Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Oh, look, the Hugos

I am behind the times with this, but here’s how it worked out:

Redshirts by Scalzi took the novel category. While I enjoyed this one, I didn’t think it had the depth and ambition I look for in a major award recipient. As far as I’m concerned, only 2312 was actually a deserving contender. But whatever, I’m sure there’s no point in rehashing old this-is-the-lineup-seriously? issues now. And Redshirts is clever and fun.

“The Emperor’s Soul” by Brandon Sanderson took the Novella award, YAY because I thought it was BY FAR the best entry in the category. I am surprised but very pleased to see this outcome!

“The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi” by Pat Cadigan, won for Novelette, which also makes me happy because I was definitely my favorite in that category — humorous, non-grim, well-put-together, clever.

“Mono no Aware”, by Ken Liu, won the short story award, which again I am pleased about because I thought it was a pretty good story, better than “Immersion” which got more buzz (that I saw), and besides I utterly DETESTED “Mantis Wives”.

And it won’t surprise you to know that The Avengers won the long-form film category. Well deserved! Great movie! Now I really want to see it again and of course I don’t actually have it on DVD. A lack I must rectify one day.

Anyway, that’s as far as I read, but if you’re interested the whole list is here.

So overall I’m pretty pleased with how that all fell out. I don’t know that I’ll vote next year, but then maybe I will, because it IS interesting to see these outcomes and be familiar with all the stories.

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5 Comments Oh, look, the Hugos

  1. Pete Mack

    I thought Blackout would, and should, win best novel. It’s not an easy book to read, but like any Willis book, it is satisfying. And if you haven’t read Willis, you should. Except for boring Fire Watch. I agree that Redshirts was pretty light weight. Tom Stoppard already covered the subject, brilliantly, in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

  2. Craig

    Pete, Blackout *did* win (together with All Clear) Best Novel in the year it was eligible back in 2011.

    Rachel, you already know my opinion of Redshirts, which basically tracks yours. The most worrying thing about the vote is the possibility that an enthusiastic but not particularly discriminating fanbase can propel a work not only onto the ballot (which we already knew, from Seanan McGuire as well as Scalzi) but actually to victory. But we can hope that the weak line-up for novels this year was to blame: 2312 just didn’t work for a lot of people.

    The other three written awards followed my correct views, so that’s good — especially since the Nebulas were less sensible. I actually voted in a bunch of the lesser categories, but I’m not strongly invested in how those came out. In the case of Stanley Schmidt’s Hugo for Best Editor, I didn’t put him on top but I can still appreciate it as a lifetime-achievement award for his 34 years as editor of Analog (this is the first time he’s won).

  3. Pete Mack

    Whoops! Then from that lot, I’d go with No Award. I just don’t think that much of KSR, and neither, apparently, do the reviewers at amazon. Most books with a 3-star average and 200+ reviews have real problems. Redshirts and “Vorpatril’s Alliance” were fun, but significant novels they were not.

  4. Pete Mack

    I’ve been thinking a lot more about the DAGGER AND COIN series since you mentioned that you didn’t really want to read the later books. And yes, Abraham invites you to sympathize with Geder, it’s true. But in this series, Good and Evil are contingent: characters just aren’t, until they come down firmly on one side or the other. Under other circumstances, Geder might have been, if not good, then not evil, either. But when the going got tough, he got ugly. Then he starts finding excuses for one inexcusable act after another, and, well, he Damns Himself to Hell.

    In contrast, Abraham’s “Good” characters have strong moral compasses. They don’t always act morally, but they recognize amoral behavior when they make it.

    Finally, this blog post is a total win, both in content and in comments:
    http://www.danielabraham.com/2010/10/29/mln-on-uf-why-jayne-heller-wont-get-raped/

  5. Rachel

    I don’t think 2312 had problems as such, but I do think it was not geared toward readers who want adventure stories / hot romance / straightforward plots or whatever. I did found it was beautifully written and successful for what it meant to do, but I can see it lacking crowd appeal.

    I did notice it was came in second, which is good considering the competition.

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