If I want to get predictions in for this year, I guess this is my last chance, pretty much the final hour. But if I didn’t do Hugo posts on this blog, there would be nothing left. So here we go.
The subtitle for this year: A Dance With Hugos. George R. R. Martin is not only in there with his latest book, but the TV series, his editor, and artwork (by John Picacio) are all up for awards. And not to get ahead of myself, but I suspect the novel award may be the only one that he doesn’t get.
First of all, these were my votes for best novel:
1—Embassytown, China Mieville
2—Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
3—Among Others, Jo Walton
No, I didn’t read A Dance With Dragons. Eventually I’ll read the whole series, but I’m not that far along yet. Friends have told me they don’t think it’s the best book in the series, so I doubt I would have rated it above these three. And Deadline, by Mira Grant, I felt the same way because I wasn’t that interested in the first book in that series.
My prediction is that A Dance With Dragons will get the most first-place votes, but I don’t think it will pick up many votes after that. Embassytown and Among Others I think will share a lot of votes, so whichever one gets eliminated first, the other should pick up most of those votes. What I don’t know is how the Deadline votes will break out. Do Grant’s and Martin’s fan bases overlap, or are they two separate groups? If they overlap, then I think Martin will get most of those votes and Deadline will drop out early, but then either Embassytown or Among Others will collect all the non-Martin votes and move ahead for the win. But if Martin and Grant have separate fan bases, then Deadline might be able to survive against the others, only to come up short against A Dance With Dragons. I’m picking Embassytown to pull it out somehow.
My votes for best novella:
1—“The Man Who Bridged the Mist”, Kij Johnson
2—“The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary”, Ken Liu
3—Silently and Very Fast, Catherynne M. Valente
4—“Kiss Me Twice”, Mary Robinette Kowal
I didn’t finish “The Ice Owl” by Carolyn Gilman, and I didn’t get to Countdown by Mira Grant. This was an interesting group of stories, I think a good case could be made for any of them to win. Normally I would probably pick Grant to win a race like this, but Kowal seems to have a lot of fans too, and Valente won the Locus award, so I think they are all contenders. With the runoff voting that the Hugos use, I think anything is possible here.
My votes for best novelette:
1—“Six Months, Three Days”, Charlie Jane Anders
2—“Fields of Gold” Rachel Swirsky
3—“Ray of Light”, Brad R. Torgersen
4—“What We Found”, Geoff Ryman
5—“The Copenhagen Interpretation”, Paul Cornell
I thought “Six Months, Three Days” was far and away the best of this group. Not that the other stories were bad at all, although I thought “The Copenhagen Interpretation” didn’t stand on it’s own very well. But “Six Months, Three Days” was probably my favorite story in any category. Considering that Anders is pretty well known for her work on the io9 blog, I think she stands a good chance to win.
My votes for best short story:
1—“The Paper Menagerie”, Ken Liu
2—“Movement”, Nancy Fulda
3—“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”, E. Lily Yu
4—“The Homecoming”, Mike Resnick
5—“Shadow War of the Night Dragons”, John Scalzi
Another case where the stories were mostly pretty good, but “The Paper Menagerie” was my clear favorite. In terms of predictions, though, this is a tough call. Yu and Fulda seem like up-and-coming writers who will probably have more nominations in the future, but I don’t see either of them winning this one. Resnick, being the guest of honor, is likely to get a lot of votes, and Scalzi is Scalzi. As far as “Shadow War of the Night Dragons” goes, I don’t think it’s a travesty that it was nominated (a travesty is nominating someone’s acceptance speech as a dramatic presentation), but in the long run I don’t think it will be particularly memorable, and even less so without the context in which it was written. We saw last year that it doesn’t take many votes to get nominated for best short story, but once the shortlist is established the leading nominee can slip back in the final vote. I suspect that’s what’s going to happen here, Scalzi will get a good number of first place votes but a higher number of last place/no awards. I’m leaning towards Resnick as the winner.
The other categories I don’t have much to say, except don’t bet against Game of Thrones or Neil Gaiman.