I’m back after a week-plus of silence – all my free time has been spent working or watching WorldCon panels – and I just re-read my last post where I got all excited about Robert Silverberg, and MAN do I have different opinions about that now. After the Hugo Awards ceremony. After the Hugo Awards ceremony that wouldn’t end. After the Hugo Awards ceremony that wouldn’t end because two super-famous, super-old, super-white, and super-out-of-touch men wouldn’t stop talking about the past. It was mostly GRRM, but Silberberg’s segment was just as bad. They mispronounced finalists’ names repeatedly and spent SO MUCH TIME talking about Campbell without ONCE acknowledging that the name of the award was changed to the Astounding Award, let alone WHY it was changed. It felt deliberate, which, if it was, is super insulting. If it wasn’t deliberate, then the nicest things you can say about them are that they’re hopelessly out of touch and possibly senile. I’m not going to get into it much more than that (there are many people who did so online, and they go into much more detail), but I would like to take back my squee. It left a bad taste in my mouth.
Specifically, I need more SFF book nerd friends. I have Erik (THANK YOU, ERIK, AND WE NEED TO TALK BOOKS MORE), but I need more. This WorldCon thing is hammering it home for me. Tonight, for example, I’m watching a panel about Modern SF Criticism, and Robert Silverberg, who is not a panelist, submitted a question and comment, and GUYS. Robert Silverberg is watching the same panel I’m watching. If this weren’t virtual, we would be in the same room. ROBERT SILVERBERG.
I have no one to squee with.
I mean, the people I would squee with are at this convention (virtually), so I have a goal to find/start a book club. That I don’t have time for.
Guys, I am overworked lately and super-tired, but I am still here. WorldCon programming started today, so in addition to taking care of Jack and working, I am MAKING time to join big ol’ SFF nerdfest panels and such. It’s 100% virtual, and THANK ALL THE THINGS they’re recording each session, because they’re running on New Zealand time, which is 16 hours ahead of EDT. For instance, there’s a reading I’d like to see that starts at 10:30 tonight, and there’s another panel I’m interested in that starts at 1am. I’m going to nope right on out of those, but I’m counting on getting the recordings later.
Anyway, I’m done working, I’m done watching the two panels tonight that were on at times only slightly inconvenient for me, and I’m going to bed.
(I am so super excited about this convention. YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!)
Hugo voting ends in three days, and all I have left to read are six novelettes and six short stories. I’ve read five of the six novels (there’s one I can’t get my hands on), all six of the novellas, five of the six YA nominees, four of the six nominees for best series, a sampling of the best new writer nominees, and I’m not even going to try with the other categories. I had to draw the line somewhere.
But I can read six novelettes and six short stories by Wednesday night, right? I can. I can and I will, but I really need to get off the internet!
complaining musing about the difficulties of choosing my next book, I mentioned that the only thing that makes that decision easier is having a specific reading project. Well, the universe listened and released this year’s Hugo voter packet to voting and attending members of WorldCon, so…I’m all set for the next six weeks.
Whew. No stress about what’s next on the list.
Do I feel a tiny bit limited because now I feel like I HAVE to read the Hugo-nominated books and short stories and novellas? Maybe, but that’s because I’m dumb. An organization that I voluntarily joined and support and enjoy is giving me free books to read so I’ll be informed enough to vote on which ones are best.
Do I feel a little bit stressed about getting it done in time? Yes (I have six weeks), but I can manage that kind of stress. I’ve already read three of the six nominees for best novel and two of the six nominees for best YA novel. And for best series, I’m pretty sure the trilogy I’m reading right now is getting my vote. Out of the other five series nominated, I’ve read all of one (Expanse), most of another (InCryptid), and the first of a third (Wormwood) that I didn’t like very much. That only leaves two, and I think I can live with myself if I don’t get through them in time.
I can do this! Prioritization! Focus! Staying up late!
Two of the books I nominated for best novel are finalists for the Hugo (yay for Gideon the Ninth and A Memory Called Empire!), I read and liked a third (The Light Brigade), and I KNOW I’ll love the Seanan McGuire book because I have loved everything I’ve read of hers EVER. The Charlie Jane Anders book is likely to be good in a more literary way, and I’m super excited to read The Ten Thousand Doors of January. All of this goodness is going to make it VERY hard to vote.
And Emily Tesh is up for best new SF writer, and I will for SURE be voting for her on that one.
I have a lot of reading to do. Poor me.
Sad as I am about missing WorldCon and the Hugo award ceremony this year (and missing our visit with Erik and Margaret and the kids, obviously), I was still totally excited to see the list of the winners this morning. I looked that up before I even got out of bed.
The full list of winners is on Tor.com and the WorldCon site and I’m sure other places. If you’re at all interested in seeing how my votes stacked up against the final tallies, keep reading. I got the details about the final voting order from here.
|My Voting Order||Hugo Final Order||My thoughts on the final results|
|The Stone Sky by NK Jemisin||The Stone Sky by NK Jemisin||YAY!|
|Provenance by Ann Leckie||The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi||Can’t be upset about this. I didn’t love it, but I liked it, and I felt pretty much the same way about Provenance.|
|The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi||Provenance by Ann Leckie||Yeah, okay.|
|Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee||Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty||I couldn’t finish this one, so no.|
|New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson||Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee||Didn’t read it, but I liked its prequel.|
|Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty||New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson||Didn’t read it, no opinion.|
|River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey||All Systems Red by Martha Wells||I can’t complain too much about this category because I liked all of these SO much, but I LOVED River of Teeth more than anything, and to have it come in 6th hurts a little bit.|
|All Systems Red by Martha Wells||And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinsker|
|Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor||Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire|
|Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire||Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor|
|And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinsker||The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang|
|The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang||River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey|
|The Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne Palmer||The Secret Life of Bots by Suzanne Palmer||YAY!|
|A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie-Min Prasad||Wind Will Rove by Sarah Pinsker||I was close enough on the rest of these not to be annoyed by the results.|
|Wind Will Rove by Sarah Pinsker||A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie-Min Prasad|
|Children of Thorns by Aliette de Bodard||Extracurricular Activities by Yoon Ha Lee|
|Extracurricular Activities by Yoon Ha Lee||Children of Thorns by Aliette de Bodard|
|Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time by KM Szpara||Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time by KM Szpara|
|Best Short Story|
|Fandom for Robots by Vina Jie-Min Prasad||Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience by Rebecca Roanhorse||I was close enough on all of these not to be annoyed by the results.|
|Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience by Rebecca Roanhorse||Fandom for Robots by Vina Jie-Min Prasad|
|Sun, Moon, and Dust by Ursula Vernon||The Martian Obelisk by Linda Nagata|
|The Martian Obelisk by Linda Nagata||Sun, Moon, and Dust by Ursula Vernon|
|Carnival Nine by Caroline M. Yoachim||Carnival Nine by Caroline M. Yoachim|
|Clearly Letter in a Mostly Steady Hand by Fran Wilde||Clearly Letter in a Mostly Steady Hand by Fran Wilde|
|The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan||World of the Five Gods by Lois McMaster Bujold||Haven’t read anything by her. Planning to in the near(ish) future.|
|InCryptid by Seanan McGuire||InCryptid by Seanan McGuire||Yay!|
|The Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells||The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan||Yay!|
|World of the Five Gods by Lois McMaster Bujold||The Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells||Haven’t read these, but I’ve read others, and I like her.|
|The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett||The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson||I couldn’t get into the first book. Might have to try again sometime. People rave about it.|
|The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson||The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett||Haven’t tried it yet.|
|Best Related Work|
|Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy by Liz Bourke||No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin||She’s wonderful, so okay.|
|Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler edited by Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal||Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoe Quinn||Eh.|
|No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin||Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler edited by Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal||More wonderfulness.|
|Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoe Quinn||Iain M. Banks (Modern Masters of Science Fiction) by Paul Kincaid||Okay.|
|Iain M. Banks (Modern Masters of Science Fiction) by Paul Kincaid||Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy by Liz Bourke||She’s the only one I read regularly, so boo to 5th place.|
|A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison by Nat Segaloff||A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison by Nat Segaloff||I don’t really like Harlan Ellison, so this is okay with me.|
|Best Graphic Story|
|Saga, Volume 7 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples||Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda||Read and liked Vol 1.|
|Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch written by Kelly Sure DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles||Saga, Volume 7 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples||Love Vols 1 and 2 – need to catch up|
|Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda||Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch written by Kelly Sure DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles|
|Black Bolt, Volume 1: Hard Time written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Christian Ward, lettered by Clayton Cowles||Black Bolt, Volume 1: Hard Time written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Christian Ward, lettered by Clayton Cowles|
|My Favorite Thing is Monsters written and illustrated by Emil Ferris||Paper Girls, Volume 3 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher|
|Paper Girls, Volume 3 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher||My Favorite Thing is Monsters written and illustrated by Emil Ferris|
|Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)|
|Thor: Ragnarok written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost; directed by Taika Waititi||Wonder Woman screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, directed by Patty Jenkins||Close enough!|
|Wonder Woman screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, directed by Patty Jenkins||Get Out written and directed by Jordan Peele|
|Get Out written and directed by Jordan Peele||Thor: Ragnarok written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost; directed by Taika Waititi|
|The Shape of Water written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, directed by Guillermo del Toro||Star Wars: The Last Jedi written and directed by Rian Johnson|
|Star Wars: The Last Jedi written and directed by Rian Johnson||The Shape of Water written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, directed by Guillermo del Toro|
|Blade Runner 2049 written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, directed by Denis Villeneuve||Blade Runner 2049 written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, directed by Denis Villeneuve|
|Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)|
|The Good Place: The Trolley Problem written by Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, directed by Dean Holland||The Good Place: The Trolley Problem written by Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, directed by Dean Holland||YAY!!!!!! You know my love for Doctor Who, so you can see how much I must REALLY love The Good Place to vote for it over the good Doctor.|
|The Good Place: Michael’s Gambit written and directed by Michael Schur||Black Mirror: USS Callister written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker, directed by Toby Haynes||We should watch this.|
|Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay||The Good Place: Michael’s Gambit written and directed by Michael Schur||Yay!|
|Black Mirror: USS Callister written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker, directed by Toby Haynes||Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay|
|The Deep [song] by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)||Star Trek Discovery: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad written by Aron Eli Coleite & Jesse Alexander, directed by David M. Barrett||Haven’t seen it|
|Star Trek Discovery: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad written by Aron Eli Coleite & Jesse Alexander, directed by David M. Barrett||The Deep [song] by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)|
|Best Professional Editor (Long Form)|
|Miriam Weinberg||Sheila E. Gilbert||For these, I looked at what they edited that made them eligible, and ranked them by whether I’d read it, liked it, heard of it, never heard of it, and so on.|
|Sheila E. Gilbert||Navah Wolfe|
|Joe Monti||Diana M. Pho|
|Diana M. Pho||Devi Pillai|
|Navah Wolfe||Miriam Weinberg|
|Devi Pillai||Joe Monti|
|Best Professional Editor (Short Form)|
|Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas||Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas||For these, I looked at what they edited that made them eligible, and ranked them by whether I’d read it, liked it, heard of it, never heard of it, and so on. And apparently most of the other voters agreed with me in every case. Weird.|
|Sheila Williams||Sheila Williams|
|Neil Clarke||Neil Clarke|
|John Joseph Adams||John Joseph Adams|
|Jonathan Strahan||Jonathan Strahan|
|Lee Harris||Lee Harris|
|Best Professional Artist|
|Galen Dara||Sana Takeda||Kind of annoyed that my least favorite won, but there’s no accounting for taste.|
|Victo Ngai||John Picacio|
|Bastien Lecouffe Deharme||Galen Dara|
|John Picacio||Victo Ngai|
|Kathleen Jennings||Kathleen Jennings|
|Sana Takeda||Bastien Lecouffe Deharme|
|The Book Smugglers edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James||Uncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Julia Rios; podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky||I don’t read any of these regularly, so I went with have I heard of them? Am I familiar with anyone involved? Do I think the name is cool?|
|Strange Horizons edited by Kate Dollarhyde, Gautam Bhatia, A.J. Odasso, Lila Garrott, Heather McDougal, Ciro Faienza, Tahlia Day, Vanessa Rose Phin, and the Strange Horizons staff||Strange Horizons edited by Kate Dollarhyde, Gautam Bhatia, A.J. Odasso, Lila Garrott, Heather McDougal, Ciro Faienza, Tahlia Day, Vanessa Rose Phin, and the Strange Horizons staff|
|Uncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Julia Rios; podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky||Beneath Ceaseless Skies editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews|
|Fireside Magazine edited by Brian White and Julia Rios; managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry; special feature editor Mikki Kendall; publisher & art director Pablo Defendini||Escape Pod edited by Mur Lafferty, S.B. Divya, and Norm Sherman, with assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney|
|Escape Pod edited by Mur Lafferty, S.B. Divya, and Norm Sherman, with assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney||Fireside Magazine edited by Brian White and Julia Rios; managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry; special feature editor Mikki Kendall; publisher & art director Pablo Defendini|
|Beneath Ceaseless Skies editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews||The Book Smugglers edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James|
|SF Bluestocking edited by Bridget McKinney||File 770 edited by Mike Glyer||I’d never heard of any these, so I ranked by how I felt about the names in the moment.|
|Journey Planet edited by Team Journey Planet||SF Bluestocking edited by Bridget McKinney|
|Rocket Stack Rank edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong||nerds of a feather, flock together edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry|
|nerds of a feather, flock together edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry||Journey Planet edited by Team Journey Planet|
|Galactic Journey edited by Gideon Marcus||Galactic Journey edited by Gideon Marcus|
|File 770 edited by Mike Glyer||Rocket Stack Rank edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong|
|Sword and Laser presented by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt||Ditch Diggers presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace||Again, I don’t listen to any of these, but I had heard of one of them, so I ranked it first (it got 5th).|
|Verity! presented by Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts||Fangirl Happy Hour presented by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams|
|Galactic Suburbia presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts; produced by Andrew Finch||The Coode Street Podcast presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe|
|Fangirl Happy Hour presented by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams||Galactic Suburbia presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts; produced by Andrew Finch|
|Ditch Diggers presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace||Sword and Laser presented by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt|
|The Coode Street Podcast presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe||Verity! presented by Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts|
|Best Fan Writer|
|Sarah Gailey||Sarah Gailey||YAY!|
|Bogi Takács||Foz Meadows|
|Foz Meadows||Mike Glyer|
|Camestros Felapton||Bogi Takács|
|Mike Glyer||Camestros Felapton|
|Charles Payseur||Charles Payseur|
|Best Fan Artist|
|Geneva Benton||Geneva Benton||Happy to have chosen the winner|
|Grace P. Fong||Likhain (M. Sereno)|
|Maya Hahto||Grace P. Fong|
|Likhain (M. Sereno)||Maya Hahto|
|Spring Schoenhuth||Spring Schoenhuth|
|Steve Stiles||Steve Stiles|
|Award for Best Young Adult Book (not a Hugo)|
|In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan||Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor||Deserved|
|Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher||Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher||Okay|
|Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor||In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan||A little bummed. I really liked this one.|
|The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller||A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge||Didn’t read|
|A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge||The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller||Not really surprised|
|The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman||The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman||Didn’t read|
|The John W. Campbell Award (not a Hugo)|
|Katherine Arden||Rebecca Roanhorse|
|Rivers Solomon||Vina Jie-Min Prasad|
|Rebecca Roanhorse||Jeannette Ng||This feels like a literary vote. Her book didn’t grab me (this past week), but I put her last because at the time I hadn’t read her at all.|
|Vina Jie-Min Prasad||Rivers Solomon|
|Sarah Kuhn||Katherine Arden||A little bummed. I loved her book.|
|Jeannette Ng||Sarah Kuhn||Yeah, okay. Didn’t love it.|
It’s official – we’re not going to WorldCon this year. Okay, it was official MONTHS ago, but as of today, we have transferred both memberships over to other people who will really go so now it’s super official. And because people are basically good (or at least the people in my sample of SFF fans who go to conventions are basically good), both of the people we transferred the memberships to paid us for those memberships. And because WE are basically good people, we didn’t charge them the full amount we paid back in December. One of them got her membership (John’s) in time to vote. The other didn’t, but that means MY votes for the Hugo awards (and other awards) counted, and we all know how important that was to me. (Voting ended Tuesday night at midnight, and the transfer of my membership went through today.)
Next year, WorldCon is in Dublin. If we can’t make it (with a baby!), I’ll at least get a supporting membership (which is WAY cheaper) so I can nominate and vote. I like being involved in this. These are my people. This is my community.
Are we going to do something fun and relevant with the money we got back? Well…sort of. Fun, no, but Hugo-relevant, yes. The money is going to go to buying the stroller. Practicality FTW!
The Hugo Voter Packet was released recently, and do you know what that is? I mean, I didn’t know it existed until after I got into this process, and then I kind of knew I’d get a voter packet, and I kind of knew what that meant, but I just downloaded it yesterday and GUYS. It’s like my birthday and Christmas and Hanukkah and people just giving me presents for NO REASON. That’s how cool it is. The Hugo Voter Packet contains electronic copies of many, if not most, of the Hugo nominees for best novel, novella, short story, novelette, series, art, magazine and so on through all the categories AND NOW I HAVE THEM ALL.
I am so happy to have these AND it makes my “what should I read next” dilemma WAY easier to solve. Voting is over in a month and a half. What will I read next? Everything in my Hugo Voter Packet!
The Hugo nominations were announced last weekend, and my nominations don’t look a lot like the final slate for voting. Out of the six books up for Best Novel, only ONE of my picks is on the list (The Stone Sky, NK Jemisin), I haven’t read four of them (YET – a trip to the library is in my immediate future), and one book that I decided not to finish because the writing felt…amateurish…IS on the list. Voting for the Hugos involves ranking the nominees. That one will be last for me. For Best Novella, three of my picks are on the list, so I feel a little better about that, but my one pick for Best Novelette didn’t make it.
TWO episodes of The Good Place were nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form, which is GREAT because I love that show so much. (If you’re not watching it, go watch it.)
I don’t know when voting will start, aside from sometime this month, but I’m totally ready! Except for not having read four of the six nominees for Best Novel. But I’ll get there!
Hi. I’m back (as you may have noticed after the last few days of semi-consistent posting). I’m sorry I went mostly dark, but I was trying really really hard not to talk about something, and when I’m bursting to talk about something, I can’t think of anything else to say. I’m fine in person (although I went almost full hermit, so I didn’t have to test that very often), but for blogging purposes, it basically elbowed everything else out of my head.
But hey, the secret is out (THANK GOODNESS), and my head feels clearer.
I’m not being deliberately enigmatic. I mean, I am, but not with the intention of leaving anyone in the dark. It’s just that I don’t tend to get too personal here, so it feels kind of weird. On the other hand, I plan to talk about it (or at least not NOT talk about it), so for the maybe ONE person who reads me who isn’t an immediate family member or high school/college friend: I’m pregnant. Yay, happy dance, and all that stuff.
You know what? I am going to talk about it. Because it STILL doesn’t feel quite real, and it’s kinda freaking me out. That it doesn’t feel real, I mean. Despite the fact that less than a week ago I was at the doctor’s office and I heard the baby’s heartbeat, it appears that I need further proof. (I mean, maybe that tiny fast heartbeat was just a clever ruse because the doctor is in on this charade or maybe it’s a tiny mechanical device, like a pacemaker, that somehow got implanted or hey, maybe it’s a tiny ticking bomb (and you know what? it kind of is). I’m not showing yet, and my first trimester symptoms have been pretty mild, with the exception of OH MY GOD THE WORST TASTE IN MY MOUTH ALL THE TIME except when I’m eating which means I want to eat ALL THE TIME but eating for two isn’t really a thing and gaining too much weight too fast is a BAD thing and also I’m supposed to drink a TON of water and water TASTES BAD because of this awful taste and please please please make it go away as this trimester ends….
It is getting slightly less unbearable, so I have hope. Also, I have noticed actual feelings of lightheadedness and weakness when I need to eat something, which is new and unusual and super not fun.
So I’m looking forward to LOOKING pregnant. I think.
Oh, also, we’re calling unborn child Hugo (Hugo Nebula when we’re being formal) until he or she is born because due to the timing, we will not be able to go to WorldCon for the Hugo Awards. Turns out they don’t let women on planes when they’re THAT pregnant. Color me disappointed, but there will be other years. Our little baby nerd will go to LOTS of conventions with us.
It’s time. The Hugo nominations are due a week from yesterday, but I’m not going to read any more eligible books between now and then, so here goes.
I’m only nominating in three categories: novel, novella, and novelette. I can nominate up to five per category, but I really only have four novels and just one novelette (that I thought counted as a novella until I looked it up just now, which is wonderful news because now novella #6 is actually novella #5 and I can nominate it!).
In no particular order (although kind of in this order):
- The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
- City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
- The Refrigerator Monologues by Cat Valente
- The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
- River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
- Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
- All Systems Red by Martha Wells
- The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
- Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey
- Fisher of Bones by Sarah Gailey
I finished City of Brass, which was fantastic, and I can’t wait for the sequel, and oh crap. I have just rediscovered the down side to reading brand new books. This book was published two months ago. The author has not yet finished writing the sequel. She’s probably only barely begun. What have I done?
I’m excited to have finished City of Brass, not because I wished for it to be over (I did not, despite speeding through the last third because wow stuff was happening), but because now I am free to read my next potential Hugo nominee, The Power, by Naomi Alderman. I had just barely heard of it, had JUST added it to my list, when Baader-Meinhof kicked in. The very next day, maybe later the same day(?), I read about Obama posting his favorite books, songs, etc., of 2017. Top of his list? (Okay, it’s alphabetical, but it’s still ON his list.) The Power, by Naomi Alderman. I am vindicated. Also, super excited about this book.
Six Wakes is the first novel I picked up with the express purpose of deciding if I would nominate it for a Hugo. It only took me a few pages to decide that I would not. It took me nearly halfway before I decided not to even finish it. I don’t think I’m being pickier than usual, or feeling self-important about my new-found (new-bought) influence in the SFF world, but I did fret about putting this one down completely. The writing is…not great (noticeable from the first few pages). It certainly doesn’t live up to the premise, which is pretty cool, but maybe the book could have been saved by a good editor. Maybe it WAS saved, and this was as far as she could take it. I stuck with it because I liked the story and figured I could still find out what happens – just because I may not nominate something doesn’t mean it’s not an enjoyable read – but then I stopped enjoying it. I started skimming. !!!
Tip for Future Me: if you’re skimming a book because you want to know the end but you can’t handle reading every word, put it down and look up the plot summary online. Save your reading time for books you want to read.
Anyway, I feel guilty about it, but I put the book down for my own sanity and then promptly read the plot summary online. And now I know the end…and I’m kind of glad I didn’t keep reading. It doesn’t sound like it pays off.