Back to the Hugos: 1995!

The Hugo Awards are this weekend! But time-travel Hugos are much more fun! So let’s go Back to the Hugos: 1995!

The member vote for Best Novel:

MirrorDance1MotherofStorms1Beggars&Choosers1BrittleInnings2TowingJehovah1

Oh, Hugo voters… AYFKM? I thought we had finally reached an understanding after last decade.

 

MY pretend, retro ballot for Best Novel:

BrittleInnings2TowingJehovah1Beggars&Choosers1MirrorDance1MotherofStorms1

(Interesting note: Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower made the shortlist but was deemed inelegible.)

 

Wrong, Hugo voters. You got it ALL wrong.

Allow me to explain:

Brittle Innings is a rich, full-bodied tale about humanity and its monsters in the pre-Civil Rights era South, and involves brilliant literary interplay. It’s gorgeous. Towing Jehovah is an intelligent, biting, religious satire that offends everybody, even the intended audience. Beggars and Choosers is brimful of imaginative near-future technology with (often over-involved) philosophical ponderings, and its problematic nature makes analysis even more worthwhile. Bujold’s Mirror Dance is the “Give your sociopathic clone son a starship” edition of the “Save-yo-fetuses” series, which always puts my deeply internalized pro-choice sensibilities on edge, not to mention the elevation of uberwealthy characters undermines difficult moral quandaries by making them easy, fun to read, and not really a big deal. And Mother of Storms is a kitchen sink filler-thriller about superficial character cliches surviving a global weather disaster.

SPANALYSIS

If the Spaz Clumpies are correct about post-1985 SF, 1995 should be an ideal indicator of a liberal and literary hijacking of the Hugo Awards. Continue reading

Advertisements

Brittle Innings (1994) by Michael Bishop

BrittleInningsThe afternoon’s fractured dazzle hung on us like warm honey, golden and clingy (43).

…and sweet and sticky, cloying and suffocating. An apt description for a novel thick with the muggy, oppressive climate of the southern United States in the midst of World War II and at the height of baseball season, where nostalgia ambers and crystallizes the past, but stops short of sweetening reality.

But this is a tale about monsters. The daily monsters. The people monsters. The go-about-your-business-and-don’t-you-dare-try-to-change-the-status-quo monsters. The oppression monsters.

It’s the perfect place for a real monster to hide. Continue reading

No Enemy But Time (1982) by Michael Bishop

noenemybuttimeI got kind of busy this weekend and never had a chance to link my most recent book review, which was actually posted last week at the Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations blog, one of my favorite SF blogs. This review is part of a series of guest posts to promote the work of Michael Bishop, an SF author who has attracted critical acclaim throughout his career, but is not as well known as other SF authors. It’s an admirable effort by Joachim Boaz, the guy behind SF&OSR (who does not actually live in a city under the sea), and a reasonable pursuit considering that Bishop’s novel is one of the best I’ve read so far this year, and one of the best SF novels I’ve read from the (*cough* dreadful *cough*) eighties.

I reviewed Bishop’s 1982 Nebula Award winning novel, No Enemy But Timewhich also appears on David Pringle’s Top 100 Best Science Fiction Novels. If you have a taste for time travel, prehistory, and trope trampling, you should give this a whirl. I will definitely be adding more Bishop to my TBR list.

And don’t forget to keep checking Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations for more Bishop posts this week! Some of my other favorite SF bloggers have been and will be participating!