I’ve just submitted my Hugo Ballot. Here’s my votes, and why. I’ve omitted categories I didn’t vote in. For those unfamiliar – it’s a preference ballot, meaning you rank your choices and if your first pick doesn’t win your vote goes to your second pick instead, and so forth.
1. Redshirts – Well written, exciting plot, believable characters, and contains quite a bit of depth as well! It champions the 2013 ethos of awesomeness and is a good book in its own right. This would have deserved a Hugo nomination even in a General Election, rather than this more-focused No Angst year. The best choice for Hugo this year.
2. Blackout – Poor plotting, but the writing itself isn’t bad, and it exemplifies the ethos of awesomeness more than any other book in the list. I don’t think it’d be worthy of an award in normal circumstances, but it gets huge bonus points for doing this year’s theme so well, and that earns it an acceptable second place.
3. 2013 – Good writing, and the main character certainly pursues awesomeness in all its forms, but it’s a very low-energy book that failed to catch my attention. I’ve already forgotten too much of it to make me care if it wins anything.
4. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance – Strong writing, and certainly sticks to the “life is great, stop whining” theme, but nothing of note happened in the whole book, and the central section should have been excised. Too much wit, not enough substance.
No Award – Throne of the Crescent Moon – This book is a giant turd, it shouldn’t ever win any award, except maybe the Award for The Biggest Pile of Turd That Isn’t Save the Pearls.
1. Fade to White
2. The Boy Who Cast No Shadow
3. In Sea-Salt Tears
I’m voting No Award over The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi and Rat-Catcher. Neither of these are bad! I found them both ok, if not stellar. However they were not available online. I know that isn’t the author’s fault, but it makes me grumpy enough that I won’t vote for them. If either one was amazing I would’ve said “Screw this, I’m voting for it anyway, it was bad-ass!” But mediocrity isn’t enough to overcome my annoyance at the inaccessibility.
Best Short Story
2. Mono no Aware
3. Mantis Wives
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
1. Game of Thrones, “Blackwater” – Because GoT is great, and I’ve never really seen the appeal of Dr Who.
Best Pro Artist
1. Chris McGrath – because look at those backgrounds! Too many artists neglect the background. In his art it’s as important and intricate as the subjects in the foreground. Really cool!
I thought all fiction, including The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi and Rat-Catcher were included in the hugo packet made available to all eligible voters?
They are, which is why I was able to read them at all. And I’m most grateful to the WSFS for making that happen, I wouldn’t be participating at all otherwise. But a majority of our book club aren’t voters, so they are only able to read the works that are online. Again, not the author’s fault, but I count it as a strike.