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.)
So I was going to try and wait until the controversy around Larry Correia died down a bit before posting this, but, uh… well. He either lacks a controversy avoidance mechanism or chooses not to use it. Despite the many positions of Mr. Correia I strongly disagree with, I’m going to try and not let them affect my opinion of Warbound on its own. (I’ll probably fail, and I definitely won’t succeed in full). I did read the first two books in the trilogy as well, just to give the book a fair shake. Anyhow, on to Warbound.
First Time/ Reread: First Time Acquired: Library
Ann Leckie: Ancillary Justice
Charles Stross: Neptune’s Brood
Mira Grant: Parasite
Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson: The Wheel of Time
So I’m adding another weekly column. I can’t currently afford to buy my comics every week, so I’ve had to put the weekly pull review on hold for now. However, another project I CAN do is a read-through of every Hugo-winning novel up to this point. (Thank you, public library system! Plus, I own somewhere between half and two-thirds of the books anyhow). The Hugo award is one of the premier SF/Fantasy awards in the world, and it’s been running since 1953, so it’d be enough to keep me going for a little bit. I’d be fitting the Retro Hugos in their appropriate year, so the reread would actually start with Asimov’s 1946 “The Mule”. In addition, I’d do the Hugo Nominees and 1939 Retro Hugo nominees (the Retro Hugos are weird, I’ll explain them later) this summer in the weeks leading up to WorldCon 72/ LonCon3.
These won’t take me too long to do. Two-three hours per book, maybe, plus half an hour tops to type up the blog post. I could probably do them at a rate of one per day, given how fast I read, but I’d get sick of that fast, and so would all of you. I haven’t picked a day to post these yet, but I’ll let you all know when I do. And hey, when we run out of books a bit over a year from now, we can always start on the Nebula Awards.