2006 Hugo Awards, with comments

And the 2012 nominees are...

2006 Hugo Awards, with comments

Postby admin » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:20 am

NOVEL
Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge (Tor)
This was my pick, though I also liked the Naomi Novik books. She did win the Campbell award.

NOVELLA
"A Billion Eves", Robert Reed (Asimov's Oct/Nov 2006)
NOVELETTE
"The Djinn's Wife", Ian McDonald (Asimov's Jul 2006)
SHORT STORY
"Impossible Dreams", Tim Pratt (Asimov's Jul 2006)
Didn't read any of these three. I will now.

RELATED BOOK
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, Julie Phillips (St. Martin's)
I hope this stirs up interest in Tiptree's stories, which are some of the best sf of all time.

DRAMATIC PRESENTATION: LONG FORM
Pan's Labyrinth (Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro. Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Picturehouse.)
DRAMATIC PRESENTATION: SHORT FORM
Doctor Who (Written by Steven Moffat. Directed by Euros Lyn. BBC Wales/BBC1.)
I did not care for either of these. My picks would have been Children of Men and an episode of Heroes.

EDITOR, SHORT FORM
Gordon Van Gelder (F&SF)
EDITOR, LONG FORM
Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Tor)
Good choices, both.

PROFESSIONAL ARTIST
Donato Giancola
I'm not familiar with his work at all.

SEMIPROZINE
Locus, Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong & Liza Groen Trombi
Of course.

FANZINE
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly, Lee Hoffman, Geri Sullivan & Randy Byers
Hooray! SF 5 Yearly comes through.

FAN WRITER
Dave Langford
Poor Guy Lillian wants this award sooooooo bad.

FAN ARTIST
Frank Wu
Not familiar with his work, either. In fact, outside of comic books and strips, I can't think of any sf artists, pro or fan, who stand out in my mind.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer [Not a Hugo]

Naomi Novik
By all means, read Naomi Novik. Highly recommended.
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Postby HomieBear » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:27 am

I know of Giancola through the blog of the art director at Tor books- she has lots of great insights and stuff on the world of sci-fi cover art:

http://igallo.blogspot.com/
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Postby Stinky93 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:51 pm

Hooray for the Hugos. They still for the most part represent some quality reading.
On the other hand, after Jack McDevitt won a Nebula for Seeker, the Nebulas have lost all respect from me. There is more to a good book than just the premise.

I've managed to read just about every Hugo and Nebula winner since they started, and the Hugos are consistanly fun books to read, whereas many of the Nebula winners over the years are not always the best written book for that year.

And don't even get me started on the Nebula Awards book they put out every year. Essay top heavy much? If I wanted to read a term paper on a author I would have been a high school teacher.

Other things that irritate me?
The band-of-travelers story. It's nothing more that book filler, much like a maze in a video game. It was done in Lord of Rings. It doen't need to be in Judas Unchained.

/and don't get me started on the what-does-it-mean-to-be-human story.

But I digress.
The best site I've found for every book award imaginable (but mostly sci-fi) is at
http://216.92.255.170/awardweb/
They also track the nominations for each year.
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Postby admin » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:37 am

I agree on Hugos being more readable than Nebulas, though there are some stinkers in both categories. Because I want to read every Hugo winner, I'm forcing my way through The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross, because the second half, The Concrete Jungle, won a novella Hugo. It includes every old, stale computer science joke ever told, and very little story. The hero breaks into a lab and wrecks a computer. No oposition, no comflict. Then there is a long section where we are introduced to every person the hero has ever worked with or roomed with, it seems, none of which advances the plot. Then he goes to a conference and there is a little bit of action, but again it doesn't seem to advance the plot at all. More office stuff. Then he goes to California and tries to save a girl but gets hit over the head. More office stuff. Maybe the author will tie it all together in the end, but I'm more than 100 pages into the book and the plot hasn't advanced at all, as best I can tell.
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Postby Thanatos » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:48 am

I'm not really sure, admin, but shouldn't the topic read 2007 Hugo Awards? :? Of course the works are those published during 2006 but that's from the rules.

As for Charles Stross I'm glad someone else finds his works overrated. 8) I was feeling kind of alone on the ideia of too much hype and not much substance to the novels. Recently read Accelerando and it still has all the flaws you found on The Atrocity...
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topic

Postby admin » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:33 am

You are probably right, that the title should be 2007 Hugos for sf published in 2006, or something like that, but to me it is the year of publication not the year of the award that is of interest.

Still plugging away at Charles Stross, more work than pleasure. If only I weren't so stuborn.
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Postby Stinky93 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:06 pm

I haven't gotten around to Charles Stross yet. One award winner I can say I didn't like was Darwin's Radio. I can barely even remember what it was about, which says alot, as I can usually remember just about everything about a book that I enjoyed.
Getting back to the Hugos, I would say (my own opinion here) that at least 90 percent of the Hugos are well deserved. I can count maybe less than ten that I didn't really enjoy.

I didn't finish Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. I guess I didn't get it.
I didn't like Stranger in a Strange Land. Boring!!
The Green Mars trilogy. I wonder what the teraformers planned to do after the lack of magnetic field caused everything to burn off again? (I guess start over with a new trilogy called Brown Mars/Black Mars/Airless Mars). (I did read and finish them though, through sheer brute force reading)

On the other hand, the Hugos pointed me to some great books that I would have never found on my own.
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hogus

Postby admin » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:03 pm

No need to finish Stand on Zanzibar. It ends with everybody being run over by a truck. I rate Stranger in a Strange Land as the beginning of Heinlein's long, slow decline, but I did enjoy bits of it. The Mars trilogy I drifted through as in a dream. Robinson obviously does his homework, realistic characters in a realistic setting. Maybe my taste just doesn't run to realism.
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Postby Thanatos » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:20 am

The Hugos are voted by a large corpus mostly people who attend the convention. I think that sometimes name recognition works more towards the accolade being given to some author than the relative merit of the work itself.

It was notorious this kind of vote-on-the-name when Rowling won some years ago. Not that the Potter books were bad but it was the year of A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (being both fantasy we can argue that Martin's is no doubt more adult in tone), Calculating God by Robert Sawyer, Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson and The Sky Road by Ken MacLeod. All of them fine novels on their own but no name recognition among the multitudes that vote.

At least that's the perception I come away from the voting. Always the brand name gets the award with few surprises. In fact I usually play a little game of guess-the-winner with some friends and always have a rate of over 90% correct guesses.

Therefore it's no surprise that big names end up with the award year in year out although the works itself may not be their best work.

Altough I disagree with Stinky93 on A Stranger on a Strange Land. It dragged a bit on some scenes but overall it still is a landmark on the SF field. Maybe will see a Overlooked - Over-hyped by Neil Walsh one of these days... :wink:
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Postby Stinky93 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:35 pm

I always wondered who exactly voted on the Hugos. I always knew it was a general group of fans, but I didn't know who.
Good point about winners getting more votes if they are active in the convention scene. Sounds alot like the Grammys(grammies?) or Oscars. Politics weigh in heavily in the Nebulas, so I'm not surprised the Hugos would be somewhat the same. When To Say Nothing of the Dog won I wasn't real impressed with the book. But Connie Willis does play nice at the conventions so that can only help. Not to say it's a bad thing, because it's a smart thing. A Hugo win can really help move those books.
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You too can vote.

Postby admin » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:28 am

You can all vote on the Hugo award, and should both nominate and vote. Go to the Worldcon web page and join the Worldcon. If you can't attend, you can join as a "supporting" member, which is a little cheaper. That means you get to nominate and vote. A few dozen nominations get a work on the ballot, a few hundred win the award, which translates into thousands of additional sales for your book.
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Postby k1w1taxi » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:42 am

Having read all the Hugo and Nebula winning novels (except Spin and Rainbows End which should surface at the top of Mt TBR early in the new Year) I can agree with the Name Recognition/Popularity thing, another example being the spate of Awards for McMastewr Bujolds Vorkosigan novels which while good quick escapist fare must have been nominated in really poor literary years to have won.

Ditto Darwins Radio which would be in the 2 or 3 worst of the winners I have read. In fact Worst 5 in no particular order
Darwins Radio
Hominids
No Enemy but Time
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Einstein Intersection

Cheers
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Vor

Postby admin » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:25 am

I've read all of the Bujold novels. She's a professional writer, which means that writing is how she earns her living. That means she writes whether she has a great idea or not, so her books are uneven. But at her best, she is very good indeed. Her best book, I think, is a comedy, A Civil Union.
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Postby Stinky93 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:53 am

Lee,
I agree with you for every book you just listed.
Although I am a big fan of the Bujold novels. For me a sci-fi novel is best when there is a sense of adventure (the neato factor). I can read a book from Gene Wolfe, and although the prose is great and the writing is top-notch, the book ends up being forgettable. Whereas I can read something like a Vorkosigan novel and remember it forever.
Or maybe it's just because I'm a simpleton.

/and don't ask me what The Eistein Intersection was about. I never did understand it. Did anyone?
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Postby k1w1taxi » Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:45 am

The thing I found from my limited experience with Gene Wolfe (Book of the Long Sun series) was that the prose was indeed quite deep and many of the ideas explored required later thought. Also the stories did not really make completely coherent sense until the end of the series. Therefore I found that they required me to be in a certain mood to be able to read them.

So not necessarily Better, or Worse. Just Different. And it might pay to have a Vorkosigan handy to follow up! :D

Cheers
Lee
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