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Sci-Fi News The 2000 Beanies

The 2014 Hugo Awards 180

Dave Knott writes: WorldCon 2014 wrapped up in London this last weekend and this year's Hugo Award winners were announced. Notable award winners include:

Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Best Novelette: "The Lady Astronaut of Mars" by Mary Robinette Kowal
Best Novella: "Equoid" by Charles Stross
Best Short Story: "The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere" by John Chu
Best Graphic Story: "Time" by Randall Munroe
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Gravity written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): Game of Thrones: "The Rains of Castamere" written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter

The results of this year's awards were awaited with some some trepidation in the SF community, due to well-documented attempts by some controversial authors to game the voting system. These tactics appear to have been largely unsuccessful, as this is the fourth major award for the Leckie novel, which had already won the 2013 BSFA, 2013 Nebula and 2014 Clarke awards.
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The 2014 Hugo Awards

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  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @10:58AM (#47720641) Homepage

    Maybe it's because opinion is subjective.

  • by Tx ( 96709 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:03AM (#47720697) Journal

    I agree about the winners in recent years, although I usually peruse the best novel nominees, quite a few of my favourite books have been "losing" Hugo or Nebula nominees.

  • by marsu_k ( 701360 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:10AM (#47720747)
    But I found much of the tension to be very artificial. For example (spoilers ahoy!), when Bullock and Clooney reach ISS, both being tethered with a rope. And are no longer moving. Yet, Bullock is forced to cut the rope, because of... what, exactly? (yes, their characters had names, no longer remember them)
  • Re:Sad Puppy Slate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:30AM (#47720935)
    Yes, they are. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't been paying attention. The Nebula awards are a popularity contest as judged by people in the industry (authors and possibly editors and publishers as well, i forget the specifics,) while the Hugo awards are a popularity contest as judged by the public.

    In theory in both contests the popularity is supposed to be based on the quality of the work. That rule is probably more closely observed for the Nebulas than the Hugos, but in both cases it is impossible to eliminate all personal biases.

    I voted in the Hugos and personally found the Vox Day work to be junk, while the other works from the "Sad Puppy Slate" were decent, though not anything i would have considered worth nominating myself. Obviously i agree with the results, but obviously i am also biased like every other human being.

    So yes, the Hugos are a popularity contest, as are the Nebulas, the Oscars, the Grammys, and every other reward for artistic achievement that you can think of.
  • by Zak3056 ( 69287 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @01:16PM (#47721871) Journal

    Good science fiction is (almost) ALWAYS about people, and how they react in an environment that is altered by a technology, or an event, or some other external influence that simply wasn't imaginable until our understanding of the universe progressed (the science part of the fiction). While there are some examples that differ from this, if you take a look through your favorite stories, they almost all conform to this pattern.

    In this case, it's an exploration of what happens to someone who is in orbit during an event that leads to Kessler Syndrome. I'm not saying the film deserved to win, but I think complaining that "this isn't science fiction" is decidedly unwarranted.

  • by The Rizz ( 1319 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @04:06PM (#47723445)

    I picked up a collection of Hugo Award winners, as edited by Isaac Asimov - I found the writing incredibly pretentious and the stories almost seemed to take a back seat. They were a massive disappointment to me.

    Hugo winners are often incredible stories - I've read a lot of them, and while some of them are crap, a lot of them are very, very good. Really, it depends a lot on the year they were written - if the collection you read was from the 70s, then I can see why you thought they were crap; the popular scifi writing style in in that decade was ... well ... pretentious. It's also possible that you just don't like the same kinds of stories Asimov likes - as editor, the stories were chosen by him.

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