Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Nominating for the Hugos

Well … this year, with no plans to buy a voting membership, I must confess I made no effort to read stuff published in 2016. Especially not short stuff. Nor did I go looking for recommendations.

In fact, if not for the new Series category, I probably wouldn’t have nominated at all. As it is, I nominated three series and a handful of novels and left the rest of the nominating ballot blank.

I am curious to see what happens in the Series category, of course. I nominated:

a) CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner series (this goes without saying).

b) Martha Wells’ Raksura series

c) Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series.

Things I didn’t nominate but can totally see why other people did:

The Expanse series by “James SA Corey,” which started with Leviathan’s Wake. That’s the only one I read — it was impressive, but I didn’t get drawn in to the series, though that’s remained on my radar.

The Raven Boys quadrilogy by Maggie Stiefvater, which come to think of it I might have nominated except I didn’t think of it. Maybe I’ll go do that quick while there’s still time.

The Shadow Campaigns series by Django Wexler. Maybe next year, after I have read the full series.

Things that I didn’t nominate them because I’ve never read even one book in the series, even though I really want to and totally intend to:

The Elantra series by Michelle Sagara. You all keep recommending it. I will try it eventually. Really.

The Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. I hear it’s a very exciting, compelling series.

Things I had no idea were still a thing:

Did you know Terry Brooks was still writing Shannara books? I had no idea.

Ditto for the Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey.

Very ditto for the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.

Also very ditto for the Myth-Adventures series by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye.

Very, very ditto for the Dune series, which I see is now being written by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson.

Wow, those all take me back. You know, I actually read and liked the first Shannara book. I was probably about twelve. The early Myth-Adventures books were fun. Surely the pun-laden Xanth series has mined out that vein of humor by now? I never started Valdemar.

And I can’t help but remember someone’s comment … Jo Walton’s? … that every book in the DUNE series was half as good as the one preceding it. Oh, yes, here is the quote:

[DUNE is] a weird cocktail, part messianic, part intrigue, part ecological, but it works. I loved it when I was twelve, and I read the sequels, which are each half as good as the one before, and I didn’t give up until they were homeopathically good.

Hah, I’d forgotten that ‘homeopathically good’ line. Now I so want to steal it and pretend I thought of it, but alas, it’s no doubt too well known. Anyway, if the series is still going and still true to the half-as-good rule, wow.

So, I will definitely be keeping an eye on what makes the short list. But if CJ Cherryh’s series isn’t on there, I will be incensed, no matter what else appears.

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4 Comments Nominating for the Hugos

  1. Elaine T

    I’ve never voted or nominated so this is all purely hypothetical, but I wouldn’t include any series, however much I liked it unless it was complete. I wonder how many Hugo participants think like that. That lets out quite a few of them.

    Remembering the various types of series…. Maybe if it’s not telling a sequential story, just a Discworld-like thing of various stories in the same setting I would. hmm…

    I’d’ve gone for the Vorkosiverse books if she’d stopped writing them a few back. I’ve definitely been losing interest since the Mile’s honeymoon installment.

    The Teen has been poking at Valdemar lately. Declares it a find to replace Rowling, as there’s so many holes, contradictions, and what the…! moments. Great for discussing. Guess who is getting her ear chattered off? I did read some way back when, so I’m not totally lost.

    Years ago I had the online aquaintance of someone who knew Frank Herbert and swore up and down that FH planned and wrote the first three as a trilogy. I guess it’s possible. It’s just the story took such a strange turn in #2, et seq they read as unplanned.

  2. SarahZ

    I loved Valdemar as a teen, but drifted away from it after a while. The author seemed to write herself into a corner.

    But, my biggest issue with the Xanth books isn’t the punning, it’s how misogynistic they are.

    My favorite use of the word homeopathic was when a candidate was described as “polling at homeopathic numbers” (<0%).

  3. Rachel Neumeier

    Yes, when I first read Xanth as a kid, I missed that. Now it kinda jumps out at me. Not books I plan to read again.

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