Theme I’ve noticed this year—the Hugo ballots more closely match the Nebula ballot than previous years (ignoring the past two years of Puppy-rigged ballots), and no more so is this the case than the Hugo ballot. I barely had anything new to read at all! This seems to speak to some amount of consensus among the “popular” and the “professional” categories of voters that make up the two awards about the best works published in 2016.
Unfortunately I was not able to finish reading all the nominations before the awards tonight (namely Penric’s Demon). (Seriously, what is up with conventions like WorldCon and RCCC occurring one month earlier than usual?) Aside from this one discrepancy, behold the novella ballot review.
- The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle, (Tor.com Publishing)
- The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson, (Tor.com Publishing)
- Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, (Tor.com Publishing)
- Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold, (Spectrum Literary Agency)
Did not finish in time; intrigued by the bit I read.
- This Census Taker by China Miéville (Del Ray/Picador)
I don’t care that this is written by China Miéville, and I don’t care that everything he writes is supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have way too large a TBR pile and too little time to waste on books that bore me and my god, was this fucking boring. I gave up 70 pages in. Theoretically there’s a story buried underneath all the words put on paper to look and sound pretty and create setting, but I don’t have the time or interest to slog through and see if there is.
(I have enjoyed several of Miéville’s novels in the past, but he remains one of those authors whose writing I feel obligated to like because the Literary Establishment—both SFF and otherwise—have indicated that he can do no wrong, and even if he does do wrong it’s still brilliant anyway.)
My vote: A Taste of Honey