The Hugo Award nominations are out, and I want to vote more intelligently and completely this time. That requires me to read everything that’s nominated. I have a bit of a start in the novel category; I’ve read Embassytown, by China Mieville, and Deadline, by Mira Grant. Loved Deadline, but Embassytown is the one to beat so far for my vote. I am reading A Clash of Kings (Book Two of A Song of Ice and Fire). That means I have several more books before I get to A Dance With Dragons. I think I can do it, but I’m going to be spending a lot of time with George R. R. Martin. The other two novels, Among Others, by Jo Walton, and Leviathan Wakes, by James S. A. Corey. The Jo Walton books looks very readable, as does the James S. A. Corey. I note that the latter is actually a collaboration between two writers, and I have a bias toward multi-authored novels; in some warped way it seems like cheating. (Of course, this is from someone who only has an almost-readable draft of a novel to her name. Perhaps I ought to put that bias aside.)
And at one level, I don’t place too much stock in awards, be they Oscars, Emmys, or Hugos. Certainly not Grammys–I can’t forget how they ignored rock ‘n’ roll–utterly ignored it–the most important music of the 20th century, just as it was being born in the fifties and sixties. And with the Hugos, or the Nebulas, there are absolute gems out there that never even get nominated. Some years, the field is stronger than others. Nonetheless, I think the Hugos do a decent job. I am quite impressed to see an episode of Community under the Dramatic Presentations–short form category. Fans of SF & F have nice, stretchy minds capable of seeing what’s actually there and pulling it into their sphere if it belongs there. And it does.
The main purpose of reading everything on the list–other than to be a thoroughly qualified Hugo voter–is that reading the list will cause me to look at books I would not otherwise have read. I am at a time in my life when a little extra reading effort is possible and highly desirable. I will be smarter and happier for my efforts.
So here I go. And after the novels, there are the novellas, novelettes, short stories….
I’ll keep posting on my progress.