View Poll Results: Who do YOU think should win the Best Novel in the 2009 Hugo Awards?

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  1. #1
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    2009 Hugo Awards - Poll and Results Discussion

    Vote on YOUR choice for the 2009 Best Novel in the 2009 Hugo Awards!

  2. #2
    Registered User Colonel Worf's Avatar
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    The only one I've even heard of is Anathem. I think it's at the local library. I ought to read it.

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    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    The only one I've even heard of is Anathem. I think it's at the local library.
    Each copy is delivered by it's own lorry...

    It is an awesomely impressive achievement, not only in its concept but its size. Some might say complex, meandering and dull, but there are some who LOVE it.

    Mark
    Mark

  4. #4
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
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    Anathem is basically a history of Western philosophy of science, with a plot roughly glued on. I totally love it, but I imagine people who aren't uber-nerds will find it a bit slow.

  5. #5
    Registered User beniowa's Avatar
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    I'd probably vote for Anathem though I haven't read it yet. To be honest, I don't want to vote for any of these as none of the books I nominated even made final list.

  6. #6
    I`ve only read three, didn`t like two and the third doesn`t really FEEL like a Hugo....

  7. #7
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
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    Adam Roberts has a big rant in which he heavily disses the 09 Hugo novel shortlist - Anathem for being "boring," and the rest for not sufficiently challenging the form of the novel, or something like that.

    Apparently he expects SF fans to suddenly change from a bunch of science nerds into a bunch of lit-crit nerds. Seems to me he's setting himself up for disappointment...

  8. #8
    Registered User beniowa's Avatar
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    I don't think being science nerd is the problem here. Lately, there seems to be a backlash against fantasy in the Hugos. Take this year for instance. There were several very good fantasy novels published last year and yet not one made on the short list for the Hugo. Makes one wonder.

  9. #9
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Adam Roberts has been a reviewer/critic of SF for quite a long time, but his opinion is just that - an opinion. Quite a lot of people enjoyed the books on the ballot and many of the are not exactly new to the list either.

    The books on the list I read I enjoyed. I can't say the same for fiction by Roberts.

  10. #10
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    The books on the list I read I enjoyed. I can't say the same for fiction by Roberts.
    AWWWW SNAP!!!

  11. #11
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I'm not really enthused about any of them, actually. Scalzi's book is a re-telling from a different viewpoint of a novel he already did. Stross is a good writer, but a noir with sex and black humor doesn't get me enthused at this point. Gaiman's Graveyard Book was yet another musing on themes he's done a zillion times and sounds remarkably similar to Coraline and Stardust. Doctorow's Little Brother has had a big impact in the field, done well with the awards, but seems to be a standard dystopia screed. Stephenson's Anathem brought him back into the category market fold, to a degree, but it's a Socratic dialogue that is, yet again, another dystopia screed. It sounds like it just doesn't have the heft of Cryptonomicon, though it beats it in sheer weight of paper.

    So for me, it's a field of five good authors who weren't doing anything particularly stunning. My mind might change on reading them, but since I haven't had the chance to touch a one yet, my vote would be for whoever hasn't won a Hugo so far. Anybody know which it would be on that criteria?

  12. #12
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Stephenson's Anathem brought him back into the category market fold, to a degree, but it's a Socratic dialogue that is, yet again, another dystopia screed.
    Anathem is most definitely not a dystopia screed. The monastic life that scientists lead in Anathem is portrayed as being simple, pure, and in many ways superior to modern life.

    In fact (spoiler)...part of the plot of Anathem revolves around the idea that the world in the book is actually cosmically better than Earth itself.

  13. #13
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nquixote View Post
    Anathem is most definitely not a dystopia screed. The monastic life that scientists lead in Anathem is portrayed as being simple, pure, and in many ways superior to modern life.

    In fact (spoiler)...part of the plot of Anathem revolves around the idea that the world in the book is actually cosmically better than Earth itself.
    Oh why see now, this is why you don't trust reviewers. They never give me the facts correctly.

    Incidentally, while I'm saying I'm not that "enthused" about the shortlist -- which I freely admit is partly a condition of not yet having read any of the shortlist -- I do fully believe that all of the authors on the list are well worthy of being on it. Just thought I'd make that clear in case I get accused of being like Mr. Roberts.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    So for me, it's a field of five good authors who weren't doing anything particularly stunning. My mind might change on reading them, but since I haven't had the chance to touch a one yet, my vote would be for whoever hasn't won a Hugo so far. Anybody know which it would be on that criteria?
    Honestly this is just ignorance talking; Mr. Roberts has a point and at least he read (some if not all of) the works in cause but talking like this is to me very weird

    I read 4 of the books, or to be more precise read one 4-5 times (Anathem) and I found it excellent and quite original at least as far as sff goes - maybe if you read Penrose tome on the current frontiers of physics and some philosophy, it would be less original, but as sff novel goes it's maybe not for everyone but it is what makes sf great

    I finished one fast and I found it quite bad but I have come to expect such from the author's novels so i will avoid them from now on (Saturn)

    I fast browsed two of them and I found one very mediocre, a barely readable book with some ok stuff (Scalzi) and one a boring political tract that got outdated fast (Doctorow)

    The only one I have not read is Gaiman so while of course I would love Anathem to win and I find it like 1000 times superior to the other 3 which i think got on the ballot on author name, i cannot comment on Gaiman and how it stacks against it

    But talking like this out of ignorance does no one any service...

  15. #15
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Taking away the fact that John Scalzi has a book on the shortlist, he still (as usual) has some clear-headed things to say about Roberts's post.

    John Picacio takes Roberts to greater task, and rightfully so.

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