Sunday, August 18, 2019

Hugo 2019 Results: My Ballot versus Reality

Today I watched the 2019 Hugo Award Ceremony, which was streaming on the Hugo Awards website.  (I watched from home in Chattanooga. The ceremony took place in Dublin.)

Last month I wrote some posts about my Hugo ballot (here, here, and here).  So, how did I do picking winners?

Not too great.  You can see the full list of winners here or, if you want the full math nerd version, see here.  Congratulations to all the winners and finalists!

My votes for the #1 spot only matched the actual winners in two cases: Best Novel for The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal and Best Art Book for The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Is Toni Morrison's Beloved a Horror Novel?

Every summer I make a point to read one work of "Capital-L Literature" (the kind of thing I would have read if I had taken more English classes).  This summer I had decided to read Beloved, and in one of those coincidences that probably don't mean anything, the very day I was planning to start reading it, the world got the news that Toni Morrison had died.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Castle Rock as a Buddhist Hell Realm: Needful Things by Stephen King

My delightfully tattered used copy of Needful Things.
(Think of this next time you see the opening credits of Stranger Things!)

Needful Things (1991) is not my favorite Stephen King novel, but it's... engrossing and fun and well, Stephen King.  There are obvious Christian overtones about making deals with the devil, not to mention some sort of critique of greed and capitalism or maybe even contemporary resonances about Russian interference in US elections by pitting Americans against each other or how having a lot of guns around makes all of this more deadly.  These are all interesting lenses through which one might look at the novel (feel free to steal any of them if you want to develop them... I won't even charge anything or expect any nefarious favors in return).  But as I read it I started working on another angle.  What if we understand the novel as depicting a kind of Buddhist hell realm where desire, delusion, and suffering roll on in a seemingly infinite feedback loop?

Monday, August 5, 2019

Random Thoughts, Part 5

Made at:

A while back I started posting collections of my random thoughts.  You can see the latest collection, Part 4, here.  You can see Part 5 right here, right now, right below!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Hugo Ballot 2019, Part Three: Related Work, Dramatic Presentations, and More

Some Hugo Award statues of various years

At last I have arrived at Part Three of my Hugo ballot for 2019!  (Check out Part One and Part Two to see how I voted for novel, novella, novelette, and short story).  In this part I'll discuss categories including Best Related Work, Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form), Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), and some of the artist and fan categories.  There are just too many categories, and I lack the time or discernment to vote for all of them.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Hugo Ballot 2019, Part Two: Novelette and Short Story

My Hugo ballot continues!  (Check out Part One to learn more about the Hugo awards and to see how I voted for best novel and best novella).  In this post I'll cover the categories for novelette and short story.  In Part Three I'll get to other categories, like related work, dramatic presentation (long and short), and whatever else I can get to by July 31.  Seriously, how could one person possibly be educated enough to vote for all these categories?

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hugo Ballot 2019, Part One: Novel and Novella

Ballots for the 2019 Hugos are due in just a few days on July 31.  See here for the full list of finalists.  If you want to vote, too, check out how to do so here either as a supporting member from your armchair or as an attending member in Dublin, but do it soon!

I've been voting for the Hugos since 2016 (ironically it was the obnoxious Sad and Rabid Puppies that motivated me to get involved back then, and thankfully they have since taken their yapping elsewhere). Every year I tell myself I'm going to start reading the finalists earlier.  This year I failed even more than usual and didn't really get started until mid-June.  I may end up voting in fewer categories.  Oh, well.