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The 2014 Hugo Nominees
April 19, 2014 4:25 PM   Subscribe

The finalists for the 2014 Hugo Awards and finalists for the 1939 Retrospective Hugo Awards have been announced in advance of LonCon3, the 2014 WorldCon of Science Fiction.

This year's ballot is particularly noteworthy for a few reasons:

First, A quirk of the Hugo rules means that if no individual work within a series is nominated for a Hugo individually the entire series may be nominated. Thus, despite none of the 14 novels in the series being deemed even potentially Hugo-worthy the entire series now has the potential to be awarded a Best Novel Hugo Award.

And second, in response to events in the field covered previously on Metafilter, several hard right leaning authors have received enough nominations to reach the final ballot! Most notably the novellete "Opera Vita Aeterna” by Vox Day.

Some thoughts from John Scalzi.
posted by Justinian (166 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is awesome, I didn't know this came out. Like a lot of people I'll be buying some of the novels nominated. Is there any way to track the sales of these books as the nominations came out for kicks?
posted by hal_c_on at 4:26 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


In case people wonder which other nominees are likely a result of backlash against Beale's expulsion, I would say Larry Correia's Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles published by Baen is a lock. Perhaps also Torgersen's nominations in Novelette and Novella though, unlike Day, Torgersen is a real writer and has been nominated before in a few categories so I'm looking forward to reading that one to see if it is worthy. And, lastly, it probably didn't hurt Toni Weisskopf's chances though she is a long-time editor with real skill and has been nominated before.

The real tragedy here is the Wheel of Time nomination of course. Blech.
posted by Justinian at 4:33 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Wheel of Time has got to win the novel category out of sheer... amazement? exhaustion? pity? No?
posted by shivohum at 4:33 PM on April 19


hal_c_on: I don't believe Hugo nominations have a meaningful effect on sales. jscalzi or cstross would be in a better position to answer that however.
posted by Justinian at 4:34 PM on April 19


The '39 Retro Hugo is a good crop. It's amazing how long the field has been producing great stuff in a form which is recognizably the same genre we still read today.
posted by Justinian at 4:36 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Wheel of Time has got to win the novel category out of sheer... amazement? exhaustion? pity? No?

I can't believe that it's really that good. Or even SF. But what I don't know about the Hugos could fill a bloated series of books.

I don't believe Hugo nominations have a meaningful effect on sales.

I've heard of so few of the nominated books and writers (my shame, I know) outside of the retro category, but I'm enticed enough to look, so, there's that blip.

I'm actually surprised the numbers are so low for the noms.
posted by Mezentian at 4:37 PM on April 19


SF in this context includes fantasy. The old neckbeards grumble about that but they'll be dead soon so whatever.
posted by Justinian at 4:39 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


From the Scalzi article:
it’s particularly interesting to see Wheel of Time (the complete series) there — it’s a quirk of the Hugo rules that if any individual book of a series hasn’t been nominated, the entire series can be.

Be that as it may, no series which has a low point like Lord of Chaos deserves an award.
On the other hand, yay from Henry Kutter. I just got my Gateway omnibus last week. And Jack Williamson's is on order. He was the first "hard SF" author I ever read - albeit for Trapped In Space, the details of which I still remember almost 35 years later.
posted by Mezentian at 4:46 PM on April 19


Justinian:

"jscalzi or cstross would be in a better position to answer that however."

Depends on the work and particular circumstances. I suspect the nomination helped Old Man's War a bit in sales, as I was a debut author and the first in a couple of decades to be nominated for Best Novel and the Campbell at the same time. I don't think it helped Redshirts much because that book was already moving along under its own steam and I was by that time well-established (the Hugo win for that book does help, in terms of long term sales, and after it won we quickly closed on an agreement for the TV show option, and I think it was influential to some extent for that).

Mostly what a Hugo nomination offers is a spotlight and some potential to capitalize on that spotlight, during the voting window, for other opportunities. The Hugo is (unofficially but no less usefuly for all that) the pre-eminent industry award (with the Nebula being co-equal). Within the SF/F publishing industry, people do pay attention, particularly in fiction categories.
posted by jscalzi at 4:46 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


I think with these awards it's mainly the constant exposure for years of being on lists, being referenced as a past winner, and being a comparator for future judges. It's not like there's a big Hugo store where everyone rushes to buy the new Hugo-approved literature, of course. But there also must be a certain pride in being well regarded by something like a jury of peers.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:47 PM on April 19


Ancillary Justice has this.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 4:48 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Thanks, jscalzi. So essentially the less well known an author is the more it may potentially help sales. That makes sense. Perhaps it will help Ancillary Justice then.
posted by Justinian at 4:51 PM on April 19


I think Orson Welles pretty much has a lock on the '39 dramatic presentation category.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:52 PM on April 19 [9 favorites]


Ancillary Justice has been nominated for just about every award it is possible for it to qualify for, so at this point the Hugo nod is just more momentum behind it.

(Disclosure: I blurbed AJ, know Ann Leckie and served with her on the SFWA board, and gave her her first professional sale, so I have considerable bias here.)
posted by jscalzi at 4:57 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Hmm. That movie section makes me feel sad for the state of filmed SF (or is the category "what SF fans watched this year"?). And a short form section without "Simon and Marcy"?
posted by effbot at 5:00 PM on April 19


By chance AJ is the next book on my to-be-read pile. I've heard nothing but good things about it. I didn't know you gave her her first sale jscalzi. Good job.
posted by Justinian at 5:02 PM on April 19


By the way I'm not sure I agree with the interpretation of the rules which has been construed to allow Wheel of Time to be nominated. I believe it should not be eligible in this way and putting it on the ballot breaks the rules.
posted by Justinian at 5:06 PM on April 19


Since the world as it exists now is basically SF by 1939 standards, can we nominate "looking out the window" for a 2014 Hugo?
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:06 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Shoutout to my friend Lynne Thomas, who co-edited a nominated magazine and co-hosted a nominated podcast while being an amazing special collections librarian and a mom (and her husband Michael got a pair of nominations as well). She makes me feel very lazy, but full of admiration nevertheless.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:09 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Personally Ancillary Justice is my favorite of the Best Novel nominations, but I must confess that I haven't even heard of Warbound (much less read it).
posted by RichardP at 5:12 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Having just read Justinian's comment, maybe I shouldn't be embarrassed that this is first I've heard of Warbound.
posted by RichardP at 5:15 PM on April 19


several hard right leaning authors have received enough nominations to reach the final ballot! Most notably the novellete "Opera Vita Aeterna” by Vox Day

The popularity contest nature of the hugos is why I prefer the nebulas. Not only does it throw up results like this, but also I feel it often rewards/champions "insiders" in the field and the best web marketers. It's a different metric to raw sales data but I'm not convinced it has more merit.(due respect worthy winners, ofwhich there have been many ).

I dunno, I never find the novel winners at all unpredictable, and feel that many great books are overlooked because they lack the critical mass or industry charisma/presence. I usually find the short story nominations and winners more interesting and generally... well progressive in the genre I guess.
posted by smoke at 5:17 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Galactic Patrol for '39 Hugo or I boycott.
posted by Gin and Comics at 5:18 PM on April 19


Galactic Patrol for '39 Hugo or I boycott.

Well, it's "better" than Out of the Silent Planet, that's for sure.
"Better".
I don't think either are going to be winning the female vote, though.
posted by Mezentian at 5:26 PM on April 19


It's surprising how uninspired I was by the best novel ballot this year. I read and enjoyed Ancillary Justice. Parasite is an AU fanfic of Feed. And I somehow always bounce off of Stross's books, Correia isn't my thing and I never got into WoT.

I rather like the long form options, am hoping for GoT or Orphan Black to break the (undeserved) lock by Doctor Who. I haven't read most of the novella/novelette/short stories. (I'm also really confused by The Lady Astronaut of Mars, because I remember a big thing about how it wasn't eligible last year, so I don't get how it's eligible this year.)

It's great to see the Kameron Hurley piece there as related -- actually, the fan writer, semipro and fanzines, and Campbell nominations are all interesting.

I say this all as someone who can never be bothered to join as a voting member, of course.
posted by jeather at 5:28 PM on April 19


I would question the implications of "despite none of the 14 novels in the [Wheel of Time] series being deemed even potentially Hugo-worthy the entire series now has the potential to be awarded a Best Novel Hugo Award" in the original post. It really hasn't been 14 novels. It's been 14 installments of one really long work. I don't think it would have made sense to have nominated most of the intermediate ones, not because there was anything wrong with them, but because the story wasn't done yet. This needed to be considered as a whole, and I'm glad that's the tack the Hugos are taking.

(More to the point, I'm glad they're being honest about it. Everybody knew the Oscars for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King were really for the entire trilogy, but they couldn't come out and say so. If A Memory of Light had been nominated, the same thing would have been in play.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 5:32 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I rather like the long form options, am hoping for GoT or Orphan Black to break the (undeserved) lock by Doctor Who. I

Of the Who there, only "An Adventure in Space and Time" is really worthy.
Pulling for Orphan Black myself. Any show that can come out of an awkwardly-hosted ra-ra show like The Cloneversation and have me love it even more? Sublime.

(Also: Henry Kutter, me?)
posted by Mezentian at 5:34 PM on April 19


It's been 14 installments of one really long work.

That's the argument for allowing its inclusion, anyway. But I find it dubious at best. It was published in 14 novels. The rules are meant to allow a serialized novel like Dickens or whatever. Not 14 novels forming a longer series.
posted by Justinian at 5:36 PM on April 19


Would it be that we lived in the timeline where Lord of the Swastika by one obscure A. Schicklgruber was the one that won this Hugo in a year of world tranquility.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:46 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


"...but I must confess that I haven't even heard of Warbound (much less read it)."

Me, either, and that was a surprise. Taking a look at it, I don't think I'd be much interested, anyway, as lately I've had my fill of SFF interpretations of detective noir.

The only other of the novels I've not read is Grant's, because I didn't really like the Newsflesh books and the topic of Parasite doesn't interest me. It's funny, though, because I've read all ten of her October Daye and InCryptid urban fantasy books written under her real name, and she's among the few urban fantasy writers I still like. I'm pretty burned out on UF (god, I pray that someone fucking passes a law against first person narrative in genre novels); but I still quite enjoy the Daye books and I like what she's doing with the InCryptid books.

I think that Sanderson is twice the writer that Jordan was and managed to end the WoT series respectably. Even so, Sanderson's WoT books weren't great and all the latter Jordan books ranged from poor to abominable. WoT's presence on the list is sentimental. That's okay with me; I'm strangely sentimental about some of those characters myself. But it shouldn't win anything, and won't.

And, even though I've not read Parasite or Warbound, I think I'm safe in predicting that neither has much of a chance for wining.

That leaves Stross's Neptune’s Brood, which is in the Stross-calibrated range of "pretty good" (which in the wider context is "quite good") but, even so, it's not that great.

But, as jscalzi wrote, Leckie's Ancillary Justice is a critical darling. It's a better book than Neptune's Brood. But it's far from a perfect book. I think that it has benefited from being a notably good book that also is a bit reminiscent of the Iain M Banks approach to space opera, and that space opera is beloved of SF fans but on the (regrettable, IMO) wane, and has the whiff of a Big Idea and SF's tradition of experimental fiction in the form of the gender stuff. Those things combined make it something of a critical and awards juggernaut; I feel nearly certain it will win best novel. But it's not quite what I'd hope a Hugo best novel would be. Don't get me wrong, it's very good. But this crop of nominees for best novel are, collectively, sort of weak.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:49 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


Well, to be fair, the Hugo award winners have not always been brilliant. jscalzi's Redshirts won last year, for example, and while I really liked the book, I don't think it stands up to some of the previous winners.
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:55 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I don't know much about the Hugo books this year (I'm an intermittent SF reader these days) but I have seen all but one of the short form dramatic nominees. I know it's Doctor Who's fiftieth and some of the anniversary stuff was fantastic. I'm even a huge fan. But Who as a series is 50 years old and Game of Thrones as a book series is pushing 20. I have to hope Orphan Black gets the nod because not only is it fantastic too, it's something current and new, and not just drawing on old popularity.
posted by immlass at 5:56 PM on April 19


If there were a "biggest improvement" award for a series, Stross's Neptune's Brood would be a lock. Such a massive improvement over Saturn's Children.

Charlie Stross has a good record for pastiche (Laundry files), but I'm glad he didn't do that with Brood. Leave the Heinlein homages to Scalzi's Old Man's War.
posted by chimaera at 6:03 PM on April 19


Orphan Black Premieres Tonight And Oh Hey Science Actually Cloned Adult Humans For Real
posted by homunculus at 6:06 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


As people may be aware, a membership in this year's WorldCon carries with it both voting rights for the Hugos and a digital "packet" of the nominated works, so you can know what you're voting on (and there's a $40 "supporting" membership that just gets you the packet and ballot). It's going to be interesting to see how they handle that this year.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:11 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I think I will be getting a supporting membership and plan to vote for Ancillary Justice. But I am disappointed that James SA Corey's Abaddon's Gate (or the Expanse series for that matter) did not get nominated. Anyone else have a neglected favorite?
posted by Ber at 6:22 PM on April 19


This reminds me I have Neptune's Brood and haven't read it yet, even though I re-read Saturn's Children in preparation.

Ancillary Justice is seriously deserving.
posted by Foosnark at 6:25 PM on April 19


Just out of curiosity (and, of course, not enough curiosity to have done so myself), has anyone on the blue ever read any of VD's fiction, or enough of it to know if he can actually write? My impression from reading his Wikipedia entry is that he's achieved mediocrity, at best, in everything he's tried, and has reached his level of notoriety purely through years of dogged trolling.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:29 PM on April 19


Wow. I've been vaguely aware of Vox Day for a while, but I had no idea just how much of a spectacularly awful human being he is. Ugh.
posted by brundlefly at 6:36 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


I was hoping for luck for The Golem and the Jinni, personally. Life After Life, maybe. I probably would have nominated Two Serpents Rise, though Max Gladstone managed to get in for the Campbell anyhow. The Glass Repubic. And Ancillary Justice would have rounded out my ballot, though it is possible I would have nominated something else given that it was a lock for a nomination.

If you haven't read the John Chu not-novel, "The Water that Falls on You from Nowhere", you should. It's available at Tor.com with their other finalists.


(Ivan Fyodorovich, I would love to talk to you about Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant because I have such strong opinions. The October Daye remain among my very favourites, but I hate Incryptid and Indexing was a horrible mess with a lot of promise. Her short stories range from fantastic to boring. But mostly she has made all her characters into snarkers with the same voice and her plotting has taken on some really bad TV habits.)
posted by jeather at 6:37 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Justinian: "Thus, despite none of the 14 novels in the series"

Is there an antecedent here I'm missing?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:54 PM on April 19


Is there an antecedent here I'm missing?

He's talking about the Wheel of Time; just a braino, I think.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:57 PM on April 19


Woops, I dunno what happened. Yeah the Wheel of Time. Looks like I a word.
posted by Justinian at 6:58 PM on April 19


Quick, everyone sternly tug their braids in Justinian's direction.
Silly, woolly-headed man!

The parody is lazy

The '39 list is of more interest to me (I'm like a wine snob, but with books). I can't seem to find "Werewoman” by CL Moore in any collection I own, and it seems as if it was published in an obscure magazine, and the Kuttner story likewise is missing. Curious.

And, I'm calling Karel Čapek over Wells for the Best Dramatic Presentation.
It's a dark horse I know, but it did basically give the world the word "robot".

And Margaret Brundage for best professional artist.
posted by Mezentian at 7:22 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


The interpretation of the rule allowing Wheel of Time to be nominated as a whole was confirmed by Tim Illingworth (who claims to be the one who authored the rule) as an intentional design feature. Whether that's the interpretation other people gave it when it was accepted, who knows, but evidently it's the one this year's Hugo sub-committee thought would be OK.

Larry Correia's personal campaign to get on the ballot was finally successful, and I think that's probably OK too, especially if it brings attention to the fact that it only takes around 118 nominations for a book to get onto the Hugo ballot, assuming last year's statistics are typical.

I've read two of the novel nominees, sampled two of them extensively, and would be unlikely to read the fifth based on prior experience of the author's work, though I'm not opposed to it. I'd give the win to Ancillary Justice, and I'd say Neptune's Brood was an excellent attempt to write a novel based on hypothetical possibilities of interstellar slower-than-light banking and finance. It stands alone without having read the first book, which I enjoyed less (though I appreciated a gradually unfolding trick in the narration of that one).

I haven't read many of the short fiction nominees (6 of 14), although I read all the works online that made it into the three "annual best" anthologies that had announced their contents before the deadline. The stories from the "best of" anthologies that I would draw attention to are Yoon Ha Lee's "Effigy Nights" and Joe Abercrombie's "Some Desperado," but an uncollected short story I actually liked best was Aaron Corwin's "Brimstone and Marmalade." I was disappointed that no Lovecraft was nominated for the Retro Hugo, though it was probably inevitable because only fragments and I think one 'collaboration' were eligible. Among graphic stories, I was also disappointed that Isabel Greenberg's The Encyclopedia of Early Earth and Hawkeye: Little Hits weren't nominated. And I continued to nominate Oglaf without success.

Incidentally, I think the best book Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant published last year had to be Velveteen vs. The Multiverse (the first book in that series was even better). Other books from last year that I'd recommend include A Stranger in Olondria, Lexicon, Countdown City, Without a Summer and Fortune's Pawn. I also nominated a bunch of John Scalzi's stuff from The Human Division in appropriate short fiction categories
posted by Monsieur Caution at 7:28 PM on April 19 [12 favorites]


I am disappointed that my campaign (too little and too late due to a certain cross-country move) to get Janelle Monae's The Electric Lady nominated as Best Related Work failed. Alas.

Otherwise, I am quite looking forward to reading the nominees, if only for the moral high ground when I sneer at them.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:33 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


I would rather have seen Lexicon and Countdown City on the ballot than a couple of the ones that did make it. Haven't read Fortune's Pawn yet but it's on the giant pile of unread books in the corner.
posted by Justinian at 7:33 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


It's amazing how long the field has been producing great stuff in a form which is recognizably the same genre we still read today.

If you read 19th century Romance novels, they're all just dry technical narratives about animal husbandry techniques.
posted by XMLicious at 8:01 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I was really impressed that Moher's bright, angry, and fiercely inter-textual essay about misogyny and invisibility was nominated.

Oglaf and Janelle Monae would have been amazing.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:04 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Generations of horror fans know that "Who Goes There?" deserves to win the Retro Novella category.
posted by Megafly at 8:21 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I was disappointed that no Lovecraft was nominated for the Retro Hugo, though it was probably inevitable because only fragments and I think one 'collaboration' were eligible.

Does this mean I can get my outrage on that Clark Ashton Smith has been snubbed by the academy?
Because "The Garden of Adompha" and "Mother of Toads" were published in Weird Tales of '38.
posted by Mezentian at 8:21 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Is it bad I don't recognise Don A Stuart's name?
I suspect it is.
posted by Mezentian at 8:24 PM on April 19


PinkMoose:

The essay you note is written by Kameron Hurley. It was hosted by Moher, however.
posted by jscalzi at 8:28 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Does this mean I can get my outrage on that Clark Ashton Smith has been snubbed by the academy? Because "The Garden of Adompha" and "Mother of Toads" were published in Weird Tales of '38.

I nominated them both too! Surely there's been some mistake! ;D
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:29 PM on April 19


thanks john, i apologise. But it is really really really really good.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:42 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I am sad Lexicon wasn't nominated - Max Barry always writes books that are superfun, but also have a lot going on under the surface. I kept thinking about it afterwards, there are so many good ideas, from a rather subtle take of what Hogwarts would look like if there were really all-powerful wizards to a meditation on the power of Google adwords. Seriously, great book.

On the space opera side, I agree with those above that the Expanse is moving along nicely, and apparently will now be a mini-series. Also, the Rook was a fun Laundry-style supernatural spy/office adventure.

And, no love for The Martian? Maybe that was 2014? It was the most old school Asimov-style SF I have read in a long time. In a good way.

I should mention that I listened to some of these as audio books as well, and Lexicon and The Expanse are well done, as is, believe it or not, Warbound (read by Bronson Pinchot). The whole series is much more fun than it has the right to be, and isn't as gun-crazy as some of Correia's other books.

Ancillary Justice was also good, and would be a nice win. I stuck through decades of the WoT, I had to reread dozens of wikipages before finishing the last book. Credit for finishing the series, and less lamely than it looked like it was going to end, but it stopped being fun sometime the last century.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:44 PM on April 19


So, I should add the first Expanse book to my (growing) basket?
posted by Mezentian at 8:45 PM on April 19


My big question is wondering if the Foglios are going to step down again, or go for a fourth Hugo for Girl Genius. Last year they opted out of the running to let my friend Ursula take the Best Graphic Novel Hugo for "Digger", and to also prove that it's a viable category after they took all of the first three GN Hugos.

I mean I love the Foglios but dayum.
posted by egypturnash at 9:42 PM on April 19


1939 - How does T.H. White not take it in a walk for Sword in the Stone? Wow, that book's fantastic.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:46 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


So, I should add the first Expanse book to my (growing) basket?

Oh god yes. They're really good. I really like them for representation, too-- the first book has two male protagonists but each one afterwards is a 50/50 male/female split and there is a really good mix of ages and orientations and religions. Both the settings and the people feel really well-realized. I like Daniel Abraham's other stuff but I don't always feel like they come across with the full vision in his head-- Dagger and the Coin is great but it doesn't feel as much like I could wander down any random corridor away from the narrative and find cool shit. The Expanse does that.
posted by NoraReed at 9:47 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


SF in this context includes fantasy.

which would explain Ayn Rand's Anthem in the 1939 Retro Awards, nominated for best novella. Though I always thought of her stuff as more erotic fantasy
posted by philip-random at 9:47 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Can I be a bit of a contrarian? First, spoilers are coming for anyone who hasn't read Ancillary Justice.

I really appreciated Ancillary Justice - actually, I just read it last week, and it's the only one on the list that I read! However, I was a bit disappointed by the last act. It seemed like she wasn't sure how to wind it up, and things took a turn into the territory that I feel is better covered by folks like James Corey and Lois McMaster Brujold. How do I put this...sort of hardish sci-fi space adventurey stuff, where people are racing to airlocks and such. I love that stuff, but I've seen it done better.

Up until that point, I felt that things had a very different tone, and I didn't expect things to get decided by action so much as dialog and psychology. Before the final confrontation, it felt very much like something from LeGuin, which is about as high a compliment as I can pay. It was high concept, with deep explorations of culture and gender, while having interesting characters and engaging dialog.

Also, I didn't really like the ending itself. I thought it was a bit too upbeat, given what I had been expecting. In fact, I feel like the ending set things up for a series, which is definitely not the kind of thing that fits with the rest of the book, tonally. It sounds like I'm complaining that things didn't go how I expected, which is usually not the typical kind of complaint that one levels at a book; usually I love to be surprised. It's more like I feel like a deeply psychological and cultural science fiction novel swapped it's third act with a merely serviceable actiony science fiction potboiler. I'm not sure if I want to read about One Esk troubleshooting space adventures for the Radch Empire...give me a Vorkosigan novel to scratch that itch (please!).
posted by Edgewise at 11:39 PM on April 19


By the way, I'm not saying that AJ doesn't deserve the win; after all, I don't know what it's up against. I'm just saying that I have criticisms.
posted by Edgewise at 11:43 PM on April 19


The '39 Retro Hugo is a good crop.

PIGEONS FROM HELL FOR BEST NOVELETTE!!!

I am going to campaign like a motherfucker for this story, just for the title alone.
posted by RakDaddy at 1:02 AM on April 20


At around 20 pages, I question what makes PIGEONS FROM HELL not a short story but a novelette.
I assume the answer is buried deep in the dusty tomes of Hugo The Unwise.

Looking away from the books: none of the films really grabs me as "Hugo" worthy.
But I haven't seen Gravity yet.
posted by Mezentian at 2:00 AM on April 20


Haha, fuck me, I didn't expect to see shitty tabletop wargame tie-in The Butcher of Khardov on there. Long-awaited representation for the 'women in refrigerators in lazy fantasy Russia GRR ARG ANGRYPOWER' subgenre.
posted by emmtee at 2:04 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Is it bad I don't recognise Don A Stuart's name?

Leper outcast unclean!

Don A. Stuart is the pen name of John W. Campbell, the long term editor of Astounding/Analog who helped shaped a particularly racist, sexist and xenophobic strain of science fiction many persist in thinking is the core of the genre.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:48 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Don A. Stuart is the pen name of John W. Campbell,

I did figure that out. :)

who helped shaped a particularly racist, sexist and xenophobic strain of science fiction many persist in thinking is the core of the genre.

So, you're saying I shouldn't buy that Omnibus when it comes out in two years time?

I gather he was a fantastic editor, albeit a grump on par with Ellison, I have high hopes for his writin's.
posted by Mezentian at 3:11 AM on April 20


He's much more reprehensible than Ellison could ever be. I was reading an issue of Analog from the 60s recently, and this (1, 2, 3, 4) was the editorial he wrote. Warning: contains particularly despicable virulent racism.
posted by dng at 3:19 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


Pretty funny, though!

"Philosophers from Moses to Ayn Rand have ..."

Ahee hee ho ho ha! *wheezes*
posted by Wolof at 4:27 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]


*Pacific Rim*?

And the Pacific Rim *screenplay*?


I really can't believe that anybody could be serious about that.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 5:12 AM on April 20


Dramatic presentation is always host to a few WTFs.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:18 AM on April 20


1939 - How does T.H. White not take it in a walk for Sword in the Stone? Wow, that book's fantastic.

I agree completely, but my money is on Burroughs as more in line with the Hugos.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:50 AM on April 20


It looks like a fairly strong field for this year's Hugos. I'm looking forward to the voter pack of ebooks.

I am not mingling with SMOFs enough to know if it's happening yet, but I have to believe that the economics of a supporting membership getting you a bunch of the best stuff published in a year has to start having an effect on the attending vs supporting membership breakdown.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:07 AM on April 20


On a slightly more serious, less PIGEONS FROM HELL note, I'm curious to see what the actual breakdown of votes will be. I'm also curious if there will be a rush of people buying supporting memberships in the next week.

At around 20 pages, I question what makes PIGEONS FROM HELL not a short story but a novelette.

Anything between 7,500 and 17,500 words counts as a novelette. I've written stuff on the lower end that word count that comes in around 30 double-spaced pages.
posted by RakDaddy at 7:07 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


novelette

That word looks so lonely, without "moist" in front
posted by thelonius at 7:31 AM on April 20 [22 favorites]


I agree, the movie category is disappointing. Really, Frozen and Pacific Rim? What about Her? That was the best science fiction film of 2013.
posted by bluefly at 8:25 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


And no Sharknado, too.
posted by RakDaddy at 8:30 AM on April 20



*Pacific Rim*?


I'm more perturbed by Iron Man 3 being on the ballot. To the extent that there are special SF awards, they should advance the cause of actual science fiction (or well-crafted fantasy, I suppose), not paint-by-numbers marketing fluff. I know that many people had issues with Oblivion and Elysium, but at least they were telling true SF-nal stories, not just willy-nilly tossing about superpowers, gadgets and explosions. The inclusion of Iron Man 3 is basically capitulating to the popular conception of "science fiction" as anything with [tech]. Even if it were a good story, it's still very bad science fiction.
posted by xigxag at 8:39 AM on April 20


What about Her? That was the best science fiction film of 2013.

Certainly the most literary.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:52 AM on April 20


bluefly: "I agree, the movie category is disappointing. Really, Frozen and Pacific Rim? What about Her? That was the best science fiction film of 2013."

Her was my favorite science fiction movie of the last few years but I'm afraid that most people didn't even think of it as science fiction due to the lack of explosions.
posted by octothorpe at 8:53 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I don't care what any of you say, I fucking love Pacific Rim. After that fight that ended in the stadium, I turned to my wife and said, "this is just the best movie ever." I could watch it a hundred times in a row. It's totally getting my vote.
posted by jscalzi at 8:59 AM on April 20 [13 favorites]


Me, I'm actually wondering if Gravity counts as "science fiction": It's a fictional story about space flight.

Space flight isn't "science fiction" anymore. (Stories about airplane flights stopped being "science fiction" a LONG time ago.)

(Besides, the fictional orbital mechanics were crap....)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 9:02 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


I loved Pacific Rim when I saw it in Imax 3D in the theater but just caught the last hour on TV and it really doesn't work very well when you're forced to pay attention to the dialog.
posted by octothorpe at 9:03 AM on April 20


Her was my favorite science fiction movie of the last few years but I'm afraid that most people didn't even think of it as science fiction due to the lack of explosions.

You're right, of course, but can't I expect more from the Hugos? I'll be looking for the explosion-free novels/stories in the other categories to add to my reading list! There's usually at least one ;).

Also, on reflection, I shouldn't have thrown Frozen under the bus. It is a good fantasy film, and I did enjoy it, but more for the music and performances than the screenplay.
posted by bluefly at 10:06 AM on April 20


So.. if it takes ~180 votes to get nominated really what stops a movie studio from buying 250 supporting memberships to get on the list and then a few hundred more to push the book they are next interested in making a movie to win?
posted by edgeways at 10:37 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


The fact that the Hugos do not really have enough clout to make a difference in the market as a whole? As jscalzi says above, it can be a little bump, but they don't make a book a bestseller.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:42 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I might be in a position to go to WorldCon this year. Is it worthwhile?
posted by dobie at 10:42 AM on April 20


I went the last two years and had a good time. Cons are sort of their own special thing, though - you'll want to plan to either bring friends or make them, and be ok with a certain amount of wandering around feeling like the only friendless soul in the universe. (Just like 75% of the other people there.)
posted by restless_nomad at 10:44 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


rmd1023: It looks like a fairly strong field for this year's Hugos. I'm looking forward to the voter pack of ebooks. I am not mingling with SMOFs enough to know if it's happening yet, […]

"Loncon 3 hopes to continue this tradition [of having a Hugo Voter Packet] and will be approaching the nominees and publishers once the initial nomination process is complete and the nominees are known."

Sounds like, unless everyone refuses, the packet will be assembled soon. I'm curious if it will contain works from the Retro-Hugos too.
posted by JiBB at 10:44 AM on April 20


Anyone know of a linkable list somewhere where I can buy/download the various nominees, especially the shorter works?
posted by Argyle at 10:46 AM on April 20


Argyle, here are some of the nominated works as published on Tor.com.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:50 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Anyone know of a linkable list somewhere where I can buy/download the various nominees, especially the shorter works?

SFSignal's list has links to all the free stories, except "Pigeons from Hell," which is available from Gutenberg Australia.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:51 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


"The Martian" better win SOMETHING of some sort, as it's one of the best books I've read in a couple of years.

I find it sort of sad that instead of "Hey, Hugo nominations are out!" for a year or two, it's been "Hugo nominations are out! Time for the authors sniping at each other and drama bitchfest! Bring out the politics!".

Maybe it's always been there, but has become more "publicly visible" in recent years due to "airing of dirty laundry" by jscalzi and others. I detest drama and politics, unless they're plot points in a book I'm reading.

I take the view that I don't have to personally agree with an author's opinions and positions in order to enjoy their works. I don't agree with every single thing John Ringo says, yet I'll buy every book he writes. I didn't like hearing about the "political side of things" regarding the SFWA through jscalzi, but I really liked Redshirts. I've not yet found anything to dislike about Larry Correia or Brad Torgersen, but I'm sure something will eventually come up - but it most likely will not affect my consumption of their written work.
posted by mrbill at 11:54 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


The Underrated, Universal Appeal of Science Fiction

posted by chavenet at 12:19 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


JiBB: "Sounds like, unless everyone refuses, the packet will be assembled soon. I'm curious if it will contain works from the Retro-Hugos too."

Oh please!!! I've already got my supporting membership.
posted by jgaiser at 2:45 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


The two categories I could look at with any kind of knowledge surprised me by having my response be negative.

That is, 'anything but Pacific Rim' and 'anything but Doctor Who'.

Once those two considerations were out of the way, have at it. I mean, I loved Gravity, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was also extremely solid and much deeper in the SF/Fantasy category; I'd put Gravity much more in thriller/horror territory. Both Frozen and Iron Man 3 have their valid points as well; I liked Iron Man 3 more after finding out a key storyline is apparently straight from the comics.

As for TV, Orphan Black has not been recognised nearly enough for being awesome, and The Rains of Castamere is also supremely deserving of every accolade.

So 'anything but' is my vote. Note: I will not actually be voting.
posted by gadge emeritus at 2:50 PM on April 20


Upstream Color was the best science fiction film I saw last year. Or probably any year
posted by dng at 3:00 PM on April 20 [5 favorites]


I gather he [Campbell] was a fantastic editor, albeit a grump on par with Ellison, I have high hopes for his writin's.

His novella nomination is for Who Goes There?, which was the basis for The Thing. While it's not the best piece of SF I've ever read, it deserves to win for that reason alone, IMO. (Also he's up against Rand...)
posted by Pink Frost at 3:13 PM on April 20


dng: "Upstream Color was the best science fiction film I saw last year. Or probably any year"

I loved that movie but I never really thought of it as science fiction. It seems too abstract to fit into a specific genre.
posted by octothorpe at 3:41 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


If I wanted to be mean I'd say that Gravity is SF because it features humanoids who don't need thermal regulation or have eliminatory functions and takes place in a universe with rather different orbital dynamics than this one. But it's too good a technical achievement in other ways to deserve quite that much snark.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:24 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I've said it before: the Hugos are the American Music Awards of genre fiction.

The nominees are often laughable, the winners picked by a mob of fen. "Hugo Award Winner" is only slightly less prestigious than MTV bringing you onstage to accept "Best Fight Scene" for someone who didn't show up.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 5:21 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


If people are curious -- I was -- there's an excerpt of something by Vox Day here. I am not sure if it is his Hugo-nominated work or something else.
posted by jeather at 5:54 PM on April 20


Jeather: as per Hugo tradition, Vox Day has also put up his nominated work for free download: Epub or mobi for kindle. It would be nice if there was site with collected links of all the nominees.
posted by 445supermag at 6:34 PM on April 20


I don't much care for pile-ons, but this recent (latest?) title "A Throne of Bones", no points for working out what popular series that's intended to evoke, along with the following description, excerpted by me for maximum obviosity, though it scarcely needs it:
The ghastly Witchkings are no more; their evil power destroyed by the courage of Men and the fearsome magic of the Elves. The Dwarves have retreated to the kingdoms of the Underdeep[...] In the east, the war drums echo throughout the mountains as orcs and goblins gather in great numbers[...]
Basically says self-parodying genre sausage-mill: it leaves "derivative" gasping in its dust. Is there money in this? You don't get laughed out of the building?
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:59 PM on April 20


Hugo Award Winner" is only slightly less prestigious than MTV bringing you onstage to accept "Best Fight Scene" for someone who didn't show up.

This is manifestly not true for people involved in written science fiction. Absurdly not true. Obviously if you don't care about science fiction you're not going to care about science fiction awards. But that's true of any award.
posted by Justinian at 7:03 PM on April 20


But do Vox Day's mighty thewn barbarians have lithe, opaque noses?
posted by Justinian at 7:04 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


"But do Vox Day's mighty thewn barbarians have lithe, opaque noses?"

Yes! And their long, white limbs are unencumbered by clothing!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:09 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Is there money in this? You don't get laughed out of the building?

Is TSR still publishing fantasy novels?
That's probably your answer.
posted by Mezentian at 7:11 PM on April 20


"A Throne of Bones" does seem to be a parody.

Curious, I ventured into Amazon, and then Wikipedia.
I've got no axe to grind (nor much interest in reading his work, I've served my time in the generic fantasy mines) but he created The War in Heaven, a biblical video game?

That there's a crime. I picked it up off a remainder table in 2000 or 2001 for $5 thanks to a combination of morbid curiosity and some spare change. It's about as good as you expect a Christian version of Hexan might be.

In any case, everything he stands for seems to be diametrically opposite of stuff I am interested in. I've got better things to do than hate-read even a short story.

But, looking at his blog, there seem to be attempts to rally the troops on both sides. I can only assume this is normal for Hugos? It all seems like too much work.
posted by Mezentian at 7:35 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Yet another thing I used to think highly of brought to ruin. Hail Hydra!
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:13 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


FWIW, Opera Vita Aeterna is now available at the low low cost of giving Vox Day a page view.

The writing is mostly workmanlike. He shares one of my tendencies: his descriptive passages tend to the form "At first X, but then Y." There are lots of paragraphs, early on, with "but" used twice in a row. Oddly enough that settles out over time.

The story lacks tension or conflict. To be fair, it's more of a slice of life piece. Day is telling this story as a tribute to God. The inevitability of faith is kind of the point.

I suspect it'll be my least favorite novelette. I'm not sure it's worse than No Award.
posted by Bryant at 8:42 PM on April 20


Something can rank below No Award even if its not scribbled on a brown paper bag in purple crayon. I'd probably rank something like 1/3 of all Best Novel nominees over the past 20 years below No Award for example.
posted by Justinian at 9:17 PM on April 20


Since the world as it exists now is basically SF by 1939 standards, can we nominate "looking out the window" for a 2014 Hugo?

Shit, man, these days for me anymore it's a mix of Rainbows End, Snow Crash/Diamond Age, and earlier bits of Accelerando.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 9:18 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Personally Ancillary Justice is my favorite of the Best Novel nominations, but I must confess that I haven't even heard of Warbound (much less read it).

Had you read Warbound but still, nonetheless never heard of it, then there would be a Philip K. Dick short story there.
posted by juiceCake at 11:28 PM on April 20 [4 favorites]


Absurdly not true. Obviously if you don't care about science fiction you're not going to care about science fiction awards.

Peoples' Choice-style awards are so cheap and meaningless that winning won often signals lack of quality. The Hugos, of late, have followed that trend. And I'm a serious reader of SF, thanks.

This year's crop are, with few exceptions, laughable. Wheel of Time being nominated is akin to The Hunger Games winning the best movie of the year from MTV.

IMHO, the only major SF award (for novels) of any consequence is the Campbell, and the Sturgeon for short stories. Those are curated awards, chosen by experts, outside of any political organization. I don't especially like the Nebulas, since it's an SFWA-only award. The Locus award is another popularity contest.

So, absurdly not true? Not even. The fact that some of these works could be nominated cheapens all nominees and winners. Vox fuckin' Day? Robert Jordan? Larry Correia? Pacific Rim?

C'mon. The mob can determine a lot of things, but quality ain't one of them.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 11:42 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


But that's not what you said. You said that being a Hugo winner was slightly less prestigious than winning one of those ridiculous "Best Fight" or whatever MTV awards. It's manifestly untrue about the Hugo awards, particularly in a category like Best Novel. You may think it should be meaningless but that's not what you were claiming, you were claiming that it was meaningless.

As to whether the Campbell award is of more consequence to the Hugo I think a look at the history of the Campbell winner vs, say, the Best Novel Hugo winner would not show any particular advantage to the winner of the Campbell award in terms of contribution to the genre.
posted by Justinian at 12:00 AM on April 21


Oh, you probably meant the Campbell Award for Best Novel rather than the Campbell Award for Best New Writer? In which case I think you're even more wrong since I doubt most fans can even tell you who won the last couple of Campbell Awards for Best Novel. It's self-evidently true that an award which no-one knows you won cannot be more prestigious than an award which lots of people know you won.

Their winners are certainly idiosyncratic but I'm not sure they're any more the Best Novel of the year than the Hugo Award. I mean... Roberts' Jack Glass? Slonczewski's The Highest Frontier? Really?
posted by Justinian at 12:07 AM on April 21


Ugh, I have serious problems with a lot of Hugo Winners, something I have expounded on at length in various places and I have no idea how I ended up defending them so strenuously. It's a strange world.
posted by Justinian at 12:11 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Heh heh I was just thinking that Justinian!
posted by smoke at 12:31 AM on April 21


Justinian: per Ginjer Buchanan (herself on the Best Editor, Long Form shortlist -- she retired last month after 30 years at Ace, 20 of them as Editor in Chief) the only award that makes any difference to sales is the Hugo for Best Novel. And the only effect it has is that the novel in question tends to stay in print longer and sell more consistently over the long term.

On the other hand, the Arthur C. Clarke award comes with a cash prize (pounds sterling equal to the year, i.e. £2014 this time round), the Philip K. Dick award also comes with a prize (best paperback original novel: $2000, IIRC), and the Prometheus Award for best Libertarian SF comes with a 23 carat one ounce gold coin as part of the trophy.

Literary awards outside the SF/F genres can be worth a lot more; the Scottish Book of the Year award is on the order of £25,000, for instance.

The Hugos have, IIRC, always covered both SF and Fantasy; it's almost impossible to make a hard distinction between the two fields (quick, which is more plausible -- dragons or FTL starships?).
posted by cstross at 2:45 AM on April 21 [4 favorites]


smoke: The popularity contest nature of the hugos is why I prefer the nebulas. Not only does it throw up results like this, but also I feel it often rewards/champions "insiders" in the field and the best web marketers.

The Nebs are nominated and voted on by the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America (disclosure: I'm a life member). In practice the barrier for entry to joining SFWA is so low -- three short stories in qualifying markets -- that anyone who is determined to do so can get in. And many do. Current membership is in the low thousands, on the same order as membership of the World Science Fiction Convention.

The Nebula nominating/voting rules used to be arcane. They were reformed a few years ago (hat tip to Scalzi, who bulldozed the process along after decades of moaning and not much action), and the rules now bear an eerie resemblance to the Hugo nominating/voting rules, only with a different electorate and a few minor tweaks.
posted by cstross at 2:51 AM on April 21


Monsieur Caution: yes, you're right about Velveteen: it's a crying shame that Seanan's best work, the work where the fact that she's writing for love not money shines through it, is also the most obscure -- originally serialized on her livejournal and then published by a small press. I don't normally talk about my nominations, but I nominated Velveteen vs. the Multiverse, and Max Barry's Lexicon, and Max Gladstone's Two Serpents Rise, and I'm a bit sad that the shortlist contains Larry Correia and the Wheel of Time instead. (But then, I would be. Right?)
posted by cstross at 2:59 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


"The popularity contest nature of the hugos is why I prefer the nebulas."

Speaking as someone who intimately knows the process by which Nebulas are voted, this statement amuses me.

Functionally speaking the primary difference between the two awards is the voting pool.

From a personal point of view, I will note that there are years where I've found the Hugo to be a better reflection of what I consider quality SF/F for the year, and other years the Nebula.
posted by jscalzi at 5:35 AM on April 21 [4 favorites]


Well, the Stross book is pretty good (and I intend to read Ancillary Justice) but the rest of the list is baffling in the same way that all the anonymous shit Amazon tries to get me to buy for the Kindle is baffling. I understand I'm not a typical genre reader, but the fact that the other three beat out the new CJ Cherryh, Alastair Reynolds, Gene Wolfe, Paul McAuley, Neal Gaiman, Lavie Tidhar, Paul Cornell, Christopher Priest, and Nalo Hopkinson books... I just don't know what to say.

But perhaps I'm just one of the old "neckbeards" Justinian is hoping will die soon?
posted by aught at 5:53 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]


It's self-evidently true that an award which no-one knows you won cannot be more prestigious than an award which lots of people know you won.

If that were the case, everyone would consider the Emmys to be more prestigious than the Peabody Awards.

I don't think "prestige" is an absolute value; what one person finds prestigious, other person may be indifferent to, or take as a negative endorsement. But that some awards are considered more prestigious among those who know about them despite the fact that most people don't know about them is hardly absurd on its face.

(Do you want the heart surgeon who's regularly lauded in People magazine? Or the heart surgeon that heart surgeons most admire? The former is more prestigious among the public; the latter is more prestigious among the in-group.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 7:39 AM on April 21


I tend to find the Nebulas better written and the Hugos a more enjoyable read. On the rare occasions that they agree, the work tends to be excellent.

How do fans judge editors, both short and long form? I occasionally notice the editors who acquire stories for Tor's website, but other than that, how are judgements made? I see that editor, short form received only 60 ballots less than short story, which kind of blows my mind. I have no idea who almost all of these people are.
posted by Hactar at 8:12 AM on April 21


The entire Wheel of Time will be in the voter packet.
posted by Shmuel510 at 9:45 AM on April 21 [4 favorites]


For comparison's sake, buying all 14 volumes on Kindle would set you back between six and eight dollars each.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:04 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


the Prometheus Award for best Libertarian SF comes with a 23 carat one ounce gold coin as part of the trophy.

Does it say "END THE FED" on it?
posted by brundlefly at 10:17 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


The entire Wheel of Time will be in the voter packet.

That's quite a statement on Tor's part. Neat.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:25 AM on April 21


If you where ever meaning to read those 10,000+ pages I'm guessing the $40 membership is a steal right now.
posted by edgeways at 11:53 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Or just wanted to switch to ebook. It's be damned nice to have them searchable, if you're a WoT geek.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:06 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I actually remember when the usenet group rec.arts.sf.written spun off rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan. The ratio of Wheel of Time traffic got higher and higher, culminating in a seemingly endless thread about whether somebody was "Black Ajah" or not, and then the calls to create a Jordan subgroup reached a pitch denoted by this hard to forget subject line...
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:18 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


But perhaps I'm just one of the old "neckbeards" Justinian is hoping will die soon?

I dunno, do you think that nasty nasty fantasy people are polluting your One True Science Fiction?
posted by Justinian at 1:22 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Ahh yes, George_Spiggott. The "Ridiculous J$%#%^$ordan Poo-poo" thread. Good times, good times.
posted by Justinian at 1:24 PM on April 21


...and I found rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan several years after its inception, and never looked back. Good times.
posted by seyirci at 1:31 PM on April 21


the Prometheus Award for best Libertarian SF comes with a 23 carat one ounce gold coin as part of the trophy.

Does it say "END THE FED" on it?


No, but the first one went to the guy who came up with the award if memory serves, which always tickled me.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:36 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Also I want to note that Vox Day isn't just "hard right", he's a raging misogynistic victim-blaming racist. Here's the last metafilter post on it.

Was there some campaign getting the virulent racists of WorldCon to unite in favor of this asshole or something?
posted by NoraReed at 1:57 PM on April 21


I tried not to editorialize too much in the FPP, NoraReed. I didn't think "historic asshole and incompetent typist" would fly in the framing.
posted by Justinian at 1:59 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Was there some campaign getting the virulent racists of WorldCon to unite in favor of this asshole or something?

Basically. He marshaled his fanbase, such as it is, to submit nominations. Bear in mind that this would not be a huge undertaking - in an average year, if you have 150 people who will nominate what you ask them to, you can add whatever you want to the Hugo slate.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:16 PM on April 21


I prefer JScalzi's " racist, sexist, homophobic dipshit" for Vox Day because it drives VD and his supporters into apoplexy. It is known.
posted by Ber at 2:19 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


As a matter of policy I do not talk down/diss Hugo nominees when I myself am on the shortlist.

But I shall be waiting for Vox Day in the Hugo Losers Party wearing a kilt and a shit-eating grin, with a bottle of 90-proof distilled schadenfreude that's got his name on it.
posted by cstross at 3:01 PM on April 21 [11 favorites]


I can only assume this is normal for Hugos? It all seems like too much work.

It had been a long-standing tradition that campaigning for a Hugo was not done.

More recently, some authors, like Scalzi and McGuire, having large net followings and making fairly neutral posts saying something like "These are my Hugo-eligible works published last year -- if you're voting, please consider them" (Scalzi's; McGuire's) have been interpreted by some as not just campaigning but organizing mobs to rig the vote or something like that, inspiring an opposition to fight back with explicit campaigning.
posted by Zed at 4:13 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Popular authors get many votes, film at eleven.
posted by Justinian at 4:23 PM on April 21


CStross:

Is he attending? He's not in the member database as far as I can see. For various reasons I will be deeply surprised if he attends.

But yes. In a field that features Mary Robinette Kowal, Aliette de Bodard and Ted Chiang, all with good stories, he probably shouldn't get his hopes up.

Related: Damien Walter livetweets Vox Day's nominated story.
posted by jscalzi at 7:17 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


The entire Wheel of Time will be in the voter packet.

And still overpriced.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 9:37 PM on April 21


Brandon Sanderson on the Wheel of Time nomination. Classy and thoughtful.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:14 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


Sanderson always seems like a class act even if I disagree with him that WoT is worthy of the Hugo. I also don't think there is anything wrong with people who do think WoT is worthy of a Hugo voting for it. I question their discrimination but not in any way their right to feel that way.
posted by Justinian at 11:35 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Whoever recommended Joe Abercrombie's "Some Desperado", thank you. That was a little white knuckle asskicker.
posted by Ber at 7:23 AM on April 22


Somehow I've managed to simultaneously managed to read a fair bit of SFF AND almost completely remain ignorant of Theodore Bale. I've seen the Vox Day name on books, but the books never seemed interesting so haven't read or formed any opinions about them, and frankly the name was as big, if not more, a turn-off then the book write ups/covers. I mean Vox Day? Seriously? That sounds like a 16 year old hooded robe LARPer, which situationally would be kind of cool, but as a grown adult it's the neither side of just fucking ludicrous. If I knew no other thing about the fellow at this point then that nom de guerre it would serve as legitimate grounds for endless mocking, but add on top of it, it is not even a name to remain anonymous with but just an affectation of whim? I may just pass out from the excessive eye rolling. And I say this... I say this as someone who does have an unusual first name.

Then you dump in all the flaming racist, misogyny, privileged white boy whining, holy balls on toast I think I may have found someone to replace ol Orson as least favorite spec fic write of all time. I, honestly, didn't care for Ender's Game but Orson could at least write his way out of a paper bag. A kind of wet, nasty, closed universe full of things better left at the curb paper bag mind you. Bale work by comparison should probably just remain the the lower bowels of the neighbors' diarrheaic cat.
posted by edgeways at 8:28 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


Link roundup of discussions. I haven't read them all, but some have been interesting.
posted by jeather at 8:39 AM on April 22


Sanderson sums it up well: "The Hugo Awards are a popularity contest—but they should be a fiction popularity contest, not an author popularity contest."
posted by rmd1023 at 8:58 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


Abigail Nussbaum's thoughts on the shortlist. My favorite bit:
(As for the Wheel of Time series making it onto the best novel ballot, I'd just like to say to anyone who voted for this: feel ashamed, because you don't even have the excuse of being a reactionary troll to justify your bad taste.)
HAH. Burn.
posted by Justinian at 4:59 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


Did you see the aggrieved comment at the end from a devoted fan of WOT?
posted by smoke at 11:49 PM on April 22


No, but now I feel like Cartman licking the tears of his defeated enemy.
posted by Justinian at 12:47 AM on April 23


The aggrieved fan is a friend of mine. (awkward!) Interestingly, not one of the folks from the crowd I know who met through the Robert Jordan USENET group, either.

I'm more in Nussbaum's camp myself.
posted by immlass at 8:25 AM on April 23


but this recent (latest?) title "A Throne of Bones", no points for working out what popular series that's intended to evoke...

Vox Day's actually working the rare double rip-off. Brian McNaughton won the World Fantasy Award in 1998 for a collection called The Throne of Bones, as Day knows perfectly well:
It’s not at all hard to understand why some might erroneously conclude that A Throne of Bones must somehow be ripping off A Game of Thrones...The title...is much more closely akin to that of a Brian McNaughton novel...
Very close indeed, you lazy prick.
posted by Iridic at 3:47 PM on April 23


His publisher apparently didn't get the same memo:
In late 2011, one of my MLP authors came to me with an idea. He was disappointed with the latest volume in George R. R. Martin’s hugely popular secular epic fantasy series that began with Game of Thrones. My author wanted to produce “the Christian answer to Martin.” He wanted to write an epic not only in scope but in actual size—he wanted a book as big as Martin’s.
/.../ What threw me was that the author felt very strongly that the book needed to have vulgarity (which, he informed me, is different from profanity), nudity, and even sex. He had one scene in mind especially, the reunion between a husband and wife when the man comes home from war. He wanted his book to be a corrective to secular fantasy fiction, which almost never shows sexual conduct between married people but seems rather to glorify adultery.
...
posted by effbot at 10:52 AM on April 26


My impression from reading his Wikipedia entry is that he's achieved mediocrity, at best, in everything he's tried, and has reached his level of notoriety purely through years of dogged trolling.

I mean, this is the actual hilarious thing. Vox Day may be a shit, but he's absolutely brilliant at one thing - trolling other authors for pageviews and book buys. Every time someone throws Vox Day up as an example of What Is Wrong With Old Guard Science Fiction, a tiny Neanderthal gets its wings, because the Old Guard will blearily stumble over and consider buying it, because they really hate having their nose rubbed in shit.

But that dog just won't hunt. Vox Day isn't Grand Old Guard Science Fiction. Vox Day has never, as a writer, been worthy of spit-shining Robert Heinlein's dress boots. And that means when you try to lump him in with them, he's laughing all the way to the bank.
posted by corb at 3:42 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Just finished reading Ancillary Justice. Good book, I recommend it. I wouldn't say it's mind blowing good, but it is very good. A very solid 4/5 and would be happy to see it win.
posted by edgeways at 4:17 PM on April 29


I also just read The Golem and the Jinni a few days ago and am confounded and annoyed that it didn't get a nomination while some of the others did.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:20 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Looks like Ancillary Justice has taken the Clarke Award. I'm very much looking forward to reading it - it's in high demand at the library.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:24 PM on May 1


Leckie had a pretty great response.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:55 PM on May 1


AJ just won the Nebula as well.
posted by Justinian at 5:09 PM on May 18


I got to meet her briefly this weekend - she is delightful. I can't wait until the damn library gets me a copy.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:20 PM on May 18


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