2014 Hugo Goal Update

It’s been a very long time since I posted reading updates. I have been reading but haven’t had the time to post any updates. I’ve pretty much abandoned my children’s book goal for the moment but I do plan to get back to it eventually. Right now I’m focused on the Hugos and I’ve made pretty decent progress.

Jaeger will probably want to skip this post since he hasn’t read most of the works I’m going to talk about (he procrastinated by reading Quicksilver1 allegedly as research for Scotland).

Novels
Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie – This was my nomination and I didn’t re-read it. However, it’s still my favorite of the books I read.

Neptune’s Brood, by Charles Stross – This was amusing but more Jaeger’s thing than mine. It’s based in the same universe as Saturn’s Children which I read several years ago2.

Parasite, by Mira Grant – This was a well written book with a subject that doesn’t really interest me. I don’t want the time I spent reading it back but it just didn’t click for me. This is definitely not a fault of the book but more about the type of stuff I personally want to read.

Warbound, by Larry Correia – I consider this the most frivolous book of the bunch. Since it’s the 3rd in the series I was planning to read the first two before the third. However, something about the first one was rubbing me the wrong way so I skipped almost immediately to the third book. I think reading a couple of chapters of the first book gave me enough info to enjoy the third book. And I did enjoy the book. It’s very Baen: rah-rah humans, we can beat anything. I don’t think it’s Hugo material but I’ve had that opinion about other books that have won in the past.

The only hugo nominated “novel” I haven’t read yet is the (ENTIRE) Wheel of Time series. I do not have that much time. My plan at the moment is to read all the other categories and then circle back to The Wheel of Time. At that point, I’m not sure if I’ll just start at the beginning and read till my time is up or selectively pick what others consider the “good bits.”

Best Novella
The Butcher of Khardov, by Dan Wells – I did not like this one. The writing is fine but plot itself is too violent and tragic for my tastes. I saw multiple reviews noting that the protogonist wasn’t a likable character. I actually didn’t have any problem with the character. I had a problem with the world he was in where he isn’t provided the help that he so obviously needs. It turns out that this novella is based on a game which perhaps explains why it had to turn out the way it did.

The Chaplain’s Legacy, by Brad Torgersen – This was my favorite. It has a nice mix of everything that makes me enjoy science fiction.

Equoid3, by Charles Stross – This is another one that is more Jaeger’s style than mine. I haven’t read any novels in the Laundry universe but the basic idea is pretty easy to pick up. I enjoyed the story even though it’s not my preferred setting.

Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente – I would consider this literary fantasy. It would easily fit into a college literature class’s required reading. Objectively, I have to say this is a really good story. However, I (fortunately) couldn’t relate to any of the women in the story which I think made it harder for me to enjoy.

Wakulla Springs 4, by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages – This was a good multi-generational story. However, I spent most of the story wondering why it was nominated for a Hugo. Finally, towards the end, I found the fantastical element. I would put this story in the “magical realism” category.

Best Novelette
Opera Vita Aeterna, by Vox Day – This one was a hard one for me to read due to the author, not the story 5. The story itself was fine. Parts were interesting and parts weren’t.

The Exchange Officers, by Brad Torgersen – This story didn’t do much for me which surprised me a bit considering how much I liked The Chaplain’s Legacy. I liked many of the ideas but perhaps the format was just too short for me to get into it.

The Lady Astronaut of Mars, by Mary Robinette Kowal – After reading the first two in this category I read this one and thought, “whew, something I can vote for.” It’s an excellent story and does a good job of discussing choices people have to make between family and careers.

The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling, by Ted Chiang – Another really good story. It talks about the social aspects of technology. Specifically, the written word and a future where everything we ever do could be recorded.

The Waiting Stars, by Aliette de Bodard – This was my favorite Novelette. I would love to read a novel-length story set in this universe. I see the author has a novella that appears in the same universe which I might get once I work through my reading backlog.

Categories I haven’t completely yet: The World of Time series (which seems big enough it should be its own category), Best Short Story, Best Graphic Story, Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, and the nominated authors for John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

I’m making progress . . .

  1. On the off chance you now have the burning desire to go out and read/buy this book you should be aware that there are a couple of different editions depending on whether you buy hardcover or paperback. What Jaeger read is the original hardcover Quicksilver which contains three books that were published individual as paperbacks. See Wikipedia for a better breakdown. I believe the main reason this was done was to mess up library collections. I had to write a special email to our cataloging department to explain the situation.
  2. You’ll note this is an example of dubious cover art. Charles Stross discusses his options on cover art here. He also mentions that some people are so appalled by the US cover art that they import the UK edition at great expense. If you are inclined this way, let me point out that the Book Depository has the UK edition available and does free shipping to the US.
  3. Currently, on June 10, 2014, this is free from Barnes and Noble and Amazon
  4. Currently, on June 10, 2014, this is free from Barnes and Noble and Amazon
  5. The author appears, at least on the internet, to be racist and misogynistic. Some quotes I see sound too weird to be true but then I go to the source and they haven’t been taken out of context.

5 thoughts on “2014 Hugo Goal Update

  1. einemuellerin

    I also broke off my reading of the first Grimnoir novel. 10 % in, I just couldn’t go on. Your post gives me hope that giving the author a second chance with the novel that’s actually nominated might be a good idea.

    Reply
  2. CiaraCat

    I’ve read a couple of other stories in the same universe as de Bodard’s “The Waiting Stars:” Last year’s nominees “Immersion” and “On A Red Station Drifting”. I enjoyed them both a lot. I loved “Immersion.”

    I also loved “The Waiting Stars.” So I went to her web page – WOW – she has written a lot of stories in this universe (Xuya). Many of them are free on her web page!

    After July 31, I know what I want to read! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply

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