Thursday, July 26, 2018

My Hugo award votes 2018 part 3: novels

A fairly varied bunch of nominees. All of them are at least fairly good, or at least well written. This year there was no influence of voting lists to be seen. Online fame, on the other hand, seems to have an effect; at least Scalzi and Mur Lafferty have run popular websites. Their books aren’t bad – or even worse of the nominees, but I wonder which books were the first ones just under the threshold and what the results would have been without the effect of fame?

There are one of the first part of a new series (The Collapsing Empire), one last part of a trilogy (The Stone Sky), one middle part of a trilogy (Raven Stratagem), one “collateral” part of an older series (Provenance) and two independent works (Six Wakes and New York 2140). As usual, the more independent the book is, the more it is award-worthy in my opinion – if it is well written with a decent plot. Some of the books were entertaining even if they weren’t written in the most eloquent and creative language (Six Wakes and The Collapsing Empire). On the other hand, if the writing is too “thick,” even apparently a pretty good plot might make the book hard to read (Raven Stratagem). The first choice was pretty obvious after some thinking. Also, it was easy to choose the last one – the only book where reading felt more like work than fun. The order of the other books could almost be interchangeable in any way, but the following feels right at the moment – Stone Sky was a worthy end for a good trilogy.

My voting order:

1. New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
2. The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
3. The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi (Tor)
4. Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty (Orbit)
5. Provenance, by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
6. Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)

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