Hugo Ballot 2017 – Novellas!

Last one of these – not time left to do justice to reviewing other categories. Best Series? Sorry, but I have failed to tackle it in any meaningful way. I’ll vote on the artist categories and maybe editor categories, as well as the ‘zine categories. Podcast? Sorry casters but I’ve not had the time to engage with any of them 😦

But novellas! What an interesting bunch! None of them was a knockout but collectively that was a solid set of reading fun.

In reverse order:

7. No Award – nope, had no need of Noah’s help in this ballot. The least good were well written and even their flaws were interesting.

6. This Census Taker: An interesting writing experiment but not a successful writing experiment. However, of all of them, it is the one I want to read again…it feels like a secret yet to be unravelled.

5. A Taste of Honey: An original fantasy following a single character’s life but I felt like I was missing out on chapters from a more varied novel.

4. The Dream Quest of Vellit Boe: A clever journey through the landscape of an older novella. Some fresh perspective and a really good read but…maybe not original enough for the top spot.

3. The Ballad of Black Tom: The other response to Lovecraft. Oh, this was a tricky choice. A less successful story than Vellit Boe but it packed more punch.

2. Penric and the Shaman: Bujold knows how to tell a story and she told one. An original fantasy story with interesting characters.

1. Every Heart a Doorway: Weird – I didn’t think this would be my number one when I read it. It has sort of got the spot by default. The novellas were a struggle between the familiar and the experimental and sometimes a struggle with making the experimental familiar or making the familiar experimental. None of them quite manged the achievements of the others but Every Heart came closest.

Only This Census Taker didn’t have weird gods (or god-like beings) in it and I’m not really sure it didn’t have them lurking somewhere…


6 responses to “Hugo Ballot 2017 – Novellas!”

  1. Huh, my ballot swaps 1 and 4 but is currently the same in other positions. Not an insignificant difference, of course!
    I don’t see much daylight between my top four, and might do some last minute shuffling.

    I wonder who might be the favourite though? Based purely on fanbase I’d say Bujold and McGuire. (Bujold could potentially win in different fiction categories in the same year, which might be some sort of record)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vellit Boe jumped to the top of my list the first time I read it and I haven’t changed my mind.
    Census went to the bottom, ditto, ditto.

    I’m betting it goes to McGuire, but maybe Bujold.


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