I don’t have a voting membership this year, but in case you, like me, are interested in seeing what’s on the ballot, here is the complete list.
I am as always most interested in the novels, so here’s that list:
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
Neptune’s Brood, Charles Stross
Parasite, Mira Grant
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles, Larry Correia
The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
To which my first response is: The Wheel of Time? Really? Now, I admit, I have never read any part of this work, but after reading this analysis by Marie Brennen, frankly, I am surprised to see it appear here. Especially since, hello, huge series? How is a full series even eligible? Is there a single book that came out last year that was also called The Wheel of Time? Because that is not what Amazon shows. Amazon shows a single volume with a specific title (A Memory of Light) that finishes the whole shebang.
I do not ordinarily like Charles Stross much, he’s one of those writers where I can see why other people like him, but he’s not really my type. Mira Grant is a good writer, but I haven’t read this book. I had enough issues with believability in the plotting in the Feed trilogy that I would pick up Parasite with some trepidation. Warbound is the third book of a series and I am suspicious that it may not stand by itself, but I haven’t read it, either.
But! I was just kidding earlier about my first response. No, my FIRST response was: Yay! Ancillary Justice made the ballot! That one definitely deserved the nomination, no question, and I hope it wins, though of course I really shouldn’t say that when I haven’t read any of the others on the ballet. Even so. It has what I want in a nominee for a major award: scope, ambition, outside-the-box concepts, and good writing. Have you all read it? Because it’s excellent and unusual. It doesn’t exactly end on cliffhanger — not exactly — but I should add that it is definitely the first in a series.
Okay, [some of] the rest of the Hugo nominees:
The Butcher of Khardov, Dan Wells
The Chaplain’s Legacy”, Brad Torgersen
“Equoid”, Charles Stross
Six-Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente
“Wakulla Springs”, Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages
“Opera Vita Aeterna”, Vox Day
“The Exchange Officers”, Brad Torgersen
“The Lady Astronaut of Mars”, Mary Robinette Kowal
“The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling”, Ted Chiang
“The Waiting Stars”, Aliette de Bodard
I’ve really liked some of Dan Wells’ novels, and of course there’s Cat Valente. I should track these down and read them. Vox Day, huh? Voting block, I gather, not that that is unknown for the Hugos. Ted Chiang is a really good writer, imo, which doesn’t mean I like all his stories, but I bet that one is well written. I’m interested in the Aliette de Bodard story — curious to see how it compares to last year’s nominee.
Other than that, I see The Book Smugglers were nominated for Best Fanzine. Good for them. I don’t read their blog as consistently as I used to (very large TBR pile already), but I always do like stopping by. Even better, I see Liz Bourke was nominated for Best Fan Writer. I hope she wins — granted, I am not that familiar with the other nominees, but you all know I particularly like Liz’s reviews. Here is her review of Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy. It’s a beautiful review — and spoiler-free, which I greatly appreciate.
I would sure have a lot of reading to do if I were voting. The ONLY nominee I’ve read is Ancillary Justice.