Lily Valley

Hugo time! Hugo time! Roundup for 2017 Awards

201 posts in this topic

OK, the last of Analog/Asimov's readers' choice finalists novellas for me:

Analog:

The Soul Behind the Face — Adam-Troy Castro - October 2016

An ex-intelligence operative with a grudge against his former employers comes out of decades-long hiding to take his revenge. His first step is seeking out a former collegue on a commercial-minded planet.

I sorta liked it, but despite it's short length it felt too stretched out. And given the highly technological setting, the "tradecraft" employed by the protagonist and some other plot elements don't seem all that plausible or logical.

I am skipping the remaining 2 Analog novellas:

The Journeyman: Into the Great North Wood — Michael F. Flynn - June 2016

Progress Report — Rajnar Vajra - September 2016

for now, since the authors were enthusiastic participants of the Puppy slate during the 2015 Hugo debacle. Also, I have read Vajra's novelette that was slated back then - "Triple Sun"? and thought that it was very bad, and while I don't remember reading Flynn's novelette, which was part of the same same series as the current novella,  the reviews were pretty scathing for it as well. Too much to read, too little time.

Asimov's:

Einstein’s Shadow – Allen M. Steele - January 2016

In an alternative history scenario, where Gregor Strasser managed to off Hitler and become the Nazi leader rather than vice-versa, and some other things happened differently (but, unfortunately, not differently enough!) an American private detective has been hired to be Einstein's bodyguard during his emigration to US.

I liked this one - it was an entertaining adventure story with SF elements. Not deep or innovative in any way, but fun.

 

Choose Poison, Choose Life – Michael Blumlein - October/November 2016

A woman with the background of abuse and depression has to deal with her suicidal intentions via 2 imaginary(?) scenarios of being trapped on  desert islands, with hints of supernatural involvement.

Eh. Not my thing. To be fair, it is decently written.

 

Now, on to finish what I can in novelette and short story lengths from the Locus Reading List:

http://www.locusmag.com/News/2017/01/2016-locus-recommended-reading-list/

and Nebula Finalist list:

http://nebulas.sfwa.org/correction-sfwa-nebula-awards-ballot/

 

Fortunately, I have already heard almost everything that has an audio podcast from these lists and read some of it that hasn't.  

 

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1 hour ago, Maia said:

Fortunately, I have already heard almost everything that has an audio podcast from these lists and read some of it that hasn't.  

 

For future reference, where's a good place to find out about podcasts of shorts?

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Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, Contrarius+ said:

For future reference, where's a good place to find out about podcasts of shorts?

Contrarius+, most SF semi-prozines nowadays have free story podcasts for some of the  pieces that they publish in a given issue. I mostly listen to Uncanny (which also has poetry and well-done author interviews), Clarkesworld and Lightspeed podcasts, but Beneath Ceaseless Skies (their podcast, sadly, doesn't work on my phone for some reason), Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Nightmare and others have them also. 

I have tried to listen to novels as audio-books in the past, but it didn't work for me. Short fiction, however has been just the right length to enliven many dull, but necessary tasks and introduce me to new authors. A personal benefit of the Hugo kerfuffle a couple of years back, since that's what prompted me to look for short fiction, other than a very occasional anthology or a random read on tor.com.

Anyway, depending on your listening device, you can either directly download from and/or subscribe to the podcasts on iTunes, or , if you are on android, like I currently am, you can do so through a very nice free app called Podcast Republic (and/or through the Google store, i guess, but I didn't try it out personally).

Edited by Maia

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2 hours ago, Maia said:

Contrarius+, most SF semi-prozines nowadays have free story podcasts for some of the  pieces that they publish in a given issue. I mostly listen to Uncanny (which also has poetry and well-done author interviews), Clarkesworld and Lightspeed podcasts, but Beneath Ceaseless Skies (their podcast, sadly, doesn't work on my phone for some reason), Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Nightmare and others have them also.

Thanks! I'm a huge audiobook addict, but I'm obviously behind the times on this. I'll do an iTunes search!

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On 06/03/2017 at 11:57 AM, Maia said:

Novelette-wise I loved these 2:

 “Touring with the Alien”, Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld 4/16)

You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, Alyssa Wong (Uncanny 5-6/16)

I'm belatedly attempting to read a bit of eligible short fiction. I thought both of these were good. Touring With The Alien initially reminded me a bit of Arrival/The Story Of Your Life, it's got a different take on the alien first contact story but one with some interesting ideas. Alyssa Wong's story wasn't always easy to follow, but had some memorable descriptions.

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Interesting.

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11 hours ago, mormont said:

Interesting.

The big question is who the participants were, we have a few weeks to wait until we find out if Vox Day has managed to highjack the nominations again.

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7 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Oh I'm sure he has, the question is to what extent.

He was only pushing one nomination per category this year, so even if all of his choices get on the final ballots, there will still be lots of good stuff to pick from.

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Is Library at Mount Char not eligible? Thought that one was fantastic. Also agree on Too Like The Lightning. 

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20 minutes ago, unJon said:

Is Library at Mount Char not eligible? Thought that one was fantastic. Also agree on Too Like The Lightning. 

I think that was only eligible last year.

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Just enough Puppies to remind us that they haven't gone away, but not so many as to spoil the entire ballot, it looks like. Ritual humiliation for John C. Wright to follow.

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I think this is an awesome list, at least in the categories in which I can have an opinion. The novel list is just great -- I'd have made a couple different choices, of course, but all of these are books for which I have seen a lot of genuine love and appreciation and the list contains no entry the presence of which is just fucking bullshit, in other words no entry that cannot be easily explained by smart engaged readers having different tastes. Too Like the Lightning! I did not expect that. Happiness! I am also surprised by how much I like the nominees for best series. I don't need to like the nominees for it to be a good category, of course, but the series that have ended up nominated make it feel to me like this could be a genuine way to recognize good work, rather than just a way for fans to hand out additional cookies to work that already sells incredibly well and is very popular. I hope this gets Gladstone's superb Craft Sequence another reader or two. The list's got a minor case of TB, yes, and the focus of his mischief this year means that his minions may be able to concentrate more on single nominees and increase the likelihood of a win, which sucks, but outside of that I think at the nomination stage this one feels like a success.

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Very happy about Ada Palmer and Yoon Ha Lee (both my nominees). I have seen a lot of love for Ninefox Gambit, but Too Like the Lightning is a very nice surprise. The rest of the list also looks quite decent, all things considered. I didn’t read very much of nominated short fiction, so I am not qualified to say. Only two my short fiction favorites made the list, and one tof them (Mieville) was also pushed by Vox.

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He's Teddy.  Don't dignify him with his nom de plum

 

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I'm confused about the Dramatic Presentation - Long Form category. How is Hidden Figures a SF? I'm sure it's a good movie, Oscar nod and all, and I plan to see it, but just because it involves some space stuff doesn't mean it's a SF. 

And how did that dreadful Ghostbusters make it there? I wouldn't think the Puppies put that there, so was that some kind of anti-Puppy move, and quality was thrown out the window? Too bad Westworld didn't make it.

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That moment you realize you haven't read any of those finalist works :(

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2 hours ago, Corvinus said:

I'm confused about the Dramatic Presentation - Long Form category. How is Hidden Figures a SF?

In Dramatic Presentation, "related" works also count. In previous years, the movie Apollo 13 won the award, and I think the actual moon landing broadcasts won short form back in the day.

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