July 4th, 2016
|02:13 am - My Hugo Award Votes|
I'm voting for the Hugo awards for SF&F again, and once again right wing creeps ran several slates, which got lots of things on the ballot. Of course, this time because everything they voted for got no award, racist misogynist Vox Day decided to put works that people possessing taste and humanity might like on his slate just to mess things up even more and encourage people voting No Award over works that were actually good. So, once again my policy was to ignore any work by anyone who supported either slate (and to assume that anyone who published in Vox Day's small and dismal press of evil supported him) and to otherwise vote for the best works. Here's what I decided:
The choices were:
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I voted for Uprooted, followed by Ancillary Mercy, in part by process of elimination. I consider Neal Stephenson to be a talentless hack, and Seveneves is even worse than most of his works that I've attempted to read, The Cinder Spires is sort of fun but really mediocre, and the Fifth Season was clearly well done, but was also sufficiently grim as to be unreadable my me. Also, I refuse to vote for any work that is that horrifically grim.
The remaining two novels are both good and I enjoyed them quite a bit, but I don't think either one is a great novel. I thought Uprooted was (very) slightly better. I also thought there were a number of novels that were far better that came out in 2015, with Elizabeth Bear's Karen Memory and Graydon Saunders' A Succession of Bad Days being the most obvious (to me at least) candidates, and I'd also have liked to see Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities and Andrea K. Host's The Pyramids of London on this list.
This was a very different category from the first. Everything here is good, with one exception which was amazing
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
The Builders by Daniel Polansky
Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson
Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds
Binti was by far the best work of a selection of quite good works, and was notably better than any of the others, which in this case was pretty impressive. I put Slow Bullets next, followed by Penric's Demon, but both were about equally good. Perfect State and The Builders were both well worth reading, but not quite as good.
A relatively easy category, because 2 of the entries were from Vox Day's press-of-evil, leaving:
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander
“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu
“Obits” by Stephen King
Obits was the sort of horror King mostly writes well, but which I also quite dislike, and I wasn't impressed by it at all. The other two were good, but neither was great. I liked Folding Beijing slightly more, but both are worth reading.
Best Short Story
A very easy category, two more works associated with Vox Day, that I didn't read.
“Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon
“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer
Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle
I assume Asymmetrical Warfare was by someone that Vox Day really likes, because it was an impressively dreadful bit of very short fiction that reminded me of something I hack writer in the 1960s might have written as a failed attempt to duplicate one of Arthur Clarke's weaker short shorts. Despite being a page long, it's entirely not worth reading.
Cat Picture's Please was fun and pretty good, if not great, and Space Raptor Butt Invasion was somewhat surreal SF porn, just like it says on the tin, and was also worth reading. I voted for Cat Picture's Please, but rather hope Space Raptor Butt Invasion wins, both because of the utter surreality of that story winning and also the fact that Zoe Quinn would be picking up the award, since Chuck Tingle wishes to remain anonymous and selected her to pick it up for him.
Best Related Work
All puppies all the time, so No Award wins here.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Age of Ultron was terrible, and got no sort of vote from me. The rest were all well worth watching. Ex Machina was by far the best film of the bunch, followed not too distantly by The Martian (which greatly benefited from Ridley Scott being the director)
The Mad Max & Star Wars films were both fun and greatly improved on the films that came before them, but also more fun than good. From my PoV, choosing one over the other was a coin flip.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent”
Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile”
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2
Supernatural: “Just My Imagination”
First off, the only thing that was more than mediocre of these five was Jessica Jones, which was utterly and amazingly brilliant. There's nothing remotely as good among the rest of this list.
I actually managed to watch all of this season of Doctor Who (unlike last season, where the massive sexism simply got too much for me), and while as a whole I didn't think the season was all that good, it was fun, but Heaven Sent was both a good choice for an award because it was an entirely stand-alone episode and a terrible choice, because the only character was the Doctor, and it was a typically self-indulgent Doctor focused episode that had a few points of interest, but was mostly forgettable where it wasn't annoying. I used to like Doctor Who, but it's clear to me that both Moffat and Capaldi need to be replaced.
Amazingly, the list manages to go a bit downhill from here. Supernatural was watchable, but no better than the few other episodes I've watched. I actually liked the episode of Grimm that was up for a Hugo last year, but not this time. It both made no sense w/o presumably watching other episodes or reading lots of wiki entries that I had no interest in and it was an ultra-hackneyed Jack the Ripper episode. I'm sure that puppies loved that aspect of it. Also, despite loving Steven Universe (which definitely should have been on this list) My Little Pony isn't for me.
I used to like Doctor Who, but it's clear to me that both Moffat and Capaldi need to be replaced.
Well, you've got your wish for Moffat (and I don't disagree, though I'm not sure how I feel about Chris Chibnall in that chair either), but I still rather like Peter Capaldi.