Hugo Prognosticating

Over at Tor.Com, folks are putting down their markers on who they think will win the Best Novel Hugo this year. For obvious reasons, I am refraining from making an appearance in the comment thread, and anyway, I’ve already essayed my chances here. But if you want to put in your two cents, over there’s the place to do it.

I will say this much: While any of the books would be a good choice this year, and I don’t think there’s a runaway front-runner, from a personal fanboy point of view I’d be happy to see Charlie up at the podium at the end of it all.

11 Comments on “Hugo Prognosticating”

  1. I liked Halting State, though it’s not my favorite of Charlie’s (which would probably be Glasshouse or Iron Sunrise in a photo finish). If he won I could see it as being one of those “Well, it’s his turn” wins, in which the award is being given as much for the artist’s body of as-yet-unawarded past work as for the specific book in question. Though Charlie hasn’t exactly been unrecognized quite long enough to be the Scorsese of the Hugos yet.

  2. TM Wagner:

    I dunno; no one else has had five years of consecutive Best Novel nominations. If he’s not the Scorsese of the Hugos, he’s still something.

    While Hugos (and Oscars) are meant to be given for individual works, I actually don’t have much of a problem with “career” selections, so long as the work itself is worthy — i.e., Scorsese getting the Oscar for The Departed was fine, because it was a really good movie (if no Raging Bull or Goodfellas); Al Pacino getting the Oscar for Scent of a Woman was a little much. To go back to Charlie, Halting State is certainly deserving on its own merits.

  3. I’m really rooting for Brasyl. Admittedly it is the last one of the three nominees that I’ve read (others are Halting State and Last Colony) but it’s still the winner.

    Why? Brasyl was the best at expanding my preconceptions. Sometimes the plotting is loose but it held together well enough to take me on a real thrill ride. Without blowing the plot, suffice it to say that a common SF trope gains new and weird life thanks to MacDonald.

  4. Hey, I can’t state an opinion either this year (at least, I really shouldn’t).

    At least, not in print.

    I wish all nominees very good luck!

    Laurie Mann
    Denvention Hugo Ceremony

  5. One of the best things about the Hugo award(s) is that one can appreciate just how far the genre has advanced beyond the works of its namesake, H. Gernsback. I have yet to finish reading his 1925 “famous classic” — Ralph 124C 41+ — despite having found & purchased a Crest 1958 reprint nearly two years ago, and despite a compulsive tendency to finish reading almost anything once started. *

    (Because, you know, too much cheese consumed in one sitting can kill ya, just as overly prolonged fits of laughter will result in your apartment manager[s] inviting you to see more of the world.)

    I, for one, applaud every person even close to a Hugo nomination, let alone the award winners — because each and every such person has demonstrated how better SF can and should be written, and in doing so has showered enrichment upon everyone who can read their work.

    1. I know that there were two books in past three years’ reading which I set aside with deliberate intent to never revisit. One was so banal that I’ve already forgotten its title… and the other, may the FSM forgive me, was B*ttl*f**ld **rth.

    (Why? I believe that despite inituitive certainty, gut feel, or analysis of secondary phenomena which may attach to a book, one is not entitled to diss a work which one has never sampled … or perhaps that one cannot expect one’s dissing to be taken seriously unless one can cite specific faults and back them up with examples.

    (I managed to slog through ~180 pages of BE before channeling Dorothy Parker: “This book is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force.” Alas, the copy which I stopped reading was loaned to me by a friend, so I could not act on that urge. Re-read about a third of E.E.Smith’s Lensmen Saga just to get rid of the mental aftertaste.)

  6. Regarding “Battlefield Earth”, after I read it [1], I felt that what we had here was a bloated festering mass that, with good editing, could maybe have been turned into a fairly decent 100-page space-opera.

    [1] I was on a plane to Australia, and it was the only book I had along. 14 hours with no other reading material. I *had* to read it! There was *no choice*!

  7. Having seen a photo of the award, I will nominate women and gay men only. As a straight dude, I wouldn’t want one of those. Does it come with lube?

  8. I couldn’t get through Halting State or Brasyl. After the convention, I’ll give them another chance. I read Sawyer as often as possible and liked Rollback. But The Last Colony blew me away. I guess I am rather naive and simplistic about the SF genre, but a good old space opera is exciting. I went on to read Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades. I anxiously await Zoe’s Tale. I just ordered The Sagan Diary, too.

    John, what are the chances there will be some copies of Zoe’s Tale in Denver for Worldcon? I haven’t preordered one on the chance that I can get one early.

%d bloggers like this: