Saturday, August 20, 2011

The 2011 Hugo Winners

The results are in, folks -- and that means it is now time for me to comment on the categories for which I personally cast a ballot:

The John W. Cambell Award (For Best New Writer): Lev Grossman

Steph's Comments: My instinctive response? Yuck. In my opinion, Grossman is the king and champion of missing the point. I read fantasy to experience something transcendent. Grossman, however, seems to go out of his way to mock what makes the classic fantasies work. "Harry Potter for grown-ups" my butt. Smoking and cursing and whining about your life are not signs of maturity.

My man, Larry Correia, landed in fifth place according to the internals. That doesn't surprise me. I knew I was going to be in the minority on that one.

Best Short Story: "For Want of a Nail," by Mary Robinette Kowal

Steph's Comments: Hey! That's one of the works I picked! Actually, according to internals, the rankings here were entirely identical to my own. Nice.

Best Novelette: "The Emperor of Mars," by Allen M. Steele

Steph's Comments: I'm sure this one won due to the nostalgia factor. Not that I think that's a bad thing.

Meanwhile, my choice - "That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made" - placed fourth. I'm not surprised by that either. When Stone won the Nebula for this story, there was a significant negative response from a certain segment of the fandom. But at least Stone's fellow writers recognized the strength of his idea.

Best Novella: The Lifecycle of Software Objects, by Ted Chiang

Steph's Comments: Well, I'm glad this story did something for so many people. Personally, I didn't care for it. Chiang is good with the geeky tech stuff, but he fails - at least in this work - to write interesting people.

My choice - "Troika" - placed second. That's -- pretty respectable, actually. Of course, Dad would say that second place really means "first loser." My reply? :P

Best Novel: Blackout/All Clear, by Connie Willis

Steph's Comments: Yay! As you might expect, I'm doing the happy dance of joy here. Blackout/All Clear is a terrific duology with a terrific theme. I'm pleased that so many people apparently agree.

Steph's Summation: In the end, I managed to pick two out of the five winners. Given that I disagree with the fandom in general on many issues, that's not bad.

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