The Book of Feasts and Seasons into my Kindle. Several of the stories he's nominated for are from that book. What sf reading Catholic wouldn't love this concept?
... a beautifully mind-bending stroll with a grandmaster of science fiction through the annual Catholic calendar. Over the course of the year, from January to December, the author takes his inspiration from ten different holidays and explores their meanings in a series of stories of marvelous imagination.I also really enjoyed One Bright Star to Guide Them, another story for which Wright received a nomination. (My review here ... scroll down for it.) He really was popular ... six nominations in all!
In recent years there have been fewer and fewer authors and books I enjoy nominated for Hugos. I just put it down to my personal taste diverging from the general science fiction readers who participate in the nominations. (Not that I haven't enjoyed some of them. Ancillary Justice was a book I couldn't put down and still can't stop thinking about.)
It turns out there may have actually been a reason for that lack of connection. I was completely unaware that a group of authors have been promoting their own slate of suggested nominations. They've been fairly successful so it seems and they must like a different sort of fiction than I do. So no wonder I was paying less and less attention to the Hugos, which used to be a touchstone for informing me about new interesting books.
(Sounds like the Oscars in a way. Which is why I largely tend to ignore them too. I never dreamed that science fiction readers would stoop to the level of the general Hollywood studio. But there I am, proven wrong again.)
This year a different group promoted their own slate of suggested nominations. They must have done a good job because not only were many of their selections nominated but this year the Hugos had about 2000 nominating ballots, which is a record. There are some things that have gotten on the ballot in the past with 30 votes. Maybe I'm not the only one who didn't love those other authors' favorites? (Just a passing thought...)
I frankly was stunned to see all this kerfluffle going on behind the scenes.
If you want to know more, here's a sympathetic piece, here's an upset piece.
I ain't here to fight. I'm here to read.
The broader the variety "allowed" in the nominations, the likelier my chances of finding books that I enjoy and make me think, possibly simultaneously.
I hear the Locus Awards may be a good alternative to the Hugos. Scott Danielson has been following the Hugo folderol for a while and tells me:
The Locus Awards may actually be a more accurate reflection of the history of science fiction than the Hugos. I spent some time yesterday browsing the award history and found myself nodding quite a bit. They compile a list of nominees from various sources (more or less a jury) then the Locus subscribers vote on the list, which includes a write-in slot. The last few years have made me realize that the Hugos are given by a very small group of people.Uh yeah we've been emailing about this. Have you seen how much science fiction we read and watch at A Good Story is Hard to Find? This is like a soap opera about something I am interested in!
Jeff Miller at The Curt Jester has a good post, Political Correctness Ruins Everything, about his love of science fiction and the way he's observed political ideology taking over science fiction, which led to this head-to-head battle over Hugo nominations. It is definitely worth reading.
Jagi Lamplighter (a.k.a. Mrs. John C. Wright) has a good post, First They Came for the Oscars: My Take on the Hugos. She has an interesting comparison to how the Oscar winners have changed over the years from popular to insular. And then looks at the Hugos through that lens.