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Redshirts wins Hugo for Best Novel


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118 replies to this topic

#1 Ser Scot A Ellison

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 10:48 PM

*deep sigh* a tounge in cheek novel... really?

#2 RedEyedGhost

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 10:58 PM

Wow. I was excited about it when it was first announce, but after all of the poor reviews here and on my blogroll I haven't even given purchasing it a second thought.

#3 Ser Scot A Ellison

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:12 PM

The coda's were interesting but the novel was pretty much by the numbers.

#4 ColdDrake

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:56 PM

I found this book quite grating. Scalzi's usual snark and sarcasm are ratcheted up to 1000. He was trying way too hard to be clever and meta. I haven't read any of the other novels up for the award this year so I'm not sure how they are.

#5 David Selig

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:26 AM

Worst Hugo winner ever by some margin. A supposedly humorous novel which isn't funny at all and really lazily written (It was done in 5 weeks and it really shows). No character development whatsoever. The attempt to add something serious and poignant at the end with the codas was even worse since they were so blatant and unsubtle in delivering their really cliched messages.

The short fiction results are pretty bad too, the masterpiece Immersion somehow losing to a good, but unremarkable story which wasn't even it's author best of the year. Brandon Sanderson winning the award for the novella - I haven't read it, but I don't see how the current Sanderson can write something good enough to win this. I will give it a try to see if he has proven me wrong...

#6 Alytha

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:31 AM

Hmm...I liked it, because it pushes all the right buttons in terms of emotions, but I agree that it's not really extraordinary. It is much better though than Among Others *shudder*

#7 Eugene V. Debspalm

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 02:59 AM

Between this and Among Others thats a pretty ridiculous level of navel gazing. I was expecting 2312 to win, I think, and then I would have complained that that's a touch too comfortable and navel-gazing a book, but this is absurd. I now expect next year's winner to be 800 pages of a young boy's coming of age in a mid-sized American now-rust-belt city in the late 60's, told entirely via the epistolary medium of his Star Trek: Original Series reviews in his local fanzine, culminating with his visit to Worldcon.

#8 Werthead

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 03:07 AM

Oh for fuck's fucking sake.

Although having said that:

Worst Hugo winner ever by some margin


It was better than Blackout/All Clear and a hell of a lot shorter.

Edited by Werthead, 02 September 2013 - 03:07 AM.


#9 mormont

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 03:20 AM

Dear me.

It was a weak field, but still.

ETA - I'm looking further down the ballot, and it doesn't get any better. The Writing Excuses podcast beat the fucking Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature for 'Best Related Book'? W.T.F., Hugo voters?

Edited by mormont, 02 September 2013 - 03:22 AM.


#10 Eugene V. Debspalm

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 03:39 AM

Urgh, I hadn't even noticed that one, thought I would like to draw attention to the (admittedly possibly esoteric) podcast field where I think there's actually some decent competition, but feel that SF Squeecast is overrated. If not for that, Grant/McGuire might have not won anything. At least Dr Who didn't win either.

ETA - http://www.thehugoaw...oStatistics.pdf - the stats the stats.

Edited by Datepalm, 02 September 2013 - 03:43 AM.


#11 David Selig

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 03:52 AM

ETA - I'm looking further down the ballot, and it doesn't get any better. The Writing Excuses podcast beat the fucking Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature for 'Best Related Book'? W.T.F., Hugo voters?

It's "Best related work", so a bit more understandable. Brandon Sanderson's name helped a lot here, I'd imagine.

Urgh, I hadn't even noticed that one, thought I would like to draw attention to the (admittedly possibly esoteric) podcast field where I think there's actually some decent competition, but feel that SF Squeecast is overrated. If not for that, Grant/McGuire might have not won anything. At least Dr Who didn't win either.

ETA - http://www.thehugoaw...oStatistics.pdf - the stats the stats.

Yeah, the SF Squeecast won mostly thanks to the names of the ones involved there IMO. The Coode Street podcast is a lot better IMO and also had far more editions last year.

#12 Eugene V. Debspalm

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 03:58 AM

The sixths place in nominees for Dramatic Short Form was, I kid you not, someone reading out the terrible not-funny parody story thing by Scalzi from last year. Small mercies.

Yeah, Coode Street are always more interesting. They can get a little repetitive sometimes with their themes, but they have a lot of guests and that usually shakes them up. Listening to Squeecast feels like a bunch of people mostly delighted with how cool and cute they all are, who very ocassionaly remember to talk about genre. It's like being on the bus behind a bunch of teenage girls.

#13 mormont

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:07 AM

It's "Best related work", so a bit more understandable.


No. No, it's really not. The Cambridge Companion To Fantasy Literature is a landmark work of reference that has been years in the making, a comprehensive study by respected academics who're also active in the fannish community, and is a book that will be read more widely and for a lot longer than any other nominee. Its sister work deservedly won the Hugo in 2005. It makes no difference whether the competition is a podcast or a book: in any sane self-respecting vote by fans, it should have won.

Brandon Sanderson's name helped a lot here, I'd imagine.


Yeah, and that's the problem. Voting for names instead of nominated works.

#14 Werthead

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:12 AM

Yeah, and that's the problem. Voting for names instead of nominated works.


To be fair, this is a problem the Hugos (and indeed any fan-voted award) has contented with for years. It's why Scalzi won: he's a nice guy (by all accounts) with a good blog who's also the president of the SFWA. One thing he has not done, however, is write the best SF novel of the year.

#15 David Selig

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:28 AM

I meant "a bit more understandable" as in "They didn't break the rules by inserting a podcast into a book category just so Brandon Sanderson could win", not that I agree with the decision.

Looking at the nomination numbers, Seanan McGuire would've had another nomination if not for the 5% minimum rules - her short story No Place Like Home was fourth in that category. Mono No Aware had 3 times less votes for nomination than Immersion, yet won.

The Killing Moon, Existence, The Drowning Girl and The Hydrogen Sonata were ranked between 6th and 12th by number of nomination votes, all of these were much better than the the ones who ended on the ballot. Oh, well...

#16 Eugene V. Debspalm

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:34 AM

The downlist for Novels was much more interesting than the top. Those 4 plus 2312 might have been an unembarassing ballot.

McGuire also had another four short stories on the list. I guess the vote split.

#17 Bastard of Godsgrace

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:54 AM

Yeah, I think Redshirts is probably the worst winner ever. Blackout/All Clear was also poor, but it at least tried to be ambitious. OTOH, I am really really happy with short fiction winners (and Blackwater, obviously. Doctor Who lost a Hugo! Incredible). Also, I put all three first on my ballot., so I feel somewhat satisfied.

The Emperor Soul was, IMHO, very good - easily the best thing Sanderson ever wrote. Pat Cadigan was just the only nominated story i was able to treat seriously (In the Sea-Salt Tears came second? WTF?). In short story category we had three interesting, but deeply flawed stories of which Mono no Aware was IMHO the most acceptable. Seanan Mc Guire would have three more stories on a ballot, if the cutout was 4 per cent, because four stories get 28 nominations each and they all would qualify, but OTOH we would also have Robot by Helena Bell - a really outstanding story which for me would be a clear winner.

Edited by Bastard of Godsgrace, 02 September 2013 - 04:58 AM.


#18 Jussi

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:58 AM

Brandon Sanderson winning the award for the novella - I haven't read it, but I don't see how the current Sanderson can write something good enough to win this. I will give it a try to see if he has proven me wrong...


The Emperor's Soul is also nominated for World Fantasy Award:

http://www.locusmag....wards-ballot-2/

#19 Seli

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 05:29 AM

Writing excuses has been running for the last 5 years, and has been nominated for the last 3. So it got the extra factor of recognition. It probably appeals to a large proportion of fans that would like to be writers, and as mentioned it has some big names attached.

All factors that added to why it won. Too bad it was in a year where a better candidate was on the ballot.


It is a shame they did not allow on the audiobook in the novella category, that probably will have repercussions in business meetings in the years to come.
In the same vein I assume they could have, and therefore should have, split the vote on the uncertain "The Unwritten" nominations in Graphical story.

Short story seems to creak under the sheer amount of quality publications, splitting the votes. With 568 different stories nominated, out of a total of 2008 entries, so many stories with only a handful of votes. They might have to move to a longlist system.

Larry Coreira shows how close you can get on campaigning (just outside of the best novel ballot).

And a Doctor Who podcast knocking on the ballot, which might be interesting in the future. With Verity! having numerous Hugo winners and nominees on its casts they might well make it next year, deservedly so in my opinion. But there are other interesting podcasts just outside the short list I would like to see as well. It can become a really ingesting category depending on how things will develop.

#20 David Selig

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:50 PM

The Emperor's Soul is also nominated for World Fantasy Award:

http://www.locusmag....wards-ballot-2/

I will give it a try, I read the sample pages and it's much better than usual for him in terms of style, but Sanderson must've really outdone himself it to write a novella as good as On a Red Station, Drifting or Let Maps to Others (the latter wasn't on the ballot even though it really should've been IMO)