April 26th, 2016

Moose With Mug

This Year's Hugo Disaster

It's not often that it happens, but occasionally I forgo caution and allow myself to just be optimistic about something for no good, discernible reason. That's exactly what I did when I found out that there were 4,032 nominating ballots for the Hugo Awards this year, a new record. I thought it would be enough to drown out the voices of Vox Day and his sick, twisted group of hateful minions and their efforts to subvert a literary award I've held dear for nearly three decades.

I've had the irrational optimism spiked so hard into my face that my forehead bears a reverse imprint of the manufacturer logo that graced the volleyball which harbored that exuberance.

I can't begin to state just how much today's announcement of the 2016 final ballot saddens me. It boggles my mind that any individual or group of people can take such gleeful, twisted pleasure in angering and upsetting others. It angers me that for the second year in a row, the three short fiction categories have been completely hijacked by people who want to turn the Hugo Awards into a game, proving how much they don't really care about the award. I'm bewildered at the notion that they think they are achieving some noble purpose in ruining an award with such a long, distinguished history.

Yes, there will almost certainly be rule changes this year, and, hopefully, today's ballot is the last, desperate act by a bunch of people who will probably get a perverse thrill at their "accomplishment" for the rest of their lives. Sadly, there's no way to judge that until next year's ballot is announced. In the meantime, we're going to have another year where "No Award" either wins or places far too high in too many of the categories.

Fuck Vox Day. Fuck him and all his little Rabid Puppy followers who are barely any more human than oligotrophic pond scum.

Moose With Mug

2016 Stuff Read, #s 9-11

I suppose that in the light of today's Hugo news, it somehow seems appropriate that none of the three books below are ones I truly enjoyed.

9. Lavinia, by Ursula K. Le Guin (audiobook)

I love most of Le Guin's work, but this won't be a novel that I plan to return to someday. I can see why it won a couple awards and why other readers enjoyed it. However, it just didn't appeal to my sensibilities despite the fact that I genuinely liked the title character.

10. Nevermore, by Rob Thurman

I've now stuck with this series through 10 books, and I think that this is the first one that left me feeling nonplussed. I think that Thurman finally hit the limit of credibility as to how much more she could increase the potential threat to the series protagonists -- quite a feat given that this is an urban fantasy series. The next one is supposedly going to be the last, so I will probably read it for the sake of completion. However, I can't help but think I really should have stopped after one of the earlier installments which contained a decent stopping point.

11. On the Edge of Gone, by Corinne Duyvis

I wanted to enjoy this book far more than I did, given that the protagonist was high-functioning autistic. Unfortunately, I found myself skimming at times. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't one that particularly grabbed me. It certainly didn't help that one element of the ending was simply nonsensical.