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Tag: Hugos

Hugos 2015 roundup: Part 2

Some more Hugo nominees I’ve read, in no particular order: Title: Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium Author: Gray Rinehart Published in: Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show Category: Novelette Slated: Sad and Rabid Premise: A dying man tries to free a human colony from its alien conquerors by arranging to be buried after death, a custom the aliens find abhorrent. Where it grabbed me: The writing isn’t bad, and I liked the details on the human-alien interaction. Where it lost me: It’s talky and the characters feel generic. Also, I was never fully convinced by its…

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Hugos 2015 roundup: Part 1

I’ve been reading the fiction that came in my Hugo packet and, with the vote deadline looming at the end of July, decided it was time to corral my scattered thoughts. In no particular order, here are some things I’ve read so far: Title: Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal Author: written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt Category: Graphic story Slated: No Premise: A teenage daughter of conservative Muslim immigrant parents struggles to reconcile her different worlds, a struggle that becomes infinitely more complicated when she gets super powers and becomes the new Ms. Marvel.…

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More Hugo nominees: The Day the World Turned Upside Down

I decided to read this one when a friend wanted to talk about it, without prejudicing me by indicating exactly what bits she wanted to talk about. (This is probably one of the top five ways to get me to read something. Piquing my curiosity and promising me that we’ll have an interesting discussion about it afterward.) So I read it. It wasn’t terrible, although the first few paragraphs are really weak and it’s possible I would have tossed it aside without the additional impetus of a friend wanting to talk about it. But once I got to the hook,…

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Personally I didn’t like being twelve all that much


Over the weekend I made an attempt at all the Hugo nominees for short story. I actually finished two of them. They still weren’t exactly Hugo material, in my opinion, but at least they succeeded at being stories.

In one of the many epic discussion threads over at the File 770 Hugo-related posts (which all have marvelous puppy-themed names like “That Hell-Hound Train” or “Soylent Green is Puppies”) a few people asserted that the Sads-n-Rabids didn’t really seem to like their own fiction slate all that much. They argued for the correctness of their tactics, the strength of their personal honor, and the venality of their critics — but they didn’t try to justify the stories themselves.

This prompted one Sad defender to jump in and claim, with apparent sincerity, that he genuinely liked the story “Turncoat.” He vigorously defended it against a dozen people telling him it was crap, anyway.

This made me curious. Was there something good in there that I had missed? Or something that, if not good, was at least illuminating? Something that would tell me what exactly it is that Sad & Rabid types think is “wrong” with the fiction the rest of us like?

So, instead of giving it a slush pile read (tossed aside at first hint of boredom or irritation) I decided to give it a crit group reading — carefully, making notes along the way, with an eye toward how it might be improved, a presumption of good will, and en effort to suppress my native snark.

My notes (based on text found here: ) follow:

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Ain’t nobody’s business if you don’t

I know, I know, you’re probably getting bored with Hugo-related content by now. There has indeed been a lot of it, with blog posts back and forth, epic comment threads, and the occasional Sad mastermind or defender popping in to explain himself. But there are a couple of sentiments that have been cropping up, which I wanted to address, because I think they are a sneaky way of attempting to tell people how to vote this year. And that pertains to Happy Kittens. The first notion goes something like this: “no matter what, it’s YOUR JOB to read everything on…

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Happy, happy kittens

This post is about the so-called Sad and/or Rabid Puppies, and if you need background on exactly what that is, please refer to this IO9 article. In my own post, whenever I attribute motive or reasoning to Brad Torgersen, Author of Sadness, it is based on this very thorough analysis of Torgerson’s own essays on the topic, from a writer who declined to be included on the Sad slate. (Thanks to Janna Silverstein for the link.) It’s a happy kitten. I thought you’d like it.  The short answer is that Torgersen appears to be under the impression that the Hugos used…

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