Voting for the Hugos

The Hugo nominations were officially posted on Sunday by Renovation, the 69th Annual World Science Fiction Convention.  Worldcon will be be held this coming August in Reno, Nevada, and the winners will be announced in a rather posh and occasionally hilarious ceremony on August 20.

I get to vote on the Hugos.  It’s easy.  All you have to do is buy an attending or supporting membership in that year’s Worldcon.  I usually just support, but this year, we’re planning to go.  And next year, since it will again be in one of our previous and much beloved homes, Chicago.

But back to the nominees.  They reflect the popularity and tastes of the folks who read, write, watch and publish science fiction and fantasy.  There are categories for everything.  Best novel, best short story, best film, best dramatic presentation (short form) which basically means a TV episode, best graphic novel, etc., etc., etc.  You get the idea.  But to be an informed voter, it’s important to read, or watch the thing nominated.  In other words, my TBR pile just got bigger, along with my to be viewed (TBV, I guess) list.

hundred thousand kingdoms coverI have only read one, yikes, one, of the nominated novels.  The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin.  It was one of those absolutely fabulous first novels, where you can’t believe it’s someone’s first novel.  It is also a coming-of-age story, and about the power of belief.  It may share some common points with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods when it comes to whether or not a deity that anyone has once believed in can ever truly be extinguished.

I have Connie Willis’ Blackout/All Clear on my iPad, but haven’t gotten around to it/them yet.  It/them have now risen several dozen rungs on the TBR ladder.  Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold is one that I had been thinking about.  I read the earlier books in her Miles Vorkosigan space opera series.  I loved the first two books, Shards of Honor and Barrayar, but there, Cordelia was the main character rather than Miles.  Now that Miles has grown into himself, he may be more sympathetic for me.  I’ll have to see.

There are also a lot of categories for shorter works.  Novellas, novellettes and short stories in particular.  One of the great things about this process is that if you are eligible to vote, all the  shorter stuff is made available to you online.  Sort of like the Academy voters getting free DVDs of all the movies.

In addition to the books, there are five movies, and five TV episodes.  Three of the TV episodes are from Doctor Who.  I’ve seen all three, and I don’t mind the excuse to watch them again.  But the title I’m most interested in is nominated in the Related Works category.  It’s titled Chicks Dig Time Lords, A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It. I think only something like the Hugos would be so willing to nominate such a lighthearted look at the genre for a major award.  Besides, chicks really do dig Time Lords.  And I have the DVD collection to prove it.

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