April 4th, 2017

happy

It's alive!

*tap tap tap* Is this thing on?

So for those who don't follow me on twitter, yes i still exist! (For those who do follow me on twitter, sorry for spamming you with retweets!)

Since there's been a bunch of stuff going on lately that cannot be expressed adequately in 140 character chunks, i thought i might actually try reviving this thing again!

I'm not going to try and stuff everything in one post, but in short order, we went on a geeky cruise,my cat tried to kill me (probably because i was going on a geeky cruise,) I voted for a bunch of SF/Fantasy stuff for the Hugo Awards, and also a bunch of AMVs for the AMV.org Viewer's Choice awards, but it was kind of a rush job because the week before the votes were do i was going on a geeky cruise.

So no cruise is done, voting is done, and cat is (mostly) not trying to kill me, so i've got time to talk about it all!

Also, i need to digest the Russian-themed New User Agreement on LJ. Not sure entirely what i want to do/not do about it, except i think i'll finally try to make an effort to cross-post everything to DreamWidth as well as G+ =P
books

Hugo Award Semifinals

Edit: I wrote this yesterday, not realizing that the finalists would be announced today. My speculations about who's likely to get nominated are moot, while my desire to promote people "not likely" to be nominated is even more fervent.

So here are the finalists: http://www.tor.com/2017/04/04/2017-hugo-award-finalists-announced/

Many things i voted for made it on, and many more that i voted for didn't! As you shall soon see! (/Edit)

Now that the deadline for the Hugo Award semifinals has passed and i no longer have to worry about accusations of slate voting, i'm going to share what i nominated.

Unfortunately i didn't spend as much time working on my ballot sheet as i did the past couple years, since i was on vacation a week prior to the deadline and before that was busy planning for the vacation.

However i did discover a couple online resources (a wiki and a google doc spreadsheet) people were using to compile lists of eligible works, which helped out a lot.

Best Novel
- All the Birds in the Sky; Charlie Jane Anders
- The Obelisk Gate; N. K. Jemisin
- Ghost Talkers; Mary Robinette Kowal
- Edge of Worlds; Martha Wells
- Wrath of the Great Guilds; Jack Campbell

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Best Novella:
- Every Heart a Doorway; Seanan McGuire
- The Liar; John P Murphy
- The Dispatcher; John Scalzi

And then pretty much immediately my nominations fall off a cliff, because i mostly read novel length fiction. This was actually a relatively exceptional level of non-novel reading this year! It certainly helps if two authors i love and one author i know all come out with novellas!

(I probably _ought_ to have nominated one of Lois McMaster Bujold's new Chalion novellas, but i haven't gotten around to reading any of the 2016 ones.)

Novelette:
- The Tomato Thief; Ursula Vernon; Apex Magazine

Best Short Story:
- Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies; Brooke Bolander; Uncanny
- A Trump Christmas Carol; Roz Kaveney, Laurie Penny, John Scalzi,
and Jo Walton; Uncanny Magazine
- Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands; Seanan McGuire; Uncanny Magazine

So i actually read a comparatively large number of short stories this year, mainly due to twitter and io9. Yes, three is a comparatively large number for me =P

(Well, i also read Ken Liu's "Paper Menagerie", and i think one other anthology? But by the time short stories come out in anthologies they're generally well past their Hugo expieration date.)

Best Related Work:
- IO9; Rob Bricken; http://io9.gizmodo.com/
- The Tingled Puppies; Chuck Tingle; http://www.therabidpuppies.com/

Again, i mostly read novels. I was originally thinking of nominating a Storify of Chuck Tingle's trolling of the Puppies from last year, but i couldn't find a good source. And then i saw "The Tingled Puppies" in the aforementioned spreadsheet. If i'd known before that Chuck Tingle managed to hijack www.therabidpuppies.com i must have forgotten about it. It's awesome, and it seems like a good alternative to the twitter trolling.

And since i was already nominating websites i threw in io9. Hey, they're responsible for some of the short story nominations above, so they probably deserve it!

Best Graphic Story:
- Oglaf; Bodil Bodilson; http://oglaf.com (NSFW)
- Homestuck; Andrew Hussie; http://www.mspaintadventures.com

That thing about mostly reading novels? That doesn't include graphic ones. So normally i have very little to nominate here. But i saw these both in the list, and i've read and liked both (though i'm not current on Oglaf and _very_ not current on Homestuck) so i figured why not? It's not clear from the category description on whether these actual qualify or not, but since i had nothing else to nominate, again, why not?

Best Dramatic Long:
- Rogue One
- Deadpool
- Kubo and the Two Strings
- The Expanse (season 1)
- Hidden Figures

Finally! Another category in which there were multiple things i could nominate!

Deadpool was silly but awesome, Rogue One and Kubo and the Two Strings were sad but awesome. The first season of The Expanse was awesome. Hidden Figures is maybe technically not SF, but still awesome :)

Best Dramatic Short:
- J.R.R. Tolkien vs. George R.R. Martin ; Epic Rap Battles of
History
- The Answer; Steven Universe
- Leviathan Wakes; The Expanse
- Salvage; The Expanse
Alcon Entertainment
- Critical Mass; The Expanse

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Best Series:
- Raksura; Martha Wells; The Edge of Worlds
- Pillars of Reality; Jack Campbell; Wrath of the Great Guilds
- October Daye; Seanan McGuire; Once Broken Faith
- Vorkosigan Saga; Lois McMaster Bujold; Gentleman Jole and the Red
Queen
- Temeraire; Naomi Novik; League of Dragons

And finally, one of the toughest categories.

Each year the WorldCon hosts have the opportunity to add one special category to the Hugos. Sometimes those categories are a hit and go on to become regular categories, and sometimes they just fade away.

This year Helsinki is trying out "Best Series." I love the _idea_ of this category, but the result is a bit of a mess. They did their best to try to limit the number of nominees, in particular by requiring that the series have an eligible work come out within the last year, but it's still a bit of a mess. A glorious mess, but a mess.

My inner-teenager reaaaaally wanted to nominate Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series. I also considered Brand Sanderson, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, The Expanse, Marko Kloos, David Weber, "Mira Grant", Gail Carriger, Diane Duane, and the other Jack Campbell series. And probably others that i've forgotten now.

But i love the Raksura series! (Were-dragons with a matrilineal society in a well developed and very interesting fantasy world!)

And i love the Pillars of Reality books (Conceptually a bit like Pern, except with magic instead of dragons, and instead of the external threat of Thread the internal threat of the people who had the technology or magic deciding that they ought to be in charge. Also it set out a "standard" epic conflict in the plot and resolved the whole thing in just six books all released within two years!)

And i love the October Daye series (Urban Faerie Fantasy, with lots of focus on actual faerie mythology.)

And i love the Temerarie books (*cough* even though i still need to read the last one.)(Napoleonic war with aerial dragon combat.)

And finally, i love the Vorkosigan series. (*cough* especially the middle books.)(Liberal space opera/military SF/intrigue/"murder" mystery/romantic comedy) This is almost certainly the last chance for the series to get an award (the last several books hadn't been _bad_, but they've definitely been off-peak.)

So there you have it, the stuff i really think people should have read/watched/whatever over the last year!