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lady narcissa

Hugo Nominations and Awards - Onwards to 2020

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On 4/2/2019 at 12:26 PM, Darth Richard II said:

I don’t normally say meh, but, meh. If Space Opera wins I’m going to throw things.

I now know what you mean.  Me too.

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On 4/3/2019 at 7:30 PM, Ran said:

2019: 

Hugos: 35 women, 7 men

Locus: TBD

Locus: 59-41 by my count.

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Reading packets are available to download.

It looks like all the Best Novel nominees have made the full books available.

I'm annoyed to see the majority of the Lodestar nominees require you to sign up for Net Galley to download the books there.

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1 hour ago, lady narcissa said:

I'm annoyed to see the majority of the Lodestar nominees require you to sign up for Net Galley to download the books there.

Yeah, that excessive security is ridiculous when I'm sure pirated copies are already out there for those who want them; this is just a hassle for legitimate readers. And one of them is requiring Net Galley just for an excerpt! Though Peadar has been generous enough to supply both the nominated work and the previous book in the series.

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7 hours ago, felice said:

And one of them is requiring Net Galley just for an excerpt!

Really?  Which one?  I didn't even bother to look because I was so annoyed.  And hearing that makes me even more annoyed!

I would think making it as easy as possible for us to get a copy of the full manuscript increases a books chances of getting a vote.  I get that every year there are certain works that are so well regarded and already had many people nominate it and already read it that perhaps they can win anyway even without providing a copy.  But I would think there are enough where just getting another person to read it and consider voting for it could really make a difference.  I wouldn't vote for anything I haven't read.  And I'm not going to go out and buy a book that has been nominated when they can't be bothered to provide a full copy.  I don't think I'm alone in this.  I'd be curious to see the statistics from recent years on Hugo winners and if full copies of the work were provided to the voters.

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8 minutes ago, lady narcissa said:

Really?  Which one?  I didn't even bother to look because I was so annoyed.  And hearing that makes me even more annoyed!

Holly Black - the Cruel Prince. Though it could well be the publisher's decision, not Holly herself.

8 minutes ago, lady narcissa said:

I would think making it as easy as possible for us to get a copy of the full manuscript increases a books chances of getting a vote.

I expect so, yes. Though if the publishers don't consider giving away thousands of copies to be worth the chance of winning, I guess that's their call. But a large percentage of those are people who otherwise wouldn't have read the book. And personally I buy a lot of Hugo-nominated works in hardcopy (Wheel of Time being the most expensive purchase so far) because I have the option of reading them for free, and prefer paper over ebook.

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1 hour ago, felice said:

Holly Black - the Cruel Prince. Though it could well be the publisher's decision, not Holly herself. 

This is almost certainly the case.

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12 hours ago, felice said:

Though Peadar has been generous enough to supply both the nominated work and the previous book in the series.

That call was made by my publishers, after I begged them. So, it's their generosity rather than mine.

As for Lodestar nominees only being on NetGalley, that might be down to the fact that the Hugos don't feature much in the YA universe. On this side of the Atlantic, publishers would do anything, kill* anyone, for a chance to win the Carnegie or the Costa. It may take a few years for the Lodestar to prove itself in their eyes.

 

*Some exaggeration may apply.

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6 hours ago, Peadar said:

That call was made by my publishers, after I begged them. So, it's their generosity rather than mine.

That was super smart of your publishers to agree to that.  I hope it works in your favor.

I get that the Hugos and the Lodestar are not big with everyone in YA.  It was interesting to see which publishers tooted the nominations of their authors on social media this year.  There were a few.  Similarly reactions by nominated authors.  I think when you have someone like Holly Black celebrating her nomination on social media and attending Worldcon, it helps increase awareness about it.  On the other hand, Katherine Arden has been nominated for the Campbell two years in a row now and I've never seen a peep about that out of her. 

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I've read five of the six Best Novel nominees so far (not sure if I'll get around to reading Space Opera).

So far I think I'd rank them:

  1. Spinning Silver
  2. Revenant Gun
  3. Trail of Lightning
  4. The Calculating Stars
  5. Record of a Spaceborn Few

I wouldn't mind if any of them won, but I'd rank the first two significantly above the others.

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First world problem I realize...but I'm finding it rather frustrating to read the Hugo packet provided Spinning Silver.  I wish they had given it in a format so it could be read with the ereader like the others.  Because I hate how every time I open it its back to the first page and I have to scroll through all the pages I've read before to find where I left off.  Never the less, I am enjoying it.

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24 minutes ago, lady narcissa said:

First world problem I realize...but I'm finding it rather frustrating to read the Hugo packet provided Spinning Silver.  I wish they had given it in a format so it could be read with the ereader like the others.

Buy a proper copy! It's worth it, it's a great book.

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17 hours ago, felice said:

Buy a proper copy! It's worth it, it's a great book.

Ah yes.  I would do that if it was a book and author I really loved.  But I can tell this will be like Uprooted for me - a one time read.  I'm enjoying it but not enough to want to read it again.  So far none of the best novel nominees are keepers for me.  So glad at least to have the review copy to read.

But I am curious for those who have actual copies of Spinning Silver - in those versions is there some indication of narrator shifting?  It was just so jarring how the narrator kept changing.  And then just when you think you have the narrators figured out, more get added.  I wish the narrators names were given at the beginning of every shift or a little symbol was used for each character so you don't have to spend the first few sentences or paragraphs situating yourself with who you are with.  So curious if that is just the Hugo version or if all versions are that way?

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Spinning Silver is slow as hell, but in terms of pure writing ability and atmosphere, it's far ahead of Record of a Spaceborn Few (which is pleasant but sweet FA happens; either of the two preceding books in the trilogy would have been great winners, but not this one), and on a completely different level of writing competence to Space Opera.

Not sure if I'll get round to the other three before WorldCon.

Quote

I don’t normally say meh, but, meh. If Space Opera wins I’m going to throw things.

I think the Hugos have done a great job recovering from the embarrassment of Redshirts winning, but Space Opera winning would plunge them right back down to that level again. It's really not a very good book, substituting "whackiness" for "writing ability" and relying overmuch on the author being a popular SF figure, as happened with the Scalzi. My main takeaway whilst reading it was that Robert Rankin would have taken the same premise and made it sing with brilliance, but of course then it would have been completely ignored.

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Posted (edited)

To each their own, I guess. I didn't love Space Opera, but for my money it is easily better than at least 10 of the Hugo winners for Best Novel over the years and way better than the utter dreck Redshirts.

Edited by David Selig

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4 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

Ah yes.  I would do that if it was a book and author I really loved.  But I can tell this will be like Uprooted for me - a one time read.  I'm enjoying it but not enough to want to read it again.  So far none of the best novel nominees are keepers for me.  So glad at least to have the review copy to read.

But I am curious for those who have actual copies of Spinning Silver - in those versions is there some indication of narrator shifting?  It was just so jarring how the narrator kept changing.  And then just when you think you have the narrators figured out, more get added.  I wish the narrators names were given at the beginning of every shift or a little symbol was used for each character so you don't have to spend the first few sentences or paragraphs situating yourself with who you are with.  So curious if that is just the Hugo version or if all versions are that way?

From memory narration shift is generally marked by a new chapter, certainly early on at least. Might be that later in the novel that's just marked by a break in the text though. Difficult to check the full novel for that but that's my recollection.

That's the kindle version by the way not hard copy

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5 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

But I am curious for those who have actual copies of Spinning Silver - in those versions is there some indication of narrator shifting?  It was just so jarring how the narrator kept changing.  And then just when you think you have the narrators figured out, more get added.  I wish the narrators names were given at the beginning of every shift or a little symbol was used for each character so you don't have to spend the first few sentences or paragraphs situating yourself with who you are with.  So curious if that is just the Hugo version or if all versions are that way?

In the UK hardback I think there's always a symbol that indicates a shift in narrator in the middle of the chapter. However, you do have to work out for yourself who the narrator is.

I've read all the novellas now (and almost all the novelettes). In general, I'd say the novellas were all reasonably good (with one exception) but perhaps none of them really excelled.

I'd probably rank them something like this:

1 - All Systems Red by Martha Wells. I think the first Murderbot Diaries story had a better plot, but this was still a lot of fun and did add plenty of interesting new aspects to the series.

2 - The Black God's Drums by P Djeli Clark. I really liked the premise, an alternate history in which the black population of early 19th Century New Orleans had a revolution and seceded from the US, with added magic and airships. The two main characters were good as well but the conclusion of the story felt a bit rushed.

3 - The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette De Bodard. It owes a big debt to Conan Doyle, even if its version of Dr Watson is a traumatised former warship which makes tea. It was a decent mystery, and I'd happily read a sequel.

4 - Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire. It was a fun adventure but a bit lacking in substance.

5 - Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson. I think there were just too many ideas and concepts crammed into a relatively short story, it does have some interesting ideas but it didn't feel like it fully developed most of them, and some of the plot points were unconvincing.

6 - Binti : The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor. I quite liked the first Binti story but by the third it has gone completely off the rails. There's way too much exposition, too many plot points and not enough time spent on the characters. It also seemed to take the viewpoint that why have one lazy deus ex machina plot resolution when you can have two?

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6 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

But I am curious for those who have actual copies of Spinning Silver - in those versions is there some indication of narrator shifting?

Nope. My partner hated that aspect too, but I didn't find it a problem myself. The characters' voices and situations were distinct enough to make it clear who you're dealing with pretty quickly.

1 hour ago, williamjm said:

In general, I'd say the novellas were all reasonably good (with one exception) but perhaps none of them really excelled.

I'd probably rank them something like this:

I placed Sugar Sky somewhat higher, but otherwise that's the same as my ranking.

In Dramatic Presentation, Sorry to Bother You was definitely something a bit different.

Spoiler

Was it a basically happy ending, or did he actually accept the offer to become a puppet leader of the equisapiens?

 

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7 hours ago, williamjm said:

In the UK hardback I think there's always a symbol that indicates a shift in narrator in the middle of the chapter. However, you do have to work out for yourself who the narrator is.

I've read all the novellas now (and almost all the novelettes). In general, I'd say the novellas were all reasonably good (with one exception) but perhaps none of them really excelled.

Yes, there is that symbol in the Hugo version too but I wish the symbol slightly changed from narrator to narrator.  It is true you can figure out the narrator from reading but I do find it disrupts the reading experience.

Also, thanks for ranking your Hugo readings.  I think its interesting to see people's rankings.  I'm not going to be able to read everything and seeing people's lists helps me focus on what to read in the time I have left...which is only 30 days now!

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