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Sci-Fi Books The 2000 Beanies

John Scalzi's Redshirts Wins Hugo Award for Best Novel 112

The Hugo awards were presented last night, providing recognition to the best science fiction of the past year. The award for Best Novel was presented to John Scalzi for Redshirts, a comedic work playing on the trope of low-ranking officers frequently getting themselves killed in sci-fi works. Best Novella went to Brandon Sanderson for The Emperor's Soul, and Best Novelette went to The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi by Pat Cadigan. Best Graphic Story was awarded to the creators of Saga. Best Dramatic Presentation (long form) was given for Joss Whedon's The Avengers movie, and (short form) was presented for the "Blackwater" episode of the Game of Thrones TV show. The Best New Writer was Mur Lafferty. Here's a full list of the nominees and winners.
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John Scalzi's Redshirts Wins Hugo Award for Best Novel

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Good, that no Disneyland this time. I know, it's a matter of taste. A lot of people value Scalzi or Adams. But... where is Asimov-like Sci fi? Deep, intelectual, but not "geek".
    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      But... where is Asimov-like Sci fi? Deep, intelectual, but not "geek".

      Not geek, nerd. [] Asimov held a PhD in biochemistry and did cancer research at Boston University. It shows in his works.

    • Scalzi actually does fairly hard sci-fi mostly. Check his Old Man's War novels. They're good.
    • Quick, name me another prominent comedic science fiction author. Are there really enough that this is an issue? (I actually couldn't think of another one off-hand, if you don't count Vonnegut.)

      There is a lot of great science fiction out there. Questions of identity, memory, and continuity? Try Brin's Kiln People. Reaction of societies to profound changes? Robert Charles Wilson's Spin. The Fermi Paradox? Try Revelation Space or Brin's Existence. Also, for "can't find a category for it," try Mieville'

      • by Macgrrl ( 762836 )

        Depending on your definition of prominent and your definition of sci-fi and your definition of comedy: Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers Guide series), Phil Janes (Galaxy Game series), Ben Elton (Stark, etc), Eric Idle (Road to Mars). I could probably find more if I looked, that's just what I could think of off the top of my head.

    • Alistair Reynolds. Charles Stross. Gregory Benford. There's three.
  • Chief O'Brien and Yeoman Rand are the only two I can think of.

    • Chief O'Brien and Yeoman Rand are the only two I can think of.

      Yeoman (Janice) Rand wasn't a man.

      • by Nutria ( 679911 )

        Don't be an idiot.

        • Don't be an idiot.

          Come again?

          Your question seemed poorly formulated and your supporting comment only confused matters.

          You ask "Why so few enlisted men in Star Trek?", then proceed to offer 2 of the worst examples possible as "the only two I can think of". Yeoman Rand, as I already pointed out, was a woman. Chief O'Brien, though technically an enlisted man, has a confusing rank history, including times where he was referred to as Lieutenant and wore Lieutenant's insignia as well as episodes where he was clearly in charge of

          • by Nutria ( 679911 )

            Yeoman (Janice) Rand wasn't a man.

            Don't be an idiot.

            Come again?

            Pointing out that Yeoman Rand is not actually a man is an idiotic thing to say, since Yeoman is a naval rating, not an indication of gender.

            (The beehive hairdo, well-rounded figure, really short minidress and go-go boots are also giveaways that Yeoman Rand isn't a guy.)

            • Thanks. Sitting here about 3 miles from a Navy sub base and a little further from the Coast Guard Academy, I don't need lecturing on naval ratings.

              I'll try one more time and point out that your question was about "enlisted men". You used the term Enlisted *men*. In 2013. Then you gave a woman as an example.

              If your question was meant to be gender neutral, your choice of words was poor. If your question was meant to address the almost non-existent representation of lower ranks on the Star Trek shows, th

    • Probably because of the high attrition rate. After seeing a few of your co-workers blasted to atoms, you might think about opening a coffee shop instead.

  • by taxman_10m ( 41083 ) on Monday September 02, 2013 @11:34AM (#44738869)

    The reviews on Amazon made it seem mediocre at best. Really, there was no better science fiction this year?

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Monday September 02, 2013 @11:50AM (#44738965)

      The reviews on Amazon made it seem mediocre at best. Really, there was no better science fiction this year?

      I read the book and really liked it. I suspect that the reviews are not the best because the book changes course in the middle and morphs from purely comedic to something that makes you have to think in order to enjoy it.

      But really?!!?!?! You base your opinion of a book that you actually own, but have not yet read, on Amazon reviews??????

      • I bought it because I like Scalzi's writing, it was new at the time, and I was going on vacation. I've read all the Old Man War books except for Zoe's Tale and liked them very much. I also read some of his earlier books like Agent to the Stars which I thought was excellent and Android's Dream which was meh.

        • If you like Scalzi, you'll probably enjoy it. But I agree with the consensus on Amazon. The codas at the end are an interesting idea and work quite well, but there's not really enough mileage in the basic concept.
          • I love Scalzi. I'm a self confessed fanboy, read whatever regularly, etc. I did not enjoy Redshirts. It's well executed, I just don't like that kind of story.

            Fortunately The Human Division got things back on track.

            • I like Scalzi - Redshirts was, ah, interesting. Actually reading it a second time helped. Hugo level? Well, it's all opinion and we all know how valuable those are.

              • I have the same feeling. I just reread Agent to the Stars and I found that quite funny. But redshirts didn't do much for me.

                • I really, really loved Agent to the Stars. I think Androids Dream is even better. Those two are my favorites so far. I hope he gets to publish a lot more stories.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Thanks for sharing. Now go read the book and comment again when you actually have something relevant to say.

    • I thought it was a fun read, but I wouldn't have guessed at it winning the Hugo. That said, I'm not well-read enough to put forth an alternative.
      • by dasunt ( 249686 )

        It's a really fun read, IMO, at least in the beginning. Middle and ending, especially with the codas, are a tad weak.

        Overall, I thought it was a good book, but not Hugo-class. It's more of a book that starts out as a parody of Star Trek/etc, and ends up trying to pull a working plot out of that parody.

    • It was mediocre. Certainly not Scalzi's best, but I haven't read any of the other nominees so I can't say how it compares. Assuming none of the others was better I'd have voted "no award". It's enjoyable, but not Hugo-level (IMHO).

      It didn't help that I read it just after watching Red Dwarf: Back to Earth [], which has a very similar plot! I'm not accusing Scalzi of stealing; characters coming to life is an old idea and he had a good take on it. But between Red Dwarf and Galaxy Quest I couldn't help thinking

    • I have either read or given up on all of the nominees. I am not convinced that Redshirts was the best novel, but it was probably the intersection of "mainstream / well-known" and "not so bad." Remember, Hugos are determined by a vote of science fiction fans at the convention (or who bought "supporting memberships"), and there's no requirement that they read all of the books.

      The nominees were (in order of placement)
      5. Blackout - the third in Mira Grant's Newsflesh zombie series. These books are entertainin

  • I think the really remarkable fact here is that the Dramatic Presentation award (Short Form) went to something other than Doctor Who.
    • Game of Thrones won the Dramatic Presentation, Long Form award last year (for the entire season), so I don't think it's that surprising.
  • by Chatsubo ( 807023 ) on Monday September 02, 2013 @12:13PM (#44739097)

    So, I may be living under a rock or something, or maybe it's because I don't really dig Game Of Thrones, or I'm horribly misinformed about the Hugo awards...

    But how is Game of Thrones Sci-Fi?

    • Re:Sci-Fi? (Score:5, Informative)

      by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Monday September 02, 2013 @12:30PM (#44739211) Homepage
      The Hugos are for science fiction and fantasy.
      • ...but it's really science fiction or fantasy, because there is a difference.

        • ...but it's really science fiction or fantasy

          They're for science fiction works and fantasy works.

        • by Xtifr ( 1323 )

          No, there really isn't once you take Clarke's Third Law into account: "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Middle Earth could have existed in The Matrix. Just ferinstance.

          Granted, for the vast majority of works, the distinction is usually clear, but SF writers have also been deliberately blurring the borders between the two genres since at least the 1950s.

          Is Star Wars fantasy or SF? There's strong arguments on both sides. What about FTL travel? Isn't that fantasy? Psychic

    • Well, since 2 decades it pisses me off that books and movies are categorized as "SF and Fantasy".
      Mainly I read/watch SF. IMHO (as I'm not a nerd being deep into Fantasy) there are onky a few Fantasy stories worth reading. (Well, tbh my oppinion is at the edge of changing as I read quite a lot free Fantasy books from apples iBook store)
      However when I'm browsing in a library or in an internet book shop (iTunes, Amazone, B&N etc.) I expect to have a section "Science Fiction" and a section "Fantasy" ... I w

    • The Hugos aren't just SciFi. They're also for fantasy works.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by roc97007 ( 608802 )

      Good point. It isn't. I'd call it a softcore porn soap opera with swords. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

      Now, it *might* have been. This is not Earth, and there are indications of higher levels of technology that existed in the past (architecture, if nothing else) but all that gets lost in who's screwing who (literally and figuratively).

    • by Boronx ( 228853 )

      It's G.R.R. Martin, so in the end they'll find a spaceship.

  • by Fnord666 ( 889225 ) on Monday September 02, 2013 @04:16PM (#44740627) Journal
    If you are interested in Pat Cadigan's novella, the preview / kindle sample of "edge of Infinity" includes the complete story. It can be found here [].

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