It’s Hugo Time!


List from File 770 here and the Hugo Award page has it also

Quick impression: a really nice mix of stuff. Some nominal sacraficial victims to the No Award gods from the Rabids but it looks like only in categories where the lower bound of numbers was 80ish or less.

Best Novel

2078 ballots cast for 652 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 156 to 480.

  • All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books) – Loved this book and nominated it.
  • A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US) – Deserves a nomination
  • Death’s End, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus) – Final book of the Three Body Problem and sitting in my to-be-read pile.
  • Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books) – Another really good and weird book and one I nominated.
  • The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books) – Fifth Season sequel and truly great – I also nominated this.
  • Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer (Tor Books) – Sitting on the to-be-read pile*.

No major surprises. I didn’t think A Closed and Common Orbit would be a finalist and I didn’t think Death’s End would either but they are worthy nominees. It’s a really decent reading list of 2016 SFF novels and an excellent sample of authors.

Best Novella

1410 ballots cast for 187 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 167 to 511.

  • The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle ( publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, by Kij Johnson ( publishing)
  • Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire ( publishing)
  • Penric and the Shaman, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency)
  • A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson ( publishing)
  • This Census-Taker, by China Miéville (Del Rey / Picador)

I knew my short fiction reading was a bit limited for 2016 but some good stuff here. Lots of but mainly because have been investing in interesting authors putting out interesting longer short fiction both on the website but also then as stuff that appears on Amazon in the Recommended for You lists.

Is it a strategy that is paying off financial for Tor? I hope so in that it means others may take note and make this arena even more competitive.

Best Novelette

1097 ballots cast for 295 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 74 to 268.

  • Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex, by Stix Hiscock (self-published)
  • The Art of Space Travel”, by Nina Allan ( , July 2016)
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary”, by Fran Wilde (, May 2016)
  • The Tomato Thief”, by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)
  • Touring with the Alien”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016)
  • You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, by Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine, May 2016)

Wong, Wilde and Vernon sounds like the name of a firm of lawyers in an urban fantasy novel but actually three writers it is exciting to see listed. Ignoring the Rabid’s entry (a big sulk about Chuck Tingle pwning them last year and proving love IS real). Haven’t read anything by Gilman or Allan, I don’t think but something to look forward to.

Best Short Story

1275 ballots cast for 830 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 87 to 182.

  • The City Born Great”, by N. K. Jemisin (, September 2016)
  • A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers”, by Alyssa Wong (, March 2016)
  • Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”, by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine, November 2016)
  • Seasons of Glass and Iron”, by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)
  • That Game We Played During the War”, by Carrie Vaughn (, March 2016)
  • An Unimaginable Light”, by John C. Wright (God, Robot, Castalia House)

So far I’ve got many column inches and a talking cat from John C Wright, so it would be churlish for me to complain about MORE Wright in the Hugo packet. Jemisin, Wong (again), Bolander, El-Mohtar all great. I haven’t read Carrie Vaughn.

Best Related Work

1122 ballots cast for 344 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 88 to 424.

  • The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley (Tor Books)
  • The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher (Blue Rider Press)
  • Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg, by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Fairwood)
  • The View From the Cheap Seats, by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow / Harper Collins)
  • The Women of Harry Potter posts, by Sarah Gailey (
  • Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)

ZOIKS! OK, Kameron Hurley and Sarah Gailey are worthy finalists but they seem to have found themselves in a battle of legendary giants. Carrie Fisher versus Robert Silverberg versus Neil Gaiman versus Ursula Le Guin sounds like the outcome of a lengthy genre fiction bracket.

Best Graphic Story

842 ballots cast for 441 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 71 to 221.

  • Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze (Marvel)
  • Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa (Marvel)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 1, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image)
  • Saga, Volume 6, illustrated by Fiona Staples, written by Brian K. Vaughan, lettered by Fonografiks (Image)
  • The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man, written by Tom King, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Marvel)

Monstress is interesting and while the others are worthy finalists its a bit mainstream/safe as a group. I’m sulking because Mooncop isn’t there. Mooncop was great.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

1733 ballots cast for 206 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 240 to 1030.

  • Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films)
  • Deadpool, screenplay by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, directed by Tim Miller (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Marvel Entertainment/Kinberg Genre/The Donners’ Company/TSG Entertainment)
  • Ghostbusters, screenplay by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, directed by Paul Feig (Columbia Pictures/LStar Capital/Village Roadshow Pictures/Pascal Pictures/Feigco Entertainment/Ghostcorps/The Montecito Picture Company)
  • Hidden Figures, screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, directed by Theodore Melfi (Fox 2000 Pictures/Chernin Entertainment/Levantine Films/TSG Entertainment)
  • Rogue One, screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, directed by Gareth Edwards (Lucasfilm/Allison Shearmur Productions/Black Hangar Studios/Stereo D/Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Stranger Things, Season One, created by the Duffer Brothers (21 Laps Entertainment/Monkey Massacre)

No surprises and a good bunch.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

1159 ballots cast for 569 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 91 to 193.

  • Black Mirror: “San Junipero”, written by Charlie Brooker, directed by Owen Harris (House of Tomorrow)
  • Doctor Who: “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Ed Bazalgette (BBC Cymru Wales)
  • The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes”, written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)
  • Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Miguel Sapochnik (HBO)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Door”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Jack Bender (HBO)
  • Splendor & Misery [album], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)


Best Editor – Short Form

951 ballots cast for 191 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 149 to 229.

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

Yay, I’m also close to having informed opinions about these people this year!

Best Editor – Long Form

752 ballots cast for 148 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 83 to 201.

  • Vox Day
  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Oh, poor Vox – by your own slate you’ve equated your editing abilities to ‘Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex’ a tawdry knock-off of somebody else’s funnier joke that you and your fans didn’t really get last year.

Anyway, Best Editor Long Form is a Hugo category. It has finalists. All of them are better than Vox.

Best Professional Artist

817 ballots cast for 387 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 53 to 143.

  • Galen Dara
  • Julie Dillon
  • Chris McGrath
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Sana Takeda

I think we’ve looked at most of those on this blog one way or another. Nice bunch in a hard to evaluate category.

Best Semiprozine

857 ballots cast for 103 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 80 to 434.

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
  • Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, edited by P. Alexander
  • GigaNotoSaurus, edited by Rashida J. Smith
  • Strange Horizons, edited by Niall Harrison, Catherine Krahe, Vajra Chandrasekera, Vanessa Rose Phin, Li Chua, Aishwarya Subramanian, Tim Moore, Anaea Lay, and the Strange Horizons staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
  • The Book Smugglers, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James

The Rabid/Puppy entry here is Cirsova but rather like SciPhi Journal, it is somebody trying to do something constructive rather than pointless wrecking or posturing. The other finalists all highly deserving. Glad GigaNotoSaurus is on the list but Uncanny will be hard to beat.

Best Fanzine

610 ballots cast for 152 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 53 to 159.

  • Castalia House Blog, edited by Jeffro Johnson
  • Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Helena Nash, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, and Erin Underwood
  • Lady Business, edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry
  • Rocket Stack Rank, edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong
  • SF Bluestocking, edited by Bridget McKinney

I’m really excited to see Greg and Eric’s Rocket Stack Rank on the list. Yay! Congrats! Haven’t really looked at nerds of a feather or SF Bluestocking.

Castalia House blog is great if you are tabletop gamer and also lived in the 1930s. Poor Jeffro.

Best Fancast

690 ballots cast for 253 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 76 to 109.

  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan
  • Ditch Diggers, presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace
  • Fangirl Happy Hour, presented by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
  • Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
  • The Rageaholic, presented by RazörFist
  • Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman

Rageaholic is the rabid nominee.

Best Fan Writer

802 ballots cast for 275 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 80 to 152.

  • Mike Glyer
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Natalie Luhrs
  • Foz Meadows
  • Abigail Nussbaum
  • Chuck Tingle

Oooh, nice bunch. Various debates about whether Chuck Tingle should be nominated. I think this is a suitable category, specifically for his Twitter feed which is fun and very SFFnal. Absurd comedy is part of fandom but doesn’t fit neatly into the categories.

Poor Jeffro again, being loaded into Vox Day’s siege engine and in a futile gesture hurled at a cliff face.

The other nominees, great bunch of writers at the heart of fandom. It will be tough ranking them.

Best Fan Artist

528 ballots cast for 242 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 39 to 121.

  • Ninni Aalto
  • Alex Garner
  • Vesa Lehtimäki
  • Likhain (M. Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Mansik Yang

Eeek – some work to do here for me in looking at these.

Best Series

1393 votes for 290 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 129 to 325.

  • The Craft Sequence, by Max Gladstone (Tor Books)
  • The Expanse, by James S.A. Corey (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
  • The October Daye Books, by Seanan McGuire (DAW / Corsair)
  • The Peter Grant / Rivers of London series, by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz / Del Rey / DAW / Subterranean)
  • The Temeraire series, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Harper Voyager UK)
  • The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)

You know when you’ve had a big meal and you are thinking “Wow, that was great but I’ve eaten too much” and then the host says “Now for the main course” and you think “Wasn’t all that food I just ate the main course?”…yeah. Big writers with big series. Oh dear. I’m up to speed on The Expanse and the rest is mainly stuff-I-keep-meaning-too-launch-into-when-I’ve-caught-up.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

933 votes for 260 nominees.

Votes for finalists ranged from 88 to 255.

  • Sarah Gailey (1st year of eligibility)
  • J. Mulrooney (1st year of eligibility)
  • Malka Older (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Ada Palmer (1st year of eligibility)
  • Laurie Penny (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Kelly Robson (2nd year of eligibility)

The Rabid entry is J.Mulrooney. [puts on Tenant Dr Who voice] I’m so, so, sorry J.Mulrooney.

*[I’m lying here – it isn’t sitting anywhere as I hadn’t bought it]

42 responses to “It’s Hugo Time!”

  1. ** Looks at attic workshop door. Waits impatiently for CF to emerge with a siege engine that hurls chosen entities at a cyber-cliff face.** ….. Call it the “Futile Gesturizer”? The “Splatter McSplattifier”? The “Pythonized Pup-trebuchet?”

    Also, I smiled because I use the word churlish quite often, particularly at this time of year 🙂


  2. I’m excited about far too many things to list, but basically it’s an interesting, credible, fun set of finalists. I’m a bit daunted by the task in Series though.
    I suppose in a few days I’ll look at my ballot and sigh over a few things that didn’t make it, but right now I’m just delighted to be looking at a set of worthy choices (pup detritus aside).


      • Best Series voting: I’m tentatively thinking that the higher I want to rank something, the more of it I should have checked out. So if I decide something isn’t for me and it’s not making 1st or 2nd, then a couple of books to see how it beds in is fine. OTOH, if something feels like it might be competing for #1, better read until I’m sure it isn’t (or I run out of books and am sure it is!)
        For this year, as I’m pretty sure Vorkosigan is the head and shoulders winner for me right now, so that means reading The Expanse, the back-end of Temeraire that I’ve not read, and Toby Daye (technically read the first two books quite a while ago) until it’s clear they don’t beat Rivers of London or the Craft out of the runner up spots. As they’re all great series, that may end up meaning that I read them all anyway!


  3. I have no pity for Jeffro and Mulrooney, who perfectly encapsulate a certain old saying involving lying down and fleas. They’ve chosen their master, and they will bear his mark for the rest of their careers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m leaning towards “No Award” for Best Series, on the grounds that I think it’s another unworkable award like “Best Editor, Long Form.”


    • With editor long form I feel that the relevant information needed to vote doesn’t really exist. with best series it exist but isn”t managable (at least not without voting in a different way)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I could go for a “Best novel in a series” award, that had the usual requirements for best novel but with the added requirement that it be part of an ongoing series. Such books would obviously have to stand alone. But at least we’d be focused on a single work published in the year of eligibility. Evaluating an entire series–and comparing it with other ones–just looks hopeless.


      • Of course, this discussion doesn’t exist, because we are all slaves of the evil SJW/publishing industry conspiracy, incapable of independent opinions that do not issue from the internationalist mongrel maws of our evil masters.


        • Tor send a talking squirrel to me everyday from New York who dictates to me my opinions for the coming week – that isn’t a typo, each day I must revise my weekly viewpoint at the behest of a Tor squirrel. I mean, he says he’s from Tor but rumour has it, he’s actually a double-agent for Pearsons.

          Liked by 1 person

      • You rank a talking squirrel? I have to fend with a rat relating my opinions to me in mime.


      • This does not surprise me. Pearson is the (corporate, educational) Devil so of course there are squirrel-witches who walk among us, doing his bidding. It’s the only explanation for the scourge of edu-tech that has descended over the land — the cackling as he pushes up costs, trapping innocent boy science students with one-time, non-resellable textbook access codes and hexing girl social science students into becoming unmarryable politically correct harpies. It’s the only explanation for this finalist list too. Cursed opinions!! Witches !!1!11!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arguably the information needed to vote for long form editors does exist; you just have to read everything the editor in question edited during the year. (That doesn’t tell you what the editor did, but we don’t know that with short form editors either. We can still appreciate the product.) But that raises the same problems as series.


      • Greg: Well, in many cases we would still have to read a large part of the series to know what was going on. That’s why later works in tightly knit series don’t do well now; we aren’t just going ‘Huh’ and ignoring them.

        And would this mean that – as standard Hugo practice suggests – works in series would not be eligible for the plain ‘Best Novel’? That would make a signficant change to recent shortlists.


      • @Andrew M
        The trouble is that we don’t know which books a given editor edited. Most colophon’s don’t give us a clue. That’s what makes the Best Editor, Long Form, award meaningless. Fans literally have no idea whom to nominate.
        As for series, there’s a difference between an integrated set of books like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter which has a clear ending and whose pieces must be read in order vs. a set of loosely connected books that happen to be in a shared universe. For the latter, an award for “Best Book in a Series” would make sense. Readers ought to be able to enjoy it even if they’re new to the world. If not, it doesn’t deserve an award.

        For the former, I think there has been an unofficial policy of giving Best Novel to the last book in the series as a way to award the whole thing. Perhaps we could simply codify that. So instead of nominating “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” people could just nominate “Harry Potter.”


  5. Carrie Vaughn’s “That Game We Played During the War” was one of my favourite short stories of 2016 along with “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”. I’ll have a hard time deciding between those two.

    Regarding best series, I’m lucky since I’ve read at least one book of every series nominated. Now I’ll have to decide whether to give those series I stopped reading or I bounced off another try.


  6. I’ve read all of the books in all the Series nominations (except the final Temeraire), but I don’t have a vote this year. Irony.

    Most importantly, everyone should vote for “Monstress”. It is the bestest.

    What do you call that little guy running around in circles screaming? He needs a name. Even if he sort of looks like he’s ice skating when closest to the camera.


    • I’ve managed to read all the serieses, so while it’s not manageable from a dead stop, it’s the one category this year where I wouldn’t have to do any additional reading at all! The most perfectly manageable for me!

      The only reason I can see Vorkosigan Saga not winning is that the con isn’t in North America this year and foreigners don’t read Bujold even though she’s awesome and deserves all possible awards. Peter Grant #2, Toby Daye #3, as the others got less and less good as they went along. But I do like all of them enough to have read them all, so won’t be grievously disappointed no matter how it turns out. Peter and Toby may suffer for not being finished yet.


      • Quite a few foreigners do read Bujold, but her books were very difficult to come by outside the US for years, because Baen books aren’t available outside the US except via Amazon or direct order.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Daily talking squirrel? Mime rat? LUXURY! I get monthly snail mail sent bulk rate by something non-mammalian. It’s slimy and I’m always behind all the other SJW kids with my approved opinions.


      • Hey, where did I say my mime rat is on any sort of regular schedule? It comes when it comes, leaving me hopelessly out of the loop for weeks–even months–at a time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • What are you guys complaining about? WHat I would give for irregular communication rather than this constant squirrel/rat harassment and moving-goalpost opinions!


  7. I would have no trouble deciding in Short Story as clearly all right-thinking people realize “Seasons of Glass and Iron” is the best, with “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” second, and NA comes in fifth, but I’d probably have to flip a coin for 3rd and 4th.

    Obelisk Gate is clearly #1 best novel, but again after that I’d have trouble deciding. Related Work I’d have to read them all and then probably roll dice because wow, that is a lineup. I think Le Guin’s the sentimental favorite; sad to say that no matter how great “Princess Diarist” is, it might not be on the list if Carrie had lived another 3 months.

    Arrival OUGHT to win BDP Long, let’s face it, but again I liked a lot of them. An album has no place being in BDP Short since PoI didn’t make it, or any of Agent Carter, for both of which I left off the Doctor. Although I’m fine with that being there, it was very very fannish indeed, and the only one with LOL. I’d put it above either of the GoTs, so if DW wins I’ll be happy (even tho “Leviathan Wakes” is better).

    Editor Short Form I have actual informed opinions on; sadly, 4 of the nominees were on my ballot so again it’s down to agony followed by a random number generator. Ditto Semiprozine minus canine excrement. Same with Pro and Fan Artist. Novella I’ve got one clear winner and 3 others that I can’t decide.

    Fan Writer goes Mike, some coin flips, and NA. Chuck deserves to be there for his epic trolling and good nature, though I’d want him no higher than 2nd. Really, as long as Mike wins and Chuck beats Jeffro, I’m happy. Campbell I gotta go Robson.

    Man, the one year I’m super-informed and up to date on reading/watching is the one year I can’t vote! Best get cracking on my 2017 reading for 2018 nominating and voting.


    • Yeah, Chuck not 1 but definitely above No Award. I think his Twitter feed is legit Fan Writing as in genre writing for fans and in response to fannish things.
      I think I’ve linked to everybody on that list one time or another (and positively for 5 out of 6)


      • Chuck Tingle’s twitter feed makes me happy and is a special kind of genius. I hope he is never unmasked because I want to believe he is real and that love is too.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve read all of 4 of the 6 Best Series finalists. Still have to do the Craft Sequence and Rivers of London.

    Right now my rank would be:
    1) Vorkosigan Saga
    3) October Daye
    2) Temeraire (the final book did not excite me)
    4) Expanse (I think this still has a ways to go)

    But I picked up Gladstone’s 5 novels for $12 on Kindle a couple of weeks ago, and it’s still on sale, if you’re interested (possibly on other platforms as well). Aaronovitch’s series doesn’t necessarily sound like my thing, but I’m happy to give it a try with an open mind.


  9. I’m not sure about Alien Stripper being a sulk; I’d rather think of it as further evidence that Teddy really, really likes dinosaur porn.

    Liked by 3 people

    • One wonders what John C. Wright (who, when he sees two girls holding hands in a cartoon, finds his brain uncontrollably filled with thoughts of penises) thinks of Voxie associating him with Stix (or is Stix Hiscock the pseudonym of Mr. Lampwrighter or his wife?)?


  10. Any thoughts about how to treat the RP nominees? At one end of the spectrum we have VD himself and his Castalia lackeys, and I’m just at “screw them” because it’s now well-established that they’re not credible nominees, and at the other the blatant hostages like Mieville and Gaiman, and I’m at “Umm, did you think that trick worked last year, let alone this year?”
    There’s some in the middle that need looking at – are the fancast and the artists actually VD-adjacent in some way, or what? I’d be likely to put Cirsova into the far end of the spectrum, and I suspect many people will, but I’m probably going to at least check out their packet submission because a) making their own ‘zine is actually a positive step, and b) it would be helpful to people to have a review or two of them around, and as I’ve already read 1 issue I might as well try another.


    • Castalia House as a published shouldn’t be rewarded give in its behaviour as a publisher – I’ll read and comment on Castalia House stuff but there is no way anybody would tolerate those kind of shenanigans from any legit publisher.
      Cirsova? Judge on merit – all the categories have plenty of legit nominees. It’ll struggle to get over No Award but at least it is trying to do something constructive.
      Jeffro as Fan Writer is an interesting case. As Castalia House that’s a No Award from me (sorry) but he does have a solid claim as a substantial fan writer – just on topics that don’t interest me and at a level I find dull and for an outlet that promotes hatred and is hostile to the Hugo Awards and exploits the issue of child sexual abuse as a marketing gimmick.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cirsova is too damn RP-adjacent AND was slated onto the ballot without being a hostage. So their content would have to be the bestest thing ever, which somehow I suspect it wouldn’t be. I went to the homepage and there’s a manga of the editor in front of a Confederate flag! The blogroll links to Jeffro, GG, etc.

      Enjoy being below No Award. Dogs, fleas.


      • Cirsova isn’t just “RP-adjacent”. He volunteered to fill the Editor and Semiprozine slots on the RP slate when VD realized his original choice was ineligible. So you’re right. I may still read some of what he puts in the packet., but since he was happy to participate in the unfair slating process to obtain an unmerited position on the ballot (Cirsova has only thus far published 4 issues), it will be going under No Award for me as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Mark-kitteh: Any thoughts about how to treat the RP nominees?

    My approach is going to be very similar to yours and Camestros’. The pr0n and JCW are going below No Award. I gave JCW a chance the last time, and am not wasting any more of my precious reading time on such badly-written prose (although as it’s a short story, I may read it anyway, just for the lulz). Castalia everything, including Jeffro, is going below No Award, for exactly the same reasons Camestros gives. I’ll give Cirsova a chance, but am not optimistic that it won’t be heavy right-wing message fiction and non-fiction, given the things I’ve seen the editor say. The Fancast nominee’s videos are rabidly GamerGater/MRA/Racist-flavored and will be No Awarded as such.

    The two fan artists actually have talent, and as far as I can determine, don’t even know who the Puppies are and were slated without their knowledge. So I will rank them as if they’re natural candidates. (It’s actually a shame that slated Pro Artist Tomek Radziewicz was ineligible: he’s a professional sculptor of fantastical art, and his works are spectacular. And he is also not involved with the Puppies.)

    The Puppy Campbell nominee only has one eligible work, a Castalia-published religious tryhard humor version of Faust. Having read the Kindle free sample, I assess it as about the same poor writing quality as past Puppy picks, and the author appears to have been happy to participate in the unfair slating process to obtain an unmerited position on the ballot, so he will be going under No Award as well.

    As far as the hostages: The Mieville novella was good, I thought, but not great, and I will probably rank it 5th out of the six novellas, all of which I have read. I’m dubious that I will find this particular Gaiman worthy of winning a Hugo, but am willing to read it and possibly be persuaded; I will rank it according to my feelings once I’ve read all the nominees in this category. Deadpool is the sort of adolescent male humor of which I’m not particularly enamored, and will either be 6th or No Awarded.

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    • It’s no problem to decide in Campbell. Usually, one of the writers who’s in their last year gets it anyway. And they’re all good. Someone from Castoolia with only one publication who eagerly volunteered to be slated? Not a chance.

      Genuine hostages get genuine chances by me, but this year’s Mieville and Gaiman aren’t their strongest work and they’re in categories that have a lot of incredible competition.

      I usually watch the Hugos live, but this year that may be before I wake up on a weekend.


    • Thanks for the info on the artists, I’ll just throw them into the mix and judge as normal (which with my limited art knowledge amounts to deciding which one looks nicest to me on that day.)
      I’d forgotten the fancast nominee was from last year too – that’s how memorable his show was, I guess. I’ll have a swift listen to remind myself but I doubt it’s changed that much in the last year.

      I read This Census Taker very late in the run up to noms, and frankly I disliked it intensely. I’m going to have to work up the energy to unpack that opinion a bit more very soon. I doubt I’ll NA it, as I accept it contained great skill in achieving a result I didn’t enjoy, but it’s inevitably going to be last on my list.


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