Reading the Hugos 2016: Novelettes

FUNNY STORY: so I thought I was eligible to vote for the Hugos already, but then I realised that I didn’t have a membership for the current WorldCon. So, a few weeks ago, I bought a supporting membership … for WorldCon 75. You know. Next year’s WorldCon.

But now it’s all sorted, I have a supporting membership to the right con, and more importantly, I have the Hugo packet.

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Hugos 2016: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted is one of those hugely popular books that just left me … cold.

It won the Nebula. Lots of my friends loved it. (A handful disliked it, or liked it with reservations, reasons for which I’ll discuss below.)

I found it hugely derivative, with an unpleasant hero and more rape attempts and general rapeyness than the book actually needed. (Content warning ahead.)

Continue reading “Hugos 2016: Uprooted by Naomi Novik”

Hugos 2016: Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Once again, I’m attempting to read as many Hugo nominated works as I can stomach, review them here, and vote according to merit. Luckily, I have a really good library.

When I was twelve or thirteen, I read 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I didn’t like it. The first two thirds were okay, but then we hit the hallucinatory journey through the monolith, and although I lacked the appropriate vocabulary at the time, I thought it was a load of wank. My reading that year was equal parts Asimov and McCaffrey, and I didn’t have the patience for hallucinogenic metaphysical trips. (Spoilers: I still don’t.)

On the other hand, I adored 2010: Odyssey Two and 2067: Odyssey Three. I read my dad’s copies until they fell apart — there was something reassuring about them, with their spaceships full of multicultural, variously-degrees-of-stereotyped civilians and military officers. They were just simple enough for a young teen to understand, with occasional flashes of complexity that made me feel like I was reading proper literature. I even rented the 2010 film adaptation on VHS (it was my introduction to Helen Mirren, who played the commander of a Soviet space ship).

Which brings us to Seveneves.

(Spooooooilers ahead!)

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Liz liveblogs Ancillary Mercy

The problem with a series: you catch up, and you’re all up to date — and by the time you get around to reading the next book, you’ve forgotten everything.

In fairness to Leckie, it’s taken me a while to get to Ancillary Mercy, because I haven’t been in the mood for long infodumps about how colonialism is bad. But in the process of resting my broken foot, I’ve absolutely burned through my to-read pile, and, well, here we are.

I started to bombard Stephanie with reaction emails, but then I figured, what the hell, I’ve been slacking off on blogging since I broke my foot, let’s make it into a post.

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Vote [1] No Award

We’re still in awards season, guys!  Hey, guess who is nominated for the Best New Talent Ditmar? Oh, just the ginger half of No Award!

It’s a tremendous honour just to be nominated, but to take it that next step further, members (including supporting members) of the 2016 Natcon can vote for Liz here. (Digression from Stephanie: AND THEY SHOULD, so Liz can have the tremendous honour of winning it and being there to accept her award. Don’t you want to make Liz’s homecoming sweet and delicious and statuesque? Do it for Liz on International Women’s Day.)

And while you’re there, you can also vote for “Sara Kingdom Dies at the End” by Tansy Rayner Roberts in Companion Piece: Women celebrate the humans, aliens and tin dogs of Doctor Who.  Not to mention a lot of other excellent people and works.

THEN there’s Hugo nominations to take care of!  We humbly suggest you should include in your nominations:

  • For Best Related Work: Companion Piece: Women celebrate the humans, aliens and tin dogs of Doctor Who, edited by L M Myles and Liz Barr (Mad Norwegian Press)
  • For Best Novelette: “The Dan Dan Mien of the Apocalypse” by Stephanie Lai, Review of Australian Fiction

NOT AN AWARD: You can buy Cranky Ladies of History, featuring stories by both Liz and Steph, for discount today, International Women’s Day. Celebrate Ladies by giving them your votes and your money.