2014 Hugo Ballot

Three days ago, I submitted my votes for the 2014 Hugo Awards. If you’ve never voted for the Hugos before, I highly recommend it. For $40, you get:

  • nomination and final voting for the current year’s Hugo Awards
  • nomination for the following year’s Hugo awards
  • e-copies of all of the top five nominees in every category (some of the novel-length items are novella-length excerpts)

The Hugos are supposed to be a democratic representation of what the fans of the genre find compelling and worthy of praise. Say what you will about the state of the genre and how far we still need to go on many issues, but the Hugos are one way of making your voice heard. Don’t complain about what gets accolades if you don’t vote!

I didn’t submit votes for all categories, since I didn’t have time to read through everything. (You will recall, of course, that I was and still am working on finishing a novel draft this summer as well.) I also confess to voting for Best Novel based only on the first 1-2 chapters of each nominee. Here are my top ranked selections for each category that I actually submitted a vote:

  • Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
  • Best Novella: “Equoid” by Charles Stross (Tor.com, 09-2013)
  • Best Novelette: “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com / Tor.com, 09-2013)
  • Best Short Story: “Selkie Stories Are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons, Jan-2013

I think the category in which I was most conflicted about my final vote was Best Novelette. Aliette de Bodard’s “The Waiting Stars” as well as Ted Chiang’s “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling” were both lovely stories as well. I liked all three for different reasons. Kowal’s won out in the end I think because all else held equal, I think I’d rather promote a story about humanity looking outward into space again than anything else.

First Publication: “The Parched Lands” Appears in CG

My first professional publication emerged earlier this month in Crossed Genres Magazine, Issue 7. The Parched Lands delves into the tangled issues of race, tracking, high-stakes testing, and creativity starvation that run through America’s public school systems.

When the bell rang at the end of class, Amanthi was crashing from a dopamine high. She raised her slight, brown hand as her thin body shook, and when her arm brushed against her long, black hair she felt the slick dampness of sweat.

Mr. Daveys was moving around the classroom helping students disconnect from their desks, congratulating or reprimanding as appropriate based on measured performance for the day.

Amanthi could feel that something was wrong, but found herself unable to articulate any words though the shaking of her body. Kassidi, sitting next to her, looked over and noticed her wan trembling, and spoke up.

“Mr. Daveys” Kassidi said sharply. “Something’s wrong with Amanthi!” The teacher glanced up from his IV work and in a moment rushed over, fussing over Amanthi and checking her forehead. He held up a datapad and allowed its cameras to analyze her. The red eye of the infrared and the black eye of the optical glass stared at Amanthi, and she suddenly felt weak and ill.

Find out more at CG…