Monday, July 29, 2013

Hugo Nominations: Best Novel and Best Novella

So, given that voting for the Hugos closes this Tuesday, I should close up my thoughts on the major Awards.

Best Novel
  •     2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
  •     Blackout, Mira Grant (Orbit)
  •     Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
  •     Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi (Tor)
  •     Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW)

All right: I only read two of these: Redshirts and Throne. I really wasn't interested in reading Book 15 of a series I've never read, so Captain Vorpatril was pretty much out.  To a lesser extent, that applied with Blackout, but also from reading Mira Grant/Seanan Maguire's other entries, I wasn't interested in carving out extra time to read something else.  And as for 2312... with all due respect to Mr. Robinson, but his books are not for me.  I muscled my way through Red Mars some time ago, and tried to do Green Mars, but I felt I was doing that entire out of a strange sense of obligation instead of enjoyment.

So, with only two books read, what comes out?  Well, frankly, I tore through Redshirts in about 24 hours, finding it a lot of fun.  I'll admit, I found the three codas to be a process of diminishing returns (Coda 1 was a good follow-up, Coda 2 was interesting, and Coda 3 felt extremely tangential), but the whole book was highly enjoyable.  Throne, on the other hand, was just fine.  A perfectly good book, but I honestly didn't quite get why this was the highly-nominated super-buzz book of 2012.  I didn't even think it was the best psuedo-Middle East fantasy of 2012

Best Novella
  •     After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon Publications)
  •     The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications)
  •     On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
  •     San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, Mira Grant (Orbit)
  •     “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s, Oct-Nov 2012)

Again, didn't get all of these read.  Didn't even start The Emperor's Soul, and only got a little of the way into On a Red Station.  It didn't hold my interest, but I won't include it in my voting plan.

"The Stars Do Not Lie" didn't hold my interest either, mostly because I felt it was heading towards an obvious revelation and shuffling its way to it, so I grew uninterested.  After, Before, During also made its way to an obvious climax, and the revelations of that climax were less that compelling.  But the writing itself, and the path there, were strong, so I enjoyed reading it, even if I felt somewhat dissatisfied with where it ended up.  Also, San Diego 2014 was enjoyable to read, but on the whole it wasn't satisfying.  Between those two, I'll give After the edge.

Voting closes in two days! 

No comments: