2014 Hugo Winners announced!

No real surprises for me, except for the “Best Graphic Story” award. Don’t get me wrong, “Time” was fantastic, but I was really expecting Saga to take it. Hard SF in the vein of “Time” is pretty rare, though, and Randal Munroe deserves it for all the amazing work he put into it. (I know I never did the last two reviews for Ancillary Justice and Neptune’s Brood, but they were definitely the strongest single novels up for the awards. Definitely read them both.) Even though part of the reason Ancillary Justice did so well was its gimmick- it was a damn good gimmick, and not one that’s really ever been used much before. Plus, anyone who’s going to rag on gimmicks in SF/Fantasy should maybe be reading something else- find me a gimmickless novel in the genres and I’ll probably fall asleep reading it. Neptune’s Brood has the honor of having the most unique economic system I’ve encountered in hard SF, and is a great book on top of it.
Larry Correia’s Sad Puppy slate largely tanked, which whether you think is a good or bad thing, isn’t unexpected. (No comment from Correia or most of the Sad Puppy authors yet, we’ll leave out what Vox Day said, you can go check it out yourself if you’re interested in some homophobia, sexism, poor sportsmanship, and hate against horror fiction. I really think the whole thing would have gone much, much better if he hadn’t been included. Even Correia’s rather intense confrontational online behavior isn’t that big a deal in comparison, angry people are everywhere on the internet.) Dan Wells, despite being, in my opinion, the best of the Sad Puppy Authors on the ballot (Read his John Cleaver books if you haven’t yet, they’re fantastic. YA supernatural serial killer novels, really awesome), didn’t really stand a chance, there’s always going to be a strong stigma against tie-in fiction. I don’t think he was involved in the Sad Puppy slate beyond being nominated by it, though. (The Butcher of Khardov is part of the Warmachine universe.)


BEST NOVEL (1595 ballots)
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Plot Devices: If Geese is the plural of goose, what’s the plural of geas?

Magical compulsions are bread and butter in fantasy and folklore- the noble hero swearing a binding oath, or bewitched with a slave collar, or given a geas- it happens all the time. It’s honestly a little unusual to see a work of fantasy without anything like it.

It’s also one of the most dangerous plot devices to use without damaging the plausibility and internal consistency of your worldbuilding. Why? Because power seems more power, almost without fail. If a tool of magical compulsion exists, a government, dark lord, powerful wizard, or someone would logically try to use it on as many people as possible, barring constraints. (Plus magical compulsion itself is kinda disgusting.)
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Reagan Smash!

Quick poll: who here has heard of trickle-down economics? Hopefully most of you. Now who here actually believes it works at all? Anyone who does, let me know, I have a fantastic bridge related investment for you.

For those of you who hypothetically haven’t heard of trickle-down economics, it’s pretty simple. Originally espoused by Ronald Reagan, it essentially says that if the tax rates are cut for the wealthy, they will prosper, and their spending will “trickle down” to everyone else and revitalize the economy. Helping the rich helps you!

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