The 2014 Hugo Awards

The nominees for the 2014 Hugo Awards were announced Saturday, and whoa I have a lot of reading to do.

With how fast the internet world runs, I’m a little late to the reaction post party, but I have some thoughts and I’m sharing them anyway. So let’s get right to it.

First of all, I love how diverse the ballot is this year. I’m not even a little bit of a Hugo historian, so I don’t know if other years have been more representative, but damn. I’ve also seen it pointed out that rocketships are guaranteed to first-time winners in more than a few categories. Huzzah!

I’m happy to see that some of the works I nominated are on the ballot, sad for the ones that didn’t, and excited to read and experience most of the ones with which I’m unfamiliar. I have no idea how I’ll be voting yet — that’s what the Hugo Voter Packet will help me determine — and if I reveal my choices at all, it’ll be after the ballots are in.

First, though rejoicing for the works I’ve already read and seen! These are quick-hit reactions, by the by. I’ll save in-depth analysis for future posts.

By the categories:

Best Novel:
Orbit rocking the list with Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire’s Parasite!

The Wheel of Time series is on there in its entirety, due to a rule that allows a concluded series to be nominated if no individual works within that series have been nominated in the past. I’m a bit torn about it — the series has certainly had a huge impact on fantasy fiction. It was my introduction to epic fantasy. I would love to see some kind of special recognition or achievement award given to Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, to recognize the body and breadth of the work, but I don’t know if I’m on board with giving it my top Hugo vote.

Best Novella/Novellette/Short Story:
I am woefully behind on reading shorter works. Again, hooray for the Hugo Voter Packet, which will wrangle them all up for me!

Best Related Work:
Wonderbook is on my list of books to pick up. Bumping that to the top of the queue in 3…2…1…

If you haven’t yet read Kameron Hurley’s “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle, and Slaves Narrative,” hie thee to A Dribble of Ink now.

Best Graphic Story:
XKCD is always doing neat things. I’m geeked to see “Time” with a nomination here.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form:
Gravity and Pacific Rim! (And yes, Frozen! but as earwormy as the tunes are, and as keen as I was on the way the ending was handled, my heart’s with the live action SF this time around.) I’ve not yet seen Iron Man 3 or Catching Fire.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form:
<obligatory “Oh look, it’s all Doctor Who.”>

Which, yes, I am a fan. I don’t recall which of these were on my ballot, though I’m pretty sure An Adventure in Space and Time was. Look, William Hartnell is one of my Doctors, and I got all sniffly a few times during it, okay?

Also excited that The Five (ish) Doctors Reboot is on there. All kinds of fun.

And clearly I need to go binge watch the first season of Orphan Black.

Best Editor (Short and Long Forms):
Super excited to see Ellen Datlow and Ginjer Buchanan on there. I believe if you got a peek at my paperwork, Ginjer is my acquiring editor for Night Owls. Soon, ducklings, soon, I hope to see my editor Rebecca Brewer on this list. Like Mur Lafferty says here, I’d love to see some Orbit editors on this list, too. I fully admit my I-work-for-them bias, but they have published some of my favorite books since their inception, and I hope their hard work will be recognized.

Best Professional Artist:
/squee for Galen Dara, who does the art for Fireside Magazine.

Best Semiprozine, Fanzine, Fancast, and Fan Artist:
Not a lot of commentary on these ones yet. I’m familiar with the semipros on there, and a few of the fanzines. Greg is the podcast listener in our house. Research, research, research, and looking at art!

Best Fan Writer:
This list, you guys, this list! All the /happydances for the nominees. It’s going to be a damned tough choice. If you’re not familiar with the people listed here, you’re missing out.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer:
As is always mentioned, not a Hugo, but presented at the Hugo Awards. I am, again, in a state of “Have heard these names but haven’t yet read their work.” I’ll be fixing that.

I’m disappointed to say there is controversy on this list, and frustrated that attention to it put a damper on what should have been a day of much rejoicing for many of the nominees. While part of me wants to call no further attention to it, and refuse to give the people who pulled the shenanigans the satisfaction, eh. If you don’t speak up and speak out, nothing changes, right?

The short version is, two authors on the list suggested their fans vote for the works they suggested (including other writers in addition to themselves), mainly to piss off the people in SF/F and fandom calling for more diversity in the genre. Bigger round-ups at File 770 and Radish Reviews, complete with fans of the two jumping into the comments at Radish Reviews and being… ornery.

First, go ahead and read (Hugo-nominated!) Kameron Hurley, John Scalzi (two posts), and Jim Hines on the matter. Okay? Okay.

I don’t have a problem with writers stating “Here are my eligible works.” In fact, I want to see those lists. I also appreciate the people who open up their own spaces for readers and fans to recommend their favorites. You get exposed to a lot of good new work that way. Next year, you can damned well bet I’ll have a post up stating I’m Campbell-eligible.

There is a huge difference between I made something I think is amazing, and hope you will think is worth voting for and vote for me so we can stick it to the people we disagree with. Vote for the works you read/watched/enjoyed because you like them and think they’re worth an award. Not because you want to piss off the libruls or “make heads explode” or whatever.

Rebuttals seem to be along the lines of golly-gee-gosh, we’re only doing what Scalzi and co did, which is disingenuous at best. People are smarter than that, and see right through it. It’s petty and petulant, and for the writers who orchestrated it, it’s downright unprofessional. I’ll still read their work as it arrives in the Hugo Voter Packet, and judge accordingly, but I feel rather disinclined to reward bad behavior. YMMV.

So, there we go. 2014 Hugo reaction post, DONE. Onward and upward!

Not that I expect much commentary on this post, but just in case, I think this recent strip from (Hugo-nominated!) XKCD about sums up my moderation policy:


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