play will demand I read at least the free copies, even the ones I already know I can’t stand.

Best Novella: Ballad of Black Tom was good, and it’s the only one I’ve read.

There is some Lois McMaster Bujold in there. I have heard many people praising Ms. Bujold and her Vorkosigan books, and I went so far as to get the first one and read it. She does have a very nice rhythm, and I enjoyed her Hugo entry last year, but her characters just fail to lodge in my head. I’ll give her another try, and I note the Vorkosigan books are up for best series too.

My Vote: LaValle already won by getting me to buy it, but I’m willing to give the other contenders a look.

Best Novelette: Now that the conservatives are showing us there’s no harm whatsoever in nepotism I’m leaning heavily toward voting for my File 770 crony, Ursula Vernon. However, that’s mostly because she’s a good writer rather than because she’s a Filer.

My Vote: I’m going to have to do some reading, but I’m favorably disposed toward Ursula Vernon.

Best Short Story: I hate them all. Especially the one by JCW, which I didn’t actually read, based on a precognitive flash that I’d hate it. I get those sometimes, chalk it up to me Irish ancestry.  Jemisen’s offering is a slice of feelgood fistpumping about a graffiti artist and then there’s a spec fic thing that runs through it toward the end as sort of an “oh yeah, science fiction” moment. Wong’s is some surrealist family drama; I like one of those things but not all of them. El-Mohtar’s is the kind of story where people sit around snacking on highly symbolic fruit. I liked Vaughn’s writing a lot, but she did two unforgivable things: (i) telepathy (I can’t stand telepathy) and (ii) this one’s a little harder to describe … it has to do with when science fiction stories get all sentimental about some relic of “this is good for you, children” Earthling high culture, like Shakespeare, or Dickens, or chess. And yes I do have a favorite chess novel: The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis.

My vote: I actually don’t hate “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander and due to the cocky voice of its narrator and its use of bullet points, it wins.

Best Related Work: I actually bought and read and enjoyed The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher independent of this whole Hugopalooza, so I’m leaning towards it so far. The geek feminists and the Harry Potter feminists sort of cancel each other out because in order for one to win the other would have to lose, making it impossible to be deemed misogynistic solely on the basis of not voting for one or the other. I like Ursula Le Guin and want to read her book to see if I like it more than Carrie Fisher’s. I like Robert Silverberg too. I’m not too much of a Neil Gaiman fan although I enjoyed Good Omens and Coraline, and he’s probably already got a roomful of awards.

My Vote: Fisher unless Le Guin charms me.

Best Movie:  No Moana?  Fine.  Bless your little nominating hearts. 

My Vote: Rogue One, followed by Hidden Figures, followed by Deadpool.

Best TV Show: The fact that all y’all don’t like Westworld makes me think about whether I actually hate Westworld myself.  Also, the GoT episode Battle of the Bastards, with its amazing shield wall tactics, is up against The Door. I may just vote for it, because I like bastards.

My Vote: Battle of the Bastards followed by The Door.

Best Editor, short and long: don’t call me an editor, I work for a living.

Best pro artist, fan artist: I’m going to have to look at the pictures first.

Best semiprozine, fancast, comic book: unfamiliar with the oevre, sitting these categories out.

Best Fanzine: I have an informed opinion now, and that opinion is “I’m voting for Rocket Stack Rank.” So many reviews!  Truly epic.

Best Fan Writer: Voting for Chuck Tingle, then Mike Glyer even if he doesn’t want any more awards because he’s already got a swimming pool full of them.

Best Series: I mentioned not being able to get into the Vorkosigan series, and that’s the only series on this list with which I am vaguely familiar, so I’m going to have to sit this one out.

John W. Campbell:  I need to learn more about these people but again, tentatively leaning toward the Tezuka fan.

In general: the wicked conservative doggies appear to have been neutralized. The Sads are sitting out, the Rabids got lots of finalists, but they seem like they’re focusing on the Dragons, and they also have toned it way down as far as the in-your-face candidates. At the moment they seem to be peacefully coexisting on the ballot with the radical leftazoids.

In retrospect, I do feel kind of like a sucker for rising to the clickbait on behalf of a bunch of preening corporate publishing types, yet I’ve re-connected with a community that never stopped being awesome, I’ve had a great time at the two Worldcons I’ve visited so far, and in File 770 I have found a never-ending source of reliable book recommendations (a very valuable resource in these Death of Journalism days).


Best Novel (2078 ballots)
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books)
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US)
Death’s End by Cixin Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus)
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books)
The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)
Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer (Tor Books)

Best Novella (1410 ballots)
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency)
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)
This Census-Taker by China Miéville (Del Rey / Picador)

Best Novelette (1097 ballots)
“Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex” by Stix Hiscock (self-published)
“The Art of Space Travel” by Nina Allan (Tor.com, July 2016)
“The Jewel and Her Lapidary” by Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing, May 2016)
“The Tomato Thief” by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)
“Touring with the Alien” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016)
“You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay” by Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine, May 2016)

Best Short Story (1275 ballots)
“The City Born Great” by N. K. Jemisin (Tor.com, September 2016)
“A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers” by Alyssa Wong (Tor.com, March 2016)
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine, November 2016)
“Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)
“That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn (Tor.com, March 2016)
“An Unimaginable Light” by John C. Wright (God, Robot, Castalia House)

Best Related Work (1122 ballots)
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley (Tor Books)
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (Blue Rider Press)
Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Fairwood)
The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow / Harper Collins)
“The Women of Harry Potter” posts by Sarah Gailey (Tor.com)
Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)

Best Graphic Story (842 ballots)
Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze (Marvel)
Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)
Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa (Marvel)
Paper Girls, Volume 1, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image)
Saga, Volume 6, illustrated by Fiona Staples, written by Brian K. Vaughan, lettered by Fonografiks (Image)
The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man, written by Tom King, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Marvel)

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form (1733 ballots)
Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films)
Deadpool, screenplay by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, directed by Tim Miller (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Marvel Entertainment/Kinberg Genre/The Donners’ Company/TSG Entertainment)
Ghostbusters, screenplay by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, directed by Paul Feig (Columbia Pictures/LStar Capital/Village Roadshow Pictures/Pascal Pictures/Feigco Entertainment/Ghostcorps/The Montecito Picture Company)
Hidden Figures, screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, directed by Theodore Melfi (Fox 2000 Pictures/Chernin Entertainment/Levantine Films/TSG Entertainment)
Rogue One, screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, directed by Gareth Edwards (Lucasfilm/Allison Shearmur Productions/Black Hangar Studios/Stereo D/Walt Disney Pictures)
Stranger Things, Season One, created by the Duffer Brothers (21 Laps Entertainment/Monkey Massacre)

Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form (1159 ballots)
Black Mirror: “San Junipero”, written by Charlie Brooker, directed by Owen Harris (House of Tomorrow)
Doctor Who: “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Ed Bazalgette (BBC Cymru Wales)
The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes”, written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)
Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Miguel Sapochnik (HBO)
Game of Thrones: “The Door”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Jack Bender (HBO)
Splendor & Misery [album], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)

Best Editor – Short Form (951 ballots)
John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Ellen Datlow
Jonathan Strahan
Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
Sheila Williams

Best Editor – Long Form (752 ballots)
Vox Day
Sheila E. Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky
Devi Pillai
Miriam Weinberg
Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist (817 ballots)
Galen Dara
Julie Dillon
Chris McGrath
Victo Ngai
John Picacio
Sana Takeda

Best Semiprozine (857 ballots)
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, edited by P. Alexander
GigaNotoSaurus, edited by Rashida J. Smith
Strange Horizons, edited by Niall Harrison, Catherine Krahe, Vajra Chandrasekera, Vanessa Rose Phin, Li Chua, Aishwarya Subramanian, Tim Moore, Anaea Lay, and the Strange Horizons staff
Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
The Book Smugglers, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James

Best Fanzine (610 ballots)
“Castalia House Blog”, edited by Jeffro Johnson
“Journey Planet”, edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Helena Nash, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, and Erin Underwood
“Lady Business”, edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
“nerds of a feather, flock together”, edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry
“Rocket Stack Rank”, edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong
“SF Bluestocking”, edited by Bridget McKinney

Best Fancast (690 ballots)
The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan
Ditch Diggers, presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace
Fangirl Happy Hour, presented by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
The Rageaholic, presented by RazörFist
Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman

Best Fan Writer (802 ballots)
Mike Glyer
Jeffro Johnson
Natalie Luhrs
Foz Meadows
Abigail Nussbaum
Chuck Tingle

Best Fan Artist (528 ballots)
Ninni Aalto
Alex Garner
Vesa Lehtimäki
Likhain (M. Sereno)
Spring Schoenhuth
Mansik Yang

Best Series (1393 votes)
The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone (Tor Books)
The Expanse by James S.A. Corey (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
The October Daye Books by Seanan McGuire (DAW / Corsair)
The Peter Grant / Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz / Del Rey / DAW / Subterranean)
The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Harper Voyager UK)
The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (937 ballots)
Sarah Gailey (1st year of eligibility)
J. Mulrooney (1st year of eligibility)
Malka Older (2nd year of eligibility)
Ada Palmer (1st year of eligibility)
Laurie Penny (2nd year of eligibility)
Kelly Robson (2nd year of eligibility)




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