Before I get started I’d like to mention how shit the Chicon 7 online nomination form is.  There’s no warning anywhere on the form that if you tab away from the screen – because you want to check the length of a story – when you return everything you’ve entered will have fucking vanished.  So, for my next crack at nominating – form you will not BEAT ME! – I’ll be submitting my nominations every time I’ve finished a category.

Onto the novels.  I read only 30 books a year – what with life getting in the way and the fact that I’ve started reading more short fiction – and so I always struggle to catch up with novels published in 2011.  Fortunately, podcasting has given me the opportunity to read the following 2011 novels which I’ll be nominating:

  • Deathless, Catherynne M. Valente (Tor) – My thoughts on this gorgeous novel and (Kirstyn’s) can be found here (yes, all the way back to episode one of Writer and the Critic);
  • Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor) – I had reservations with this book, which I express on this episode of the Writer and the Critic, but I still think it’s a well written and worthy novel;
  • The Courier’s New Bicycle, Kim Westwood (Voyager Australia) – Spoilers for episode 16 of The Writer and the Critic, but yeah I loved this.
  • Zoo City, Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot) – I spoke about this novel last month* and mentioned how great it was and how fortunate I am that I can still nominate it

I also ready Embassytown last year by China Miéville , but a dull protagonist and a potentially offensive conclusion** kept it off my list.  And because I don’t remember reading anything else that was great and published in 2011, my ballot remains at four.***

If I had more time I would have read novels like By Light Alone by Adam Roberts (which I noticed didn’t get on the Locus Recommended Reading List,**** God’s War by Kameron Hurley, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, The Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor and Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine (which I also note didn’t appear on the LRRL… or did I miss it?)

Anywho, thems the books I’ll be putting on the shitty Chicon 7 Hugo ballot.  Honestly, aside from Among Others, I don’t expect any of them to appear.  I think this year the novel section will be dominated by Rothfuss, Martin, Scalzi and Miéville.  But we shall see.

*Oh look, another link to The Writer and the Critic

** Go listen to episode 8 of the Writer and the Critic (same as the Jo Walton ep) where Kirstyn and I spend a good 10 minutes arguing over whether the ending is offensive or not.

*** Actually, I read Tiger’s Wife as well, but I thought that was a bit shit.

**** Didn’t something similar provoke a bit of “robust conversation” last year as to the lack of decent UK writers featuring on the LRR… or am I just shit stirring misremembering?