Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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So, here we are in 2013 —

And you know what I just realized?

That I may need to get moving if I want to be able to nominate / vote on the Hugo this year! The 2013 WorldCon website wasn’t working for me a few months ago when I tried to buy a voting membership, but I expect the problem, whatever it was, has fixed itself in the interim. And I do want to be eligible to vote, because though I don’t expect to attend WorldCon this year, I really enjoyed reading and arguing about the nominees last year. Plus, my brother commented that amazingly enough Hugo nominees seemed better than average, as two of his favorite books last year were nominees. AMONG OTHERS and LEVIATHAN WAKES. Neither of those made my top ten for the year, but they both were indeed really good.

Plus! The novellas last year were REALLY good. And I would NEVER HAVE READ THEM if not for the Hugo Voter’s packet. Since I don’t seek out short stories or novellas, I wouldn’t even have known they existed except for the Hugo Voter’s packet. As it is, hey, I’ve got ’em on my hard drive right here, which is great.

The deadline for buying a voting membership in time to nominate works for consideration is Jan 31st. I think I’m actually eligible to nominate because of buying last year’s Hugo membership, but I’d better check! I’m sure you all know that anybody at all can buy a voting membership and vote on the Hugo, right? Yes, it costs $60, but on the other hand, you do get the Hugo’s Voter Packet, which is a free electronic packet containing all the finalists, provided by the publishers. This means that you can read ALL the Hugo finalists without breaking a huge gaping hole in your book budget. Not to be sneezed at, right?

Last year I read all the novels, the novellas, the novelettes, and the short stories. I watched some of the movies, but none of the short-form visual stuff. I didn’t watch the podcasts and I didn’t look up the artists and I didn’t know anything about the fan awards. This year I want to include at least the artists in my vote, and maybe the podcasts, and MAYBE even the films. You get the podcasts in the Voter’s Packet, so no need to go track them down.

So! Supposing you all say WOW THIS SOUNDS LIKE FUN, what books came out in 2012 that you might like to nominate?

The problem is that I personally NEVER get anything like caught up with current titles, not even the very highly recommended titles, because, well, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m sure you feel the same way.

I have some predictions, though. Whether you or I nominate them or not, the final set of nominees will include: RAILSEA by China Mieville and THE KILLING MOON and/or THE SHADOWED SUN by NK Jemisen. I have these on my TBR pile downstairs, and after realizing they were going to be eligible for the Hugo this year, I moved them to the top. I am really pretty sure to love them all. I need to read them! But probably not much before it is actually time to vote.

But what titles are there that may well be fighting for their share of well-deserved nominating votes? The other 2012 titles I have downstairs are THE SERPENT SEA by Martha Wells, which you know I loved; and THE RAVEN BOYS by Stiefvater, which I know is the first of a series — I am not normally inclined to vote for any part of a seires until the series is completely finished — and RUINS by Orson Scott Card. Which is the second book of a series, and I sort of expect there is a third book coming, but I don’t know for sure.

I know the Book Smugglers have already said they’re nominating THREE PARTS DEAD by Max Gladstone, SEER OF SEVENWATERS by Juliet Marillier, and A FACE LIKE GLASS by Frances Hardinge, none of which I have read. I really loved the first book of the Sevenwaters series and frankly had not realized there were so many more set in that universe. Frances Hardinge had been on my radar because everyone keeps insisting I MUST try her, and yes, yes, I believe you all, but back to the thing about limited hours.

What else ought to be nominated?

And . . . let me just mention here . . . very modestly at the very end of this post . . . but (clears throat): HOUSE OF SHADOWS also came out in 2012 and is eligible. Just sayin’.

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2 Comments So, here we are in 2013 —

  1. Cheryl L

    Oddly, there is no Hugo Award category for Best Collection. 2012 was a really strong year for fiction collections. Apart from WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD, there was a wonderful retrospective of Ursula LeGuin’s short fiction, THE UNREAL AND THE REAL, an excellent Kage Baker retrospective (imaginatively titled THE BEST OF KAGE BAKER) and a lovely collection of original stories by Peter Dickinson, EARTH AND AIR. It seems a shame that none of these books can be nominated for the Hugo Awards.
    Much as I liked it, I can’t see HOUSE OF SHADOWS winning a Hugo Award, but it would make an excellent candidate for the Mythopoecic Awards. I hope it gets nominated!

  2. Rachel

    You know, that is surprising. I suppose the “best editor” categories are supposed to do that, but of course that isn’t the same thing at all. I think there definitely needs to be a “best collection” award, too. I wonder how one goes about suggesting these things?

    Yes, I can’t actually see H of S being up for the Hugo, either. But, hey, I certainly wouldn’t turn down a nomination for the Mythopoeic Award!

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