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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Hugo Awards Nominees 2014

    Now released: http://www.sffworld.com/2014/04/news...nominees-2014/

    So the discussion starts here - Any thoughts?

    Must admit, the nomination of The Wheel of Time for the whole series is an interesting development, although they did something similar with Blackout/All Clear and Connie Willis the other year. Didn't do it for, say, Harry Potter, though...

    Pleased that Dr Who's Adventure in Time and Space gets a nod. Still think it was better than the Moffatt efforts.

    M.
    Mark

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Now released: http://www.sffworld.com/2014/04/news...nominees-2014/
    Must admit, the nomination of The Wheel of Time for the whole series is an interesting development, although they did something similar with Blackout/All Clear and Connie Willis the other year. Didn't do it for, say, Harry Potter, though...
    And Warbound by Larry Correia is the third of a trilogy? So the first two were not worthy but the entire Wheel of Time series is?
    I have only read the first 4 of the Wheel of Time in part because I have been scared off by descriptions of the middle books.

  3. #3
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Harry Potter was ineligible because Goblet of Fire was nominated - and won - in 2001. Similarly, A Song of Ice and Fire will be ineligible because Books 3-5 were all individually nominated.

    The TV and film lists were, for once, decent (even the anticipated Doctor Who domination is more justified than normal; only Name of the Doctor really doesn't deserve to be on there) and the fan writer/'fanzine' categories were a real breath of fresh air.

    The fiction lists were far more WTF than normal. Aside possibly from the Stross (not yet read), Wheel of Time is actually the best thing on the Best Novel list. However, I think the 'controversy' is a bit hypocritical: bloc-voting is a problem the Hugos face every year and is responsible for popular writers like Scalzi and Willis winning for really subpar works. When the nutjob end of fandom takes advantage of that to get their works nominated as well, it's difficult to complain about if you previously had no issue with how other winners were chosen. It's also a problem that the Hugos have faced before and overcome: most famously in 1987 when Elron Hubbard was nominated and SF fandom united behind, er, Orson Scott Card to deny Hubb the award; SF fandom's equivalent of siding with Stalin to defeat Hitler.

    However, the combined effect of "Who the hell are half these people?" effect, the nutjob controversy and Rossgate has slightly tarnished what was looking like being one of the more intersting Worldcons for years (and possibly the biggest ever). Interesting to see how the event is going to go down.

    Hobbit, are you going?

  4. #4
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I see that the nominations have already caused some controversy with Vox Day - http://bibliodaze.com/2014/04/vox-da...d-just-say-no/

    I am rather thinking that such a setup means that Wheel of Time is a shoo-in, and therefore the others don't stand much of a chance. Similarly IMO Brandon next year for Words of Radiance.

    However, we do have the all important Brit-factor this year, whereby local factors play a part (or at least they seemed to in 2005.) Which can randomise things a little. Looking at that list, Neptune's Brood and Ancilliary Justice are the only two 'proper' standalones, I think.

    Hobbit, are you going?
    All things being well - yes! So I have a vote! Am already booked in as a member,though yet to sort out accommodation and you know, things like transport, food, money. But, despite all the weird things going on so far this year, I did enjoy it in Glasgow in 2005.

    M.
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  5. #5
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    And here's Thomas Wagner's view on it. As ever, Thomas makes sense to me, most of the time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4o6z...ature=youtu.be

    M.
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  6. #6
    Oh, boy. I'm sorry, but it's my honest opinion: these awards are a joke. I say I'm sorry because in my childhood and teens I really respected and even loved the Hugo awards. I enjoyed the anthologies edited by Asimov and any novel getting the Hugo I would regard as strongly recommended.

    Nowadays... Well, it's probably an unavoidable consequence of the diversification of the genre. There are far too many good novels being published for anyone to have a reasonably good picture of the genre. Now it goes more than ever by familiarity, sympathies and online presence. It just no longer means anything to me. It's not that all the nominees are bad, it's just that the list seems completely random.

    Oh, well, congratulations to all the nominees.

    Having said that, I don't know what to think about the wheel of time nomination. What's next, the Dragonlance Chronicles? I love epic fantasy, but I tried the first book of WOT and had to leave it as unreadable. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it? Perhaps I should give it another try.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    And here's Thomas Wagner's view on it. As ever, Thomas makes sense to me, most of the time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4o6z...ature=youtu.be
    He made sense to me until he got to the Ross debacle. I thought the way Ross and his family were treated was shameful and unfair, and reflects very badly on the fan community, after he generously accepted Gaiman's invitation and agreed to host the ceremony for free because he loves the genre, even though he has a high profile and usually earns a high fee for that kind of things. One person, who by the way is a nominee for best novel, even said that she did not feel safe attending the Hugo ceremony with Ross as master of ceremonies, which is just shockingly absurd. It's no wonder he immediately withdrew. I wouldn't want to have anything to do with this, either.

  8. #8
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    You are absolutely entitled to your opinion, farseer: don't think you're saying anything that others haven't said already. I was also one who was brought up with the words 'Hugo Winner' meaning something - I did try to read all the Winners once.

    And I did say Thomas I agreed with 'most of the time.' My impression from this video clip was that Jonathan bowed out because of the furore, as you've said. Didn't seem to blame anyone in particular, from what I saw. The point was that the Vox Day issue was the second controversy in the same number of months.

    M.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    I did try to read all the Winners once.
    I remember a series of blog posts, years ago, from someone who was reading (in chronological order) all the Hugo winners (novels), and posting complete reviews about each of them. It was an interesting read, but I can't find it anymore.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    the Vox Day issue was the second controversy in the same number of months.
    That Vox Day seems a freak, but the lesson here is that any writer with a motivated fan base (the fan base does not need to be large, just motivated) can get their shopping list nominated for a Hugo award. And this doesn't apply just to Vox Day: The same goes for anyone else, including the regulars on the ballot. This doesn't help improve my opinion of the Hugos.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    My impression from this video clip was that Jonathan bowed out because of the furore, as you've said. Didn't seem to blame anyone in particular, from what I saw.
    I think he -quite sensibly- did not see any need to put up with the abuse.

  10. #10
    Registered User odo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farseer2 View Post
    I remember a series of blog posts, years ago, from someone who was reading (in chronological order) all the Hugo winners (novels), and posting complete reviews about each of them. It was an interesting read, but I can't find it anymore.
    Jo Walton did something on that line, didn't she? http://www.tor.com/features/series/revisiting-the-hugos

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by odo View Post
    Jo Walton did something on that line, didn't she? http://www.tor.com/features/series/revisiting-the-hugos
    Yes, but I was referring to an older series of reviews, years before the Tor.com portal started operating as it is now. In the series I was talking about, the reviewer was reading (in some cases rereading) all the Hugo-winning novels (only the novels), in chronological order, and writing a review about each one. The review was a standard, no-spoilers review but it ended with a separate list of spoiler-filled comments about the plot, so that you could avoid them if you did not want spoilers.

    I guess that if The Wheel of Time series gets the Hugo this year it will take much longer to do a project like that!

    Jo Walton's series of articles about the Hugos is excellent and, as always, reading her articles is a treat, because of her encyclopedic knowledge and her love of the genre. The readers' comments are also interesting. Her approach is different, though. She is not rereading the winners, but going through the winners and nominees, giving a brief opinion, talking about other important works published that year and judging whether the Hugos did a good job of showcasing the best of that year. It's a pity she stopped at the end of the 20th century. She says, rightly, that it's not possible to have a proper historical perspective on anything closer than that. Besides (although this is my opinion, not something she said), then genre is becoming more and more fragmented, and it gets more difficult each year to give a proper overview.
    Last edited by farseer2; April 21st, 2014 at 06:30 AM.

  12. #12
    Registered User Seli's Avatar
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    The ballot is quite interesting, and I am very happy with the vast majority of nominees. Which is all I can ask for.

    I do hope any backlash against Wheel of Time being nominated ebbs away quickly, because it is nice to keep the ability to reward serialized narratives, even if they are as long as that one.

    And it is nice to see a Dutch nominee again, even if it is the same as last year. It might mean people discussing will get his name right this time around. I am a bit nervous about the most visible market (tor.com) sweeping so much of the shorter fiction categories, but hope that is partly due to their quality and will even out in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by farseer2 View Post
    ...
    That Vox Day seems a freak, but the lesson here is that any writer with a motivated fan base (the fan base does not need to be large, just motivated) can get their shopping list nominated for a Hugo award. And this doesn't apply just to Vox Day: The same goes for anyone else, including the regulars on the ballot. This doesn't help improve my opinion of the Hugos.
    ...
    True, but that has been a feature of the Hugo since the beginning. As well as people getting nominated based on reputation more than merit for that particular work. And huge slates of genre being overlooked.
    For me it is just a factor to keep in mind.

    And while I think the non-fiction categories are particularly interesting this year, it is important to note that there has been lots of reminders that certain people were eligible. That I happen to like those people and would be happy to see them win does not mean that this mechanism keeps other interesting candidates off the list (this year). All the drawbacks and advantages of crows-sourcing are present in the ballot creation. But the iterative process and the involvement of communities trying to right what they deem went wrong in previous years is a redeeming factor (in my eyes).

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Seli View Post
    I do hope any backlash against Wheel of Time being nominated ebbs away quickly, because it is nice to keep the ability to reward serialized narratives, even if they are as long as that one.
    I don't know. When I think about the WOT, I have in my mind a work of the 90s, not of 2013. The provision about serialized work was originally meant to allow novels that had originally been serialized in magazines (as was common in the Golden Age of SF) to be nominated. It was not meant to allow the almost complete lifetime opus of an author (with additions by other author) to win the Hugo for Best Novel. I mean, if someone writes another Foundation book, like Benford, Bear and Brin did some years ago, will the Foundation series be nominated for best novel? The whole thing doesn't make sense to me.

    I'm aware, by the way, that the Foundation series received a "Best All-Time Series" special Hugo, but I don't think that honorific award disqualifies it, although who knows. Editing: I had forgotten that Foundation's Edge won the Hugo, so the series is not elegible, but you get the point.

    And let's not talk about old works that are now in the public domain and many people are writing continuations. Take the Sherlock Holmes series, for example: people are mixing him with fantasy elements all the time, so maybe 'Conan Doyle and many others' will be winning the Hugo one of these days. Or H. G. Wells. Or the Pride and Prejudice series, ending with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I mean, doesn't Jane Austen deserve a Hugo? She is part of the Western canon, people!

    This is just bizarre.


    Quote Originally Posted by Seli View Post
    True, but that has been a feature of the Hugo since the beginning. As well as people getting nominated based on reputation more than merit for that particular work. And huge slates of genre being overlooked.
    For me it is just a factor to keep in mind.
    True, people getting nominated (and winning) on reputation has always been an issue. At least those were famous authors, normally. There's always been campaigning, too (Robert J. Sawyer, for example, was excellent at self-promotion). Lately it's worse, though, because people are getting more polarized and organized online and just about anything and anyone can get a nomination. It seems to me that the awards are getting more ideological. Someday we will see the whole best novel nominees list coped by an organized bunch of authors no one knows about. I mean, Larry Correia has got most of the candidates he supported on the ballot with his Sad Puppies campaign. If he has that convening power, what is stopping him (or someone else) from getting a list of five novels of his choice nominated?

    The WOT is also on the ballot because of an online campaign, by the way, otherwise voters would not even have known it was eligible.
    Last edited by farseer2; April 21st, 2014 at 07:30 AM.

  14. #14
    Time for my favorite part of the Hugo Nominations! The Short Story nominees. The nice thing about these is you can read them all in a few minutes and compare them while they are fresh in your mind. The great news is that this year all four nominees are available online:

    “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”, Rachel Swirsky (Apex Magazine, Mar-2013)
    http://www.apex-magazine.com/if-you-...osaur-my-love/

    “The Ink Readers of Doi Saket”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor.com, 04-2013)
    http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/04/t...s-of-doi-saket

    “Selkie Stories Are for Losers”, Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons, Jan-2013)
    http://www.strangehorizons.com/2013/...selkie-f.shtml

    “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere”, John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013)
    http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/02/t...u-from-nowhere

    Have at it and post opinions here!

  15. #15
    Registered User Seli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farseer2 View Post
    I don't know. When I think about the WOT, I have in my mind a work of the 90s, not of 2013. The provision about serialized work was originally meant to allow novels that had originally been serialized in magazines (as was common in the Golden Age of SF) to be nominated. It was not meant to allow the almost complete lifetime opus of an author (with additions by other author) to win the Hugo for Best Novel. I mean, if someone writes another Foundation book, like Benford, Bear and Brin did some years ago, will the Foundation series be nominated for best novel? The whole thing doesn't make sense to me.
    ...
    It is probably highly subjective. In some ways the whole Wheel of Time series is more of a single story than the original Foundation novel. In my opinion there is some difference between a single arc story and a series of stories in the same universe,although there is no clear border.

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