Sunday, August 2, 2015

My Hugo ballot

As voting has now closed on the Hugo's as of this Friday, I thought I'd share how I cast my ballot. Where possible I ranked all nominees, but for the sake of brevity I've included only my preferred winner and any honourable mentions I cared to give.

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.

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

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