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Old 07-03-2014, 11:05 AM   #1
Pete731
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Hugo 2014 Discussion Thread

Hi everyone, I just got done reading/looking through all of the selections for the Hugo awards (in which I'm voting) and making my preliminary rankings. It was a tough choice in many of them, and was wondering what other people thought. So I decided to start a Hugo discussion thread. I was thinking that I'd post each category individually, maybe one per day. I'll post the Nominees in that category, and my preliminary rankings, as well as some of my thinking that went into them. I'll post this now, so people can tell me if it's allowed by forum rules (I'm pretty sure it is) and/or a good/bad idea. If it seems to be something people like, I'll start with Best Novel category late today or tomorrow morning (EST).
(I will be skipping/not voting in the Fancast and Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form categories, due to time and access constraints)

P.S. For clarification, the Hugo voting process is ranking, rather than 1 winning vote in each category, so one places a 1 against the work or person one most wants to win, 2 against the second favorite and so on.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #2
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I've read all the short fiction, and as much as I'm planning to read of the novels. (I've actually moved on to the retro hugos now they've made a voter package for that, too, but so far I've mainly been trying to source the items that weren't in the package. I probably won't have time for the novels there, either.)

I don't tend to care much about the peripheral categories (how the hell do I know how good an editor someone is?), but I'll vote if I think I have enough information. Or vote No Award if I don't think the category should exist.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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I'm also voting and have finished all of the professional fiction (novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories), except Wheel of Time, which I'm about half way through, and the Campbell Award nominees. I hope to finish all but I may not have time. I've ranked the ones I've finished but won't cast my ballot for at least another week or two.

I'm reluctant to disclose my ranking because I don't want to influence other voters but will say that most of my rankings were fairly easy to decide except Best Novel, which of course I can't decide until I've finished Wheel of Time. I will say that it's still in the running for me but I felt that at least one other of the nominated novels is certainly worthy of the Best Novel award. I hated all of the short stories and will vote "no award" for the category.

I'm not sure if I'll vote in any of the other categories and certainly won't vote in several, such as related works and dramatic presentations because I know nothing about them and have no interest in them.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:35 PM   #4
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I personally feel that the Wheel of Time doesn't really deserve to win because I don't feel it belongs in the category. Then again, I don't know enough of the history of the Hugo's to know if it's common to nominate an entire series as a novel, maybe that's tradition and I just don't know? But unless that's true, sorry, just doesn't belong. (And I do like the series, although I feel there are some definite slow points.)
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by piper28 View Post
I personally feel that the Wheel of Time doesn't really deserve to win because I don't feel it belongs in the category. Then again, I don't know enough of the history of the Hugo's to know if it's common to nominate an entire series as a novel, maybe that's tradition and I just don't know? But unless that's true, sorry, just doesn't belong. (And I do like the series, although I feel there are some definite slow points.)
It does seem odd to me. A popular series seems more like something they'd have some kind of separate achievement award for or something. All the other finalists are part of a series too (not completed series, but...), but just the one book is what's up for the award.



On another note. I know there was some kind of controversy about Warbound/Larry Correia being nominated. Can someone remind me what the deal was?
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:15 PM   #6
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I'm not a member and therefore won't vote this year, but I have read most of the shorts, and I must say that I am impressed with the nominees this year.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:46 AM   #7
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On another note. I know there was some kind of controversy about Warbound/Larry Correia being nominated. Can someone remind me what the deal was?
Correia and others put together a slate of conservative/right-wing nominations, along with some spiel about SF being run by liberals, and exhorted all their fans to sign up and nominate that slate. 7 or 8 of the works made the final ballot.

In a way it's not dissimilar to the fan campaign that got WoT nominated. And that's why both of them are going below No Award on my ballot.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:37 AM   #8
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I was hoping someone else would have replied since my last post, so I didn't look too obsessive, but I guess it's still early in the day for the left hand side of the Atlantic.

Anyway, I have fairly strong opinions about the Best Novel ballot, which I'll attempt to put into some kind of sensible form, here.

The nominees are:

Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie
Neptune's Brood - Charles Stross
Parasite - Mira Grant
The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
Warbound - Larry Correia

The simple, quick form, to me, is that there's one book here that obviously deserves to win. If the Hugo doesn't go to Ancillary Justice, then what's the point of it existing? At this stage, AJ has won the Clarke, the BSFA, the Nebula and the Locus First Novel. I actually believe that Ancillary Justice needs the Hugo a lot less than the Hugo needs Ancillary Justice. If it doesn't win, I think I'll have to regard the Hugo as broken, possibly irreparably.

The main problem is that, since fairly small numbers of people take part in the nominating process, it's fairly easy to exploit with a bit of organisation and campaigning.

This year, it seems that at least two of the five nominees are there through gaming the system: a Wheel of Time fan campaign, and the "sad puppy" political ballot promoted by Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen and embarrassment to humanity Theodore "Vox Day" Beale (and others?)

I kind of have my suspicions that Mira Grant's repeated nominations might be due to similar campaigning, but maybe that's just my personal prejudices.

My problem with this kind of activity is that it's not, in my opinion, nominating the works people genuinely believe are the best of the year. I feel like I'm not being treated with respect as a neutral voter, and as a result I don't really feel like I need to treat the works with respect. They shouldn't be there, so I don't have to read them.

Gaming the ballot kind of breaks the award. The award is not about winning the field for your gang, it's about promoting the field outside itself. A good winner is a win for everyone, and a bad winner is a loss for everyone.

The Wheel of Time is eligible through a rule that says that a multi-part single narrative can be nominated as a whole if the final part was published in the necessary year and no previous part has ever been nominated. The rule is there, I guess, for serialised novels from the magazine era, but was used more recently for Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis.

I'm a fan of the Wheel of Time, or at least I was - I was buying hardbacks up to Jordan's death, but haven't read the last three books - but under no circumstances do I want it to win the Hugo. I don't think it should be there. The superior early books were never nominated, so why does the whole thing, with its badly sagging middle, deserve a win?

Warbound is book three of a series that has never featured on any other ballots anywhere, to the best of my knowledge. I imagine I'd probably quite enjoy it, but I don't feel like reading all three, and I don't think it should be on the ballot, so I don't feel obliged to take any notice of it.

I've read Stross and Grant before, and don't get on with them. I'm told that the Grant isn't even as good as her previous nominees, so I think I can rule it out. I can't say I really object to the Stross. I just don't think it's for me. (And again, it's a sequel, and I hate not starting at the beginning.)

I may yet decide to sample the books I'm currently ignoring, but basically I have one strong favourite and the rest of them are fighting amongst themselves for the consolation prizes.

Last edited by DrNefario; 07-04-2014 at 10:14 AM. Reason: it's->its; too many "really"s
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:50 AM   #9
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Well said!
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:02 AM   #10
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Wow - I had no idea there would organized maneuvering in the background! Very informative - thank you!
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:22 AM   #11
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I've only read the novels, but I'm going:

1. Ancillary Justice
2. Warbound
3. Neptune's Brood
4. Parasite
5. Wheel of Time.

In all honesty, the Wheel of Time shouldn't be there... it's not a novel and doesn't belong in the category. If it was just the last Wheel of Time novel nominated, I may have put it above Parasite.

Ancillary Justice is clearly the best book on this slate. I was prepared to hate Warbound based on everything that has been going on with Larry Correia, but I ended up reading the 3 book series and found that it was much better than expected.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:47 AM   #12
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I've only read "Ancillary Justice" and "Neptune's Brood", but without a doubt, for me, it's "Ancillary Justice" out of those two by a long way.

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Old 07-04-2014, 12:41 PM   #13
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Interesting. I was hoping discussion would happen, and it has. Personally, I tend to agree that Wheel of Time doesn't really belong. Part of me feels that it almost isn't fair to the other authors. This category didn't take long for me, as I already owned and had read recently 4 out of 5 Only one I had to get and read was Neptune's Brood, as I wasn't not a big fan of the first one of that series. Anyway, my ranking
1. Ancillary Justice
2. Parasite
3. Warbound
4. Neptune's Brood
5. or No Award Wheel of Time (Haven't decided yet)

Parasite and Warbound were very close, could have gone either way, but ultimately I felt that too much of Larry Correia's personal politics were slipping into his entry.

On a side note, if my reading is correct, Ancillary Justice has already won the Clarke and Nebulla awards. So if it wins the Hugo it'll be the first novel to win all three.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:27 PM   #14
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I can't imagine anything beating out Ancillary Justice. It's an awards juggernaut. It's an excellent book too, and may help to bring some credibility back to the value of the Hugo after the Redshirts fiasco.

One other quick comment:

My last ranking of Wheel of Time is in no way indicative of my feelings towards the series. It has it's faults, but for me, it will always hold a special place as one of the first works that convinced me that reading was a worthwhile hobby. The series has its faults: some poor characterization and a wildly meandering plot... but I still think it's one of the greats. That being said, it is, in no way, one single work.

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Old 07-04-2014, 02:18 PM   #15
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I'm pleased to see such strong support for Ancillary Justice. For those who haven't read it, do yourself a favor and do so. It's currently on sale at Amazon for $1.99: http://www.amazon.com/Ancillary-Just.../dp/B00BAXFDLM

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