Friday, April 7, 2017

Thoughts on 2017 Hugos

Best Novel - Nothing I nominated got in and nothing I read was nominated. Probably because I didn't read enough books published last year.

Best Novella - Tor.com dominates the category - again I haven't read any of these.

Best Novelette - Once more somebody, likely the infamous Vox Day, managed to get porn in as a troll nomination. Ignoring that, it's an all-female category (I still haven't read them. Too much time writing).

Best Short Story - Pleased that Carrie Vaughn got a nod. Less pleased about John C. Wright - he's not a bad writer, but he does need to try a little bit less to be C.S. Lewis. Tor.com still dominating - do we have an organized Tor fan club?

Best Related Work - This is literally the best this category has been since I started voting. I would place bets on Carrie Fisher's memoir The Princess Diarist because I don't know if the Geek community can resist giving her one final award, but Gaiman's in there, Le Guin...people seem to be finally caring about Best Related Work.

Best Graphic Story - How am I supposed to choose between Ms. Marvel and Saga? Black Panther probably has a decent chance too - the character was made much more popular by Chadwick Boseman's great performance. I've also heard great things about Paper Girls.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form - Minor controversy in this category: Hidden Figures. Which is not really science fiction. Making me even more sad I missed Arrival. Utterly surprised to see Deadpool on the list - I nominated it, but I didn't expect many people to, given it's an R-rated comedy. I suspect the nod will be between Hidden Figures and Rogue One, though.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form - Not the Doctor Who episode I would have picked. Glad to see The Expanse in there.

Best Editor, Short Form - Not sure I can vote this category with the amount I hung out with Neil Clarke at various cons last year ;). Just joking, Neil. It's looking really solid.

Best Editor, Long Form - Vox Day's blog followers nominated him again. This is always a wonky category anyway, because so few people nominate and you have to be an industry insider to have a clue how to vote.

Best Professional Artist - No dog in the fight.

Best Semiprozine - This gets interesting. I didn't have a story in Cirsova this year, but did last - but given P Alexander's relationship with Castalia House, it's a Day nomination. Thing is? It's actually a good magazine of its type. I like it. And I refuse to let politics (as long as they fall short of outright fascism) interfere with my enjoyment.. I submit to it because it's one of the few outlets for pulp style stuff that I occasionally like to dabble in, and for older style heroic fantasy (BCS is awesome, but buys a different type of story) it's...well...it fills a niche. If I had a story IN it this year I would not vote this category, because, yeah, conflict of interest. As it is, I suspect it will end up being between BCS, Strange Horizons and Uncanny. Slightly disappointed Daily Science Fiction didn't get a nod this year.

Best Fanzine - Vox Day's blog followers nominated him again. I'm not actually complaining. Except for the troll nomination, I don't mind him getting things in in a few places as long as he's not dominating a category. Nobody should be dominating a category. Tor.com, I'm looking at you. Not familiar enough with the other blogs to make a good judgment.

Best Fancast - Here is where I squeeeeeeee. Mur Lafferty! Well deserved after many years of work. Of course, she's also a friend, so I'm going to have to close my eyes and try to vote on merit. Going to be tough.

Best Fan Writer - Chuck Tingle again. Amused. Jeffro Johnson again. Mike Glyer again. Usual suspects.

Best Fan Artist - No dog in the fight.

Best Series - Dang it, people! How am I supposed to choose between The Vorkosigan Saga and Temeraire. I have only read one book of The Expanse and none of the others, so it's going to be between those two. Fardle it...

Overall, I think this is a much better year. Every group is getting a nod somewhere, and although I'm a little concerned about the Tor nomination, at least we seem to have a good spread in both types of stories and political leanings for the personal awards. The Hugos are always going to be a bit of a popularity contest - but the more people we have nominating and voting the more tastes will be represented and the higher the chance of the true cream rising to the top.