Friday, August 11, 2017

Hugo Award Winners!

Here's File 770's complete list of them.

N.K. Jemisen won best novel again. This was one of the books I failed to read. Last year I voted for her in a spirit of "this is some quality writing and the author seems like a good person so I'm gonna vote for it even though I thought it was nihilistic in that particular early 2000s way that sets my teeth on edge."  I couldn't do it twice, but I assume her writing is still of very high quality.

My pick, the Becky Chambers book, came in dead last, having offended the kind of people who enjoy the kind of nihilism that sets my teeth on edge. I'm kind of sad about that, but I'm happy that at least some of these nominees are stories I find enjoyable.

"Every Heart a Doorway" won novella. More pouty angst, here to reassure you that there are a gazillion portals, and they're not all that magic, or that wonderful, and all they really do is make you sad and crazy, which is the normal way to be, so when you're fantasizing about cavorting in Narnia or Redwall or the lands beyond the Phantom Tollbooth or Nevernever Land -- or the gothy land of the dead, which is where the protagonist goes, where everyone wears dark colors and holds real still -- just remember that you're nothing special and life sucks anyway. *flips hair, runs into room, slams door, composes poetry*

"The Tomato Thief" won! I loved TTT. And not just because author Ursula Vernon has a jackalope on her book cover while I've got one embossed on my skin!  There are important stakes -- the best tomato sammich in the world!  The character cares very much about those stakes!  And does something affirmative in pursuit of them!  Instead of standing around mutely and passively while horrible things happen!

"Seasons of Glass and Iron" won short story, and I briefly wrote it off as one of those stories where characters sit around eating symbolic fruit, which to me smells of a calculated attempt to win the hearts of professors and editors (as opposed to civilian readers).  Maybe I owe it a second look.

The Le Guin book beat the one by Silverberg, which is fine by me. I voted for Silverberg's in part to demonstrate to the Puppies that it's not about dislike for non-liberals, since Silverberg identifies as a conservative libertarian and still managed to do some gracious presenting at the Puppyfest Worldcon. I love Le Guin too, and am thrilled she's still getting major awards.

Arrival beat Rogue One and Deadpool and Moana and Hidden Figures and other worthy movies.  Sheesh. I refuse to see this one based on the Wikipedia summary and discussion I've heard. Aliens come to share their language, which is a literal tool/weapon and can change your consciousness just by speaking it, while foolish barbarian earthlings run around doing tragic macho posturing in response.  The same kind of thinking that shuts down lecturers, burns books and criminalizes particular alphanumeric sequences.

Today I was reading an article by my comrades at the ACLU about why they were defending the right of conservative gasbag Milo Yiannopoulos to run his mouth. And I agree with them. I have no problem with people declaring their beliefs in public. Once they make threats or encourage others to commit crimes it's a different ballgame. No, I don't think their saying terrible things normalizes it, not as long as people have the right to object. No, I don't think words are weapons that change your brain and give you psychic powers. Thoughts can change your brain; words are how we express them.

And it's sort of funny how strenuously I'm objecting to even seeing this movie, when it's linguistics sci fi, for frog's sake, and I love linguistics!

All right, maybe I'm still salty about Moana.

The Expanse won best TV show. I will have to investigate that to see if it's something I would like. [How Charon watches TV: repeated word of mouth inspires her to Google TV show and read synopses of a few episodes, complete with spoilers, before deliberating on whether I feel like watching.]

This post is getting way too long to summarize the rest, aside from the Campbell Award going to Ada Palmer. I like that. I like Ada Palmer.

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