As a Hugo nominee, I think I’m required to do at least one reminder post that Hugo voting ends July 31. There’s now a countdown on the Hugo Voting Page.
I’ve posted my thoughts on various categories here:
While I didn’t get through all of the novels, I did have a review of one of the nominated works: Deadline, by Mira Grant.
I voted last week. There are a few categories I left blank, as I wasn’t familiar enough to feel right about voting, and at this point, I wasn’t going to be able to get through the rest. Here are my final, somewhat disorganized thoughts on the nominated works.
Graphic Novel – You’ve got Fables, a story that blends different fairy tale characters, including some kick-ass heroines and an interpretation that blends the two versions of Snow White. Then there’s The Unwritten, which centers on the magic of books and stories. After reading those two, I was half-expecting the next one to be all about an underdog fantasy monster and his pet spider. This was one of the categories I struggled with, trying to rank both the storytelling and the artwork/presentation. For example, the artwork in Digger might not be on the same level as the art in Fables, but I found myself enjoying the story and imagination in Digger more.
Best Editor – Long Form – As a DAW author, I can’t be objective here. Pat Rothfuss talks about his experience working with Betsy Wollheim here, and I think he says things better than I could. Last year, she edited and published a #1 NYT Bestseller (Rothfuss) as well as a World Fantasy Award winner (Nnedi Okorafor). Betsy has been editing for decades, and has never gotten a Hugo for it. I think it’s time that changed. (Pat’s post is also worth reading for the insight into writing-related stress and breakdown.)
Best Related Work – I think the online SF Encyclopedia is an impressive achievement, and worth recognition. Seanan McGuire’s album “Wicked Girls” is awesome, and the title song is award-worthy all by itself (in my not-terribly-humble opinion). I’ve been a guest on Writing Excuses and I think they’re great, but I found myself struggling with the question of whether it was better to vote for something aimed primarily at writers vs. works aimed at SF/F as a whole. I don’t know if that makes sense or not, and I don’t think “specialized” works should be excluded. Just something I had to work through as I was trying to decide how to vote.
Best Fan Writer – I have no comment, except to say once again that I’m honored to be on the ballot with these people.
John W. Campbell Award – This was a tricky one. One author had a fairly short story. Two others had novels. It’s hard to compare. I think that for the short story nominees, it’s a good idea to submit multiple stories, like E. Lily Yu did. It provides a larger sense of the author’s writing and range. I wonder how many people will vote for the novelists, simply because folks tend to see novels as more “valid” than short stories…
No Award – I didn’t vote “No Award” for any of the categories. I wouldn’t deny others their right to do so, but I find that option personally distasteful. The works on the ballot are there because a significant portion of our community feels they deserve to be on the ballot. Even if I disagree, I’m not comfortable saying I’d rather see no award given out than see it go to that person or work.
One of the challenges I struggled with was keeping my personal feelings off of the ballot. I know a lot of the nominees this year, which is awesome, but also awkward. I think I was able to judge each category on the merits of the submitted work, but it was hard. (It helps that I have some amazingly talented friends, so in many cases I could vote for them with a clear conscience.)
Have you voted yet? What was the hardest category for you to decide on? Which category or categories did you end up leaving blank?