January is here and people are talking about their Hugo nominations. As has become tradition I’m going to make a half assed attempt to tell you what I’ll be nominating. I’ll even have a wild crack at predicting who will actually appear on the ballot.
By the way, anyone else not yet received their Hugo PIN?
Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson which Kirstyn and I reviewed (glowingly) on this episode of Writer and The Critic. Fantastic and wonderful novel that has bugger all chance of featuring on the Hugo ballot. World Fantasy though – watch out!
A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki which Kirstyn and I will be reviewing on next months episode of The Writer And The Critic (and which would have been recorded two weeks ago if I hadn’t accidentally gone to the cricket). It’s received some Kitschie love, which is nice, and might appear on the Clarkes as well. Like the Hopkinson, the book has very little chance of appearing on the ballot.
The Machine by James Smythe which I reviewed here. Like the Ozeki it’s great to see it get nominated for a red tentacle Kitschie. I think it’s also a certainty for a Clarke nomination. Doubt there will be much Hugo love though.
Trucksong by Andrew Macrae which I reviewed here. In terms of length I think it only just sneaks over the 60,000 word limit. Whatever the case, this is innovative science fiction that world builds without pandering or hurling lengthy chunks of exposition at you. It’s also beautifully written and has some magnificent imagery. There’s one scene that still lingers in my mind. The world would have to be a very different place for this to feature on the Hugo ballot. Which is a shame because when people cry about how SF has become ordinary and predictable and dull, this is the sort of book they should be reading.
A Stranger in Olondria. Actually I could have chosen one of three books, including Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Familiar by J. Robert Lennon. But I’ve gone with Stranger in Olondria because while I think it has problems – see my review here – I think, like Trucksong, it does some innovative things with fantasy. And the writing is gorgeous. Of the five I’ll be nominating, this book probably has the best chance of featuring on the ballot. It’s definitely a contender for the World Fantasy Award.
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman. This has got to be a certainty. Will probably win as well.
The Human Division by John Scalzi. Another lay down misere. Will win if Gaiman doesn’t feature.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. The breakout SF book of the year. While it will be the first pick for those who are bored with the idea of a Gaiman / Scalzi win I don’t think there will be enough of those voters to see it cross the line.
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay. Maintained good levels of hype and popularity throughout 2013. No certainty because it’s a sequel but I’m thinking the odds are good. No chance of winning.
Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross. Gaiman aside, Stross will be the local pick at a London convention. He’s a popular writer anyway and Neptune’s Brood has maintained OK levels of buzz. Again no chance of winning.