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Old 07-06-2014, 12:15 PM   #31
tompe
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I'm not a big fan of the Hugos.

I'm not opposed to a most-actively-campaigned-for-amongst-a-small(ish)-pay-to-play-membership, popularity-based award system ... I'd just rather they didn't advertise themselves as being about "The Best," or "The Most Prestigious."
But that is not how they are presenting the Hugo award. It is in some way a popularity contest.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:21 PM   #32
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I can't help wondering how much the Hugo's have changed since the internet came about. The discussion about nomination campaigns and suchlike sort of triggered it. Would that have been possible pre-internet? Or just much harder? Anyway, the next category for me was the Best Novella, my ranking was
Equoid - 1
The Chaplain's Legacy - 2
Wakulla Springs - 3
Six Gun Snow White - 4
The Butcher of Khardov - 5

Equoid gets the top spot largely because this was just straight out the most entertaining selection. While I'm not a fan of his hard far future writing (i.e. Neptune's Brood), I quite like his Laundry Files.
IMO Chaplain and Wakulla are both interesting fictional looks at social issuses, (religion for the one, race for the other), and tied for 2nd. I ultimately ranked the way I did since Chaplain has more science in it's fiction, and this is a sci-fi/fantasy award.
Six Gun was....different. Not necessarily bad, but not her best, and very difficult to follow. I really like Catherynne M. Valente's writing, but not really this example.
Butcher was the weakest here IMO. As far as I could tell it was basically Fan Fiction. Not that there's anything wrong with fan fic, but not for this award.
I like the Laundry books but I thought Equoid was weak. And most of the jokes were old if you have read everything else in the Laundry Universe.

I thought The Chaplain's Legacy was terrible. Like it was written in the 30-ies and not a good example of old fashioned sf. I will not vote on that at all.

Wakulla Spring and Six Gun Snowwhite was the ones that was best written. Unfortunately the science fiction aspects of them were pretty weak.

The Butcher... was readable but not good.

I think my voting will be:

1. Wakulla Springs
2. Six Gun Snow White
3. Equoid
4. No Award

Last edited by tompe; 07-06-2014 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:58 PM   #33
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But that is not how they are presenting the Hugo award. It is in some way a popularity contest.
But it IS the way it's presented. In every article that ever talks about the Hugo, it's referred to as "the award for the year's best in the genre." Or "the genre's most prestigious award."

The first sentence of the introduction from the Hugo's very own website:
Quote:
The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fictionĺs most prestigious award.
From the Wikipedia page for The Hugo Award:
Quote:
The Hugo Awards are a set of awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year.
From Loncon 3 (hosting this year's Worldcon):
Quote:
The Hugo Award« is the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy.
And the category names themselves are all prefaced by "Best."

Change them all to "Favorite XXX" and I'd have no issue.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:14 PM   #34
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Well, it is true that it is the leading award and the most prestigious. It is modelled after Oscar that also a popularity contest in some sense. I do not think that calling the categories "Best.." is misleading since everybody knows that that is what you do in awards. You have to look at the voting mechanism to then to see how to interpret the result.

Last edited by tompe; 07-06-2014 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:05 PM   #35
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Well, of course it is one organisation's interpretation of the best work, just like every other award. And the statement that it is the leading award is just a statement of fact - the Hugo will be the first one on the cover of the book if it wins. (And also a statement of what is at stake if the award is messed up.)

I decided to put Wakulla Springs first in the novella category, simply because it was the one I liked most. I also found it a bit marginal as to whether it could be considered genre, but I can only vote for what I'm given. I can't remember what order I put the rest in. I didn't hate any of them.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:18 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete731 View Post
Equoid gets the top spot largely because this was just straight out the most entertaining selection. While I'm not a fan of his hard far future writing (i.e. Neptune's Brood), I quite like his Laundry Files.
I also consider Equoid the winner here, for the reasons you note as well as the way Bob keeps slipping into Lovecraftian speech/thought patterns...and being annoyed by it. Neat bit of wordcraft, that.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:59 AM   #37
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The Hugo award is a prestigious award, it seems to be at least as prestigious as the Nebula. And popularity is one measure of quality - if other readers like it, maybe I'll like it too.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:56 AM   #38
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I don't know... I liked Wakulla Springs okay, but thought it meandered a little bit. Couldn't understand what the point was. Maybe I'm dense.

The Lady Astronaut of Mars was good, but I kind of liked the characterisation better in The Water that Falls on You from Nowhere, though I can understand where some might find the subject matter a little on the uncomfortable side.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:00 AM   #39
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I agree that they are to a degree a popularity contest, but I think enough people nominate/vote based on merit to make it worthwhile. Also a popularity win here and there isn't going to destroy the world, it's just a fun little in-community vote. The rest of the world barely notices, unfortunately.
Next up for me was the award for Best Novelette, my rankings
1. The Lady Astronaut of Mars
2. The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling
3. The Waiting Stars
4. The Exchange Officers
5/no award/blank. Opera Vita Aeterna

This was a good slate, some seriously short good fiction here. For me, the top spot had to go to Lady Astronaut. It blew me away, but Truth was pretty close. I especially liked the double story thing the author had in there. Waiting stars was good enjoyable SF, hadn't read that author before, have to look into hir. Exchange Officers was decent, but couldn't compete with the above. Opera Vita Aeterna is a bit of a special case. For those unfamiliar with it, this is one of the controversial ones. It's a bit lengthy to go into here, but in short the author is very controversial in his view of things like race and sex/gender. Which leads to a 2nd debate over whether a work should be judged on merit alone, or if the author should be considered. If one would like to know more, google along the lines of "Vox Day hugo controversy". Personally, just on merit I feel the work is along the lines of Exchange Officers. It wasn't bad, but couldn't compete with this line up. (In the interest of full disclosure, I personally find the author loathsome. I'm glad I was able to read the work for free, cause I'm not sure that I'd have been willing to support him financially) So it will get 5/no award or blank (Thank you Rev. Bob, didn't know that was an option before.) I'm still thinking about it, one of the reasons I started this thread.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:52 AM   #40
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it's just a fun little in-community vote. The rest of the world barely notices, unfortunately.
The former is the reason for the latter.

Not that I think the the world needs to take notice or anything, but many fans seem to. They really can't have it both ways: prestigious award whose merit is acknowleged by "the rest of the world" AND fun little in-community vote.

The whole thing doesn't keep me awake at night or anything, but it IS getting a bit cheesy around the genre water-cooler come Hugo nomination time. Many authors take to social-media and start advertising which of their own works are eligible for the coming year's award.

But whatever... there's some good stuff mixed in with the meh. I'll leave it at that.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:55 AM   #41
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I have very, very mixed feelings about Vox Day.

His opinions on almost every social issue are fairly detestable. BUT, the man can write excellent reviews. His columns on Swords and Sorcery for Black Gate were amazing.

I met him at a SFF convention one time, before the whole N.K. Jemisin ordeal, and he was extremely nice. I have a suspicion that the whole "Vox Day" thing is, at least in part, an act... and back in the day there was an article written by a friend of his online that pretty much confirmed that, but all traces of it seem to have disappeared.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:30 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Pete731 View Post
Next up for me was the award for Best Novelette, my rankings
1. The Lady Astronaut of Mars
2. The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling
3. The Waiting Stars
4. The Exchange Officers
5/no award/blank. Opera Vita Aeterna
I had the top three the other way round, I think. Possibly just because of the order I read them in.

At first, I thought "The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling" was very much like one of the episodes of Black Mirror, but it actually went quite a bit further in interesting ways.

I was hoping the Vox Day would be comically terrible. Sadly it was just kind of ordinary. A poor start, and a bit of a flubbed ending, in my opinion, but I've seen worse. I wasn't sure I was going to read it at all, but I thought I might as well, since it was one of the shorter categories.

I find it incredibly hard to divorce an author's views from their work, especially if they are opposed to mine. I find myself looking for subtext and propaganda and struggle to just enjoy the story as it is. I'd rather not know, to be honest. It's never helpful. Having the same political outlook as me doesn't earn you any extra love, and having a wildly different view is only going to be negative.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:29 AM   #43
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The Hugo award is a prestigious award, it seems to be at least as prestigious as the Nebula. And popularity is one measure of quality - if other readers like it, maybe I'll like it too.
The Hugo is supposedly awarded to the best book, compared to the Nebula which is a straightforward popularity contest. Those should be very different things.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:44 AM   #44
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The Hugo is supposedly awarded to the best book, compared to the Nebula which is a straightforward popularity contest. Those should be very different things.
Seems to me you've got that backwards.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:48 AM   #45
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Seems to me you've got that backwards.
You're right, I have. My apologies. The Hugo is the popularity contest; the Nebula is supposedly a measure of "quality" (whatever that means).
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