When I started these reviews, I noted that the question of the nominees' quality was fundamental to the exercise.
"Either we have neglected authors and works to acclaim. Or the literary debate dwindles, and we have something else."
Well, from my perspective, I'm afraid it looks more like 'something else'.
I gave No Award a first preference in six (generally slate-dominated) categories, while nominees from the voting slates only got a first preference from me in one category. And that was The Lego Movie. :)
That doesn't mean that there wasn't competent work on the slates - or that I was politically down-voting - just that I didn't think that their nominees were outstanding enough to deserve a Hugo. This may of course be a question of taste, and the final results may of course paint a different picture, but it seems I'm not alone in drawing this conclusion.
What that 'something else' might be, I'm minded to leave fandom to work out for itself. So for now, that's all from me on the Hugo Awards.
But some good for me has come out of being glued to this soap opera over the past few months. Reviewing the nominees has given me renewed impetus to write about science-fiction and fantasy. There's certainly some zines and graphic novels on the shortlist that I want to review and celebrate regardless of whether they win. I may give the nominees for some other more drama-free awards a try too.
And it's also helped me to articulate what I think science-fiction and fantasy fiction is or can be, clarifying some recurring themes in my reviews over the past few years.
It's even had me dusting off my own idle writing ambitions. Ahem.
But for now, here's how I voted.
Best Novel - The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
Honourable Mention: The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu
Honourable mentions: The Plural of Helen of Troy, John C. Wright; Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium, Gray Rinehart; Totaled, Kary English
Best Related Work - No Award
Honourable mention - Letters From Gardner, Lou Antonelli
Best Graphic Story - Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt
Honourable mention - Saga Volume 3 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) - The Lego Movie
Honourable mention - Guardians Of The Galaxy
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) - Abstention due to lack of knowledge
Best Professional Editor (Short Form) - Abstention due to same
Best Professional Editor (Long Form) - Abstention ditto
Best Professional Artist - Julie Dillon
Best Semiprozine - Strange Horizons
Honourable mention - Lightspeed Magazine
Best Fanzine - No Award
Honourable mention - Journey Planet
Best Fancast - No Award
Honourable mention - Tea And Jeopardy
Best Fan Writer - Laura J. Mixon
Best Fan Artist - Spring Schoenhuth
Honourable mention - Ninni Aalto
John W. Campbell Award for new writers - Wesley Chu