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

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  1. #16
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
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    Roberts has simply provided us This Yearís Model of the Annual Hugo Kvetch, and like the Hugo slate itself it can be judged on content, form and execution, both in itself and in context of other Annual Hugo Kvetches over the years.

    In that respect, itís fairly standard: A little exasperated, a little pedantic, a little condescending, and, thankfully, not too long. You can get in and out of it fairly quickly. If I were an Amazon reviewer, Iíd give it three out of five stars: Itís not everything it could be, but it hits all the usual bases with a degree of competence and leaves the impression that once the author really masters the form, heíll be able to bat out some real fireworks. So keep at it, Adam Roberts! Weíre all hoping for great things from next yearís Hugo kvetch.
    BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Am now going to go out and buy all of John Scalzi's books.

  2. #17
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nquixote View Post
    BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Am now going to go out and buy all of John Scalzi's books.
    The Android's Dream begins on a fart joke, have fun.

  3. #18
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    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I found one very mediocre, a barely readable book with some ok stuff (Scalzi) and one a boring political tract that got outdated fast (Doctorow)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...
    And my response to you calling me ignorant is the same as it would be to Mr. Roberts calling me ignorant -- I don't care what you say. However, Mr. Roberts is not specifically calling me ignorant, as I did not vote for the Hugo nominations. He's calling Hugo voters who read the books ignorant.

    The five books on the list don't sound immediately interesting to me, which is a subjective opinion. I explained why this was the case. I definitely intend to read Anathem, The Graveyard Book, and Little Brother, and may read the others, in which case, my interest in them may increase. If you have a problem with this, again I don't care.

    I have read nearly everything Neil Gaiman has done in fiction, and a good chunk of his Sandman comics besides. I have read John Scalzi's Old Man's War, which starts the series that Zoe's Tale is part of. I have read nearly all that Stephenson has written except his early thrillers and the Quatro series which I started but then stopped, but may get back to. Cryptonomicon is my favorite of his that I have read. I have read short fiction and excerpts by Mr. Stross, who is on my reading list. I have not yet read Mr. Doctorow's fiction, though I've read some of his non-fiction and I've heard many good things about him. So I've read three out of the five authors, even if I have not yet read the books selected, and I am very aware of their reputations and impact on the field.

    As I am a fan of Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Gaiman, Mr. Roberts does indeed consider me ignorant by extension. As you are a fan of Mr. Stephenson who wants Anathem to win, Mr. Roberts considers you ignorant. I consider you both juvenile to be running around calling other readers ignorant. But as personal insults are against the rules of the forum, what say we get back to talking about the Hugo nominees? (And no, this is not me shaking my moderator stick; it's me pointing out that you insulting me will be a waste of your valuable time.)

  4. #19
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
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    I agree that the Hugo votes often seem motivated by factors other than how much the voters liked the books - specifically, people seem to sometimes vote for the author instead of the book. Would Speaker for the Dead have gotten a Hugo if people hadn't liked Ender's Game so much? Would every one of Charles Stross' books for the last umpteen years really have won a Hugo nomination if they had all been written under different pen names? I have my doubts.

    That said, Roberts is trying to turn sci-fi fandom into lit-crit, which I think is a ridiculous thing to do. There is no accounting for taste an no objective scale for quality. All Roberts is really saying is "I don't like what you fans like, so screw you." Which would be a lot funnier if he said it that way (hey, I enjoy dissing stuff I don't like!), instead of trying to appeal to pseudo-academic snobbishness.

  5. #20
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I think Speaker for the Dead would have gotten the nomination, yes, because I think Speaker for the Dead was a better book than Ender's Game, not that I think Ender's Game wasn't a great book. That the two books remain very popular and respected in the face of many fans' discomfort with Card's personal views (including me,) is something of a testament to how the two novels resonated.

    I don't think an author always gets nominated just because they really liked the last book. There usually has to be something about the book that attracts people -- the subject matter, the style, the character voice, the plot, etc. Once they get a first nomination for some category, authors are more likely to get nominated again, but it doesn't happen for all of them, and it doesn't happen consistently for every book. The tendency to write series, in fact, often means an author doesn't get another shot at the novel nomination until he or she starts a new series. But sometimes they'll get nominated for more than one novel in a series. So again, not consistent.

  6. #21
    T. Ansel Knemeyer Ansel_Knemeyer's Avatar
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    Voted - Did my part.

    Just wanted to say I voted and did my part.

    Ansel Knemeyer
    Last edited by Hobbit; August 6th, 2009 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Link Removed. It's not what we do here. :) Hobbit

  7. #22
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Good for you, Ansel. Me too.

    To be honest, the hoo-ha created by Adam's post is one of the usual we get every year whenever the Hugos or the Nebulas are announced.

    If it's point was to get people talking, then it's done its job.

    I don't think this year's choices are particularly strong myself, and there are others that don't seem to be there, but ultimately that's the fun of the hugos or indeed any of the Awards.

    Be interesting to see what appears. I'd quite like Anathem to win from that list, though I can see why it could be seen as boring! Seems to be borne out by our poll results too.

    Mark
    Mark

  8. #23
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    OK: So it's 2am here in the Uk and I'm watching the results live as they come through Twitter. Cheese and crackers and a drinkie.... I'll stay up as long as I can.

    So far:

    The Campbell Award goes to David Anthony Durham (Pleased with that result, I think.)

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Robots and Aliens, we now present the 2009 Hugo Awards.....

    Best Fan Writer goes to Cheryl Morgan (and that one.)

    Best Fan Artist goes to Frank Wu. (Meh from me on that one. OK, but...)

    Best Fanzine goes to Electric Velocipede (Ditto.)

    Best Semiprozine goes to Weird Tales. (Pleased with that one.)

    More as they happen, bad typing permitting!

    Nark / Mark
    Mark

  9. #24
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    And more.....

    Thought Locus would get the SemiProzine award, but I am pleased for Weird Tales...

    Best Related Book goes to Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, John Scalzi. (Not too much of a surprise that one, I think.)

    Big long pause for movie clips...

    Dramatic Presentation: Long Form goes to Wall-E (A lot will be pleased with that. Disappointed for Dark Knight myself.)

    Another big long pause...

    Dramatic Presentation: Short Form goes to Dr Horrible's Singalong Blog, Joss Whedon (not a surprise that one: I'm pleased. )

    Best Editor: Long Form goes to David G Hartwell (Fairly pleased with that one, not too surprised, though I think Team SFFWorld would've quite liked Lou Anders in with a shout.)

    ...Evidently David has outdone himself with the jacket...

    Best Editor: Short Form goes to Ellen Datlow. (No great surprise there, I think.)

    Best Graphic Story, presented by Neil Gaiman, goes to Girl Genius, Kaja and Phil Foglio.

    Best Professional Artist goes to Donato Giancola (Good: unusually, that's the one I voted for!)

    Best Short Story goes to "Exhalation", Ted Chiang (don't think that's a surprise either: Ted's usually there when short story awards are around, and everyone I spoke to thought this one would be 'the one' in this category.)

    Best Novelette goes to "Shoggoths in Bloom", Elizabeth Bear.

    Two to go, I think.....

    Best Novella goes to "The Erdmann Nexus", Nancy Kress (No great surprise...) and.....

    And finally, Best Novel goes to The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (Not a great surprise... seemed to be winning elsewhere too, and Neil was a Guest of Honour at the Awards (even presented one earlier in the list there.) Evidently that can sway voting sometimes... I thought Anathem myself.

    Not a bad selection: I got a couple right. Don’t think there were any major surprises other than the Weird tales and the Dark Knight result. Most of the winners were fairly predictable.

    Best of the year? Representative of the field? Deserved winners?

    Guess that’s where we start the usual debate….

    Right: bedtime.

    Congratulations to all the winners and commiserations to all the losers who will now all be whooping it up in Montreal….

    Mark
    Last edited by Hobbit; August 9th, 2009 at 08:48 PM.
    Mark

  10. #25
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Here's an interesting little quote from Neil Gaiman on his blog this morning:

    I thought the Best Novel award would and should go to Neal Stephenson's Anathem (and still think that it might have done if that book had actually been included in the Hugo Voters Reading Packet that John Scalzi organised, where every Hugo voter was able to read all the Hugo nominated stories etc, thus, at least in theory, giving a much more educated voting base, who would vote on the basis of things they had read, rather than on name recognition or without having read things that were published in out-of-the-way places).
    (My emboldenment.)

    Interesting point though. And typical self-effacing Neil, too.

    Mark
    Mark

  11. #26
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    I'm glad Wall-E won. The Dark Knight is a good movie but hideously overlong and overrated.

    Gaiman winning the book was cool. I'd have been happy with him or Stephenson, just as long as Doctorow didn't win. Little Brother is a readable and instantly forgettable popcorn book but not 1984 for the post-9/11 world, which was the vibe I was picking up from some places.

    Good on Doctor Horrible as well. Doctor Who has won four years in a row, it didn't need another award. That said, it's a shame that Lost didn't get one for its best-ever episode, or BSG for one of its best (although BSG has one Hugo already, so perhaps doesn't need any more).

    Quote Originally Posted by nquixote View Post
    I agree that the Hugo votes often seem motivated by factors other than how much the voters liked the books - specifically, people seem to sometimes vote for the author instead of the book. Would Speaker for the Dead have gotten a Hugo if people hadn't liked Ender's Game so much?
    I think the questin is would Speaker for the Dead won had not people been voting madly for it to stop Elron Hubbard winning with a Scientology bloc-vote, which would have destroyed the award's credibility for all time.

  12. #27
    I thought I'd throw out a word of agreement with KatG on the topic of Speaker For the Dead. I too thought Speaker For the Dead was a better book.

    Can't we all just agree that we will vote for what we think is the best and most deserving book, and agree to disagree about everything else? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  13. #28
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Can't we all just agree that we will vote for what we think is the best and most deserving book, and agree to disagree about everything else? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
    Well, as long as it's done civilly, the point of a discussion forum such as ours is to.... discuss.

    As everyone's opinion varies (as I'm sure some of mine in my Awards ramble will not be the same as other people's!) that's what makes it fun.

    Sadly there are occasions when people have voted not because of the merits of a particular book/film/magazine etc but because of an author's reputation, the fact that the person voting felt they were due for an award regardless of the rest or just that they know the author.

    As Neil Gaiman says, it can be just based on
    on name recognition or without having read things that were published in out-of-the-way places
    . People vote for all sorts of strange reasons, not always the reasons they should for, nor the most honourable of motives.

    That's not just the Hugos by the way, that's any Award. Oscars, Nebulas, you name it.


    So let the discussion continue!

    Mark
    Mark

  14. #29
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised at Neil winning. In fact the only book I would have been surprised to see win was Saturn's Children. Although I enjoyed it, it was not up to snuff with the other three I've read.

    The Graveyard Book has been the "it" book for a while now, so this isn't surprising and lots and lots of people like and love Mr. Gaiman.

  15. #30
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I think the questin is would Speaker for the Dead won had not people been voting madly for it to stop Elron Hubbard winning with a Scientology bloc-vote, which would have destroyed the award's credibility for all time.
    Well that's an interesting point, didn't know that. Special circumstances can make a difference perhaps. And so maybe Gaiman being Guest of Honor at WorldCon -- which at all accounts he performed pretty well -- did effect the voting, maybe not. I was very surprised that Anathem didn't win, because it was the most talked about book and had the biggest impact on the field overall. But it may be that there were quite a few people who really didn't like Anathem or Stephenson's mammoth style these days. I think Gaiman, Scalzi and Doctorow were actually hurt by being nominated for YA books and the increasing whining over YA books having anything to do with adult stories, as well as many fans not reading YA books, and I think Stross' book being satiric pulp homage hurt its chances too.

    I'm kind of torn over Durham winning the Campbell also. He's not exactly a new writer, having had a very successful career as a historical fiction writer. While he is at all accounts an excellent writer, Acacia sold well enough that it didn't need the bump. I've heard a lot of praise for Felix Gilman and Tony Pi.

    I don't agree with Roberts that the Hugos should be solely about weird experimentation as decided by him. But I do think its great when the Hugos -- the fans -- promote new talent. So as much as I love Nancy Kress and feel she should be a much bigger bestseller than she is, etc., it would be nice to see a newer name win. But that's just my personal preference, and I can't really argue against giving a Hugo to Nancy Kress or Ted Chiang, etc.

    Again, my personal preferences, I don't see fiction as a blood sport. So what I really liked about this year's Hugos is how much respect was shown among the nominees for each other -- Scalzi making that big Hugo packet of everybody he could manage, Gaiman saying it should have gone to Stephenson. Scalzi pulled himself out of the running for the fan writing award, and David Hartwell says he wants to give other people a turn to win his Hugo category, etc. That says to me that the field is very healthy and open to new ideas, rather than shouting them down.

    So once again, I think Roberts is completely wrong. Scratch that, I don't think Roberts is completely wrong in advocating books. I think his viewpoint about the field is wrong.
    Last edited by KatG; August 12th, 2009 at 10:00 AM.

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