Sunday, July 13, 2014

My 1939 Retro-Hugo Votes: Best Short Story

I'm not going to be able to read the 2014 Hugo Best Novel nominees. One is the entire Wheel of Time series, which could take years to read. Three were not included in the Hugo voters packet, which means I would have to track them down if I were so inclined. (I have done so for Ancillary Justice, and started to do so for Neptune's Brood, but I lost interest.) The other one is included, but was nominated as part of a right-wing slate that hasn't held my interest so far.

So, on to other categories. The 75th anniversary of the first Worldcon is celebrating by voting on the Retro-Hugos, since no actual Hugos were awarded then. The Retro-Hugo voters packet is even more incomplete than the Hugo packet, but it had four of the five short story nominees, and I got the other one from the library.
  1. The Faithful: "This one was not really dated after 75+ years. It tells a moving story of the extinction of mankind while the races we have attempted to uplift figure out both how to carry on without us and to honor us."
  2. Hyperpilosity: "It was a cheesy story about a "future" episode during which everyone started getting very hairy. It tried to be funny and clever, but fell flat. It wasn't helped by the outdated portrayals of women and Mexicans."
  3. Helen O'Loy: "It's a story about two men who build a robotic woman and the romance that develops thereafter. Helen O'Loy=Helen of Troy=Helen Alloy. Get it? If you don't, it's spelled out in the story."
  4. No Award. This is my dividing line between "I didn't like it," and "It wasn't very good.
  5. How We Went to Mars: One of Arthur C. Clarke's first stories. I'm glad he improved his craft, and stopped trying to write humor.
  6. Hellerbochen's Dilemma: "What the heck was this? It made no sense, and seemed to be Bradbury writing down a half-remembered dream."
Quotes from my Goodreads reviews (How We Went to Mars is not on Goodreads). To give you a sense of how I felt, The Faithful got 4 stars, Hellerbochen's Dilemma 1 star and the rest 2 stars.

I've now started in on the nominees for the 2014 Campbell Award for Best New Writer. It looks like there's some interesting works submitted for consideration in this category.

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