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Hugo novels - Off in the distance
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2011-07-01 16:27
Subject: Hugo novels
Security: Public
Tags:books, hugo awards
So I've worked my way through the novel shortlist, and I've a pretty good idea that I will be actually marking 'No Award' above one particular book. If it had been a physical volume, I'd have thrown 'Blackout' against the wall. After 150 pages, Willis still hadn't engaged me one way or the other.

All four of the other volumes are worth reading. I'm putting 'Feed' in fourth place, because I disliked the setting and I exceedingly disliked Grant doing one particular thing (and I can't even begin to discuss what she did without extreme spoilers). However, although it was at least 100 pages before I got over that initial dislike, the story did affect me emotionally and I will probably go buy the second book at some stage.

In third place goes Jemisin's 100,000 Kingdoms, which I enjoyed but found slightly less memorable than the rest.

Second place goes to Bujold's Cryoburn which is yet another Miles Vorkosigan story. However, it does posit interesting questions as to what would actually happen if cryogenic freezing of people became widespread. It does suffer slightly from the 'the whole world is the same' effect of the examined world, but it's allowable for all that. This takes place on a different planet because it needs that separation for it to work politically.

And first place goes to McDonald's The Dervish House, in which he takes on near-future Istanbul and brings a city to life so well that I now want to go there. It rightly received the BSFA award, and I'd consider it a worthy Hugo winner too. Oddly enough, I suspect that if it gets beaten, it'd be by Feed.

(And just how, please, did Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire get last year's Campbell for Best New Writer, yet already have 6 novels in print, and another 2 already ISBNed?)
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Dr Plokta
User: drplokta
Date: 2011-07-01 15:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Seanan McGuire's first book was published in 2009. Not only was she eligible last year, she would be eligible again this year if she hadn't won last year. It's not the number of books published, it's the date of first professional publication.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2011-07-01 16:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I know it's not the number of books. But 6 novels (and the best part of a score short stories) coming out over less than 30 months is productivity to marvel at. Talk about exploding onto the scene.

I'll also assume there'll be a bit of a slowdown once she gets all her backlog out of the way.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2011-07-01 16:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Seanan has superhuman amounts of energy. That's the only explanation I've come up with, anyway!
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2011-07-01 16:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
She couldn't share any, could she?
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Kimberley Verburg
User: sierra_le_oli
Date: 2011-07-01 19:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Any chance of discussion of Feed with spoiler space? You've got me curious now!
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2011-07-01 22:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not here - the spoiler is (IMO) so massive as to nearly destroy the reading experience if you've not read the book already. Maybe once I know that everyone who's going to read it has read it (doncha love the way those two 'read's there are pronounced differently?), then I'm prepared to. But that'll be not this year.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2011-07-02 00:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I didn't like Cryoburn at all, I think I'm basically sick of the Vorkosigan saga. Rather like the Skolian Empire stories by Catherine Asaro, they've become irritatingly formulaic despite superficial dissimilarity. I'm about to begin The Dervish House, and now I am looking forward to it.

(As for Seanan McGuire, remember, they start the clock from first publication, not when you start filling up your filing cabinet :)

Edited at 2011-07-02 12:51 am (UTC)
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