115 thoughts on “Hugo Voter Packet now available for download”

  1. Woohoo! Although, quick question for other voters – if there’s only an excerpt available for a work that you haven’t read outside the packet (I presume, probably foolishly, to be the case for at least one of the novels) how are you handling that? Reading the sample and then buying the work if you like it or voting based on the sample alone?

    1. Library or buy. I don’t think it’s possible to evaluate a novel based on just an excerpt. You get a taste of the writing, but you don’t get the whole plot arc and the nature of the resolution, and you need that to judge a work of fiction.

  2. I haven’t read the excerpts yet, but I’m going to guess that they included enough for a reader to be able to judge by.

    I already owned Skin Game, so the only novel excerpt I’ll be reading out of the novel nominations is Ancillary.

    1. Ancillary Justice/Sword are available on Kindle for not a bunch of money. I bought both and glad I did. Justice starts out as a tough read but either I got into the writer’s headspace or she backed it off – I never realized which. Looking forward to Sword. If it is comparable then it deserved the nomination.

      I haven’t figured out the library thing – always get distracted by what’s on the shelf so I forget to reserve books.

      1. I haven’t figured out the library thing – always get distracted by what’s on the shelf so I forget to reserve books.

        At my library you can do it online and they just call you when the book is in/available…

    2. I’m in this situation as well. Ancillary has the first, like, 100 pages. My policy in reading the nominees is that I’ll give them the same chance I give any book I read for fun. Which is to say, if I just can’t stand it at some point, I stop reading and put it at the bottom of the list when voting. With Ancillary, I intend to read the excerpt, and if I get to the end of it and it hasn’t made me DNF and I’m still interested enough to read more, I’ll find a way to get my hands on the novel (library, prob).

      For the other things, though, I’ll probably just review based on what was provided. Those that provided excerpts, I’ll read based on that. Those that provided nothing and I’m not at all familiar with, I’ll just leave out of my voting (except for the one artist who didn’t include anything in the packet, as it was easy enough to find images on the internet).

      Except for the movies and TV episodes. I’ve already seen 2 of the movies, own 1 but haven’t watched it yet, and can get the other 2 from my library for $1 each, so that’s easy enough. For the TV eps, aside from the one I’ve seen, I just bought them from Amazon. (The Orphan Black ep is free to watch if you have Amazon Prime.) I’m not very familiar with those shows other than Grimm, but I figure for these awards, I can hardly be expected to put dozens or hundreds of hours in catching up on a show/book series just to vote on one installment of it.

      I’m kind of voting quickest to longest. So I started with the art, because it’s easy to look at pictures and decide which ones you like best. Then I did graphic novels (still waiting on the zombie one). Probably going to do short stories next. (I pretty much have my editor picks done too, because it kind of comes down to looking at a list of books and deciding which books you like or have read most. I agree that those categories are pretty much impossible to judge on actual editing skill unless you could see the before and after versions of the books.)

      1. TV episodes:

        The Flash is the pilot, so that one’s easy. I think you can get the gist of the Grimm episode if you’ve watched one or two episodes of the show. Ditto for the Dr Who episode. (I haven’t really watched Dr Who in years, but I didn’t have much trouble following it.) For Orphan Black and Game of Thrones, I think you’re kind of stuck. The big draw of the Game of Thrones episode is the fight scene at the end, which I think you CAN understand without having watched the show before. It’s pretty much the best one-on-one fight since The Princess Bride. As for Orphan Black, the nominated ep is the season 2 finale. If you’re a fan of the show, that was one of the best episodes. If you’re not a fan of the show, you’re probably not going to have a clue what’s happening, because you have to know a LOT of backstory for it to make sense, so I’d suggest either skipping it or watching the Pilot and seeing if you think Orphan Black is binge-worthy. I ranked Orphan Black as #1 (which says a lot, because I’m a HUGE Game of Thrones fan), because even for a series with a lot of twists and turns, that episode was a roller coaster ride, and the last scene was a pretty killer twist ending.

        1. I watch Grimm, so that one’s not a problem. I’ve seen enough Doctor Who (though not with the current Doctor) that I think I’ll follow it well enough. I’ve only seen the first couple episodes of GoT, but there’s no way I’m going to try to binge watch four seasons just for one ep. I know nothing about Orphan Black, so maybe I’ll try your suggestion and watch the pilot first to see if I think it’s worth binge watching. If I can do so for free–which it looks like I can since the first two seasons are free with Amazon Prime.

          But it raises the question: Is the intent of this award to go to an episode that works well on its own merits or for one that only works as a chapter in a larger story? Should these various nominees that are part of a series be judged only in the context of the rest of their series, or should they be judged as individual works?

          1. I think that’s up to the individual voter. Obviously, I think that shows that work well as a stand-alone work will have an edge, because not everyone will have watched the entire series of a show that has a phenomenal “chapter”. I happen to be up on both Orphan Black and Game of Thrones, so I judged them in the context of a larger work (and really, both of the shows have so much backstory that it’s impossible to judge the nominated works as stand-alone works). I don’t follow Grimm or Dr Who, so I judged them as stand-alone works, and The Flash was the pilot, so there wasn’t any backstory to worry about.

          2. After watching most of the TV eps and seeing that some of them stand alone much better than others, it kinda seems to me like the “short form” category (and why do they use “short form” and “long form” when they really mean “TV episode” and “movie”?) is kind of like having a category for “best chapter of a novel”. With TV the way it is these days, you don’t really get true standalone episodes like you used to. With some of the shows, this is even more pronounced.

          3. For the 2004 Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Hugo Award, “Gollum’s Acceptance Speech at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards” was both nominated & won. So they don’t only mean “TV episode” and “movie” – those are just what dominate the categories. In the past radio dramas were also included in Dramatic Presentation. And in the 2013 Hugo nominations, Mary Robinette Kowal’s “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” received enough nominations for the Best Novelette category, but as it was only published in audiobook form in 2012 that year’s WorldCon Hugo committee disqualified it, stating that it would have been eligible for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, but didn’t receive enough nominations for that category. It was successfully nominated again & won in 2014 in the Best Novelette category – MRK published the text version online in 2013.

          4. I’d actually like to see the current “Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)” renamed to “(Medium Form)” & capped at 4~5 hours, and have a new “(Long Form)” for >5 hours. So “(Short Form)” for individual TV episodes on their own, “(Medium Form)” for feature length theatrical movies, and “(Long Form)” for full TV series w/ longer story arcs.

            I actually had similar thoughts about some of the Novelettes (“Championship B’tok”, “The Journeyman: In the Stone House”) – to me they feel very much like chapters/subsections/episodes of a larger work. Which I actually like; my taste generally prefers longer fiction over shorter (and I’m planning on reading more of both of these). But I feel like this category of the Hugo Awards is meant for more self-contained stories.

          5. @Beolach

            The problem I see with creating an award for a new Long Form is that most network shows start in the fall and end in the spring, so they cover two different calendar years. I think you’d have to have a rule that says you can only nominate shows for a season in the year that the season ends. It’s do-able, but it’ll be a bit confusing for people who watch shows in real time as opposed to binge-watching them, because they’re going to have to remember which season they’re voting for. (In other words, you won’t be voting for the 12 episodes you watched last fall; you’ll be voting the 24 episodes that you started watching a year-and-a-half ago.)

          6. @Frank Probst, this situation is already addressed, for all Hugo Award categories, by Section 3.2: General of the WSFS constituion:

            3.2.2: A work shall not be eligible if in a prior year it received sufficient nominations to appear on the final award ballot.

            3.2.4: Works appearing in a series are eligible as individual works, but the series as a whole is not eligible. However, a work appearing in a number of parts shall be eligible for the year of the final part.

            So a complete TV season/series that aired its first X episodes in 2014, and the last Y episodes in 2015, would be eligibie for the 2016 Hugo Awards (for works completed in 2015), possibly unless one or more of the individual episodes from 2014 had been nominated & included on the final ballot for the 2015 Hugo Awards.

            There is significant precedent for this in at least the Best Novel & Best Graphic Story categories. There may even already be precedent in the current Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) category, although I don’t know of any off the top of my head. As I interpret the WSFS constitution, TV seasons/series as a whole are already eligible for the current Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) category, but are unlikely to be successfully nominated due to being in direct competition w/ feature length theatrical films. The point of a new category would be to take them out of direct competition w/ each other.

          7. @Beolach

            On the plus side, I think this would favor non-network shows with shorter seasons (10-12 episodes) rather than network shows with longer seasons (~24 episodes). As an example, I’d say, “Which one would you vote for, Season #1 of The Flash (which was a much-better-than-average superhero show) or Season #1 of Daredevil (which was just flat-out phenomenal).”

          8. @Beolach

            That’s sort of the problem, though. The nominations process is completely open, so the people who run the show have little control over whether or not an individual show gets nominated one year, which could disqualify the entire series for the next year. Thus, a network show like The Flash, which was nominated for one show this year, would be ineligible for a nomination for the entire season next year. Non-network shows have an edge–if the whole season aired in one year, and say, Daredevil gets nominated for both the pilot (Short Form) and the entire season (Long Form) next year, the producers could presumably pick which nom to accept.

    3. I can’t imagine how it could be possible to judge a novel from an excerpt… oh, jaed already said exactly what I was going to say…

      Novels build… they climax… they have resolutions.

      Excerpts can’t.

      Geez Louise… I’ve got 100 pages of something somewhere that people could use to judge my *prose*…. and frankly, I’m sure it’s as good as anyone’s out there… but they couldn’t judge my ability to provide a stellar pay-off because I’ve never *gotten* to that part!

      Giving out excerpts is *cheap*. Why even bother?

      1. Larry may know the answer to this. (Or maybe he won’t.) I don’t know how much of this decision belongs to the author versus the publisher. If I were the author, I’d want the whole book released, even though I know I’m going to lose some money by doing so. The publisher may simply be unwilling to lose any money, so if it’s their decision, then it makes more sense to me. I’ve seen several long-time WorldCon members chide newer folks like me that the voter’s packet is a privilege, not a right, and you shouldn’t expect it. Okay. My response is that my vote for a work is not a privilege, either. I’m going to read the stuff that was literally given to me first, and if I finish all of that (which I won’t), THEN I might try to track down the other things on the list. So your chances of getting me to read your work and then maybe get my vote go way up if your work is in the packet. Otherwise, I’ll probably leave you off of my ballot. And I’ll be honest: I like free stuff. Last year, I cast one vote for a work I hadn’t completely read, the ENTIRE Wheel of Time series, because Tor gave me ALL of the books for free, which would probably cost me about $100 if I paid for them all individually.

        1. You “Know” you’d lose money by releasing the whole novel?

          I refer you to The Baen Free Library.

          PS: Crack dealers don’t lose money by giving away the first hit for free.

          PPS: MHI is now free at Amazon. I’m very doubtful that Larry would be advertising anything that contradicts the most fundamental law of authoring “Get Paid”

          1. Let me clarify: In the case of a Hugo nomination, you’ll PROBABLY lose money, since you’re giving away something that first appeared last year. In other words, you’re giving away your NEWEST novel, NOT the first book in a series. You MIGHT end up getting people to go back and buy the earlier books in the series, or other books that you’ve written, but you’re already dealing with a group of people that’s probably aware of your prior work. If you WIN the Hugo for your novel, you may get a bump in sales of the book, in which case you’d make money, but that’s a big gamble.

            This situation is almost the opposite of amazon.com giving away MHI. The people who are going to read it are probably people who have little to no awareness of who Larry Correia is (Sorry, Mr Correia.) or what the Monster Hunter books are about, and it’s the FIRST book in a series, and it was released over five years ago. So the “first hit” analogy is apt in this case, because there are several newer books in the series for people to buy.

            Anyway, that’s just my opinion. We can agree to disagree here.

  3. I plan to grab Skin Game from my local public library, so that will take care of the novels (I’ve already read Ancillary Sword).

    But, something like Letters from Gardner will have to be evaluated based on the provided excerpt as my library will not have it and it does not appear to be something I would wish to spend money on, though I could be wrong whenever I finish the excerpt.

    1. Interlibrary loan can often get you the most obscure stuff. It isn’t expensive, and using it seems to make Librarians think well of you.

      1. I use the in state interlibrary loan frequently, but very seldom do the out of state please find me this book somewhere anywhere search at all. Generally it just doesn’t seem worth it for what I’m reading, plus when it gets to that point, I can often just ask the library to buy the book.

        But I can find nearly everything I want via my county library + in state ILL.

  4. The Skin Game excerpt has a 3 inch by 2 inch Penguin watermark that shows up on every page. Yuck!

  5. You forgot to tell us not to set small animals on fire, you monster. Why do you hate small animals?

  6. I plan to vote just based on the excerpt. Ranking Skin Game will be tough for me, because I watched all of The Dresden Files TV shows, but I haven’t read any of the books.

    For anyone who HASN’T bought a supporting membership, the packet is probably worth more than $40. You get four full novels (Wesley Chu’s submission for the Campbell one of his novels.), excerpts of Skin Game and Ancillary Sword, a bunch of short fiction, more artwork than you can shake a stick at, and several podcasts. You probably won’t finish it all by the deadline, so it’ll give you enough SF/F for quite a while.

    1. I’m going to try and finish it all by the deadline. I’m a pretty quick reader if I can find the time, but yeah. It definitely looks worth the purchase price on content alone. *off to read*

    2. I thought The Dresden Files TV series did a great job of extracting the core story from the novels and cutting it down to episode length. I also thought they did justice to Harry and Murphy.

      Evaluating any novel in a series out of its context has its problems, but this one may present fewer than you might expect. You haven’t met Mab, and you don’t know what Harry’s decisions were that led up to his service to her. You haven’t met Nicodemus either, but his background and character is less subtle.

      The really good news is that the bulk of the book is about assembling a supernatural safe-cracking team who don’t trust each other, and their heist that follows, and for that the background isn’t required.

      1. I plan to read the excerpt, and I enjoyed the show, but I had one really big problem with it: Why does he advertise himself as a wizard if he’s never allowed to talk to Murphy about magic? It was one of those contradictions that always bothered me.

        1. In the novels, she eventually get’s let in on the secret, but (IIRC) it’s basically; Humans are dumb & stupid, but if you spook them, they get panicky, and start Inquisitions, and burnings and suchlike. So, For The Good Of Wizard-Kind – No Spooking The Cattle!

          1. The show seemed to be going in that direction, but it never got there. I think I would have enjoyed their interactions much more if she was “in on” the “secret”.

        2. In the books, the White Council doesn’t have any specific prohibitions on revealing magic to people. The other laws of magic tend to create an environment where wizards generally wouldn’t WANT mortals at large to know about them, (i.e. if you can’t use magic to kill or control minds, you PROBABLY don’t want any inquisitions springing up) but the fact that wizards generally don’t reveal themselves is more of a gentleman’s agreement and just general prudence and good sense than an actual enforced rule. The rest of the White Council thinks Harry’s an idiot for advertising openly, but he’s not actually breaking any laws. (Not that he doesn’t get in trouble for the laws he DOES break, but that’s not one of them…) In the beginning of the series, before they learn to trust each other implicitly, Murphy doesn’t believe most of what he tells her, and thinks he’s pulling some sort of elaborate trick, but he’s not actually prevented from telling her things by anything other than his own conscience and/or lack of trust.

          In general, the series relies very heavily on the idea that humans in general refuse to acknowledge things that fall outside of their worldview, and will rationalize anything they can’t explain away as something that does, and most supernatural beings take advantage of this fact, so they can operate with impunity as long as they put in a modicum of effort to stay hidden. To be fair, the vampire and faerie courts have engaged in centuries-long campaigns of misinformation to better take advantage of this quirk of human psychology, and the White Council generally believes that maintaining this status quo is smart, but unlike the vampires and faeries they don’t actually ENFORCE it.

          1. The Dresden-verse has a specific self-defense exception to the ‘kill with magic’ law. Which is why Harry is still over 6 feet tall. And breathing.

            His trial was about if it was really self-defense, else he wouldn’t have got probation.

          2. No, the Dresdenverse has no self-defense exception to the First Law, “thou shalt not kill with magic.” It’s a recurring plot point that there are no exceptions because even well intentioned violations of the laws of magic are corrupting (unless done with the Darkstaff, which absorbs the corruption). That’s the reason the Wardens use swords and Harry uses guns.

            The law only applies to mortals, though, not to fae, demons, vampires, or other supernatural beings, which is why Harry frequently roasts or freezes that kind of enemy.

          3. @Brian: Yes, there is a self-defense exception. Before the beginning of the first book, Harry Dresden killed Justin DuMorne with magic. It was explicitly because it was in self-defense (& Ebenezer McCoy vouched for him) that Harry wasn’t executed, and was “only” placed under the Doom of Damocles (with McCoy). They generally don’t allow/accept the exception, but it does exist.

          4. “In general, the series relies very heavily on the idea that humans in general refuse to acknowledge things that fall outside of their worldview,…”

            True story…

            When I was very small my neighbors had elephants and quite some time earlier one had died so they bulldozed a hill over it. Since complete elephant skeletons are hard to come by in Minnesota some scientists from Minneapolis (a museum or university or both) came to dig it up. So my Mom took us kids over to see what they were up to.

            The scientists had a turtle with them. My mom told me to look at it and tell her what I saw. I saw a turtle. She told me to look more. I saw a turtle. So she told me… the turtle has two heads. I saw a turtle with two heads.

            Yes, I was small. No, I did not see what was impossible until I was told it was possible. Then I saw.

        3. He’s allowed to — he’s just bought into the whole wizardly secrecy thing really heavily at the beginning.

          One of the big themes/character growth opportunities of the first three books is Harry trying to protect people by keeping them in the dark, and that blowing up spectacularly. He learns his lesson.

      2. I dunno, the TV series was fun in its own way, and it got the personalities of Harry and Murphy down relatively well, but it’s SO dramatically different from the books that I don’t think it’ll help to understand the story very much. Personally, I’d say going into Skin Game after watching the TV series is about the same as going into Skin Game blind.

        FORTUNATELY, Skin Game is enough of a fun, self-contained heist story that I think you can go into it blind with no problems whatsoever.

    3. Some large differences between the books and movies:

      Harry would NEVER have sex with a Red Court vampire in the books. They’re very similar to MHI vamps.

      Bob The Skull was NEVER human in the books. He is an artificial intelligence (created by magic) and utterly sociopathic, just like your computer. He is a thinking magic library and research assistant with a perfect memory and centuries of experience.

      Bob knows the concept of right and wrong, but was never wired to appreciate it. He tries to act good to keep Harry happy with him, but often cannot understand and will make the wrong choices when free. Absolutely my favorite character on the TV show, and was cast perfectly.

      1. When Harry meets with Bob in his skull (Bob’s, not Harry’s) during the ghost novel, Harry is in human form.

  7. “everyone should read the nominations and vote honestly”

    Your weasely, dog-whistle dudebro code doesn’t fool me! I know that you *really* mean “suppress the vote of female and minority Hugo voters”. And any minorities or women who pop up to dispute that are just tokens and human shields! 😉

    1. Yeah, you’re not supposed to read the item, Larry, you dolt–you’re supposed to look at the author’s picture and then vote! Unless he’s a big old brownish Portuguese guy and then you should–oh, hell, just read the item. It’s easier.

      1. The author’s picture gives some good clues as to whether you should vote for that work or not, but it isn’t enough. You need to do an internet search and make sure that the author is full of rightthink–or at the very least, not wrongthink. I believe the correct ranking is as follows:

        1) Woman or dark-skinned man or white man claiming to be gay who is also a social justice warrior.

        2) Straight white male social justice warrior or woman or dark-skinned man of unknown politics (these are more or less tied).

        3) Straight white males of unknown politics.

        4) No award.

        5) Hatey McHaters.

        6) Anyone who was on any “puppies” ballot regardless of what qualifications they might meet above.

        (Oh, and just in case there’s some SJW out there posting a suggestion like this in all seriousness, yes, this is sarcastic).

        1. Well, that’s the silly irony in all this, isn’t it. SJW lit is just a distorted reversed out mirror of some Apartheid one-drop color coding. That’s why I think it so funny these people think they can write SF or a dystopia. They are a dystopia. Their version of “The Marching Morons” would look much like Burroughs, Heinlein and Vance. Guess who they go after as a sign of crumbling intellect and justice? Burroughs, Heinlein and Vance. You’ll notice that when they recently did some short satires about the Puppies all they really did was accurately depict themselves without a hint of awareness.

    2. Well, my above comment was quoted at File 770. I was named, sandwiched between Larry Correia and John Scalzi. How often does that happen?

      I do hope that Glyer realized the context of my statement, and didn’t think it was actually a paranoid condemnation of Larry.

  8. The Editor categories are the ones I have the most trouble with. I really have no idea how to vote on those. How does everyone else handle those two?

    1. I tweeted Larry about that late yesterday – wondering how a reader can assess an editor based purely on the finished product. He replied this morning to say he thinks it’s impossible, so it essentially becomes a body of work popularity contest.

      I personally am going to abstain in those categories as I don’t feel I can honestly assess them. Another way you could do it, if you are committed to making the best informed vote possible, would be to look for testimonials from the associated writers and others in the industry.

    2. Short form is really a vote for the magazine or anthology that the nominee edited. I haven’t downloaded the packet yet, but they usually give you a sample magazine issue to judge by.

      I think long form is silly because the only person qualified to judge would be an author who was edited by all of the editor candidates, that year and I doubt that such a person exists.

      Kevin Standlee gave my answer for short form but suggests that the long form award is really a “best publisher award”, but he himself doesn’t know what to do if two editors from the same publisher are on the ballot.

    3. Kathryn & Khazlek have good answers, the one thing I’ll add is that if you don’t feel sufficiently informed in a category, it’s reasonable to leave it blank on your ballot.

      If you look at last year’s full statistics (PDF), you can see that the “Total Votes” in the different categories can vary widely: up to 3137 for Best Novel, down to 1177 for Best Fancast. So last year almost 2 in 3 ballots were submitted w/ Best Novel filled in (at least partially), but w/ Best Fancast left completely empty.

    4. Agreed. I’d love to see an author okay the publication of a before-and-after story. (See: Shadows Beneath, for four authors doing this and including transcripts of their brainstorming and workshopping. Really good idea.)

      I’m definitely going to be leaving some categories blank.

  9. I hope Mr. Correia doesn’t mind but I am attempting a small version of the Sad Puppies campaign myself. I regularly post on a sports website called Realgm(mainly basketball) that has a section dedicated to current events(titled Current Affairs). This section is overwhelming liberal so to balance things out(or outright takeover 🙂 I am asking fellow conservatives to sign up and begin posting there..
    Here is where you would begin to register
    And Mr. Correia I do apologize if this is something you don’t wish on your website and would understand if you deleted this post

  10. Some nice surprises:

    Campbell Award has a couple complete novels
    Editor – Short Form has two complete anthologies.

  11. OT
    I finished Residue by Steve Diamond and just gave it five stars over at Amazon. Unfortunately, I have to now wait maybe a year for the sequels to start. Darn.

  12. Little story that seems to fit here.

    I used to use the Hugos as a suggested reading list when I was younger and scavenging second-hand book shops (I miss second-hand book shops.) Historical Hugos, of course, since I could buy double the amount of second-hand books for the cost of new ones. 😛

    I gradually parted company with the Hugos over the late 90s, I think. I had caught up with the classics, and too many of the new books they promoted disappointed me. It’s hard to nail it down. I remember knowing that Memory didn’t get the award. I really liked that book. But I wasn’t watching the Hugos at that time.

    So I found a reference to the Puppies thing on an unrelated blog a couple of weeks ago, and decided to check it out.

    And catching up with what happened in the Hugos over the last decade or so, I was floored by the whole Harry Potter incident. The Puppies story seems a bit opaque to me, as group dynamics often are to outsiders.

    This led me here, and to GRRM’s responses, and I wondered what kind of fiction a Sad Puppy would write.

    Amazon kindly provided me with an sample of the first of the MHI series. I pressed the Buy button on the last page. I ripped through those. No more?

    The Grimnoir followed, and didn’t last nearly long enough. Only a trilogy? (Yes, you wrapped it up neatly, but c’mon, there’s got to be a follow-on trilogy in those characters and that world….)

    This was all great stuff, of the type I would once have called beach reading, and now call Kindle reading. Well-written, engaging story, transparent prose, memorable, careworthy characters.

    I also downloaded Ancillary Sword. Not blown away so far; the pronoun goulash is exactly the kind of thing that I came to associate with the later Hugos. It gets between me and the story. Perhaps I should read the first in the series before I go on.

    I’ve been keeping an eye on your blog, saw this post, and just registered for a supporting membership.

    And I will, as you ask, and as everyone should, read all the nominations I can and vote honestly. Of course, since I was halfway through Skin Game the first evening it was available to me, the other novels may have some catching up to do…

    1. If you’re into audiobooks, try Murder on the Orient Elite over at Audible for your Grimnoir fix. Jake’s back for a short story.

      1. Thanks! It looks like when my Hugo packet comes through I’ll have reading for the next week or so anyway, but I do see more Correia titles on Amazon…

        1. Bronson Pinchot is absolutely brilliant doing the readings for the Grimnoir books (including the Audible exclusive Murder on the Orient Elite). It’s well worth looking through all his other narrated works in Audible.

          There’s also Detroit Christmas available for free from Baen. Also free in Audio Drama form in the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast.

    2. Welcome to the Special Hell for Speed Readers. Your favorite authors are at least 100 times slower than your reading ability…

      Yes, Larry has said that more Grimnoir novels are on the way. There are also more MHI on the way, as Larry has kids to put through college, just like Jim Butcher.

      I think Larry’s on contract for 16 future books right now. If you’re counting, Jim Butcher is working on #16 of 24ish Dresden books.

  13. I’d looked at the indexes of the mentioned anthologies, and skimmed a bit. They look like a very solid set of good stories, which I would not mind owning in physical form. The novels will be the last bunch of things I’ll read as they’re the longest. I think it’s VERY generous though to have complete books included for the anthologies; and the full novels were a nice surprise. Well worth the money spent.

  14. “It should go without saying, but apparently I need to plainly state the blatantly obvious, everyone should read the nominations and vote honestly.”

    Sad that the obvious should need saying, but often it doesn’t hurt to state it.

    And FWIW I like to think that awards like the Hugos are the best of both worlds.

    Both worlds?

    Either awards are chosen by committees of experts who know and understand the genre, but you’re left with the feeling that the award goes to the book they all dislike the least.

    Or the awards are decided by popular vote, and you’re left with the sneaking suspicion that people aren’t so much voting for the “best” book they’ve read, but the only book they’ve read. OTOH they are genuinely voting for what they think is the best.

    With Hugos you get awards chosen by the popular vote of the experts. The people who know, understand and love the genre; the fans.

    Well that’s the theory. Or at least my take on it.

  15. I’ve downloaded my packet and am going to start reading. Just as soon as I’m done running across the road without looking. With scissors.

  16. Not sure where to put this:

    “N. K. Jemisin ‏@nkjemisin · 3h3 hours ago
    Apparently Larry Correia was an asshole at Gencon? Panelist of color describes ugly interaction.”

    No details, of course.

    1. I imagine it was an ugly interaction. Being hit with a clue tetsubo tends to leave blood spatter.

      1. I am suspicious that it took nearly a year for this to surface.

        BTW, “panelist of color”? The only people I’ve known who were this obsessed with race were racists. Just saying.

        1. I was sort of curious about how I’d missed anyone talking about Gencon lately.

          I suppose that the lesson now is… travel with your own videographer and record everything. I can see Larry arguing and possibly not even being all soft and cuddly about it, but really, if it wasn’t more than “you’re wrong and that’s a stupid argument” then the clear implication that Larry was “ugly” BECAUSE the panelist was a “panelist of color” is pretty much … well, expected. I suppose it’s *expected* that Jemisin would try to frame it with that implication.

    2. I’m taking Mr Correia’s class online right now, and he’s pretty open about the fact that he likes to argue. He’s also very clear that it’s good-natured arguing, and at the end of it, everyone can usually agree to disagree. I think a lot of people might not be tuned in to this last part.

    3. Mysterious cylinders have landed at Woking. Reported sightings of three-legged machines. Stay calm – eat poison. We’re doomed… they may be assholes from outer space.

    4. “N. K. Jemisin
      ‏@nkjemisin Wow, apparently a bunch of Larry Correia’s fans are pissed at me for mentioning something another person said. I’m hurt, ya’ll. Heartbroken.”

      Yes, Ms. Jemisin, people are pissed off by casual libel.

      1. I would say her own fans. After being given 4 Nebula noms she’s self-destructed to the point her delusion about her career being “strangled at birth” has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      2. Was it as bad as this panel dust up of race disagreeing with race?

        “K Tempest Bradford @tinytempest · 6h 6 hours ago That upset me so badly I nearly got up and left. White men: no. NO. Fuck you, no. You do not do that. No. #WisconLastSummer”


        “N. K. Jemisin ‏@nkjemisin May 23 Wow, apparently a bunch of Larry Correia’s fans are pissed at me for mentioning something another person said. I’m hurt, ya’ll. Heartbroken.”

        “K Tempest Bradford ‏@tinytempest May 23 @nkjemisin ahahahahahahahahaha”


        Oh, irony. It burns.

      3. Well, Ajit George, who wrote the Tor.com article about GenCon Larry fisked last year was on the “I Need Diverse Games” panel Ms. Jemisin tweeted from. *If* he was the “panelist of color” she refers to, then Larry’s “ugly interaction” was fisking his article, and nothing more.

        And if that’s all, that’s pathetic beyond belief. Someone disagreed with him once online and he had to whine about it publically? Piteous.

    5. How many summers does this woman think she has left in her career? I can see them winking out one by one. It’s like an addict who sees their tomorrows disappearing until there are none left. That’s what an obsession is – it’s like an addiction.

      Let’s be honest – what would it cost any of these SJWs – supposedly SFF writers – to give up talking smack about whites and men for one year? The fact they probably couldn’t do it tells you all you need to know about how meds and obsessions work.

      For all of SJW talk about how the Golden Age was wall to wall racists and sexists, those old school folks effortlessly went decades without doing what some SJWs can’t stop doing for even a couple of days. Think about that.

  17. So, read through (as much as I’m going to) three of the five novels.

    Skin Game is, so far, the far and away winner.

    Goblin Emperor is a distant second. Starts strong, gets weaker and weaker as the story goes along. Purely coincidentally, the story gets more and more dull as more and more politics are injected more and more blatantly.

    Ancillary Sword… bleah. Mil-SF isn’t my thing to start with, but nothing really happens in the excerpt for a loooong time except a lot of talking about characters I know nothing about and care less. Below No Award.

    KJA’s The Dark Between the Stars, I started. Didn’t really grab me in the first 6 chapters, so I set it aside for when/if I have more time. If I don’t get back to it and/or it doesn’t get better as I read along, it goes just ahead of No Award.

    Three Body Problem, reading now. Not my first choice of subgenres, but it’s competently written. It looks to finish out 3rd on my ballot as is, unless something really bumps it up as I read along.

    1. I haven’t read any of The Three Body Problem yet, but it’s the entry that I’m most curious about, because it’s literally foreign. If you’re looking for something with a different point of view, that would be the first place I’d start.

    2. I really liked Goblin Emperor, until the end. When the antagonist was revealed to lack any and all redeeming qualities — even the competence that was supposed to be his defining characteristic — it undercut everything that was interesting about the central conflict. A well-meaning but untrained absolute dictator could be a disaster. A competent bureaucrat opposing that dictator out of concern for the country was a really interesting conflict. A corrupt and incompetent bureaucrat opposing the saintly innocent outsider who instantly understood all of modern progressive values because he has experienced oppression and bigotry — not so interesting.

      It’s a shame because there were a bunch of things I loved — like the use of made-up terms for everything to put us right there with the protagonist’s confusion when he got to the capital.

      1. “Pleasant” is the best word I can use to describe Goblin Emperor. Nothing really bad happens to anyone good in it (all the bad things that happened prior to the book are discussed in past-tense exposition). All the bad guys get their comeupance at the end at no real cost. The few non-bad guys who disagree with the protagonist on anything all come around or yield with the most mild of objections.

        It’s enjoyable, but not exactly tense or conflict-heavy. Pleasant, lightweight, not especially memorable.

  18. Enjoying the Hugo Voter Packet so far.

    Great, great nominees in Graphic Story. There went yesterday afternoon. I had to put one down mid-way to go write seven hundred words of brainstorming for a new story.

    Then I followed the link from Editor, Short Form: Mike Resnick to Galaxy’s Edge only to discover a Heinlein short story I’d never read. Wow.

  19. “It should go without saying, but apparently I need to plainly state the blatantly obvious, everyone should read the nominations and vote honestly.”

    It can’t go without saying because slates imply block voting. And the nomination process resulted in block voting.

    As a SJW, I agree with your sentiments. I suppose everyone here will be pleased to know that slates will probably continue to get people like John Wright multiple slots for only one year.

    Scalzi likes a 6/3 solutions where there are six people on the final ballot but one can only have 3 nominations. I suppose no one on the puppy side would have a problem with that either.

    Let’s talk about a solution called SDV-LPE.

    The solution at “Making Light” is called SDV-LPE. Each person gets one vote worth 1 point. One can nominate up to five works – but the total is still just one point. Step by step the nominations are eliminated. If one of yours is eliminated, the points for your remaining nominees are increased.

    So lets say you nominated MHI#4 and Dresden#19 and that is all. Each got half a point. Lets say in the first round Dresden#19 is eliminated. Now you MHI#4 pick is worth a full point for the next round.

    Does this mean the puppy crowd gets locked out? Nope. They will still get people/works on the ballet as they should – probably not as many. I think they will probably get more under this proposal than the 6/3 proposal. The puppy $40 is just as good as the SJW $40. However, spreading their vote weakens their nominees in the initial round and as the independent fan votes also increase in subsequent rounds, slates won’t be able to control the final ballot.

    People are running simulations as we post. And this will be discussed at the business meeting.

    Here is more on SDV-LPE:


    No matter what, next year will be under the same rules as now. Rule changes have a 2 year wait. The spectacle will continue next year.

    1. I’ll listen to Scalzi about the Hugo voting when he repays me for the Redshirt Star Trek fanfic HB I bought and when he returns the Hugo that he asked for and received for that book.

    2. I’ll also listen to the Haydens’ when he returns a couple of the long form Hugo’s that his friends gave him. Tor LF editors 5 winners in 8 years with a total of 18 nominations.

    3. Scalzi likes a 6/3 solutions where there are six people on the final ballot but one can only have 3 nominations. I suppose no one on the puppy side would have a problem with that either.
      You do know Wright didn’t break any records in this, right? He would have, if “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” hadn’t been disqualified, but since it was, he’s only tied for the most nominations in a single year, w/ Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire from the 2013 ballot. Where was Scalzi’s proposed rule change then? As it happens, I personally would be fine w/ this suggested rule change on its own, but the blatent hypocrisy is infuriating.

      In fact, Scalzi’s Redshirts really should have been disqualified on exactly the same grounds as “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” – it also had been published online in a previous year than the year it was nominated (and won) for. All of the same rules were in effect then. There was later a minor clarification to the FAQs, but the actual rules were the same. This is the blatent hypocrisy that I and many others here get so angry about. We play honestly by the rules & win, so obviously the rules have to be changed, but when Scalzi & his crowd do exactly the same thing, or worse actually break the rules – that’s perfectly OK.

      And I’d be willing to forgive Redshirts nomination & win, as the WorldCon committees are human & fallable, and I’d be happy to call it a mistake in the past that we just have to live with, and can learn from for the future. But Scalzi still actively claims Redshirts was perfectly qualified & eligible, while “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” & Andy Weir’s The Martian are not. This is mind-boggling, obvious hypocrisy. It’s OK for Scalzi & his friends, but not for anyone else.

      1. I need an edit option… the blockquote should have ended just before “You do know Wright didn’t break any records in this, right?” That question & everything after it are my comment, the lines before are the blockquote from SJW75126.

        1. ” As it happens, I personally would be fine w/ this suggested rule change on its own, but the blatent hypocrisy is infuriating.”

          That’s what I was thinking. In another year this will all be water under the bridge. Provided the puppies keep their numbers up, their particular favored works should get some play and there shouldn’t be any discord.

      2. “But Scalzi still actively claims Redshirts was perfectly qualified & eligible, while “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” & Andy Weir’s The Martian are not. ”

        I am not sure Andy Weir is concerned. For me, I look at the Goodreads Choice Awards as the best indicator – other than friends. Really, it was my Dresden friends that suggested MHI. Anyway, The Martian won for Science Fiction. Scalzi’s “Lock In” was second .

        “The Book of LIfe” won easily for fantasy; it was the third in the trilogy. MHI Nemesis was nominated in Horror but that category went to Anne Rice. It was tuff sledding having to compete against Anne Rice but much better than in the fantasy category where where Harkness, Sandersen, and Butcher ranked 1, 2 and 3.

        Actually, comparing the winners between Andy Weir for Sci Fi and Deborah Harkness for Fantasy, Harkness smoked Weir by a pretty good bit. And as best I can tell Harkness is nowhere to be found in the Locus or Hugos.

        1. Andy Weir’s The Martian does not appear on the final ballot of the 2015 Hugo Awards, most likely because it is not eligible. The author has stated (message #20) he’s unsure of its eligibility, but suspects that it’s not. Why is there any question about its eligibility? For exactly the same reason there’s questions about “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” & Redshirts eligibility – it was published online in a prior year, before being picked up for traditional print publication in 2014.

          I wasn’t aware of The Martian until its print publication, so I couldn’t have nominated it for the 2013 Hugos it would have been eligible for (I actually registered too late to nominate that year anyway). When I did read it in 2014, I immediately put it on my list to nominate for the 2015 Hugos because of how well it was written & enjoyable it was – but then it turns out to be in this same situation.

          1. Beolach said: ” “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” & Redshirts eligibility – it was published online in a prior year, before being picked up for traditional print publication in 2014.”

            Not that it matters, but the only thing I can find on publishing date for Red Shirts is June 5, 2012. It won both the Hugo and the Locus and now will be a TV show. I am guessing sales were pretty good?

            I don’t see anything that says it was self published in 2011. Got a link? And I mean a real link – not to some blog by John Wright.

            Personally, I have no plans to read “Red Shirts”. I have “Lock In” on my Wishlist based on discussion in my reading group but I am in no hurry. I just finished “The Martian” last week.

          2. I think he was thinking about Old Man’s War, which was published online the year before physical publication.

          3. Yep, my bad. I was conflating Redshirts with Old Man’s War. Almost everything I said applies to Old Man’s War, not Redshirts, except for both being nominated & winning – that was Redshirts; Old Man’s War was only nominated to the final ballot.

  20. @Illuminated Whelps

    I’ve been talking about this over at Brad Torgersen’s site, and I think that any honest discussion of this year’s Hugos really needs to include Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies. There are some people who are in both groups, some who are in one but not the other, and some who are in neither. My take on the whole thing is that there are four groups:

    1. The Sad Puppies
    2. The Rabid Puppies
    3. The Anti-Puppies
    4. Everyone Else

    The SPs put together a slate of works that they suggested that folks read and consider for noms (per Brad Torgersen’s site on Feb 1). The RPs–or more accurately, Vox Day–essentially took the SP slate and tweaked it a bit, and Vox said, “What follows is the list of Hugo recommendations known as Rabid Puppies. They are my recommendations for the 2015 nominations, and I encourage those who value my opinion on matters related to science fiction and fantasy to nominate them precisely as they are.” (That’s from Vox Day’s website on Feb 2.) So there’s a difference here in what Torgersen and Day asked people to do. Torgersen posted a list of potential noms and suggested that people look each work and vote for it (or not vote for it) based on its merit. Day asked people to vote for his slate based on whether or not people valued his opinion. The Anti-Puppies (I’m not going to bother trying to find a good representative of them. I think everyone agrees that this group exists.) are folks who say that they don’t like the whole idea of “slates”, and they are so opposed to them that they’re going to vote for “No Award” above any work that was on either the SP3 or RP slate. In some cases, this means that they would vote for No Award above EVERY work in a category. This is commonly referred to as “the nuclear option”. Everyone Else is either trying to figure out which group they belong to, OR they’ve decided to come up with their own voting formula. I would put George R R Martin in this category, and I think he’s the 600 pound gorilla in this group. He’s essentially said that he’s not happy about the way that the noms were voted for (i.e., he doesn’t like the idea of slates), but now that we’re here, he thinks that people should vote for each work in each category based on its merit, and No Award should be used ONLY if you truly think a work is not “Hugo-worthy” (whatever that means to you). I think there are probably a bunch of people in this group who will probably vote based on a mixture of “Hugo-worthiness” and pure politics. I think these people would vote against Vox Day even if he edited the original versions of The Iliad and The Odyssey. There also seems to be quite a bit of animus (albeit not quite as much) toward John C Wright.

    What nobody really knows is how large each group really is. And there’s been a sharp uptick in the number of supporting memberships, and nobody knows the intentions of all of these people. So the awards banquet will probably be either (a) a fairly normal banquet where an award is given in each category, or (b) an extremely boring affair where a number of categories receive No Award. And either way, nobody knows what’s going to happen next year. There are already plans for Sad Puppies 4, with Kate Paulk being the organizer. Nobody really knows what Vox Day is going to do. And my big fear is that next year is going to be a big War of the Slates, with at least one so-called Social Justice Warrior slate coming out. I think that’s going to be painfully boring, because I really have no interest in following a Twitter war between the various groups. I just want to get a packet of good SF/F to read and vote on.

    1. ” I think these people would vote against Vox Day even if he edited the original versions of The Iliad and The Odyssey. There also seems to be quite a bit of animus (albeit not quite as much) toward John C Wright.”

      Yep. Many are going to rank VD and Wright below No Award or Vote No Award as their final and leave VD and Wright off the ballet.

      “OR they’ve decided to come up with their own voting formula. I would put George R R Martin in this category, and I think he’s the 600 pound gorilla in this group. He’s essentially said that he’s not happy about the way that the noms were voted for (i.e., he doesn’t like the idea of slates), but now that we’re here, he thinks that people should vote for each work in each category based on its merit, and No Award should be used ONLY if you truly think a work is not “Hugo-worthy” (whatever that means to you).”

      If you looking for a representative of what I call the Traditional Worldcom Fan, it is probably Scalzi. Like Wright he will only use No Award if it is below his standard for Hugoness. However, he isn’t saying that is what anyone else should do.

      I think what most are going to do is to thread the needle. I don’t think they are going to put the Avengers below “No Award” just because it showed up on a slate. Some will give Butcher some love although it is really hard to put a book that late in a series into contention. Nobody on the other side is going to give any love to VD or Wright.

      “I’ve been talking about this over at Brad Torgersen’s site, and I think that any honest discussion of this year’s Hugos really needs to include Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies. ”

      So your message is really mixed. You have LC saying he isn’t Vox Day. You have Kate saying you are all Vox Day. And on LC’s site you want to bring the Rabid pups back into the pack. At the same time your message that Sad’s and Rabid’s are different breeds has had some traction. You look at the discussion board on Goodreads and you see some making that case. You have to decide what you want and who you are. If you combine the packs and don’t blame others when they paint with a broad brush.

      To tell you the truth as an honest to God SJW and outsider, I have read LC, KP, BT, Wright and VD, and I really don’t know what you guys want or are worried about at this point. The nominations are what they are. The vote will be what it will be.

      “Nobody really knows what Vox Day is going to do. And my big fear is that next year is going to be a big War of the Slates, with at least one so-called Social Justice Warrior slate coming out.”

      Nope. It won’t happen. There is nobody on the SJW interested in slates. SP4 will have one more year like this year. What may happen is that a lot more people will vote during the nomination stage so freeping will be more difficult.

      If I wanted to slate just to upset the apple cart, I would load up a slate with paranormal romance. Numbers for that genre are huge. VD would be the perfect poster boy for the campaign. But I don’t think anyone cares that much.

      1. The “discussion needs to include rapid puppies” line was referring to illuminated welps picture, not claiming RP as part of SP. (In fact, he then lists RP as a separate faction)

        Also, you realize that Larry has made the same comment about paranormal romance, right?

  21. I’m working my way through the Hugo packet and started with what I consider the “minor” categories. I looked at the art and made my choices of what I liked.

    I’ve read all of the materials in “related works.” I have a Ph.D, am on editorial review boards and understand the scientific process. I’m also a professional writer (in my field) and understand writing for specific audiences. Here are my opinions on this category:
    A] Michael Z. Williamson – Wisdom From My Internet = No Award. Read it and not impressed. Not sure how this would help anyone who is writing in the field or help someone understand the field.
    B] “Why Science is Never Settled” – Tedd Roberts – BAEN = Short discussion of how science is conducted accessible to a layperson. Discussion is accurate and useful to non-scientists. = 1.
    C] “THE HOT EQUATIONS: THERMODYNAMICS AND MILITARY SF” – Ken Burnside – interesting but limited take on how current technology and understanding of thermodynamics could set up near future military SF. The push here is “near future” and not far future if there are technological breakthroughs yet unknown at this time. = 2
    D] “Letters from Gardner” – Lou Antonelli – Merry Blacksmith Press – difficult to classify. How he got into writing SF, guidelines on writing SF, some of his stories, his life in general. His discussion of “good writing tips” is accepted common wisdom. = 3
    E] “Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth” – John C. Wright – Castalia House = OK general philosophy applied loosely to some well-known authors. = 4.

    Read the graphic novels. I enjoyed “Rat Queens.” Everything else was boring to me. Rat Queens gets my nod for #1 and everything else is “no award” because I did not enjoy it in the least.

    Read for yourself if you are a voting member. But I would like to suggest that “Why Science is Never Settled” is a good, accurate overview of the scientific process. If you were writing SF in this area reading this brief discussion would give you a workable understanding of the scientific process and the shortcomings of that process.

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