And Hugo voters have until the end of the month to submit their choices for awards ranging from Best Novel to Best Fanzine. This is my first time voting for the Hugos. I've been meaning to do so for years, but this year I finally got it together.
Click here if you're interested in purchasing an attending or supporting membership, either of which entitles you to vote for the Hugos and allows you to download a Hugo packet that includes digital versions of most of the nominated works. Here's the list of this year's nominees (see also this helpful version on File 770, also a nominee for Best Fanzine!).
I'll also be attending MidAmeriCon II (Worldcon) in Kansas City in August. I'll be giving a talk on the academic track (the title will be “The Meaning of Life Among the Stars: Nolan’s Interstellar, Robinson’s Aurora, and Butler’s Earthseed," part of which will be based on this post). Maybe I'll see you there!
How should I discharge my awesome responsibility as a Hugo voter? I still haven't completely decided. Here's some of what I'm thinking right now. I'll write more later as I get through more of the lists.
The high profile category! I've already read Stephenson's Seveneves, about which I had complicated feelings (see my review). I'm hoping to get through Jemisin's The Fifth Season soon (I've liked some of her other work). Leckie's Ancillary Mercy is a sequel to her Hugo-winning Ancillary Justice, which I reviewed here. I read part of the excerpts of the others from the Hugo packet, and none of them grabbed me.
I'm not sure what to think. Unless I fall in love with The Fifth Season, I can't say I think any of these books were the best novel of 2015, although I ranked Seveneves as #6 (you can see my list of 2015 favorite books here).
I haven't finished any of these yet, although I just started Okorafor's Binti. I've really enjoyed some of her other work (see my review of Lagoon). I've also enjoyed some of Reynolds's other work and Bujold is of course a giant in the field, but I have yet to read any of these novellas. More work to do this month!
Best Short Story
The good thing about short stories is that they're, well, short. I was able to read most of these in one sitting. Let's set aside the Chuck Tingle story for now (it deserves special note - see below). I really enjoyed Kritzer's "Cat Pictures Please" (benevolent AI loves cat pictures!), but I didn't care for any of the others. I admit I didn't read the story on Vox Day's blog, because Rabid Puppies and other LaRDoFs are obnoxiously trying to ruin the Hugos for everyone.
If you haven't heard of Chuck Tingle, his work is like the Matrix: nobody can be told what what it is. You must experience it for yourself. Sure, you may think that sci-fi gay dinosaur erotica isn't your thing, but that's before you read Tingle's "Space Raptor Butt Invasion." This story is entertaining in ways you didn't think you could be entertained.
Does "Space Raptor Butt Invasion" deserve a Hugo? Does it matter that it was probably nominated by Puppies and NRCs as a lame and wrong-headed attempt to undermine the integrity of the Hugos? I'm not sure how to answer these questions. But I do know that Chuck Tingle is a magnificent genius.
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
What Do You Think?
In the meantime, I want to know what you think! Any advice from new, long-time, or alternate-reality Hugo voters? Am I completely wrong so far? On the right track? What say you, denizens of the internet?