RT Reviewers Choice Award Nomination + Goodreads Semifinals
Posted on November 12, 2013 Posted by John Scalzi 17 Comments
This is nice: The Human Division is a nominee in the science fiction category of the RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards. You may recall I won the category last year for Redshirts. Here are the nominees in the category in full:
THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS
Karen Lord, DEL REY, (February 2013)
THE MAD SCIENTIST’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION
John Joseph Adams, Editor, TOR, (February 2013)
THE HUMAN DIVISION
John Scalzi, TOR, (May 2013)
THE MELANCHOLY OF MECHAGIRL
Catherynne M. Valente, HAIKASORU/VIZ, (July 2013)
THE SEVERED TOWER
J. Barton Mitchell, ST. MARTIN’S GRIFFIN, (November 2013)
Rachel Bach, ORBIT, (November 2013)
I will note that The Best of All Possible Worlds is also nominated for the award “Best Book” category — that’s pretty impressive. Here’s the entire list of categories and nominees for 2013.
I’m always happy to be nominated for an RT Award, and as I won last year I will be pleased to see the award go to someone else in the category. It’s nice to share.
Other folks I know who are nominated in other categories include Mary Robinette Kowal, Paul Cornell, Robin Hobb, Delilah Dawson, Diana Rowland and Mur Lafferty, among several others. I highly recommend each of them going to RT’s convention (this year in New Orleans); it’s a heck of a fun party. Congratulations to all the nominees!
Also, apparently my exhortation for people to vote for someone else in the Goodreads Choice Awards science fiction category’s first round was not well-heeded, because I have made it to the semi-final round (also for The Human Division). The good news here is that there are some new people you can vote for in the category, including Ann Leckie (for the fantastic Ancillary Justice, which I blurbed), and the aforementioned Karen Lord (again for The Best of All Possible Worlds). Again I exhort you to vote for someone other than me; if The Human Division makes it to the final round, I shall be quite put out.
This is probably a good enough place as any to ask: I just read Old Mans War, The Ghost Brigades, and The Last Colony. I know Zoe’s Tale is a retelling of TLC. Should I wait to read it, and read The Human Division first?
You don’t need to, no. But then I wrote THD to be readable to people who had never read the series. So.
I read THD before reading any of the rest of the stories. The serial made it easy to commit and then impossible to avoid reading all the rest of the material.
On the subject of Goodreads I listened and wrote in Ancillary Justice, which I saw blurbed here and elsewhere. I can really get why people loved it as I do too. I’ve voted for it again.
“…if The Human Division makes it to the final round, I shall be quite put out.”
Reverse psych effect… the more you say nay the more we vote yea.
such tongue in cheek humbleness, love it
On the subject of RT: For those who haven’t been there, it’s a fun party but it’s also full to the brim with great panels. I’m not a big romance reader but there were UF and science fiction and thriller panels. Robin Hobb spoke words to me, people. It was glorious.
I highly recommend going if you get the chance.
John, are you heading to RT this coming year, as well? I’d love to see more of the science fiction community there.
You can’t blame me on the Goodreads thing. I voted, but it was for David Weber.
I voted for Darwin’s Elevator in the first round. Didn’t need to hurry on the Human Division. I knew it would be around for future voting.
John: “You don’t need to, no. But then I wrote THD to be readable to people who had never read the series. So.”
So I read OMW/GB/LC a couple years back, then I read THD right after it was released whole cloth. I’d also read the short “After the War” sometime around the Planned Parenthood fundraiser. I finally got around to reading Zoe’s Tale a couple weeks back, so I went a re-read the original trilogy.
This morning I started into THD again, y’know, because. I got a couple pages in and suddenly realize, “Oh, HARRY WILSON. That guy.” So I guess the point is that not only can you read and enjoy THD if you haven’t read the others, you can read and enjoy it if you have read the others but don’t remember anything about them beyond the fact that they exist.
I didn’t vote for you, John. And if necessary, I won’t vote for you again.
I think it’s really classy of you to use your blog as a platform for authors with less exposure, re: awards. Looking forward to checking out Karen Lord – her book looks fantastic, and I hope I get a chance to check it out before the voting is complete. Also, a woman of color and not even American – science fiction needs more of this.
I just had a thought about Ms. Lord. I wonder how often she gets compared to Octavia Butler, and how that feels. On the one hand, if the two authors’ books are about as similar as, say, Neal Stephenson’s and Arthur C. Clarke’s, such comparisons would probably swiftly become annoying, if they wouldn’t already simply because such comparisons would be primarily because they are both women of color writing science fiction. On the other hand, it is still *Octavia Butler*.
Totally voted for Ancillary Justice. A friend of mine and I have frequent talks about “singularity” and what it would be like to be a meatbrain that uses software and hardware to augment consciousness, which is a subject often talked about. I found Ancillary Justice fascinating in that it turned that on it’s head, essentially a computer AI with meatbrain components that add to the general computational pool, and what it would be like for that AI to find itself wholly trapped within the body of an ancillary. It was also a very good book, all else aside. Anyone reading this who hasn’t read Ancillary Justice yet should give it a whirl and consider voting for it.
For Goodreads, If you’re not going to vote for John, but you should if you want to. I’d recommend MaddAddam (my vote) or if you’re looking for a newer writer who could use the bump, I recently finished “The Darwin Elevator” which was a darn fine debut novel. Plot was full of action, interesting science, and memorable characters. There were some writing things that bugged me, but not enough to swear me off of the series. Of course, if you don’t want to vote for it because you haven’t read it, then GO READ IT!
I haven’t yet read The Human Division, but it’s in good company there. I’ve never voted on this particular award, but it looks like a good guide for my reading for the next few weeks.
I think maybe I’ll log into my library’s web site and put a hold on a copy of The Human Division now.
I read it quite a while afterwards as I consumed the Old Man’s War books about as fast as they could cut down the trees to print them on and release them after the first one. I can imagine some parts of it might have felt unnecessary or dragged if I had just finished The Last Colony and jumped on in, but I don’t think it would have negatively effected what I most appreciated about it.
Since it is written with the understanding that almost every one who reads it will already know the broad strokes of what is going to happen, the focus is far more on the characters and giving life to Zoe’s particular perspective. I think Mr. Scalzi did an excellent job in these areas. In the Lost Colony, the sense of Zoe I had was more of how she was important to John and Jane and to the plot than of her as a fully realized character. In Zoe’s tale I think she is realized as one of the best examples of good female character writing by a male author I’ve ever seen.
You might find the book a more smoothly enjoyable read overall if you come back to it in a few months instead of jumping straight in, but I think you might also be able to more fully appreciate what Zoe’s voice brings to it in comparison if you read it sooner.
Voted for Ancillary Justice at Goodreads because that was a pretty awesome book. Thanks for the reminder to vote.