There’s a lot to be excited about this April, my recent wedding, my honeymoon, my first short story being published, the fact that we got a new couch (seriously, I am so happy about this new couch. I might even make a post about how happy this couch makes me feel), etc. But another thing that has me excited this month is the fact that the Hugo Nominees have been announced! The reason? 2014 will be the first year that I’m voting!
As a result, I thought I’d post my initial thoughts on the nominees. Of course, I do plan on reading as many of them as possible, so I’ll be making more posts as I make my way through them all. I also won’t be talking about all of the nominees, so if you’re looking for a full list, then I’d suggest going To the Hugo Award Website.
-Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
-Neptune’s Brood, Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit UK)
-Parasite, Mira Grant (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
-Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles, Larry Correia (Baen Books)
– The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books / Orbit UK)
Color me shocked not to see Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane up here. I’ve heard some rumors that he’s asked not to be nominated this year. Is there any truth behind that? Anyway, this leave the number of nominees that I’ve read at a whopping ONE (Ancillary Justice, which I liked and admire for its daring, even if I didn’t fall in love with it as easily as some other readers). Interesting, I suspect that one is going to be the only book that might pose a threat to the behemoth that is Wheel of Time. I will make an honest effort to read the nominees (although the Correia and Stross ones might be tricky, as I haven’t read the previous books in the respective series), but I don’t think that I’m going to get to Wheel of Time. Thirteen books in four months is pretty steep for anyone, and those are FAT books. Very nice to see Parasite up here. I’ve been meaning to read that one, and now I have the perfect excuse.
-The Butcher of Khardov, Dan Wells (Privateer Press)
-“The Chaplain’s Legacy”, Brad Torgersen (Analog, Jul-Aug 2013)
-“Equoid”, Charles Stross (Tor.com, 09-2013)
-Six-Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean Press)
-“Wakulla Springs”, Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages (Tor.com, 10-2013)
Speaking of finally having excuses to read certain books I’ve had Six-Gun Snow White in my wish list for ages. Valente writes such beautiful things, and I feel she really excels in the novella format. This is a category where I haven’t read any of the nominees, but I’m excited about getting into them. I also noticed that this is two of tor.com’s many nominations this year. Apparently, they pick some really good stuff.
-“Opera Vita Aeterna”, Vox Day (The Last Witchking, Marcher Lord Hinterlands)
-“The Exchange Officers”, Brad Torgersen (Analog, Jan-Feb 2013)
-“The Lady Astronaut of Mars”, Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com/Tor.com, 09-2013)
-“The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling”, Ted Chiang (Subterranean, Fall 2013)
-“The Waiting Stars”, Aliette de Bodard (The Other Half of the Sky, Candlemark & Gleam)
And now we get to the big controversy of the awards, Vox Day’s nomination! I will do my best to read it, and judge it based on it’s merit’s alone, but that’s going to be really tricky for me, given that he’s said some mean things about writers I very much admire. Still, very happy to dig into Mary Robinette Kowal’s story.
Best Graphic Story (552 nominating ballots)
-Girl Genius, Volume 13: Agatha Heterodyne & The Sleeping City, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
-“The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who”, written by Paul Cornell, illustrated by Jimmy Broxton (Doctor Who Special 2013, IDW)
-The Meathouse Man, adapted from the story by George R.R. Martin and illustrated by Raya Golden (Jet City Comics)
-Saga, Volume 2, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics )
-“Time”, Randall Munroe (XKCD)
This one had me scratching my head a bit. Really, where is Greg Rucka’s Lazarus? And does the Hugos have something against superheroes? Not even a critically acclaimed hit like Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye? I’m also a bit puzzled at how few nominating ballots show up here (552). That’s like a third of the ones for best novel. It makes me wonder, how many Hugo voters are regular comic book readers? Or do they only read works connected to existing writers or fandoms they’re interested in already (hence the Martin, and Doctor Who nominees)? Anyway, it gives me a lot to think about when I read the nominees. It will be nice to finally get to read Girl Genius, and Saga is always fabulous.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
-Frozen, screenplay by Jennifer Lee, directed by Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee (Walt Disney Studios)
-Gravity, written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Esperanto Filmoj; Heyday Films; Warner Bros.)
-The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, screenplay by Simon Beaufoy & Michael Arndt, directed by Francis Lawrence (Color Force; Lionsgate)
-Iron Man 3, screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black, directed by Shane Black (Marvel Studios; DMG Entertainment; Paramount Pictures)
-Pacific Rim, screenplay by Travis Beacham & Guillermo del Toro, directed by Guillermo del Toro (Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney Double Dare You)
Hey! I’ve seen all of these! I’ll make a bigger post about it later but given that so many of these categories leave me feeling woefully unprepared, it’s nice to see one where I’m completely on the ball. Oh, and I liked all of these movies but Iron Man 3. But that one made shit tons to money, so it’s not that surprising to see it here. Clearly, a lot of other people liked it.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
-An Adventure in Space and Time, written by Mark Gatiss, directed by Terry McDonough (BBC Television)
-Doctor Who: “The Day of the Doctor”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Television)
-Doctor Who: “The Name of the Doctor”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Saul Metzstein (BBC Televison)
-The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, written & directed by Peter Davison (BBC Television)
-Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere”, written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
-Orphan Black: “Variations under Domestication” written by Will Pascoe, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions; Space/BBC America)
And welcome to the Doctor Who category! Don’t get me wrong, I really like Doctor Who, but I always feel that it crowds out other great TV shows and other short form video. Part of me feels that they should limit the category to one episode per show, but the other part of me feels like that would pretty much guarantee that Doctor Who would win every year. This way at least splits the votes a bit, allowing shows like Game of Thrones to snag a win (speaking of which, I need to watch Season 3!).
So there are some of my thoughts on some of the categories. Looking over them again makes me realize how much reading I need to do! I need to get started soon.
So when do we get our packets?