Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hugo Complications: No Freebies For Me

I am a member of Worldcons 74 and 76 but not 75, and therefore I don’t get a free Hugo voters packet of eligible books, even though I nominated and can vote. Yet another caltrops in my quest for free stuff.

Free stuff was 50% of the reason I got into this Hugo voting thing to begin with. The other 50% was to save the world from what I was told were wicked fascists, although most of them turned out to be plain old libertarians wearing scary masks, just like in Scooby Doo. The idea of getting a predigested pile of certified Good Science Fiction for the paltry cost of a $40 membership seemed like a good idea.

Alas, my free stuff packet my first year included all the Puppies’ greatest hits, including all the JCW I ever intend to read in this lifetime -- more, in fact. My second year wasn’t much better, since I had already read half the novels, although I did get a few worthies. I have now registered for 2018 in San Jose, which means I’m getting a speculative assortment of whatever we end up nomming next year, and if it sucks, maybe it’s time to get involved in some other award – like maybe a YA-centric one rather than one focused on sci fi.

This year, I bought two of the novels: Too Like The Lightning and Ninefox Gambit, both of which I reviewed. Of the rest, three of them are sections of series that I’ve already read parts of. I voted for Cixin Liu and N.K. Jemisen my two previous times, and I don’t find myself wanting to return to either fictional universe. As far as Charlie Jane Anders, nope.

So I think I’m going to vote for Lightning and then Ninefox and be done with novel.

I’m weird about spending money. This comes out when I go shopping at Amazon. Ooh, Stephen King, click instant-buy!  Hmm, this noob writer is charging seventeen bucks for their e-book, they can go stand in fire.  Membership for con over a year away, no problem! Membership for con I’m not going to, just so I can get something like $100 worth of media for $40?  But I’m not going to that con …

I’ve already burned through novelette and short story for free on the interwebs, so I went novella shopping on Amazon.  I purchased three novellae:

A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson
This was $3.99, and so far I’m enjoying it; a romance between two dudes, a soldier and some kind of beastmaster with a pet cheetah, in some fantasy kingdom.

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson 
               Also $3.99. Write-up says Lovecraft.  Love me some Lovecraft.

Penric and the Shaman (Penric & Desdemona Book 2) by Lois McMaster Bujold
I’ve never been able to get into the Vorkosigans, probably because I have the attention span of a toddler with a sugar high. I did like the Penric story from last years noms, so I’m looking forward to this – and it was also $3.99, even though the author has awards and acclaim and fame and could charge $6.99 like Stephen King if she wanted.

I already own Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle ($3.99).  This leaves only two novellae:

This Census-Taker, by China Miéville
Eleven dollars and ninety-nine cents. (More than a calzone!)
NPR’s blessing, many reputable awards. A story about a terrified kid. Nope.

Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire
               Nine dollars and ninety-nine cents. (More than a couple slices depending where you get them!)
               NPR’s blessing, many reputable awards. A story about a terrified kid. Nope.
               Oh, and it’s also some kind of parasitic … I mean, a postmodern deconstruction of books like Narnia, including Narnia, without really saying “yo, this here is some Narnia fanfic by a very negative angry fan” kind of like The Magician, and in fact this book is reminding me of The Magician, which is a book I can’t stand … nope.

Also, I could probably explore the terrified kid on a journey archetype a little further, but I’m giving that subject a broad and general nope because I’m working along similar themes, and don’t want to catch myself either stealing (lol, as if) or even worse, spinning my own story toward some kind of reactionary reply (definitely a likely scenario). The nopelist means ain’t gonna read/review/comment on/bother with until possibly later when I’m writing different stuff.

I reserve the right to cave and read items from my nopelist before it’s time to vote, but first I want to read all my shiny new $3.99 novellae and rank them accordingly. 

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