Visions of Paradise

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Award Season (part 2)

I have some philosophical problems with the Hugo Awards, but they still interest me nonetheless. My main problem is that people who attend the World SF Convention are not necessarily “readers” per se. Even some long-time sf fans I know make comments occasionally that they “rarely read sf any more.” Yet all these people are eligible to vote for the Hugo Awards, and while I assume that not all of them do, many times the results are so skewed towards “popular” books and name recognition as to make the awards meaningless.

That being said, I think that the Hugo fiction awards the past two years have shown little of those biases, and actually seemed to reflect the opinions of a fairly-well-read voting populace. Kind of reminds me of the good-old days of Hugo voting in the 60s and 70s before worldcons were inundated with media fans.

I also would like to congratulate Neil Gaiman for his very classy move of withdrawing Anasazi Boys from the Best Novel ballot since he has already won three Hugo Awards. I believe that Hugo Awards should be shared, so it would be nice if other people such as Charles N. Brown and Dave Langford, who have each won 27 Hugo Awards, showed a trace of the same class and allowed other people to share in the categories which they have each been dominating for so many years.

On April 22, I made my predictions for both the Nebula Awards and the Hugo Awards, so it is time to see how many winners I actually predicted (if any!):

Category / Nebula prediction / Nebula winner

Best Novel / Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell / Camouflage
Best Novella / Magic for Beginners / Magic for Beginners
Best Novelette / The Faery Handbag / The Faery Handbag
Best Short Story / Singing My Sister Down / I Live With You

Category / Hugo prediction / Hugo winner

Best Novel / Spin / Spin
Best Novella / Burn / Inside Job
Best Novelette / The King of Where-I-Go / Two Hearts
Best Short Story / Down Memory Lane / Tk'tk'tk

I batted .500 for the Nebula Awards, but only .250 for the Hugo Awards, a composite batting average of .375. That is actually not too bad and hopefully better than random guessing would have been.

I am actually very pleased with some of the above winners. “The Faery Handbag” was a wonderful story, much better, in my opinion, than the more popular “Magic for Beginners” which, while very well written, was kind of fuzzy in what the heck was actually happening. Spin was an outstanding novel, well-deserving of its award. “Inside Job” was my favorite of the nominees for Best Novella (although it was not my favorite novella of 2005; that honor goes to Jeffrey Ford’s “The Cosmology of the Wider World”).

Is it too soon to start politicking for next year's nominees?

1 Comments:

  • That being said, I think that the Hugo fiction awards the past two years have shown little of those biases, and actually seemed to reflect the opinions of a fairly-well-read voting populace.

    I agree about last year. I'm not so sure about this year; I thought the short fiction winners were disappointing (my picks would have been 'Magic for Beginners'/'The Calorie Man'/'Singing My Sister Down').

    it would be nice if other people such as Charles N. Brown and Dave Langford, who have each won 27 Hugo Awards, showed a trace of the same class and allowed other people to share in the categories which they have each been dominating for so many years.

    The obvious objection to this is that then whoever's left is winning, say, the "Best Fanwriter Who Isn't Dave Langford" award. (And to be fair, Langford isn't as unreachable as he once was -- Cheryl Morgan's come close to beating him a few times now.)

    Is it too soon to start politicking for next year's nominees?

    Well, that depends. Which works did you have in mind? [g]

    By Blogger niall, At 2:55 AM  

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