wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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Let The Stories Do The Talking

A bunch of :words: about the Hugo nominations follows. You is been warned.

Okay, first we have an easy to understand chart comparing the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies nomination slates, taken from Brad Torgersen's and Vox Day's blogs respectively. The base list is the Sad Puppies slate, with appropriate marks indicating wthdrawals, disqualifications, etc.

Best Novel
The Dark Between the Stars – Kevin J. Anderson*
Trial by Fire – Charles E. Gannon
Skin Game – Jim Butcher*
(Monster Hunter Nemesis – Larry Correia)*
(Lines of Departure – Marko Kloos)*
(The Chaplain's War - Brad Torgerson)*
Ancillary Sword - Ann Leckie
The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu

Best Novella
“Flow” – Arlan Andrews Sr.*
One Bright Star to Guide Them - John C. Wright*
Big Boys Don’t Cry – Tom Kratman*
The Plural of Helen of Troy - John C. Wright
Pale Realms of Shade - John C. Wright

Best Novelette
“The Journeyman: In the Stone House” – Michael F. Flynn*
“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” – Rajnar Vajra*
“Championship B’tok” – Edward M. Lerner*
“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” – Gray Rinehart*
["Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus" - John C. Wright]
The Day The World Turned Upside Down - Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Best Short Story
(“Goodnight Stars” – Annie Bellet)*
“Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer” – Megan Grey
“Totaled” – Kary English*
“On A Spiritual Plain” – Lou Antonelli*
“A Single Samurai” – Steve Diamond
"Turncoat" - Steve Rzasa
"The Parliament of Beasts and Birds" - John C. Wright

Best Related Work
Letters from Gardner – Lou Antonelli*
Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth – John C. Wright*
Wisdom From My Internet – Michael Z. Williamson*
“Why Science is Never Settled” Part 1, Part 2 – Tedd Roberts*

[ruled ineligble]
*Sad Puppies nominees also on the Rabid Puppies ballot
Rabid Puppies nominees not on the Sad Puppies ballot
Titles on the final Hugo ballot

Seth Breidbart over on Facebook questioned whether any of the nominees on the SP deserved a Hugo. "Did it demonstrate wonderful ideas? Brilliant writing?" he asked. Setting aside whether any of the winners in the last few years could meet that standard (especially in the shameful "Best Related Works" category), the question makes we wonder whether Breidbart even bothered to read any of the works in question. Pick any one of John C. Wright's works. I defy you to find any of them that is less than brilliantly written, or that doesn't at the very least ring new changes on old tropes.

Let's start with the novels. Lines of Departure was an excellent combat SF novel with great characters, Monster Hunter Nemesis combined esoteric theology and the finest ultra-violence in a tale of how even fallen angels might find redemption, Skin Game was another excellent urban fantasy by Jim Butcher, and Trial By Fire combined technothriller with space opera with strange & wonderful alien cultures. I was sorry it didn't make the cut.

In novellas, well, we already talked about John C. Wright. Tom Kratman's Big Boys Don't Cry took the familiar tropes of the Bolo Combat Units, Keith Laumer's legendary cybertanks, and flipped them in a very unpleasant but very hard-hitting story. Arlan Andrews' "Flow" was a very pleasant read - a voyage of discovery on a planet very unlike Earth, but oddly familiar.

The novelettes were probably the weakest category. To me, only Michael Flynn's "Journeyman" and Gray Rinehart's "Ashes to Ashes..." stood out as being self-contained stories of quality; the others felt to me like the opening chapters of longer works.

In short stories, while I liked Wright's "The Parliament of Beasts and Birds", Kary English's "Totaled" was clearly a better story - just as well written, but with more emotional punch to it. Rzasa's "Turncoat" was one of the few stories I've read talking about the possible conflict between transhumans and AIs and regular humans, and how the AIs might not necessarily be on the side of the transhumans. I didn't find a copy of Antonelli's story and overlooked Steve Diamond's story. Oops.

Of course, this is just my opinion (as it is equally just my opinion that a lot of people howling about the SP/RP slates and the people supporting them are stuck-up, cliquish shitbags) but considering that most of what I've read since second grade (way back in 1968) has been SF and (less often) fantasy, I think it's an informed opinion. You're entitled to your own, of course, but I went to the trouble of ponying up money this year to pay the Worldcon poll tax, and for the first time since I attended my first Worldcon in 1974, actually voted for the Hugos. Think I might do it again next year, if only for the pure pleasure of annoying a bunch of CHORFs who ought to be a little more mature about these things.
Tags: sad puppies, the bush of fandom
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