Initial Hugo Thoughts

Hugo Award nominating season is upon us, and as a member of Loncon3, I get to make nominations for the first time. Problem is, I’m not really sure what I’ll be nominating. To help me decide, I’ve been seeking out recommendation posts (such as this one from lady business) for ideas.

I also decided I’d go through the award categories and put down what I’ve currently got in mind for them, and where I need to look into more. I have until the end of March to make nominations, so I’m going to be trying to get to as much eligible content as possible before placing my ballot. When I do, I’ll make another post with my final nominations, for comparison to these early thoughts.

Without further ado:

Best Novel: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of forty thousand (40,000) words or more.

I only read a few 2013 releases last year. Of those, The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes has a definite spot on my ballot. I’m also likely to put down The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman.

For the remaining places, I’m going to spend the next month or so reading 2013 releases. Right now I’m reading the much-hyped Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, and I have a number of other things in mind to read before I nominate. We’ll see where I go with this.

Best Novella: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of between seventeen thousand five hundred (17,500) and forty thousand (40,000) words.
Best Novelette: Awarded for a science fiction or fantasy story of between seven thousand five hundred (7,500) and seventeen thousand five hundred (17,500) words.
Best Short Story: Awarded for science fiction or fantasy story of less than seven thousand five hundred (7,500) words.

Unfortunately I don’t read all that much fiction below novel length, so I’m not sure what to do about these categories. I may have to leave them blank, though I’m considering picking up a “Year’s Best” anthology to get some ideas. Otherwise, the only short fiction I’ve been reading has been Fireside Magazine, a couple of issues of Electric Velocipede, and Weird Fiction Review.

Best Related Work: Awarded to a work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom.

Another category I’m not fully up on. I’m wondering if Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook is eligible here. A lot of people have been mentioning Kameron Hurley’s essay “We Have Always Fought”, which is pretty strong contender.

One thing mentioned on that lady business recommendation post I linked above, which hadn’t occured to me, is Anita Sarkeesian‘s Tropes Versus Women in Video Games series. That’s an excellent piece of pop culture criticism and analysis, so I’ve now got that in mind too (most likely for the “Damsel in Distress” videos, as the series as a whole is unfinished).

Best Graphic Story: A science fiction or fantasy story told in graphic form, such as a comic book, graphic novel, or webcomic.

Locke and Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. The final issue of this series was published in December, which I believe makes it eligible as a complete work. Easily on of the best graphic stories in recent years – even though I haven’t read the ending yet (I wait for the trade paperbacks), I’m nominating this based on the strength of the first 5 volumes.

Elsewise, a lot of people have been mentioning Saga, which I agree is very good. Howard Tayler brought up Bad Machinery‘s “The Case of the Forked Road”, by John Allison, which I hadn’t thought or for nomination but is definately worth it.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): This Award can be given a dramatized production in any medium, including film, television, radio, live theater, computer games or music. The work must last 90 minutes or longer (excluding commercials).

I’m not decided on this one. Pacific Rim is being mentioned everywhere, and might get on. Gravity was an incredible film, but I’m not convinced it’s science fiction. There was one other thing I thought about but it turns out it’s shorter than I realised.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): This Award can be given a dramatized production in any medium, including film, television, radio, live theater, computer games or music. The work must be less than 90 minutes long (excluding commercials).

One thing I’ve had in mind all year is Black Mirror series 2, episode 1, “Be Right Back”, about a widow who signs up for a service which recreates her husband’s personality from his social media profiles.

I’ve also had a note down since February about this excellent short film, Cargo.

I want to put Welcome To Night Vale on my ballot. Excellent, funny radio drama style weird fiction. Most likely I’ll go for “One Year Later”.

I’m also considering An Adventure in Space and Time here. It’s 83 minutes long, though I originally thought it was long-form length. I’ve complained about the Doctor Who stuff here in the past, but this stands on its own. (Doctor Who itself has stopped producing worthy material. I’m hoping the final ballot reflects its decline, though I doubt it.)

Best Editor (Long Form):
Best Editor (Short Form):

I have no idea. I’m not sure how anyone who doesn’t work inside the industry would know which long form editor worked on a book or understand what they contributed to it. For short form, I just don’t read enough short fiction. I’ll be leaving these out.

Best Professional Artist:

I wanted to put Nimona somewhere on my ballot, but as it’s an unfinished webcomic, I don’t think it’s eligible for graphic story this year. So, I might follow suit with a lot of the recommendations I’ve seen and put Noelle Stephenson down in this category.

Joey Hi-Fi does some really excellent book covers. Cheryl Morgan brought up J. H. Williams III for his Batwoman work, which I’ll consider, and people are mentioning Fiona Staples for Saga.

But overall I’m not familiar enough with artists, so I’ll have to look into it a lot more before nominating.

Best Semiprozine:
Best Fanzine:
Best Fancast:

Not a clue. Not familiar enough with the work done in these categories. Blank spaces all around.

Best Fan Writer:

Another category I’m not too familiar with, but I’m considering Foz Meadows.

Best Fan Artist:

Nope, no idea.

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Not a Hugo.

Another one I would have to do a lot more looking into. Don’t think I’ve read any eligible writers yet.

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