This whole Hugo Voter thing is SO COOL

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!

Hugo update (the awards)

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!

I’m still here

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.

Hugo nominations

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):

Novels

  • 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

Novellas

  • 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

Novelette

  • Fisher of Bones by Sarah Gailey

Aaaaaaannnndddd nominated.

I want to be like Barack

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.

First Hugo Casualty

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.