How You Should Vote for the Final Round of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards, SF Category

Oh, look, The End of All Things has made the final round of the Goodreads Choice Awards this year, along with nine other books in the science fiction category. How excellent, and thank you to everyone who has voted so far. Now the question becomes: What should you vote for in this final round?

Well, let me tell you.

You should vote for Ancillary Mercy because Ann Leckie has stuck the dismount on what is one of the defining science fiction series of the century so far.

You should vote for Armada because in your heart you always wanted to be recruited for the space forces, fighting aliens.

You should vote for The Fold because teleportation is cool, and what Peter Clines does with it here is even cooler.

You should vote for Golden Son because class struggle! And also because some people think this second book in the Red Rising series is even better than the first.

You should vote for The Heart Goes Last because Margaret Atwood takes the metaphor of work as a prison and punts it into the stratosphere, as she would.

You should vote for Seveneves because Neal Stephenson ends the world and then seems to enjoy the hell out of himself trying in the most difficult way possible to bring it back.

You should vote for Star Wars: Aftermath because it’s one of the best Star Wars novels yet, and it annoys whiny bigots as well, which is its own special reward.

You should vote for The Water Knife because if we’re not careful, this is where we’re going to be living in a couple of decades (or sooner).

You should vote for Welcome to Night Vale because it’s a mash-up of Our Town and The Twilight Zone, and if you can’t love that, you may be dead inside. The bad kind of dead, not like… well.

So, yes. That’s how you should vote for the Goodreads Choice Awards in the science fiction category this year. I hope that helps!

48 Comments on “How You Should Vote for the Final Round of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards, SF Category”

  1. If I didn’t already have reasons to read most of these books, I do now. Oh, and I am now interested in the ones (like The Fold) that I hadn’t heard of before.

  2. Even though I haven’t read it, I hope Wendig’s book wins just to annoy the bigots. Any of those books are worthy winners and should be on lots of to be read piles.

    This was a particularly hard year in all the rounds of voting because of so many books that I enjoyed going head to head.

  3. Shouldn’t award nominations/voting start in January? There are still 6 weeks left in 2015 for releases and time for people to read books that came out recently.

    You shouldn’t vote for Margaret Atwood. She doesn’t consider herself a genre writer and has rather stuck up things to say about SF people. You can google what she says.

  4. Guess:

    Actually, people should vote for whichever of the books they liked the best this year (BTW, I do believe the Goodreads awards year is October to October). This includes Ms. Atwood’s if they so decide.

  5. What a lovely field to chose from. I think you all should just get an award. (I’m not really into awards; I’m into award nominees because books, books, stories, stories.)

    Margaret Atwood is a big fan of science fiction, is a pal of Ursula Le Guin and Stephen King, and largely didn’t consider herself a genre writer because she didn’t think she qualified and was worthy to be considered a real science fiction writer. But she has basically gotten over that issue now and been properly schooled by numerous people including Le Guin, and has contributed two major works — The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx & Crake — to the field over the years. Her new one may be less strong than other works on the ballot, but when it comes to thought-provoking apocalypse fiction, she’s definitely part of things. Everybody is invited to the party.

    I don’t suppose you could throw up the Goodreads Fantasy finalists too, Scalzi, just so I can be lazy?

  6. Other than Armada, which isn’t my cup of tea, I now want to read all of these that I have not already read. But I really am incredibly impressed with how good Ancillary Mercy wrapped up the series, so I think I’ll go with that.

  7. Stephenson voter here. Sad to see Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora didn’t make the final round, but I guess that is a failing of me not being King of the Literary World….

    Anyway, I don’t read Star Wars novels, but what is the scoop on pissing off the bigots? I might start reading them for that kind of payoff. :)

  8. Jerome – there’s a character in Aftermath who’s… GAY. No, really, LGBT people existing in the Star Wars universe apparently really upsets some people. These people are narrow-minded idiots, but still.

  9. The only ones I own copies of are End Of All Things and Ancillary Mercy; haven’t gotten to either yet. The only other one that calls out strongly to me is The Water Knife (“Bacigalupi gestures hypnotically….”).

    Seveneves had a strong appeal at first, but between numerous disappointed reviews and the nearly 900-page length, I’d decided the reward would be less than the effort, so will skip it. If there’s ever a Readers Digest Condensed Version, maybe….

    (Googling to check Seveneves’ pagecount, I noticed the paperback version due next May is shown on Amazon at less than 400 pages. I’ve going to guess the book will be split into two paperback volumes, but there’s no indication of such on the Amazon page.)

  10. Brucearthurs:

    It’s more likely that page count is placeholder information and will be revised once they flow it into a document for the paperback publication.

  11. Well played :) I’ve only read two on the list.

    Seveneves is dreadful – it needs editing with a chainsaw to about 1/3rd the length, needs some characterization (any would be nice, rather than relying on well-known people with the names filed off, and the reader filling in the blanks) and all the infodumps removed. Particularly the repeated infodumps. Stephenson does thank his editor though – either he didn’t take her advice, or I am shuddering to contemplate what a mess it was before it was edited.

    There’s no way you come back from seven eves, especially as the die-off rate has been horrific until then. And (spolier) no way that the three 5,000 year survival programs all work.

    And the last book that was jammed in at the end could be excised. Looks like a set-up for a sequel (please dog no)

    The first sentence is the pretty good though.

  12. @Kat Goodwin: Once you click on the link to the Science Fiction finalists, the Fantasy finalists are just one click away in the sidebar on the left.

    I have had a Goodreads account for a couple of years, but never really did anything with it until I saw John’s first post for this year’s awards. I didn’t vote for John in the first or second rounds: the only book I’d read of the finalists was Brain Web by Douglas Richards (great book), so I voted for him. When he didn’t make it to the Finalist round, I voted for John. [grin] I loved Lock In (and am very eagerly awaiting the sequel) but I’m not much for space epics. But since I don’t follow any of the other authors on their blogs or Twitter or YouTube (I’m not stalking you, John, really), it was my only choice. But now I have two more titles to add to my TO READ list: The Fold, and The Water Knife. I’m also working my way through the Connie Willis catalog. I’ve not yet picked up one I didn’t love.

  13. Ha, A block-vote! That will show them neo-lawful/neutral-liberals who’s really in charge! I voted _exactly_ as you instructed!

    Btw Peter, Armada was thoroughly enjoyably, not at all as good as Ready Player One but still solid.

  14. This is an excellent and generous list. One minor note: for Neal Stephenson’s entry, is “ends the word” a typo? (I’m asking because it’s Stephenson; for all of me, he *could* willfully end the world, and have us babbling Babylonian monosyllables, or some such.)

  15. The presence of a gay character in Aftermath is what annoys people?

    Huh, I would have figured it would have been the presence of a female Star Destroyer captain (given the overall male-dominated version of the Imperial Navy presented in the films).

    Either way, for me it’s either The End of All Things or The Fold. Clines is just addictive to read.

  16. I’ve read yours, Ann’s and Chuck’s and loved them all. I’d be buying Neal’s and Paolo’s anyway.

    Now you’ve made me want to read the rest of them.

  17. A gay Star Wars character…. I think we need a better class of bigot these days. Getting the outrage suit on over something that mundane is, quite frankly, boring.

    I’m going to buy it and read it, even if it only upsets the boring bigots.

  18. Problem: I see no way to vote for the kittens. Is Goodreads anti-kittens? WHERE ARE THE KITTENS???

  19. Classy move, extolling the virtues of all the other books/authors on the list. I only vote if I’ve read one or more of the books on the list of nominees for the category and although I definitely want to read some of these, I haven’t gotten a chance to yet.

  20. “You should vote for Star Wars: Aftermath because it’s one of the best Star Wars novels yet, and it annoys whiny bigots as well, which is its own special reward.”

    Your mixing up the complaints. If you google them, the complaints are because nothing happens and its not a complete story. Its a teaser for the new movie. I can’t speak to it being any good, but I did see the reviews. Your mixing this up with the idiots protesting the movie over a black character.
    Anyone on here actually read this book? How justified are the reviews?

    Ill put one in for John: “You should vote for the End of all things because when John Scalzi wins awards it lights up the SF Blogosphere with endless petty fights. This is very entertaining to fans”.

    End of All Things is pretty good. He cut downt he on the word ‘said’ like he said he wanted to. So it made the audio better. Its actually the only one on the list I have read. I have not done alot of reading this year outside of tech reading for work.

  21. I am more behind than usual on my 2015 reading. If I’m going to cast an honest vote (i.e. only for things I’ve read) it’s between The End of All Things and Ancillary Mercy.

  22. @Guess – if you look at the one star reviews on Amazon, and keyword search “gay” or “homosexual”, you’ll see plenty of whiny bigots. I downloaded the free sample of Aftermath, and enjoyed it so much I purchased the book; have not finished reading it yet (got sidetracked by Sanderson’s Shadow’s of Self, but Aftermath is next on my list when I finish that).

  23. Guess, you didn’t read the Amazon reviews the week “Aftermath” came out, did you? All the 1-star reviews complained about Chuck getting Teh Ghey in “their” Star Wars. Nobody complained about anything else in it, like the plot or whatever. Just the non-heterosexuality. Chuck blogged about it.

  24. This is a very strong field; I was surprised to discover that I’ve actually read the majority of novels on the shortlist. Admittedly, I abandoned Seveneves after reading the blurb, and noting his apparent failure to even begin to understand the all too predictable consequences, but I got into a fair number of the others.

    So, strong field, hard decisions to make, but a huge satisfaction that there is a strong field represented in the short list. I am striving very hard not to chortle with glee at the absence of those authors who claim massive support from the silent majority, since the silent majority doesn’t seem to be supporting them at all in a vote freely open to all…

  25. I vote for Cline’s book – It was my favorite of the lot up there and Peter Cline’s books are good clean popcorn fun.

  26. I like this award. Just vote for what you like. The reader has no obligation to read everything before casting there vote. Let the shear numbers average out the results.

    Stevie makes the obvious point about the Whacked Pups. The people they say are not representatives of the real fans are doing great. The authors they push are not showing up on the list.

    I ask them why they don’t go freep the Goodreads. But we all know the answer. They are a really tiny group.

  27. Not voting for Aftermath because I have a standing boycott of the rebooted EU (and I don’t read any Del Rey stuff except for parts of NJO). Yes, I am still butthurt about Thrawn getting the axe. Though, if you like “Aftermath”, good for you! I hope that you enjoy and get satisfaction from the book, and I hope that the futile rage of internet sexists sweetens the deal. Cthulhu knows that I get vicarious pleasure every time I watch Fury Road and think of my least favorite MRAs whining and wailing and gnashing their teeth at the mere thought of Imperator Furiosa*.

    Now, Ancillary Justice is a great book in just about every way, but I won’t vote for it because I simply couldn’t get into it, the same way I never could get into the later Foundation books. Not a fault of the book or the author, I just…I can see why it’s good, but I don’t really enjoy it.

    “The End of All Things”? I am so freaking there. Vote decided. :D

    *And can I just say that I have a massive crush on Furiosa? She is my role model and every woman I have ever liked all rolled into one badass bundle of pure awesome. There should be at least three move movies about her being a badass. Maybe a crossover team-up with T2’s Sarah Connor and Ripley and Vasquez from Alien. Yeah, that would be awesome.

  28. I’ve read and enjoyed 3 of these. I think perhaps I might try a couple more. Seveneves isn’t Stephenson’s best but it’s still great. Armada is entertaining, if a bit light.

  29. I keep hearing good things about the Ancillary series. I have asked Santa for a paperback.

    Best of luck to all.

  30. thanks for the reminder, voted for Seveneves, good stuff their, but all the others pretty good too.

    [The rest deleted because it’s off-topic. Go whine somewhere else, ROFLMAO – JS]

  31. I’m not always in the mood for an info-dump, but when I am, I turn to Stephenson.

    Seriously, he’s good at it. I read the book in less than a week (faster than normal for me), and it was due in part to the info-dumps. It’s like having that friend who’s always finding new interests and telling you about them. Except they write well and know how to tell a good story.

    If it helps, Seveneves is already split into three fairly even parts. You could read it like an omnibus made from a trilogy.

  32. Hmm. I see there’s one book you didn’t recommend. Do you have something against this Scalzi character, or is this one of those “Don’t throw me in the briar patch!” moves?

  33. @ OGH:

    That Scalzi dude slept with my wife. And drank all my Coke Zero!

    He WHAT? WHAAAAATTTT????? How DARE this insolent being do such an abominable thing to our gracious host?



  34. I liked the first 80% of The Fold, it was extremely entertaining. Then it went in a direction I did not expect – primarily because I wasn’t familiar with the author and his other works. I’d still strongly recommend it, but I’d want to see the reaction to the rest.

  35. Another voter for Seveneves in the absence of Aurora. (I haven’t read our host’s book.) As a Canadian I’ve read a heck of a lot of Atwood and got tired of it some time ago. Tried Oryx and Crake but abandoned it after about 100 pages.