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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 Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @10:24AM (#47720321)

    If there's one thing I've learned reading all kinds of award-winning books, is that more often than not, the award is a big warning that the book is shit, or pompous, or written specifically to woo often sophisticated, pedantic jury members into giving the award.

    In short, I usually go for stuff that hasn't been awarded certain kinds of awards. The Hugo certainly seems overrated these days, and has been for many years.

  • by marsu_k ( 701360 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @10:27AM (#47720361)
    If the award is to be given to an actual science fiction movie? Europa Report [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @10:28AM (#47720367)

    Maybe not. Maybe they're a front, and the real shenanigans are in fact hugely successful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @10:37AM (#47720471)'s an attempt to protest the forces of political correctness (represented by Wiscon's radical feminist faction) who are attempting to get people fired [] for not toeing the line.

  • Sad Puppy Slate (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:01AM (#47720673)
    "Largely unsuccessful" is a bit of an understatement. Those who follow such things have been rejoicing that the "Sad Puppy Slate" ended up last in all the author categories, and that the novella by Vox Day, the guy with very... questionable political and personal views, actually ended up below "No Award". I think it's interesting that despite the outcries and rage and threats about "No Awarding" the entire slate, the only nominee to actually meet such a fate was the one that almost everyone agreed was literarily a piece of garbage.

    One does have to wonder how the "Sad Puppy Slate" would have done if it hadn't weighed itself down with a nominee that was simultaneously so objectionable and so poorly written. [] []
  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:34AM (#47720979)

    It's soft sci-fi pretending to be hard sci-fi.

    It's perfectly fine to have non-realistic physics in science fiction. It just needs some justification or explanation. Future super-tech that hasn't been invented, or a revolution in our understanding of the universe. This is a good thing: It lets you introduce a 'magic box' like a perfect lie detector or an artificial intelligence and then examine the impact it would have. Or it can just serve as the backdrop to a more conventional story, like a space opera - just throw in some vague mumbling about the hyperdrive, it doesn't matter how the thing is supposed to work so long as it gets the characters where they need to go.

    But Gravity doesn't have that excuse. It's supposed to be realistic. It's supposed to be near-future. That sets certain constraints. For a layperson it might be acceptable for an astronaut to jump out the ISS and achieve an orbital intersection and velocity match by eye with a distant station - but for anyone who knows the slightest thing about space travel, or has played Kerbal Space Program, this as as glaring a violation of the established rules of the setting as if she'd cobbled together a teleporter from the wreckage.

  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:34PM (#47726127) Journal

    Correia seemed to be trying to rudely bully a lot of people to make it clear that he doesn't like all of you politically correct liberal liberal liberals out there in the publishing business. He was the one who brought Beale in to offend anybody who's even vaguely possible to offend; I don't like people doing that at parties I'm attending. (He also ran a campaign slate for nominees, which is pretty much not done (except every publisher saying "hey, vote for all OUR stuff.") I assume they did that together, but I don't know either of them. Their other main slate-member was Torgerson, who writes Mormonish mil-sci-fi. (He also threw the Schlock Mercenary comic in as a graphic work, which I found quite enjoyable back when it was originally nominated but which wasn't eligible as a 2013 work, so I thought that was tacky.)

    Beale's fiction wasn't, in my opinion, Hugo quality, but it would have been ok in a pulp magazine back when those were the dominant form. His personal writings are so creepy that I can see why anybody willing to vote for his work would get criticism; reminds me of the "Vote for the Crook" election in Louisiana a few years back. Correia's writing is entertaining, in a mostly cartoonish way, and I'm ok with that. Not super deep, moderately fun if you like the stuff. Torgerson's work was so utterly soulless I ranked it below Beale's.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal