It’s supposed to be a review Friday, and in a way, it is. Here’s my one-sentence plug: Larry Correia’s Warbound is superbly crafted, great story, with characters who will surprise, thrill, and keep you reading to find out what happens next. Go find a copy, but start with Hard Magic if you haven’t read the first two in the trilogy (two sentences, sorry).
I did something this year I have thought about for many years, but never brought myself to doing before. I bought into the Hugo process.
First of all, it’s not cheap, for a poor college student. In order to nominate/vote, you must buy at least a supporting membership in a WorldCon, which will run you about $40 (LonCon after conversion was $42.90) which is significantly more than any single book, unless I count some of my text books.
Secondly, there’s the discouragment factor of knowing that your vote is a single voice in a heavily weighted system, and one that isn’t lily-white, so if you are a known troublemaker (which I can’t really claim to be, although I have friends who are) you run the risk of having that vote ‘vanish’ in some fashion.
But this year, I had to do it. If I’m going to be serious about a writing career, there is more to it, sadly, than just putting words on paper. Damn, it would be so simple if that’s all it were. I loathe politics, refuse to discuss mine in public (I’ll give you a hint, they involve the words ‘leave me and mine alone’), and really don’t want to get involved in the dramallama that surrounds the whole Hugo process. This last year I can think of at least one specific instance where I picked up a book in a store, saw the ‘Hugo-award Winner’ and immediately put it back down again, knowing in those few words I likely wouldn’t enjoy that book.
And that’s why I bought in. Because I know I’m not the only one who would like to see the awards of my industry to mean something again, to be awarded on merit, not how PC and SMOF the author is. Popular vote, yeah. I have no problem with that, that’s what the Hugo is supposed to be. Because people read what they like, and I trust readers to like the good stuff. They might not define it the way the elite want them to, but they know what they like when they read it.
There’s only a couple of days left to buy into the process. I’m not telling you to. I’m saying I did, for the first time. I’ll nominate, then I’ll carefully read through the pile of stuff that I need to make an honest vote, and do so. I know what I like, and I know what good writing is. Do you?
I’m only a single voice. Join me.
As for what brought me to this? Well, partly it was the enthusiasm and humor in Larry Correia’s Sad Puppies campaign, and having just finished Warbound. An excellent book, overall, and the whole trilogy was a thing of beauty in writing and storytelling. It deserves the pick.
For other nomination-eligble titles, Brad Torgerson posted a few this morning I was pleased to see, having enjoyed his writing this past year.
“The Exchange Officers” novelette, ANALOG magazine (2013)
“The Chaplain’s Legacy” novella, ANALOG magazine (2013)
“The Flamingo Girl” novelette, GALAXY’S EDGE magazine (2013)
The Baen list is here. Baen Publishing holds a special place in my heart, and I will be looking at this list, knowing not all are the best, but many are wonderful, it will be a hard choice.
I’ll have to check which webcomics are eligible, I’m not sure if Schock Mercenary is, but if so, it’s definitely the best.