I stayed up late last night to learn the results of the 2013 Hugo Awards that were announced in San Antonio at LoneStarCon. I opted to follow along on Twitter while watching the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
And how fitting, considering Redshirts won. If you’ve read my previous post about each of the 2013 nominees, you would understand why I am both shocked and confused. Although I thoroughly enjoyed Redshirts, it was a little too flippant and silly to deserve such a career-making prize. The story was, at best, a fun, fanboy parody of a space opera, with the novelty of a meta-twist at the end. That, and John Scalzi’s growing fandom was enough to expect a nomination, but I really did not expect it to win the award. The story was so tongue-in-cheek, I’m surprised Scalzi isn’t walking around with a hole in the side of his face.
Then, the other shocker. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance won 2nd place. WTF? Apparently, a weak plot with two-dimensional characters and poor writing does not matter if you add it your previously long-standing and highly acclaimed series.
So, what have I learned this year? Never underestimate the loyalty of the fans.
Furthermore, my expected winner (2013) and hopeful winner (Throne of the Crescent Moon) landed 3rd and 4th spots, while Blackout, a book I was surprised to enjoy, got last place.
I suck at awards predictions. This is like junior-high me and the MTV music video awards all over again. Only popular people win.
Despite the status and clout that comes with a Hugo win, they are, after all, fan awards. One cannot expect that every year will recognize the most well-written, thought-provoking, and original contributions to the SF/F genre. Admittedly, this was a weak year for nominations. None of the nominees blew me away, and none of them deserved 5 stars. But, with such a weak ballot, I had a slight hope that a newcomer like Saladin Ahmed and his strong, unique characters and non-white fantasy world would get some deserving attention. But, I’m hearing he’s making it a trilogy, so maybe we’ll see him nominated again.
And with that, the 2013 Hugo cycle has come to a close. I’m ready to keep my ear to the ground for next year’s nominees, which will be announced mid-spring, with the awards happening this time next year in London.