June 21st, 2013

Me

Hugo Thoughts, Novellas

I've completed my reading of the fiction part of the Hugos. Herewith are some thoughts:

Best Novella

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall - I didn't really like this one. I have to admit that the concept (aliens save a sliver of humanity from self-imposed extinction via time travel) to be unique. Having said I didn't like it, it was engrossing and thought-provoking, with a lot of plot twists.

The Emperor’s Soul - I found this a very interesting fantasy piece. Most of the action takes place in one room, and the oriental location saved it from the bog-standard European setting.

On a Red Station, Drifting - This story is more of manners than of science, but I do like the manners portrayed.

San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats - if you've been reading Seanan's other zombie stuff, this is more of the same. If not, you might feel a bit lost.

“The Stars Do Not Lie” - I believe I helped get this onto the ballot. Jay Lake (jaylake) doesn't do a lot of science fiction, but when he does I like it.

I think the novella category this year is by far stronger than the novels. I suspect that's an artifact of the nomination process. With only half as many people voting for novellas as opposed to novels, you get a more selective voting bloc. I have no feel for how the Hugo voters will break, but here's my selection:

1 - Stars
2 - Red Station
3 - Emperor
4 - After the Fall
5 - San Diego 2014
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