General · reading · science fiction

H is for Hugo

The Hugo nominees were announced on April 7. I am ashamed to say I haven’t read any of them. I’ve heard of them, of course, but I haven’t actually read them.

Best Novel

2011 Hugo Award Trophy
  1. Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)
  2. A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
  3. Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  4. Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey)
  5. Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

Except for Embassytown and Leviathan Wakes, none of these are on my mental TBR list. So I can’t exactly decide which book should win.

I was better last year; I’d actually read most of the nominees. (Or made an attempt to read them. Before they were nominated even.)

I suppose I am not surprised Leviathan Wakes made this list; it has shown up over and over again on all my various online activities: twitter, G+, my Google reader, random browsing. It sounds like a good science fiction adventure, but I’ve not managed to get it yet. Later.

Deadline is a zombie novel, and I don’t know, but the blurb I read a while back (second or third in a zombie series?) did not inspire me. Can’t remember what it was actually about, though.

A Dance With Dragons, well, I haven’t managed to finish the first book in this series and I haven’t been keeping up with the show. So, no go.

I understand this story was highly anticipated and all that. But I doubt it could stand-alone and for some reason I had the impression the nominees were books that could stand by themselves, if they had to. Maybe Deadline can’t, I don’t know, but it sounds like urban fantasy and books early in urban fantasy series usually can stand alone. So I don’t think it breaks the pattern like A Dance With Dragons.

Among Others seems to be about a girl who opposes her evil witch mother, causes damage in said opposition and is than sent to boarding school by her father for her cheek and there she experiments with magic, promptly attracting her evil mother’s attention. Or so I surmise from the description.

Short Stories

  1. “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”, E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld)
  2. “The Homecoming”, Mike Resnick (Asimov’s)
  3. “Movement”, Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s)
  4. “The Paper Menagerie”, Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
  5. “Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue”, John Scalzi (

Ha! I have actually managed to read most of these. All except The Homecoming. I am not sure how I missed it. Personally, I want the Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees to win. 😀 Though The Paper Menagerie is good, too. Take note; two of these short stories are from Asimov. Last year Asimov had three short stories nominated.

There are other categories: Best Novella, Best Novelette, Best Related Work, Best Graphic Story, Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form, Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form, Best Semiprozine, Best Fanzine, Best Fancast, Best Editor: Long Form, Best Editor: Short Form, Best Professional Artist, Best Fan Artist, Best Fan Writer, The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

I am not sure what the difference between a novella and novelette, except length. But I don’t read a lot of them so I have no opinion on them. Or the other categories. The novel and short story are the ones I pay attention to. But I did see Dr. Who has three nominations. 😉

14 thoughts on “H is for Hugo

  1. I’m going to Chicon this year and am making the effort to hit the Hugos. The line-up makes me a little excited. I am on Book 4 of Song of Ice and Fire, and Book 5 picking up a nomination gives me more faith that the series continues its trend of improvement.

    Embassytown is the only nominee I hesitate over. Mieville is a heck of a writer, but no matter how much praise the book gets, its premise sounds so pregnant with social criticism as to become unreadably heavyhanded. Now, of the modern speculative fiction authors, he is one of the few I’d trust to do more with it, but I do keep wondering. I guess I’ll have to suck it up and simply see for myself.

  2. I adored Embassytown, but I am a Mieville fangirl, and I love just about everything he writes. Among Others was pretty good, it’s totally going for the nostalgia vote. Those are the only nominated novels that I’ve read.

    As much as I like George R R Martin I’m surprised Dance with Dragons got a nom. Last I checked the reviews were pretty lukewarm.

    1. I have never really appreciated the nostalgia vibe in books. LOL I haven’t checked the reviews for Dance with Dragons, so I don’t know.

    1. No, it was always for both science fiction and fantasy. Fantasy has won before. Science fiction does seem to dominate though.

      But, yes, the line between science ficiton and fantasy isn’t always clear.

  3. Confession: I have never heard of a Hugo until right this minute. Is that wrong? Is that bad? Do you want to come through the screen and choke me?

    I am just a loving #AtoZchallenge participant hoping to support you and be in communication. Forgive me my weakness! :~)

    I would love to know more about the artist category. Google, here I come!

    Great to “meet” you today!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    Fellow A to Z Challenge Participant
    H is for Hilda/HD
    On a Mission to Spread Word-Love Throughout the World

  4. I have never heard of the hugo awards either. But then, I do not read Science fiction. But maybe I should read one of those books.

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