The finalists for the 2014 Hugo Awards, to be given out at Loncon 3 in August, were announced today. You can see the complete list here.
As usual, this will no doubt kick off a flurry of reading for me as I try to read everything before the awards ceremony. As I did last year after this blog was started (here, here, and here), I will no doubt inflict my opinions (insightful, knowledgeable, and otherwise) on you as I read through the list.
A few early thoughts, glancing through the list:
It’s interesting to see the entire “Wheel Of Time” series nominated for “Best Novel” — apparently an entire series of novels can be nominated once the series is finished if none of the individual novels ever got nominated. I’ve actually read the first eight or nine novels of the fourteen, but…
FOURTEEN freakin’ novels! 4,410,036 words! 11,916 pages in hardback! Massive epic fantasy (with some SF elements at least hinted at here & there), I remember it started off okay for the first three or four books. Then it started to bog down. Then it became glacial. I think volume nine was where my daughter (who got me involved in reading them) described the entire book as “Egwene Takes A Bath.” Yep.
That was about the time that the author, Robert Jordan, died. Normally this would pose a problem, but in this case it actually saved the series. Brandon Sanderson was brought onboard to write the final books based on Robert Jordan’s notes and outlines. I’ve heard (although I gave up after the Bath novel) that the later books got good and the final resolution was quite good. Maybe I’ll have to see.
I’m also glad to see “Parasite” by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) made it. I really liked her “Newsflesh” trilogy and I’m looking forward to seeing what she’s come up with here.
Randall Munroe got nominated for “Best Graphic Novel” for the “Time” XKCD. That’s incredibly freaking wonderful!!! (Must not go crazy with too many exclamation points…) I haven’t even looked to see who else got nominated in the category, but I hope they know it’s an honor just to be nominated.
“Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form” is, as always, five major Hollywood movies. As much as there may be hard-core fans of “Iron Man 3” (which I liked a lot) and “Frozen” (which I haven’t seen but have been “squeeeeeed” at by many friends), I don’t see how anyone can vote against “Gravity.”
“Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form” is, as always, two-thirds or more “Doctor Who” episodes or specials or whatever. As someone who has never quite “gotten” Doctor Who, I’ll remain unimpressed. Sorry. Sue me. It’s interesting to see an “Orphan Black” episode nominated — I’ve not watched the series, but I know that the second season premiered tonight because half of my Twitter feed was friends going nuts about how great it is. Finally, we’re working our way through the third season of “Game Of Thrones” and while I’m sure that “The Rains Of Castamere” is going to be utterly fantastic (yes, I’ve read the books, I know what’s coming) it’s going to be rough to watch.
Finally, as I go into Old Phart mode, I remember when you could go read all (i.e., 95%+) of the nominees in the Short Story, Novelette, and Novella categories just by digging through your year’s collection of Analog, Asimov’s SF, and Fantasy & Science Fiction. Now I guess I’ll have to go hunting, unless they put them all on the site to be read. Some of those source publications seem to be just a bit “obscure,” shall we say.
Time to dive in!
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