chris_gerrib (chris_gerrib) wrote,

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Hugo Packet - The Wrong Way to Wright

I am really bouncing hard off of John C. Wright's novellas. For One Bright Star to Guide Them I'm baffled by the attitude to magic. Robertson, our first character, hasn't thought of magic for years, yet the instant he sees a black cat he's all magic!!!! - Then when we visit Richard, he alternates in the same paragraph between "yeah magic, especially if it gets me laid" and "no magic for me, I'm British." Oh, and since when have you described out loud what somebody was wearing to the person wearing it? Sorry, no dice. (Oh, and I checked - somebody on File 770 thinks that Wright forgot the name of one of his characters, and changed it from Sarah to Sally randomly. Not so - she is referred to as both names, but there's no explanation as to why in the story. It would have been better to be consistent.)

For The Plural of Helen of Troy I got five pages into it and found myself wondering who I was supposed to be rooting for and why. I get that Wright was trying for a hard-boiled hero, but for that (or any hero) to work, we need a reason to root for the hero. Kratman did that quite well in Big Boys - I liked Maggie The Tank. I don't like anybody I've met in Troy.

Pale Realms of Shade suffers from a similar problem. I guess I'm supposed to care about Mathias, the ghost, but I'm not told why. Moreover, we spend entirely too much time figuring out that the narrator is a ghost. It's first person, just tell us!

Results - the Andrews is a novel fragment, and the Wrights all have the wrong stuff in them. So my decision is between one-and-done (Kratman then no award) or just no award the whole category.
Tags: hugos, sad puppies
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