Showing posts from March, 2016

The 2016 Hugo Awards: My Hugo Ballot, Best Novel and Campbell Award

There are three whole days left before the Hugo nominating deadline, but I'm traveling starting tomorrow, so the final post in the series listing my Hugo nominees goes up today.  As tends to be the case, the best novel category is the one I put the least effort into.  I don't tend to read most books in the year of their publication, so I'm only rarely sufficiently up to date that I have a full slate of nominees in this category.  There are, in fact, more books that I would have liked to get to before the nominating deadline than there are on my ballot--books like Aliette de Bodard's The House of Shattered Wings (which I may yet finish before the deadline), Ian McDonald's Luna: New Moon , and Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora .  Meanwhile, the always-interesting Campbell award is one that I tend to dedicate to short story writers--usually those who have impressed me over the year even if their stories didn't quite cross the bar to make it onto my ballot. Looki

The 2016 Hugo Awards: My Hugo Ballot, Media Categories

We are now five days away from the Hugo nominating deadline, and moving on to a group of categories that can be a lot of fun, but also a bit frustrating.  Fun, because these are the categories where the Hugo steps away from the somewhat insular focus of its fiction and publishing categories and engages with the larger world of pop culture, and frustrating, because we're still so resistant to defining these categories in such a way as to make the nominations in them mean anything.  Should we, for example, nominate single essays in the Best Related Work category?  We've started to, in recent years, and I can even see the argument for it--a blog post can have a reach and an immediacy that a scholarly work could never hope to achieve.  But personally, I like having the related work category dedicated to book-length works (and I also think it's a little unfair to both kinds of nominees to force them into this sort of apples-and-oranges comparison). Similarly, it's been yea

The 2016 Hugo Awards: My Hugo Ballot, Publishing and Fan Categories

With ten days left before the Hugo nominating deadline, it's time to move swiftly forward to the publishing and fan categories.  What binds these categories together is that they are consistently the ones that I have the most trouble picking nominees in.  I don't even bother with the best editor categories, for reasons that have been enumerated too many times for me to repeat, and the two best artist categories are always difficult--I find myself relying very strongly on resources like the Hugo eligible art tumblrs , and recommendation lists like this one .  Still, there are some amazing nominees here, ones that I'd love to see on the ballot next month, and whose future work I'm really looking forward to. Previous posts in this series: The Short Fiction Categories Best Semiprozine: GigaNotoSaurus - The model for this modest, unassuming magazine continues to work like gangbusters.  One story a month, many of them at a greater length than the more prolific onlin

The 2016 Hugo Awards: My Hugo Ballot, Short Fiction Categories

Here we are again with the Hugo nominating season rushing towards its close (on March 31st, in case you'd forgotten), and once again my fine intentions of coming to this point having read every story I could get my hands on have proven over-ambitious.  The number of online magazines publishing genre fiction grows every year, and though I truly intended to go through every story published by every one, the task proved overwhelming.  Still, I feel like I got a good sense of what was published last year, and a strong batch of nominees for my ballot. Before we get started, a few comments on methodology, and observations on the state of the field.  Almost all of these stories were published in magazines that are freely available online, largely because that makes them easier to access whenever I have some free reading time.  As I did last year, I ended up skipping the print magazines completely, as well as most of the for-pay online magazines.  The one exception is the novella categor