Science fiction award-season: honors for Scalzi, Cadigan, Lafferty, Vaughan, Nielsen Hayden, Crabapple and more
However, it is a missed opportunity that you didn’t Skype in to accept the award while riding a giant mechanical spider across the playa, wearing nothing but a wookie-fur merkin.
I hope Scalzi’s Redshirts get turned into a movie… in the right hands it could be as hilarious as Galaxy Quest.
You missed a wonderful opportunity here to spell it “Neilsen Hayden” in the headline of your blog post. You know, like the folks doing the video titles at the awards ceremony did.
The Girl-thing Who Went Out For Sushi was a good solid story, but was my third choice; Seanan McGuire’s In Sea-Salt Tears was wonderful (but it doesn’t stand alone; you probably have to have read all the novels in the series it’s set in for it to make any impact), and Cat Valente’s Fade to White was also a strong nominee.
Overall there was a lot of really solid fiction.
I think Redshirts as best novel is a little embarassing frankly. Scalzi is a fun read, usually, but Redshirts is the best the field can do?
I don’t think so. Just from the list of nominees, 2312 is more ambitious and better written. The Fractal Prince better reflects science fiction’s core mission, and Blue Remembered Earth is more exciting. And come ot think of it, was there a reason The Hydrogen Sonata wasn’t a nominee? If you’re going to vote for a book for reasons other than its literary merit, that probably would have been the one to do so for.
It is the Hugos, which are voted for by fans who happen to buy a Worldcon ticket, as such, it’s more about “what’s popular” than what’s the best written, most ambitious, etc. People vote not on literary merit, necessarily, but on what they enjoyed.
I haven’t read Redshirts yet (it’s on the list, especially now), but judging by other Scalzi work, it probably fits into the sweet spot of both fun and easy-to-read. I haven’t read 2312, but I’ve always bounced hard off KSR, Alastair Reynolds can be hit and miss and I haven’t yet tried Blue Remembered Earth… Had I voted, I probably would have voted Fractal Prince, which I really liked, but it is by no means an easy-to-read book. The series is a bit tough to get into, and it’s a sequel, so you not only had to get through the first book, but like it enough to go through a second.
If I had to guess, Hydrogen Sonata’s late release date probably harmed it, it came out in October of 2012, towards the tail end of the nomination period. I also haven’t read it (maybe the biggest reason I shouldn’t be voting, I’m usually a couple years behind the latest stuff and more often than not will wait for the paperback) but I planned to.
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