So last night the 2011 Hugo awards were given out. While I haven’t read all of the novels or short fiction that were nominated (more like only 5 or so pieces in total), I feel like giving some of my thoughts.
The only book I read that was nominated for Best Novel was “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” by N.K. Jemisin, which I thought was an excellent book. I haven’t read “Blackout/All Clear” by Connie Willis (the winner), but according to my mom and a couple of other reviewers online, multiple historical facts were incorrect and the writing wasn’t anything to write home about either. I’m inclined to think she won based off of the fact that she’s won multiple awards previously, including the Hugo for Best Novel, so these nominated books were assumed to be as good in terms of quality. That’s my perception though, since, again, I haven’t read the two books (and it was pretty weird they were so willing to treat the two books as one entity).
I’m very, very disappointed that “The Lifecycle of Software Objects” by Ted Chiang won Best Novella. Not only because I wanted “The Lady Who Plucked Flowers From the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky to win, but because the winning novella’s final conflict’s premise is based off of speculations and assumptions that are extremely anti-asexuality (I intend to write a separate post on that later).
In terms of Best Novelette, I’m just glad that “That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone didn’t win. I still don’t understand how it won the Nebula.
I am pleased that “Chicks Dig Timelords” edited by Lynn M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea won Best Related Work and that Clarkesworld won Best Semiprozine. Clarkesworld publishes good stories and their cover art is consistently amazing. I love them.
Unfortunately, I am opposed to the movie “Inception” winning any kind of sci-fi award, let alone the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation. They tried to make the completely awesome concept of infiltrating and constructing dreams within dreams fit within the context of a heist movie, thereby severely limiting their options in terms of exploring what they could do with the concept and giving them an excuse to have pointless gunfight scenes. Sure it’s a big, blockbuster sci-fi movie, but it’s a big, blockbuster movie with it’s sci-fi parts kept on a tight leash so as not to disturb the masses.
And that is what I think of that.