My Personal Hugo Nominations

Unless I change my mind in the next eight or so days, here’s what I’m nominating:

Short stories: This is the first year I’ve ever read or nominated any short stories! It’s kind of fun to be rooting for entries in more than the Novel category.

1. Hold Back The Waters by Virginia M. Mohlere. I didn’t really find that this story had enough closure for me, but I still liked it a lot.

2. Mad Maudlin by Marie Brennan. I really loved everything about this story.

3. The Earth and Everything Under by K.M. Ferebee. Honestly, I pretty much loved everything about this story, too.

4. When it Ends, He Catches Her by Eugie Foster. I did not like this one as much as the three above, but still, I would not mind seeing it on the ballot.

5. Covenant by Elizabeth Bear. This story was brought to my attention just a few days ago. It was published in the anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future. It’s an interesting story that worked well for me, about identity. You can read it here if you like.

I was going to nominate “How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps by A. Merc Rustad until I read “Covenant.” The structure of “Robot” is so interesting and works really well for me. If the author had dropped the Message quotient by just a little, I’d be nominating “Robot” instead of “When it Ends.” If the narrator’s parents had been less clich├ęd, for example, that would have done it. I would like to see more of Rustad’s work, except I so strongly prefer novel-length and I think Rustad’s work so far has been in shorter forms.


1. Nobody’s Home by Tim Powers. Craig brought this novelette to my attention at nearly the last minute. It’s a good yearfor ghost stories, I guess, as a couple of the short stories are more or less ghost stories. I liked it a lot.

I didn’t read any other novelettes.


In the end, I didn’t like any novella I read enough to nominate it. But then, I only read about four novellas. I’ll be interested to see what actually gets nominated.

Novels: I bet you already know most of these:

1. The Goblin Emperor by “Katherine Addison”

2. A Darkling Sea by James Cambias

3. Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie.

4. Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge. You were all right; I loved it. Horrible cover.

5. And, as a surprise to us all, or at least to me, Trial By Fire by Charles Gannon.

Which I haven’t finished. I’m voting for it because I don’t think The Tropic of Serpents has a chance (I haven’t seen it on anybody else’s list, which I do think is too bad), because I’m voting for Brennan’s short story which I hope does have a chance, and because I’d rather see it on the ballot than a bunch of the titles that are fairly likely to get a lot of attention.

Here, incidentally, are Chaos Horizon’s official predictions for the novels that will actually make the Hugo ballot. These predictions affected my nominations: This list made me move Gannon’s book up to my fifth spot because I wanted to vote for a book that might have a chance of bumping some of the titles that Chaos Horizon thinks are likely.

For example, I’d rather see Gannon’s book on the ballot thanAnnihilation by Jeff VanderMeer because his Finch was so not to my taste; I would FAR rather see it than Correia’s Monster Hunter book, which I skimmed and thoroughly disliked; I would rather see it on there than Butcher’s Skin Game if only because I do not really want to read a 14 book series so I can read that one.

Now, if we see Gannon’s book on there instead of The Goblin Emperor I will GNASH MY TEETH.

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5 thoughts on “My Personal Hugo Nominations”

  1. Raw nomination numbers will eventually be available, but not until after the awards themselves have been handed out.

    Rachel already know this, but I’ll put it here: I recommended TRIAL BY FIRE after I read it and thought it was a solid SF adventure with even some elements of depth to it. And while it was clearly v. 2 of a series, I hadn’t read v. 1 and it didn’t bother me much.

    The other novel I looked at from the “Sad Puppies” slate (I am broadly sympathetic) was Kevin J. Anderson’s THE DARK BETWEEN THE STARS. Fine, I said, perhaps it’s unfairly snobbish for me to have a low opinion of Anderson just because he built his career churning out tie-in novels. But then I spent a day’s commute reading tDBtS, and after about 100 pages I found that 14 of 17 chapters had introduced a new viewpoint character. I was tempted to skim the rest of the chapter titles just to see how bad the viewpoint bloat was.

  2. I did my best not to keep track of who recommended what, but I was curious enough to check on that after finishing, or nearly finishing, my reading. I have to say, I was not impressed by the overall “Sad Puppies” slate. I personally didn’t find many of their selections of high enough quality to be reasonable nominees — and I can’t imagine why they didn’t select A Darkling Sea, which is a very solid SF choice that ought to appeal to people who are broadly sympathetic to the idea of nominating old-fashioned SF and also looking for something well written, well plotted, and ambitious.

    Also, it was The Book Smugglers who suggested Cuckoo’s Song. I’m glad about that; that blog is big enough to perhaps put some weight behind its nominations, and I think it deserves to be on the ballot.

  3. I completely agree about A DARKLING SEA, which should really be getting more Hugo buzz across the board than it seems to be.

  4. I’m also surprised that A DARKLING SEA isn’t on more lists. Scalzi did recommend it, though.

    Thanks for the pointer to “The Earth and Everything Under,” which I’ll be nominating even though it contains dead birds (a serious concession on my part).

    I’m still not sure about “Covenant.” Bear is clearly talented, and she has plenty of interesting, ambitious ideas, but for some reason, I always end up arguing with her in my head instead of sitting back and enjoying the story. This is especially annoying when the thing I decide to argue with isn’t even all that important: e.g., the idea that Americans would respond to an oil shortage by giving up their personal vehicles and moving closer together. It’s not impossible, and even if it were, who cares? But I just couldn’t let it go. Leaving that aside, I did find the protagonist extremely compelling, though the plot required a major coincidence that I found pretty hard to take. It’s a very tough call for me.

  5. Good, glad to hear Scalzi pointed to A Darkling Sea. Good for him. Maybe that’ll nudge it up.

    Yes, that oil shortage thing strikes me as unlikely, but I just read over it. The protagonist running into the bad guy must be the coincidence you mean and IT SURE IS A COINCIDENCE. But I like how she handled the question of identity — and the situation she set up *was* entertaining, no matter how it stretched credulity. I would personally have liked the protagonist to beat the tar out of the bad guy, but I think I see why Bear didn’t go in that direction.

    Oh, and glad you liked “The Earth and Everything Under.”

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