Mon
Apr 21 2014 12:00pm

Sleeps With Monsters: How About Those Hugos?

Hugo Awards Well. It’s an interesting year for the ballot, isn’t it? I confess I’m rather disappointed to see indications of organised bloc voting in the fiction categories: it strikes me as not entirely in keeping with the spirit of the matter. (It is entirely understandable, even at times inevitable, in anything awarded by popular vote, and yet it still disappoints the idealist in me.)

Yet set the fiction categories aside for the moment, and we see an awards shortlist reflecting a decidedly newer, and in many cases—like the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (which is not, as is constantly repeated, actually a Hugo, despite being voted on during the same process)—a more diverse vision of the SFF community than has often been the case.

 

I suppose I should mention here that I have the honour to be nominated in the Best Fan Writer category, in a slate that includes Abigail Nussbaum, Foz Meadows, Kameron Hurley, and Mark Oshiro. The only thing I have to say about this slate—apart from the fact that it may be the most international and is certainly the most female in the category’s history—is that these people do excellent work and I find it difficult to believe I’m in their company. To comment further on the category would be inappropriate—but fortunately, I’m not part of any other category,* and can thus inflict my opinions on you with a clear conscience.

*I have an essay in Speculative Fiction 2012, but that’s not quite the same thing.

The John W. Campbell list this year, quite frankly, delights me. I haven’t read anything by Ramez Naam and Wesley Chu (I’ve heard good things about them both, although second-hand opinion indicates that I’d probably enjoy Chu’s work more than Naam’s), but Max Gladstone and Sofia Samatar and Benjanun Sriduangkaew, who has been nominated in her first year of eligibility on the strength of her short fiction? HELL YES. Gladstone’s work is innovative and exciting (and Two Serpents Rise and Full Fathom Five are barefaced challenges to naysayers in the diversity stakes), and Sriduangkaew’s short fiction that I’ve read consistently blows me away. Samatar’s work doesn’t give me the same kind of emotional reaction, but I understand why other people love it: her talent and technical skill is obvious, and on the strength of the last two years, she bids fair to mature into an important, influential voice in the field.

On the Campbell slate as a whole, in fact, Kameron Hurley may have said it best: “Welcome to the fucking future.”

The Best Fancast category is seven names long this year, and it’s an international (albeit Western, Anglophone) list. I don’t listen to any of them regularly, alas, so I’m not competent to comment on them—any more than I can really comment on the Artist categories. (The only thing I know for sure about the Artist categories is that Julie Dillon does AMAZING work, and Picacio has been around for a while.) Likewise, the Best Graphic and the Best Dramatic Short Form: I haven’t read or watched any of the relevant material. I am happy to see Pacific Rim, Frozen, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on the Best Dramatic Long Form list, and I’m looking forward to seeing Gravity when I finally get my hands on a DVD. That makes three films on the list with female protagonists, inarguable female protagonists, and one film with a major female character who isn’t white. This is a development that warms the cockles of my cold, cold heart.

(It’s still not good enough in terms of intersectionality, but neither is Hollywood. Small victories are better than none at all.)

The Best Related Work is filled with a rather gloriously disparate set of nominees, including the first ever blog post, two very different collections, a book, and a podcast. The Best Fanzine has The Book Smugglers in it, whom I regularly read, and Pornokitsch, which I read whenever I have a spare spot of time to catch up. The Fanzine category appears to have switched over to being dominated by blogs, as Journey Planet is the only old-style ’zine appearing this year: in terms of greater accessibility for readers and representing a wider variety of participants in fan culture(s), I’m very happy to see this change.

Not least because the internet is where I personally find connections with the community of discourses that make up the SFF genre.

“The community of discourses” is a natural segue to a discussion of the fiction categories. I’m not well-read in the short fiction field, but it is fairly clear that this year, with Best Short Story excepted and Best Novel as a marginal case, the fiction categories are cleft by very different views of what represents the best in that community of discourses. Best Novella and Best Novelette this year present a snapshot between a neoconservative American perspective on the field, and the competing perspectives of everyone else. (As an Irishwoman, a feminist, and a card-carrying socialist, it probably goes without saying that my views on what is best are deeply unlikely to align with neocon American ones. The personal is always political—and so is fiction.)

I’m very happy to see Six-Gun Snow White and “The Waiting Stars” in their respective categories, however: normally my tastes in short fiction don’t line up with award lists at all.

As for the Best Novel category... Well, regardless of what I think of its inclusion (it is an entire cold buffet set against cheeseboards: perhaps we need a Hugo category for Best Series now?), The Wheel of Time likely has the popular backing to win. I’ve read it, with the exception of A Memory of Light: it is certainly a very interesting work in its ambitions, but for me, its execution leaves something to be desired. As for Larry Correia’s Warbound—I haven’t read it. (I did try to read the first novel in that series, but gave up after twenty pages. I doubt I’ll fare better with #3.)

But I’m extremely happy to see Ancillary Justice make the cut: I think it’s the best novel of the list. While Stross is an excellent writer in general, and Neptune’s Brood is solid old-school Big Idea SF, it doesn’t stick its dismount. On the whole it’s less ambitious, I think, than Ancillary Justice. And Grant’s Parasite is, to my mind, a weaker contender than the previous novel of hers which made the ballot. Ancillary Justice, however, is perhaps my favourite space opera novel to date, and I am especially thrilled to see a debut novel—and one that is engaged in such an interesting conversation about gender, perception, personhood, and colonialism—achieve a place on the Hugo ballot.

 

The list of the David Gemmell Legend Award finalists was published on the same Saturday as the Hugo Award final ballot, and consequently has been rather overshadowed. The Legend Award finalists are also chosen from a shortlist by popular vote, and I am extremely disappointed with the voters this year.* There is not one female person on that list.

* I voted. Clearly I should have gone back to vote many more times.

Legend Award voters, don’t any of you even read epic fantasy by female authors?


Liz Bourke is a cranky person who reads books. Her blog. Her Twitter.

56 comments
Steven Halter
1. stevenhalter
I am entirely delighted with the Best Fan Writer category and will have to think a while on just how I want to rank them. (Congratulations to you!) The Best related Work will also give me some nice consideration time.

For novel, I've already read Ancillary Justice, Neptune’s Brood and Parasite. I enjoyed them all and right now I would rank them as: Ancillary Justice - Well written, interesting and touching on AI consciousness, cultural gender identity and a nice mystery.
Neptune’s Brood - Set in the Saturn's Children universe. I quite enjoyed the FTL economics myself and think it sheds some interesting comments on econimies in general. Also, fun adventures in addition.
Parasite - An interesting take on what it means to be a human and medical experimentation.

I haven't read Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles at all yet and I've only read about five of The Wheel of Time. So, I'll await the Hugo Voter Packet to see how I'll respond to those. The begining of WoT was fun, but by the time I stopped reading the series it had begun lagging in execution as you said. We'll see.

For Novella, I really, really liked Equoid and so the others have a steep hill to climb although I haven't yet read them, so maybe they are all wonderful--more on that once I've read them. Cat Valente was at Minicon this weekend and I generally like her stuff, so I expect that I will like Six Gun Snow White.
For Novellette, I enjoyed The Lady Astronaut of Mars and The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling I haven't read the others yet. While I haven't read the others, I'll guess that there are some entries that I probably won't appreciate. But, maybe I'll be surprised.

I haven't yet read the short stories.

As I mentioned, I was at Minicon, so I got to have the experience of seeing the nominations with a group of fans. At many noms there was applause and at certain noms, there were rather startled gasps. Afterwords, we had a nice chat about why those gasps happened for the benefit of people unaware of the larger context.
All in all, it was quite fun to see the noms live with a group.
Irene Gallo
2. Irene
I’d have to check but, off the top of my head, I think more women are on this year’s Pro Art list than have been on the past 20, maybe even 30 years, combined.
Irene Gallo
3. Irene
Yup, unless I missed something, the only woemn in the history of the Hugos to be nominated in the Pro Artists category are:

Diane Dillon (With Leo Dillon),
1969-71

Rowena
1982,83,84,86

Julie Dillon
2013, and now 2014

The only woman to win, Diane Dillon in 71.
4tothefloor
4. 4tothefloor
This is the first year where I'd read all the short story nominees because they were all available online. "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" absolutely killed me, but there's certainly not a loser in the bunch.
James Nicoll
5. James Davis Nicoll
Some more data on the artist category; it wasn't unheard of for entire decades to go by without a woman being nominated.

http://james-nicoll.livejournal.com/4841729.html
Paul Howard
6. DrakBibliophile
Liz, just a comment. I've never considered the Hugo's to be the "best" SF/F.

From the beginning, it was a vote for the "most popular".

As for what's the "best", IMO the best has always been a matter of opinion so "Your Milage May Vary" always applies.
4tothefloor
7. juliedillon
@Irene You are entirely correct. This is the first time ever that we have multiple women on the Professional Artist ballot, which is pretty darn exciting considering that it was 27 years between Rowena's last nomination and my nomination last year. :)
James Nicoll
8. James Davis Nicoll
Actually, in 1984 there were two women:
Rowena Morrill and Val Lakey Lindahn. This record stood for 30 years!
James Nicoll
10. James Davis Nicoll
As I recall, though, art was one of the least volatile category, basically a small group of men handing the trophy back and forth. Bit like Best Langford used to be.
James Nicoll
11. James Davis Nicoll
One thing the Hugos used to be, don't know if they still are, was something that would give a sales bump if mentioned on the cover.
Deana Whitney
12. Braid_Tug
@1, Steven, or anyone else who WoT was not your thing...

To get the Cliff notes version, please see Leigh Butler's Re-Read right here on Tor.com.

Use that to catch up on the previous books, then read A Memory of Light. The emotional impact is wonderful. If you know the back story, it is even better.

Yes, some of the middle books got bogged down. But the story is a great one.
I’m looking forward to the voters packet to read the other works chosen, I’ve only read a few of them.
Steven Halter
13. stevenhalter
James@11:They are still a very good sales impact--especially for the Best Novel.

Braid_Tug@12:Right at the moment, I think I'll look through Leigh's posts to refresh me through the books I had previously read. When I get the packet, I start through the remaining volumes. I'm trying to remember wether I stopped at "Lord of Chaos" or "A Crown of Swords". ~20 years ago.
Walker White
14. Walker
I tried to read some earlier Correia but he is a hard read. His so-called libertarian views (he is actually very pro-Government welfare, as long as it is to right wing causes) completely overpower his novels. It is not unlike reading Flashback from Dan Simmons.
Colin Bell
15. SchuylerH
@14: At this point, I feel compelled to advertise the best (Hugo-winning!) series about a shady agency tasked with defending the world against the horrors from beyond: The Laundry Files by Charles Stross.
Walker White
16. Walker
@15
series about a shady agency tasked with defending the world against the horrors from beyond
Is that what the Correia books were about? I thought it was about taking money from the government (because your business model completely falls apart if you are not an abusive government contractor) while refusing to pay any taxes on this money.
4tothefloor
17. Patrick Mullane
Dia duit - delighted to see Correia work being part of the Hugo nomination panel in novels and should act as a spur to other conservative voices to re-engage in the field of SciFi: where the purpose is to actually entertain readers rather than push political PC messages de-hour
Katharine Duckett
18. Katharine
Hi all, moderator here: thanks for keeping the discussion civil thus far, and for giving everyone a chance to express their opinions. I just want to remind everyone of our moderation policy, and remind everyone to continue engaging respectfully when talking about all of these issues. Thank you!
Susan Davis
20. sue
How in the world was The Stars Change not nominated in the novella category?
Jane Patterson
21. jeliza
@20: The Stars Change is described as a novel almost everywhere (its own website, on Whatever, etc.) so even if it is novella word count, few voters would notice.

On the women artist front, I would like to point out that Margaret Brundage, who was a mainstay of Weird Tales covers in the 30s, is on that final ballot for the 1939 Retro Hugos.
Colin Bell
22. SchuylerH
@20 & 21: The Stars Change, according to the publisher, has 40,543 words; for Hugo purposes, a novella is 17,500 - 40,000 words.
T Neill
23. Anarra
@stevnhalter #1: "I am entirely delighted with the Best Fan Writer category...."

I'm not. No way. I'm going to go BALD tearing my hair out trying to rank them. Too many really good nominees!
4tothefloor
25. Miehm
@Walker: Having read MHI, MHN, MHA, and MHL, I seem to recall that the majority of MHI's money comes from contracts, not PUFF bounties. Also, MHI is taxed fairly heavily. Which is one reason they have Owen Pitt, combat accountant, on their payroll. To handle the IRS audits, and make sure things are reasonably kosher.

As to the allegations of him being pro-big government, I've never seen that come across in either his MH series, the Grimnoir books, or his blog writing. I think you may be prpjecting just a hair.
Bridget McGovern
26. BMcGovern
Comment @24 unpublished: If you disagree with the opinions expressed in this post or in the comments, feel free to engage in the discussion in a civil manner, but rude, mocking, or trollish remarks will be unpublished--please see our Moderation Policy for further guidelines.
4tothefloor
27. Pneusodym
As Miehn points out in comment 25, the main character of Correia's Monster Hunter series is an account, and he handles the taxes for the company. It's a recurring theme throughout the stories that not only are they taxed heavily for their work, but they're the targets of frequent, and in depth, auditing. But don't let details get in the way of a few cheap laughs, am I right? eh?
Alan Brown
28. AlanBrown
I don't read as much fiction as I used to, so I can't comment on a lot of these works that are listed. But it is nice to see a lot of new names on the list, and a lot of people from diverse backgrounds. I want to see the field grow and thrive, and it can't do that if it keeps serving up the same old stuff from the same old guys.
I must say that counting the Wheel of Time as a single work is kind of like holding a 'best boat' contest and inviting the USS Ronald Reagan to compete against a bunch of sailboats. Which of these objects does not belong in this group?
And congrats, Liz, on your own nomination. Your insightful articles are part of the reason I keep coming back to Tor.com!
4tothefloor
29. Rick Cartwright
Protip: When slandering someone's book because you don't like their politics, you make a better case by demonstraing you have some actual knowledge of the book. The Monster Hunter series is entirely seperate from the Grimnoir Chronicles. I was also delighed to see Mira Gran aka Seanan McGuire make the short list.
Liz Bourke
30. hawkwing-lb
stevenhalter @1:

Thank you. I'm shocked, and humbled, to be in the company of the other Fan Writer nominees. I think this is a really interesting year for the Hugo ballot as a whole. (And I'm looking forward to going to LonCon3, since it's only a ferry-and-a-train ride away.)

Irene and James Davis Nicoll and juliedillon @various:

I'm shamefully underlearned in the art categories, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what's in the Hugo voter packet - and I'm really glad to see the change in the gender balance of the list this year.

4tothefloor @4:

There is certainly no weak entry in the short story list this year - I have to admit Sofia Samatar's is my favourite, but no matter who wins, it will be deserved.

DrakBibliophile @6:

Your statement is not one I am arguing against, so I'm not sure what point you are making? Please feel free to expand on it.

Patrick Mullane @17:

Agus Dia's Mhúire dhuit thú féin. I find it interesting that you seem to feel that Correia's fiction doesn't contain political messages of its own, in addition to its entertainment. You don't see the message, perhaps, because you agree with it. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, nor that it doesn't alienate as many readers as it entertains. The status quo is not a neutral position.

And whether or not you enjoy reading material by people who don't share your views, you might consider that it lacks something in imagination to assert that such material doesn't entertain people who hold different views of the world. Ancillary Justice and Neptune's Brood both have very well-done thriller elements, quite aside from the interesting ways they interrogate, for example, personhood and their central SFnal conceits. (I'm less sold on Parasite's execution of the tension leading up to zombie apocalypse/Awful Truth, but the zombie apocalypse has never really been my literary thing.) (And one could argue all day about the Wheel of Time, but that's Leigh Butler's job, not mine.)

Anarra @23:

I know my #1 vote is going to Abigail Nussbaum, personally. She's a genius critic and (I have some small bias, it is true) does an incredible job editing Strange Horizons' review department.

(It is very bloody humbling to be considered alongside these people in the Fan Writer category.)

Katharine @18 and BMcGovern @26:

Thank you for a) being your usual awesome selves and b) overseeing a discussion with such potential to get heated.
Bjoern H
31. netweird
Reading Ancillary Justice at the moment and imho it's one of the best for quite some time. Brings back the good old sense of wonder.
Liz Bourke
32. hawkwing-lb
AlanBrown @28:

Thank you. It is a very great - and humbling - honour to be considered in the same light as the other names in the Fan Writer category.
Andrew Barton
33. MadLogician
I gave up on Correia's MHI series after book 1, but I found the Grimnoir series a much better read and if there were any dubious messages they went over my head. Enjoyable, but not IMO Hugo calibre.
4tothefloor
34. Quilly Mammoth
Liz, you're stunningly on target cause I don't _evah_ think Tor has published a list of it's house's nominees for it's fans to consider. ;)
James Nicoll
35. James Davis Nicoll
For the love of god! "It's" = it is. The possessive form is "its". What next, "Romanes eunt domus"?
4tothefloor
36. Jonathan LaForce
I've read every book Larry Correia has put out, even had my family mail them to me in care packages while I was in Southern Helmand. Larry happens to tell an incredibly great story, with characters from a broad range of backgrounds and beliefs. As staunchly independent as they are though, I doubt you could call any of his protagonist "welfare recipients" or fans of "big government". If anything, Larry is a proponent of self-governance and minimized government that interferes with people's lives to the least possible degree.

I tried Ancillary Justice, not impressed. And the article which it's author put out on her blog is just deplorable. If you let people at your table in the restaraunt get punched by a server for no reason, you have problems. Never mind the convoluted, fluff-laden diatribe laced throughout her poorly constructed metaphor.
James Nicoll
37. James Davis Nicoll
Its! Its! Its! Its! Its! NOT IT'S. ITS.

YOU'RE POLLUTING THE PURITY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE!

Bob Smith
38. chiech
It is sad to me to see that most people on the Internet* (unprovable assumption on my part) have trouble separating artist from the art they produce. I find myself in disagreement ideologically with many artists: be they actors, musicians, or authors. Yet I judge the art on its merits.
I read all the Grimnoir series, and I have to say Warbound is suffering from Last Book Syndrome. Hard Magic and Spellbound were far superior, and more worthy of a nomination.
As is the case with all Vox's novellas, his short stories set in Selenoth are much better than his novel. His Hugo nominated story is to me the most interesting concept, but not his best written.
WoT will forever go down as one of the two best Epic fantasy of our current era. It should wins hands down as homage to Robert Jordan's first few books - and as a thank you to Brandon for all he did to satiate those of us who gave up so much of our time to read about all those silk dresses and lace collars. ;)
I have some of the other nominees on my reading list and look forward to a mythically time when I actually read everything on my Must Read List.
Congratulations to all!
Liz Bourke
39. hawkwing-lb
Quilly Mammoth @34:

That has the lovely ring of sarcasm to it. Your mileage may vary, but to my mind there's a qualitative difference between pointing to a list of eligible works, or listing the things one thinks are best of the year and saying "Hey, you might like to consider these," and presenting a slate and actively campaigning for every item on the list with the tone of "Let's show these other people!"

The latter's just tacky. But that's my opinion. I don't speak for our hosts, you know.


James Davis Nicoll @ 35 and 37:

I feel your pain, I really do, but in your own (infamous) words, isn't the English language "...about as pure as a cribhouse whore"?

This much vehemence on your part is entertainingly ironic, is all I'm saying. *admires it, honestly*

Jonathan LaForce @36:

I happen to think you're missing Leckie's point, but, y'know, I don't need you to agree with me any more than you need me to agree with you. I'm glad there are books that move you, even if they aren't the same books that move me.
Brian R
40. Mayhem
@schuyler @15
I'll cast a vote for the shadowy world of the Met in Ben Aaronovitch's works. Its a delightful mix of neverwhere and government beaurocracy*.



as for the Hugo entries ... I liked Ancillary Justice a lot more than I expected given the hype. A memory of light was satisfying enough, and Sanderson did a great job in matching Jordan's voice, but I rate his mistborn work as better. The Wheel of Time is solid mid list in my mind.
I'd like to see Charles Stross finally win something, he's been a strong UK voice in SF but a perennial bridesmaid, but I haven't read it so can't comment on the calibre of the story.

*just winding you up JDN
Colin Bell
41. SchuylerH
@40: Does this mean that you are attempting to attain internet enlightment? (xkcd 1238) Thus far, Stross has two Hugos at novella length but I think that for novels, it's Leckie who's tapped into the zeitgeist.
4tothefloor
42. Ginger
Note how the fellow at 36 emphasized his time in Southern Helmand and yet finds much to appreciate regarding self-governance and a "minimized government that interferes with people's lives to the least possible degree." The irony is rich with this one.

I've read some of the Monster Hunter books, and while they are technically well-written, they are not enjoyable, being (1) cis-male heterocentric, (2) glaringly Gary Stu-ish, and (3) deeply repetitive.

Ancillary Justice, on the other hand, was a brilliant examination of gender constructs. That is worthy of an award or two. I'm sure the author of the MH books will continue to bask in the knowledge that he makes more money than anyone else, so there.
4tothefloor
43. a.v willis
@42
Or, he simply meant that the books are the perfect deployment reading material. Considering someone recomended Correia's work on my last deployment, (wasn't able to start it then, didn't have access to an e-reader,) and became addicted to his work on my current one, I'm inclined to lean towards option 2.


I'm not going to argue whether or not MHI is any good since a) that's completely subjective and b) MHI is not the series being put up for election. But as for your 3 points: 1) I believe the term you're looking for is message free, something many of us consider an asset. 2) Correia himself addressed the topic in a previous advice column http://monsterhunternation.com/2010/08/04/ask-correia-8-the-evils-of-mary-sue/. As for 3, again your mileage may vary, and again since the Grimnoir chronicles are a seperate work of fiction, they deserve to be judged or condemned on their own merits.

As for Ancillary Justice, I can't comment on it one way or another, I haven't read it yet. But when your description of it starts with "a brilliant examination of gender constructs," you're highlighting the very attitude that led to so many of us from the "award worthy work". Not all of us want our book shelves to be petri dishes for social experiments or watch as writers become blacklisted for having the wrong type of ideas. Some of us just want to sit down, enjoy a book for it's own merits, and make up our own minds instead of having it force fed by a genre.
4tothefloor
44. Ginger
"Its" own merits. Not "it's". We would all love to read our books for their own merits and not have agendas pushed, be those white cis-male heterocentric or everyone else, which is precisely the point of not just Liz's article here, but also Kameron Hurley's essay, which happens to be nominated for a Hugo of its own. ("Its" own, not "it's" own.)
4tothefloor
45. av willis
You've got me, I let a typo slip in. As for agendas being pushed, considering only one of Correia's protagonists is actually white, you're kind of barking up the wrong tree there. As for the rest of his so called agenda, you seem to be operating under the illusion that he has one in the first place. But the reason so many folks keep getting drawn to his work is quite simply because he knows how to tell a good story. He's not working off of a diversity check list, he focuses on the plot and let the affirmative action chips fall where they may.
4tothefloor
46. Ginger
I'm just going to quote Liz here:
"I find it interesting that you seem to feel that Correia's fiction doesn't contain political messages of its own, in addition to its entertainment. You don't see the message, perhaps, because you agree with it. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, nor that it doesn't alienate as many readers as it entertains. The status quo is not a neutral position."
4tothefloor
47. Jessica Burde
Re: Correia and MHI-- as someone who very much enjoyed the presence of a non-white protagonist and several strong PoC and female secondary characters, has read the books repeatedly, and (as much as I enjoy them) is getting tired of being bashed over the head with Correia's politics, yeah the message is there. I believe it is unintentional, but it's there.

Message--Business can serve private interests better than government, government should mind it's own business and let business do its thing, oh and Guns are Good.
Stephen Dunscombe
48. cythraul
@1 / stevenhalter:

"I haven't read Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles..."

It's actually called "Grimnoir"? "Noir" as in the French word for "black"?

So... so it's literally The Grimdark Chronicles?

@30 / hawkwing-lb

"Agus Dia's Mhúire dhuit thú féin."

Google Translate finds itself outmatched.
Colin Bell
49. SchuylerH
@48: I think the intention is to evoke classic film noir such as The Maltese Falcon: as I remember, the series is set in an alternate 30's. Interesting observation anyway. Also, translate.com says that @30's comment is, in Irish, "And God's Lady thee yourself", though I don't know how accurate that is.
Steven Halter
50. stevenhalter
cythraul@48:Yep, grimnoir. Since noir already denotes a certain bleakness, the grim part does seem a tad redundant.
Liz Bourke
51. hawkwing-lb
cythraul @48:

I said "Agus Dia's Mhúire dhuit thú féin," to Patrick Mullane because he offered a "Dia duit," which is the Irish for hello (literally, "God to you"), and that's one of the polite replies.

It translates to: "And hello yourself." (Literally, "And God and Mary to you yourself.")
Colin Bell
52. SchuylerH
@51: Ah, I missed Mullane's salutation. Thankyou.
Danny Sichel
53. Danny Sichel
av willis @ 45 - "As for the rest of (Correia's) so-called agenda, you seem to be operating under the illusion that he has one in the first place" -- everyone has an agenda. It's part of being a sapient volitional organism.

As for "He's not working off of a diversity check list, he focuses on the plot and let the affirmative action chips fall where they may" -- neither is anyone else. You might as well say "he doesn't have seven legs, he has two legs" or "he doesn't breathe fluorine, he breathes oxygen". Unless you know a seven-legged fluorine-breathing author who does write their characters based solely on a 'diversity checklist' and 'affirmative-action chips'? In which case, I'd be fascinated to know who.
Francesca Forrest
54. Asakiyume
Oh, hmm, well, the comment thread has moved to talk about what it wants to talk about, but just wanted to give a hearty, AW YISSS! for Ancillary Justice, which I love with an intense love.
4tothefloor
56. Ian S
Grimnoir is actually a portmanteau of Grimoir (as a book or collection of magic spells) and Noir (as the previously mentioned dark or bleakness) at least within the context of the story itself. The noir is further integrated into the word as the series is set in the 1930s and has a rather hard boiled tone typical of Noir fiction.
4tothefloor
59. Silvergoat
It's unfortunate that you haven't read Warbound, or was able to get past 20 pages of the first two books. Correia is an outstanding author and is a storyteller, something often sadly lacking these days. From your tone, it seems that you disapprove of him, or of his storylines. But isn't having diversity in our science fiction one of the major beauties of our genre? I can't imagine ever going back to SF if I had to slough through a Dhalgren like book every time I purchased. Yes, he has his point of view, so did Vonnegut, Heinlein, or Laumer.

I think you do your readers a disservice by so casually and demeaningly dismiss Correia.
Liz Bourke
61. hawkwing-lb
Silvergoat @59:

Tastes differ. You're reading something (demeaning and dismissive) into my words with reference to Correia's work that I did not put there - unless you think I'm being equally dismissive and demeaning of Ramez Naam?

That said, for your information: yes, I do disapprove of Correia's actions. Not his fiction, but his aggressive bluster and intentional misreading of other writers and columnists: the way in which he has referred to others, not least to Alex Dally MacFarlane here on this website, does not incline me to think well of him.

It is my personal choice, subsequent to that affair, to read none of his work, since nothing requires me to give my time to people who choose not to behave with a minimum of respect towards people like me, or like those I consider friends, when I'm not being specifically paid for it.

This column is written with a focus on works by women and relating to feminism and feminist views of the SFF genre, so I don't think it'll do the readers of it too much of a disservice to not talk about one more bloke writing urban fantasy. There are so many blokes I don't read and talk about, after all.

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