Monday, June 20, 2016

Reading for the Hugo Awards, part 1

I finally got my Hugo voting packet in the mail, so it's time to start keeping track of what I like, what I hate, and what I still need to read/view.

Novels: I've already read (and nominated! go me!) three of the five: The Fifth Season, Uprooted, and Ancillary Mercy. My voting currently would also go in that order. I now have Seveneves and will try to get The Aeronauts Windlass from the library, although I would not balk at paying paperback prices for it if necessary. Updated to add: comes out in paperback on July 5th.

Novellas: Of the five, I have only read Penric's Demon. It was great and I nominated it. I own Binti and The Builders but haven't read them yet. I would love to read Slow Bullets but frankly balked at the price - I am NOT paying novel prices for a novella, no matter how good. If it goes on sale, I will acquire it. My husband has a copy of Perfect State, so I shall borrow his phone some evening and read it.

Novelettes: I haven't read any of them yet. That will nicely fill up an afternoon.

Short Story: I read, and enjoyed, "Cat Pictures Please". I haven't read the other four, and they don't look very promising to me. Still, I don't feel right about not giving each one a chance. Fortunately... short story... not a huge time investment. I hope.

Best Related Work: I haven't read, or even heard about, any of these books. I gather that at least excerpts of all are available in the voter package, so I shall look at them and hope they do better than their titles imply.

Best Graphic Story: I read, and nominated, Sandman: Overture. I see that two others are in the packet, and two are not. Grrr.... I shall have to call around my friends to see if anyone has a copy and will let me borrow it.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): I've watched, and enjoyed, all five of these. Mad Max: Fury Road is definitely my first choice. I have to think about the other four.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): I've seen none of these. I'll have to see what's available on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Best Professional Editor (Short Form): I'm familiar with all the names, but will have to look over their included work to make a final ranking.

Best Professional Editor (Long Form): Once again, all the names are familiar. I have very little sense of how to judge an editor of a book, so I'll be doing some reading online to see how more experienced voters analyze these works. The lack of information from Toni Weisskopf probably means that she's going to get rated last, unless I'm willing to do some serious digging online.

Best Professional Artist: Not one of these names is ringing a bell, so I'll have to hope for included material, or a strong presence online.

Best Semiprozine: I regular read, and enjoy, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny Magazine, and Strange Horizons. I haven't read Daily Science Fiction or Sci Phi Journal  but both are available online, so I'm looking forward to catching up.

Best Fanzine: I regularly read File 770. I've heard bad things about Castalia House Blog but the first three entries I just read were quite entertaining. I shall have to read more. I used to read Tangent Online but drifted away from it; I no longer recall why and will gladly go look at it again. Lady Business and Subversive SF don't ring a bell, but once again... easily available... voting responsibilities... plenty of free time... will read.

Best Fancast: I don't generally do podcasts. I will try to remedy that situation.

Best Fan Writer: I'm a big fan of Mike Glyer and I sometimes read Jeffro Johnson. I've heard the other names go by before.

Best Fan Artist: I've got no familiarity with this category. Four of the five submitted sample work in the voter packet.

The John W. Campbell Award (not a Hugo): I nominated both Alyssa Wong and Andy Weir for this category, and I'm delighted to see that they made it. I've heard of Pierce Brown, author of the Red Rising trilogy, but haven't read his books. Neither Sebastien de Castell nor Brian Niemeier is ringing a bell right now, but I see that they both were kind enough to include samples.

Updated to add: I have carefully avoided discussion of the "Rapid Puppies/Sad Puppies" controversy. However, a good summary of nomination patterns is provided here

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