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It’s been almost three years since I wrote Hugo Award Winning Novels I Have Read. I authored the blog post mainly in response to the idea that these awards have really changed over the years. At the time, I was reading for review N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season in an attempt to understand how I remembered Hugo award winning novels being so outstanding in “the old days” vs. how I perceived the more modern tomes.
If you click the first link, you’ll see a list of the winning and nominated novels I’d consumed in my youth, their awards issued between 1953 and 1988. I read most of them.
I was posting something similar in a Facebook group earlier today and started wondering if, by now, I’d read any more recent Hugo recipients. I have:
1990 Hyperon by Dan Simmons (winner).
1993 Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (nominated).
2013 Redshirts by John Scalzi (winner).
2021 Network Effect by Martha Wells (nominated).
I read and reviewed Hyperion mainly because it was a Hugo winner AND Simmons was being trashed on an online fanzine (which shall not be named) by modern SciFi fans because of his politics. I hear that after all these years, it’s going to become a movie. Simmons is still with us and I wish him success.
I have another submission into them that I hope will make it into their 2020 science fiction edition, but something else is going on. I just got this email:
I’d just like to say thank you again for being part of the Cloaked Press Family, and if I could ask a small favor, that would be wonderful. I’d like to take Cloaked Press to the next level and begin taking on single author novels, novellas, and collections. To do this, I started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a large bath of ISBNs (100 to start is the goal), as well as purchase cover designs and some marketing ads with Amazon, Facebook, etc. If anyone would be willing to reach out to their followers to see about getting us a boost, that would be wonderful.
Screen capture of a portion of Mike Glyer’s online fanzine “File 770”
Having (finally) successfully subscribed to Mike Glyer’s File 770 online SciFi fan newzine, I find that most of what this rather prolific blog puts out doesn’t catch much of my interest. Of course, with WorldCon Dublin coming up next month, a lot of the content is focused there. They also put out a tremendous number of articles about various awards, again, most of which I don’t have an interest in.
But before that, I took a look at the ballot, which lists science fiction and fantasy works nominated in a number of categories. They include Best Novel, Best Shorter Work, Best Book Editor, Fanzine, TV Show, Movie, Anime, and so forth. Needless to say, I didn’t recognize any of the names and most of the category entries. Oh, I have heard of “Game of Thrones” and I used to watch “Supergirl,” but that was about it. This reminded me that as a “fan,” I’m probably really lacking in keeping up with what’s current (to find out what I’ve been reading and watching lately, go to my Reviews page).
No, I haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame yet, and unless I go with my sons and grandson, I probably won’t see it in the theater. Yes, I’ve heard it is THE film to see, blowing away all of the other Marvel superhero movies, so I’m certainly stoked. I know my ten-year-old grandson is stoked. Hopefully, if I see it while it’s in the theaters, I’ll find a way to sit through a three plus hour film without a potty break.
I’m not particularly interested in spoilers, but given various complaints about how last year’s Avengers: Infinity War ended, I did write a commentary with a few predictions, though of course, I wasn’t (very) seriously suggesting that my crystal ball was any better than all the others.
Cover image of NK Jemisin’s 2015 Hugo Award winning novel “The Fifth Season
You might be wondering about why I’ve posted the lengthy lists of tabular data below.
Last summer and so on, when I was writing blog posts critical of the Hugo Awards, WorldCon, and a seeming lack of objectivity in how the Hugos are awarded, I learned a lot.
I’m not going to post a bunch of links to past blog missives, but I did learn that the Hugos were never meant to be particularly objective. Various works, including novels, are voted on by people who have paid to be at that year’s convention, people who are, for all appearances, very hard-core Science Fiction and Fantasy fans, and not necessarily the sort of person who might casually pick up a SciFi novel to read here and there (like most of us).
I also noted one of the criticisms leveled against SF author Robert Silverberg in the comments section at File 770 after Silverberg criticized NK Jemisin’s most recent Hugo Award acceptance speech, was that it was said Silverberg hadn’t read a SF novel in the past decade, like that’s a bad thing.
Yeah, that pretty much describes me, or more specifically, this does:
Indiana Jones meme
It’s come back to bite me in the butt more than once.
Okay, here’s the deal. I have the first draft of one novel fully finished, I’m stalled in the middle of the first draft of the second, and several others are in a quasi-state of existence (and I’m terrified of actually beginning the novel editing).
After about the first five chapters of my fantasy novel, I started using the Thursday #writephoto prompts on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo as the motivation to complete one chapter a week. It worked pretty well, and I actually got to the end with the story being semi-internally consistent.