It’s Hugo NIGHT! No Award will win! SJW works that aren’t that revolutionary will win! Puppet-slated works that were actually popular between both factions will win! And people won’t talk about it in any honest way until the historical narrative shows up far down the road! If they talk about these books at all! Because old is bad and these nominees will soon be old!
But the historical narrative of the 2016 Hugos isn’t here yet. So you know what that means… it’s time to go… Back to the Hugos!
Hugo Year: 2006
2006. Well, you know what happened. It was practically yesterday. But before this election. And Brexit. And the selfie-stick. So it couldn’t have been that bad, right?
Meanwhile, at another L.A. Con (IV), Connie Willis hosted the Hugo Awards, just like she did in ’96.
My suspended in a space-and-time bubble ballot:
Links to my reviews:
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson – An unexplained space bubble encapsulates the earth and the claustrophobic entrapment reveals a story that’s more inter- and intrapersonal than extra-terrestrial. There is something about the premise that begs for teasing, but Spin reflects a rare moment of growth in post-1980 US-based commercial genre. Wilson forces Hard SF to look inward and, although not completely successful in its effort to break away from contrivance, it’s too bad it didn’t inspire a domino effect for more deeper-thinking sci-fi.
Learning the World by Ken MacLeod – I’ve been told that MacLeod’s bibliography offers some sharp-witted socio-politics, but Learning the World doesn’t manage to transcend its inside-joke premise about Alien Space Bats. It’s a humorous idea, but the human drama is meager, the bat drama is dim, and the take-away experience is that of having read a book about alien space bats.
A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin – For GoT fans, this might be a great book. As a stand-alone novel, it offers a variety of characters in a variety of circumstances who demonstrate a variety of flavors of ambition. With a television series well-known for its violence against women, this particular installment will surprise newcomers by being made of primarily (solo) female-centered threads. While not rampantly violent against its SFCs and lower classes (and which measuring cup should I use for too much?), the story takes an opposite, yet just as bothersome, tact: misogynistic remarks are voiced loudly and regularly to rile up the indignant juices of readers for the sole purpose of provoked engagement. It rings false.
Accelerando by Charles Stross – This Strossian universe bursts with post-singularity tech, post-capitalist consumption, and post-human identity, but he can’t bring himself to sacrifice any of it for deeper investigation of a few ideas or even the inner worlds of his standard prosaic dude, nagging women, and spunky teen characters. Readers seeking only cool ideas and a shady robot cat won’t mind.
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi – Except it’s actually “Genetically-Engineered Old Man Who Moves, Talks, and Thinks No Differently From a Thirty-Something’s War.”
That’s it for this year’s Back to the Hugos! Next week: The 2016 Clarkes!