Here is how I voted in this year’s Hugo’s. In each category, you can rank your preferences (1 being best). They urge you not to vote for categories in which you have no experience (don’t just guess in other words). I’ve read (or watched or seen as appropriate) everything that I voted on.
—————————————- Best Novel
1 Uprooted by by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
2 Ancillary Mercy by by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
3 The Fifth Season by by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
—————————————- Best Novella
1 Binti by by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
2 Penric’s Demon by by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)
3 The Builders by by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com)
4 Slow Bullets by by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)
—————————————- Best Novelette
1 And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead by by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb 2015)
2 Folding Beijing by by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
3 Obits by by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)
4 No Award
—————————————- Best Short Story
1 Cat Pictures Please by by Naomi Kritzer ( Clarkesworld, January 2015)
2 No Award
—————————————- Best Related Work
1 No Award
—————————————- Best Graphic Story
1 The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
2 No Award
—————————————- Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
1 The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
2 Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac- Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
4 Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
5 Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
—————————————- Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
1 Jessica Jones: AKA Smile written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions; Netflix)
2 Doctor Who: Heaven Sent written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Television)
3 No Award
—————————————- Best Professional Editor (Short Form)
1 Ellen Datlow
2 Neil Clarke
3 Sheila Williams
4 John Joseph Adams
—————————————- Best Professional Editor (Long Form)
1 Liz Gorinsky
2 Sheila E. Gilbert
3 No Award
—————————————- Best Semiprozine
1 Uncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
—————————————- Best Fanzine
1 File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
2 No Award
—————————————- Best Fancast
1 No Award
—————————————- Best Fan Writer
1 Mike Glyer
2 No Award
—————————————- Best Fan Artist
1 Steve Stiles
—————————————- The John W. Campbell Award (not a Hugo)
1 Andy Weir
2 Alyssa Wong
3 No Award
Here are my picks for the 2014 Hugo awards. You can follow the links where I have posted reviews for individual works. In each category, you can rank your preferences (1 being best). They encourage you not to vote for categories in which you have no experience (don’t just guess in other words). I’ve read (or watched or seen as appropriate) everything that I voted on. I didn’t individually review everything.
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
The pronouns are what get mentioned a lot in Ancillary Justice and I liked how that pointed out some interesting characteristics of the groups in the novel and my default assumptions. What I really liked was the dealing of distributed consciousness with Breq’s parts in the various stories, the ships and the leader of the Radch. I found the base quest story to also be entertaining and the world building with hints towards what is to come was nicely laid out.
Neptune’s Brood, Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit UK) The sub-light economic system of Neptune’s Brood was masterfully done and I enjoy things like that. The undersea miners are an amazing example of a non-human species. The background universe of NB with its post-biological human basis has all sorts of room to develop interesting ideas that point back to biologicals and forward to trans human ideas.
Parasite, Mira Grant (Orbit US/Orbit UK) Parasite was a nice take on a cause of “zombieism.” I liked the exploration of what it means to be human from the non-zombie worm beings perspective. The narrator didn’t quite gel with me. I figured out the reveal about her fairly early on and part of her personality was almost certainly related to that.
The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books / Orbit UK) The Wheel of Time series was nominated as and ruled to be a multi-part serialized single work, as defined in Section 3.2.4 of the WSFS constitution.
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia was nominated but I did not consider it a strong enough candidate to be on my Hugo ballot.
“Equoid”, Charles Stross (Tor.com, 09-2013) I both enjoyed Equoid a lot and was squicked out a lot at the same time in a lovely fashion that I appreciated immensely.
The use of the Lovecraft letters and the procurement forms (recall Shub-Niggurath [The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young] as a reason for those forms reappearing) played off of both each other and the story itself and served to ramp up the tension in a way that was really well done (I thought). The “Unicorn” and some of the Lovecraft letters were horrifying but they also work rather well with the mythos of Lovecraft himself. As “Case Nightmare Green” draws closer, it would seem that Bob’s world is going to get rather more horrifying
Six-Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean Press) I love Valente’s prose and I liked the western riff on Snow White. Just, somewhat less than Equoid.
“Wakulla Springs”, Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages (Tor.com, 10-2013) I liked the story and the prose of Wakulla Springs quite a bit, but would have preferred the speculative part was more than tacked on to the end.
The Butcher of Khardov, Dan Wells (Privateer Press) This was a decent enough story and I might have appreciated it more if I were into the Warhammer universe. It was a decent addition to the Hugo ballot.
“The Chaplain’s Legacy”, Brad Torgersen (Analog, Jul-Aug 2013) This was better written than Torgersen’s novelette entry but didn’t seem to quite work for me.
“The Lady Astronaut of Mars”, Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com/Tor.com, 09-2013) I enjoyed The Lady Astronaut of Mars quite a bit. I rather liked the Oz parallel and the writing style was grade A.
“The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling”, Ted Chiang (Subterranean, Fall 2013) The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling was well done and I enjoyed it although there was, for me, a bit of a feeling of disconnection from the story. I think that may have been on purpose as a subtext to the paralleling of writing and digital memory.
“The Waiting Stars”, Aliette de Bodard (The Other Half of the Sky, Candlemark & Gleam) The Waiting Stars was also nicely done although it didn’t appeal to me quite as much as the previous two.
I did not include either of these on my ballot:
“Opera Vita Aeterna”, Vox Day (The Last Witchking, Marcher Lord Hinterlands) I did not find Opera Vita Aeterna to be well written. The plot manages to both meander and rush. The writing style is clunky and the philosophy trite. This work is not at all at the level I expect from a Hugo candidate.
“The Exchange Officers”, Brad Torgersen (Analog, Jan-Feb 2013) The Exchange Officers could have shaped up to a decent enough piece of action fluff with some good editing. As it stands, the writing was awkward enough to detract from the story flow.
Best Short Story
The short story category was particularly good this year. All of the entries were strong and well done.
“The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere”, John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013) I really liked this. It was very well written and the fantastic elements tied nicely into the theme.
“If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”, Rachel Swirsky (Apex Magazine, Mar-2013) This was a lovely story with a lot of message packed into its short length.
“Selkie Stories Are for Losers”, Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons, Jan-2013) Another fine entry. I found it interesting how the story played on touching the speculative aspect and interwove that with the story of racial and gender difficulties.
“The Ink Readers of Doi Saket”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor.com, 04-2013)This was well crafted but didn’t really resonate with me. It seemed a bit disconnected.
Here are the short lists for the nominees for this years Hugo awards. A total of 1923 valid nominating ballots were received and counted. This count of 1923 greatly exceeds the previous years record of 1,343 nominating ballots. That’s a good trend.
I was at Minicon and watched the live stream amidst a group of fans. I like that format and since the numbers are increasing, it seems to be a useful thing to be doing. As I gather my thoughts together, I’ll be posting about nominees (I have linked where I’ve already made posts). In the mean time, I am eagerly awaiting the Hugo Voter Packet.
Here are the works I nominated for Hugo awards for 2014. My general process is to think about the works that I have actually read and not to cast about looking for things. You will also notice that I only nominated a couple (at most) things in each category rather than using all five nominations. These are the works that I felt deserved the Hugo for this work. I didn’t nominate in categories where I didn’t feel I had spent enough time to have a really good opinion.
Here are my picks for the 2013 Hugo awards. You can follow the links where I have posted reviews for individual works. In each category, you can rank your preferences (1 being best). They encourage you not to vote for categories in which you have no experience (don’t just guess in other words). I’ve read (or watched or seen as appropriate) everything that I voted on. I didn’t individually review everything.
The short story category has only three nominees as, to be nominated:
No nominee shall appear on the final Award ballot if it received fewer nominations than five percent (5%) of the number of ballots listing one or more nominations in that category, except that the first three eligible nominees, including any ties, shall always be listed.
So, either there were no other nominees with 5 or greater percent of the vote or these were the top three.
In “Mono no Aware”, Ken Liu has crafted a very good story about life, death and sacrifice. We see the story from the point of view of Hiroto. Hiroto tells us of his present in a lightsail generation ship launched from Earth. Hiroto tells us of his past as a child and learning of the disaster in an asteroid that is going to strike Earth. People react both poorly and well and Hiroto tells us something of what he thinks it means to be Japanese.
I am not sure I would really term “Mantis Wives” a short story and I’m not sure that I wouldn’t. It anthropomorphizes the Mantis and various sorts of the mating habits of the female. It is very short and may have been saying something else, but then maybe not.
“Immersion” is a decent story about the effects of technology and cultural impingement. It is set in the same universe as Bodard’s “On a Red Station Drfting.” It didn’t really succeed in sparking my interest. That doesn’t mean it won’t be of interest to someone else, of course.
Here are the works I nominated for Hugo awards for 2013. As with last year, I confined my nominations to things that I had already read rather than casting about frantically to see what other people read.
Edit (3-28):I forgot that I also nominated for best related work. The Hugo submission page this year didn’t send a copy of submissions. But,:
Related Work: Patrick Rothfuss Reread by Jo Walton on tor.com
This was the first Worldcon I have attended and I had a great amount of fun. In this post, I’ll tell you about it.
We arrived in Chicago on Thursday about 6PM. We took Amtrak from Winona, MN to Chicago Union Station. The train is kind of fun and easier than driving–you get to look at some decent scenery along the way. Here is the view from our room, the room was quite nice:
Once at the hotel (Susan exclaimed, “Hey look, that guy has a tail!”) and safely ensconced in our room, I proceeded down to registration. I started to realize at this point that the hotel and conference area was large–quite large. Registration was set up quite nicely and I quickly collected my materials and badge. We then ate dinner at a hotel restaurant. David Brin and a bunch of other authors were seated at some tables next to us, so that was my first official author sighting.
After dinner, I wandered around a bit familiarizing myself with the layout (split between two towers) and then at 9:00 I went to the panel: “Ozma Plus 50: My Week Among the Searchers for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” presented by Bill Higgins. This dealt with some of Bill Higgins experiences on a tour of the Ozma SETI site. I only stayed for about half an hour. The panel was interesting, but I wanted to go up to the 34th floor where the Minn-StF people were hosting a party. So, up there I did travel. I hung about there for awhile. Jo Walton came in and mentioned that she had a new summary post on tor.com. I said that I had seen it and then she was whisked off. That was all I got to actually say to Jo over the Con–she was understandably busy.
Friday morning I discovered the Jo Walton Kaffeeklatsch was full and so I went to the panel: (9:00 – 10:30) “Anarchism in Fantasy and Science Fiction.” This was quite a good panel. They discussed anarchism in various works and its relationship to various groups in real life. After this, I proceeded to the Dealer’s Room. This was quite large and I started walking back and forth browsing things. I was extremely happy when, as I browsed, I came upon Glen Cook’s booth. I hadn’t known he was going to have a both so this was a nice surprise. I chatted with him for a while. He mentioned that he was working on a new Garret Novel, book 4 of the Instrumentalities series, and that “Port of Shadows,” is a real thing and is the next Black Company novel. It will take place in the time between “The Black Company” and “Shadows Linger“. He also pointed out that he had written parts of that as a couple shorts in two anthologies that he had on the table.
I then went over to the Angry Robot tables and talked with Amanda Rutter, now editor of Strange Chemistry and one of the reread reviewers for the Malazan reread on tor.com. We mentioned that it was fun to see one another after having exchanged so many words in the reread.
From 11:00 AM-11:30 AM I went to the Seanan McGuire reading. She read from one of the October Daye books. I missed the first couple minutes, so I am unsure which one but I liked what was read and plan to check them out.
Next, it was time to head over to Ian Tregillis’ reading (12:00-12:30). Ian read from the Klaus/Gretel/Jar portion of The Coldest War. This is a really really good portion and it was quite nice to hear Ian read it. The readings were scheduled in half hour time slots. That gets lots of authors slots to read in, but doesn’t leave much time for questions or anything. So, after the reading a number of people wanted books autographed and Ian was happy to oblige. He found a table down the hall and started autographing. I tagged along in my quiet fashion. When the last autographee was satisfied, there were about six people left. One of them glanced at me and said, “You I recognize from the website.” At that point Ian saw me and we chatted about how it is odd to have had lots of conversations with people (I post over on his website and he posts over here) but to have never actually met them. He then kindly invited me along to lunch (Potbelly’s). There were six people along and we chatted about a number of things from food dislikes to the annoyances of the film Prometheus, Ian’s need to learn about Exoplanets for his next panel and the disappointments of the Torchwood:Miracle Day series. This was a very great deal of fun.
At 2:30 I bid adieu to the group and went to Jo Walton’s reading. She read from her work in progress–a generation starship in mid voyage. After this, I again wandered around the dealer room and other exhibits. At 4:30 I went to the panel “Exoplanets, Exobiology, Extensions of SF” (4:30 – 6:00). I addition to Ian Tregillis, David Brin, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, Geoffrey A. Landis and G. David Nordley were panelists. They discussed some of the recent findings in extra solar planets and how that might relate to science fiction and reality. Ian must have effectively looked up some good stuff as he had a number of good comments.
At 6, Susan and I went to dinner with her brother and his girl fried, so, non-con related.
At 9:00PM I went back up to the 34th floor and went to the Tor party for a while. David Brin autographed an imprint sheet of Existence for me. These sheets address a need of which I hadn’t even thought–with eBooks, there isn’t really anything physical that you can carry along and have someone autograph if you are so inclined. Continue reading Chicon 7, 2012 Worldcon Recap and Adventures
Tomorrow we’re off to Chicon 7. That’s the Worldcon this year in case you don’t know. I’ll post a report when I get back. I hope to talk with a number of interesting people about any number of things. From the program guide, I can already see a number of panels that I want to see that are booked in the same time slots. Choices, choices, …
Here are my picks for the 2012 Hugo awards. You can follow the links where I have posted individual awards. In each category, you can rank your preferences (1 being best). They encourage you not to vote for categories in which you have no experience (don’t just guess in other words). I’ve read (or watched or seen as appropriate) everything that I voted on. I didn’t individually review everything.