I’ve read and reviewed — or, in one case, at least interrogated a bit — all the five Hugo awards finalists in the Related Work category. Here are the links in case you want to take a look:
- Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini, ?/10
- “The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson, 5/10
- “The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland, 0.5/10
- SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day, 0/10
- “Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness, 0/10
I especially recommend the Vox Day piece. Despite the odious subject, I had sort of fun writing it, and exploring bizarre and alien ways to think about things is always a somewhat SFF-nal experience.
But yeah, there was a lot of toxic stuff there (60%, to be exact), and this category was hit especially bad by Vox Day’s/Theodore Beale’s slate-nominating campaign that was meant to destroy the Hugo awards. Well, the award is still here, and plans are underway to make sure it’s going to survive and become more resistant to gaming, so I’m not worried.
In fact, my optimistic prediction is that the Rabid Puppy contingent will stop trolling the Hugos now that they have done everything they could with the memberships purchased last year — they could nominate this year but cannot vote now and cannot nominate next year. If they want to keep going, they have to give more money to the social justice acronym smurfs who run Worldcons, and, even if they do it, the rule changes mean that they can’t do as much damage in the future.
However, let’s give them slow clap for managing to really mess up the ballot this year.
There are related works that deserve a bigger applause, of course. Many interesting things were left off the ballot, for example:
- Speculative Fiction 2014 by Renee Williams and Shaun Duke (eds) (Note: the ebook costs only $1, so why not buy it right now?)
- Letters to Tiptree by Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce (eds)
- Crosstalk: Interviews Conducted by David Langford by David Langford
- The Culture Series of Iain M. Banks: A Critical Introduction by Simone Caroti (Note: the link leads to a podcast worth listening.)
- Lois McMaster Bujold by Edward James, Frederik Pohl by Michael R. Page and Ray Bradbury by David Seed from the University of Illinois Press’s book series on science fiction authors
- A History of Epic Fantasy, a series of blog posts by Adam Whitehead (suggested by Mark)
- The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson, the book with the coolest cover of the bunch, isn’t it?
- As for the Puppy wars, the definitive things published last year were probably “A Detailed Explanation” by Matthew David Surridge and John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity Levels by Theo Pratt by Alexandra Erin, read by John Scalzi.
Any other good suggestions?
No matter what the trolls come up with, we can celebrate the good related work stuff by taking a look at it and having a good time.
And finally, the personal note I promised in the post title:
Anybody who is paying attention has probably noticed that I’m not going to review all (or even most) of the 85 Hugo (or Campbell) nominees this year. There’s two weeks left before the voting deadline and I’ve written about 5 of them — so, even though I have numerous superpowers, being able to produce 5.7 blog posts a day is regrettably not one of them.
I have a good reason for this sorry state of affairs, though. We had a new baby added to the family last month and the lovely little rodent has been stealing significant chunks of my spare time since then. So, blame him.
I’m not that late with my reading, though, so maybe I’ll be able cover one or two categories more, or at least a couple of interesting finalists. I was thinking of the Campbells, or possibly the Graphic Story, but we’ll see.