Monday, August 11, 2014

Hugo Award Voting 2014

Have I mentioned that I love science fiction?  If I haven't, then that's extremely embarrassing, because I love it.  I decided last year to participate in the voting process for the Hugo awards (an award given to science fiction and fantasy where most categories deal with literature, but there are movies and a few other categories as well.)  I had so much fun last year that I decided to do it again this year.  It took a lot of reading to familiarize myself with all of the nominees, but it was totally worth it.

With the Hugo, you don't just vote for your favorite, you rank them in order.  There is some really fancy software that runs to tally the votes based on the rankings given.  I think it's a way better system than just voting for one.  I think the United States could learn from this system so that third party candidates wouldn't end up hurting the candidate they are most similar too.  But that's a totally different issue.

Here are my votes in each category.  Starting with the most important which is the novel category.

Edit:  Since they have now announced the winners, I went back and bolded the winners.  My votes still remain unchanged.

Best Novel
I really, really, really liked Parasite.  It's a zombie novel, it's a medical thriller, but mostly it's just a good sci-fi read.  It was the easy choice for first for me.

I have to admit that I didn't read any of The Wheel of Time.  I voted it last because I just didn't feel like it fit in this category.  They should have a series category that gives out an award once a decade or something, but it just doesn't make sense to have a fifteen book series in the novel category.

1 Parasite by Mira Grant
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia
Neptune's Brood by Charles Stross
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Best Novella

This one was between The Chaplain's Legacy and Equoid.  I liked them both so much.  The Chaplain's Legacy dealt with spirituality among aliens, with the balance between war and peace, and what it means to be civilized.  Equoid was funny and it had really cool monsters.  They're so different, yet I liked them both so much.  Ultimately, The Chaplain's Legacy won out for me.

The Chaplain's Legacy by Brad Torgersen (Analog, Jul-Aug 2013)
Equoid by Charles Stross (, 09-2013)
The Butcher of Khardov by Dan Wells (Privateer Press)
Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean Press)
Wakulla Springs by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages (, 10-2013)

Best Novelette

I liked all of the stories in this category, but The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling really stood out among the others.  It was a story about a cool new technology and how it disrupts society, but it was also a story that shows about the difference between facts and feelings, and that feelings are just as valid and true as facts, even if they distort our view of the facts.

The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling by Ted Chiang (Subterranean, Fall 2013)
The Waiting Stars by Aliette de Bodard (The Other Half of the Sky, Candlemark & Gleam)
The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal ( /, 09-2013)
The Exchange Officers by Brad Torgersen (Analog, Jan-Feb 2013)
Opera Vita Aeterna by Vox Day (The Last Witchking, Marcher Lord Hinterlands)

Best Short Story

Normally, for a short story, I would include the cover art of the magazine it was printed in.  But it's a story about the author's husband turning into a dinosaur, so it just made sense to include a picture of me being a dinosaur.

This story was so fantastic.  It was like my constant day dream as an 8 year old.  But, on top of being a story about the transformation of man to dinosaur, it actually turned out to be emotional and powerful in the end.  Soooo good!

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky (Apex Magazine, Mar-2013)
The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu (, 02-2013)
Selkie Stories Are for Losers by Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons, Jan-2013)
The Ink Readers of Doi Saket by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (, 04-2013)

Best Related Work

This book is super interesting.  It's all about writing, but it is filled with fun illustrations, interesting anecdotes and various other things to make it a very exciting look at the writing process.

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer, with Jeremy Zerfoss (Abrams Image)
Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary by Justin Landon & Jared Shurin (Jurassic London)
Writing Excuses Season 8 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Jordan Sanderson ()
We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative by Kameron Hurley (A Dribble of Ink)
Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It Edited by Sigrid Ellis & Michael Damian Thomas (Mad Norwegian Press)

Best Graphic Story

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not that into comics.  I considered not voting in this category, since it is the category that I'm least familiar with, and I have not read any of these works in their entirety.  However, The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who is super fun, and it gets my vote.

The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who written by Paul Cornell, illustrated by Jimmy Broxton (Doctor Who Special 2013, IDW)
Girl Genius, Volume 13: Agatha Heterodyne & The Sleeping City written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
Time by Randall Munroe (XKCD)
Saga, Volume 2 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
The Meathouse Man adapted from the story by George R.R. Martin and illustrated by Raya Golden (Jet City Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

I thoroughly enjoyed every entry in this category.  You know when I put an Iron Man movie in last place, that this was a solid category.  However, I absolutely loved Gravity.  My wife walked in while I was watching it and said, "This movie seems so boring."  But, in my mind there is nothing more terrifying than the idea of being lost in space, and Sandra Bullock did an excellent job of playing that terrifying role.

1 Gravity
2 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
3 Pacific Rim
4  Frozen
5  Iron Man 3

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
Episodes don't have cover art, so you get a picture of my wife and I coming out of the Tardis.

The Day of the Doctor was SUCH A GOOD EPISODE!  I wish I could vote it in all of the first 3 categories or something.  It is so far above the other contenders.  Unfortunately, the only way to really differentiate how far ahead it is would be to vote the others under no award, and that wouldn't be fair, because they are still worthy contenders.  Nevertheless, I really hope The Day of the Doctor wins.

1 Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor
2 Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor
3 The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot
4 An Adventure in Space and Time
5 Orphan Black: Variations under Domestication
6 Game of Thrones: The Rains of Castamere

Best Editor (Short Form)

This category is normally the "best magazine" category, because the editors are usually magazine editors.  Since Asimov's and Clarkesworld are 2 of my favorite magazines, you'd think one of them would be a shoe in to win.  But The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination is such a great collection that I couldn't not vote for John Joseph Adams in first place.

I've taken the liberty of putting a publication that I'm familiar with in parentheses so that you can see at least one thing that I judged them on.

1 John Joseph Adams (The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination)
2 Sheila Williams (Asimov's)
3 Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld)
4 Ellen Datlow (All the Snake Handlers I Know are Dead)
5 Jonathan Strahan (Edge of Infinity)

Best Editor (Long Form)
There are loads of books that Toni Weisskopf has edited that I have enjoyed.  I just happened to pick the one that was nominated for the Hugo this year to illustrate why I voted for her.  But I could have picked half a dozen others.  I went ahead and linked books that I was familiar with to Goodreads.  Unfortunately, the last 2 were people that I couldn't find a book I had read to judge them by, so I just judged them by my familiarity with the companies they work for.

1 Toni Weisskopf (Warbound by Larry Correia)
2 Ginjer Buchanan (Neptune's Brood by Charles Stross)
3 Lee Harris (The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu)
4 Liz Gorinsky (Tor)
5 Sheila Gilbert (DAW)


Best Professional Artist

I wish I was more familiar with the artists, but as with last year, I judged them completely by what was included in the voter's packet.  How can you not love a robot that looks like he's singing in the rain?

1 John Picacio
2 Julie Dillon
3 Daniel Dos Santos
4 Galen Dara
5 John Harris
6 Fiona Staples


Best Semiprozine

The semiprozine category is another category where I'm not super familiar with the nominees.  However, I did look over what was included in the voter packet and I enjoyed Interzone the most.

1 Interzone
2 Lightspeed Magazine
3 Strange Horizons
4 Apex Magazine
5 Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Best Fanzine
You'll notice that the two fanzines I put in the first 2 places are book review blogs.  What can I say?  I really like books.  The fact that I got to briefly meet the guy who runs Elitist Book Reviews at a convention last year might have just pushed that one over the top for me.

Elitist Book Reviews
The Book Smugglers
Journey Planet
A Dribble of Ink

Best Fan Artist

As with the professional artist above, I judged this one mainly from the voter's packet.  This picture is just too fun to not get my vote.

1 Brad W. Foster
2 Sarah Webb
3 Spring Schoenhuth
4 Steve Stiles
5 Mandie Manzano

The John W. Campbell Award

I didn't actually vote in this category.  I hadn't read enough of the nominees by the time voting closed, so I didn't cast a vote.  However, I have since made myself much more familiar with them, and this is how I would have voted, had I had the time to finish these works.  The Lives of Tao was just so much fun.  Don't you just want an alien inside your brain that teaches you the wisdom of the ancients as well as how to be a secret agent?

There aren't specific works nominated, since this is a category for best new author.  But I went ahead and showed you a work that I had read of theirs that I used to judge them by.

1  Wesley Chu (The Lives of Tao)
2  Ramez Naam (Nexus)
3  Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead)
4 Sofia Samatar (Selkie Stories Are For Losers)
5 Benjanun Sriduangkaew (The Bees Her Heart, The Hive Her Belly)

1 comment:

  1. We needed to watch a movie last night (I had lots of cutting and gluing for school stuff to do so I clearly needed something to watch while I was sitting there) so dad felt we should watch Pacific Rim at your recommendation. It was pretty good. Thanks for the help.


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