So, I’ve mostly mapped out how I’m going to approach my as-objective-as-humanly-possible assessment of the 2016 Hugo Awards. I decided to focus on short stories and novels because I thought they’d be the easiest to get my hands on. This stayed true for novels and isn’t that true for short stories, because while I’m willing to buy a novel I’m not willing to pay for a short story, especially since I don’t really care for short stories myself. So that leaves “Seven Kill Tiger” out, because it’s only in a collection that I might have bought except it looks like it currently only has a Kindle version and, well, I don’t have and don’t want a Kindle. Yes, I’m like Rupert Giles that way. Well, actually, I’m like Rupert Giles in a lot of ways. Anyway, I can’t do that one. And I’m going to spare myself Chuck Tingle’s work, mostly because it’s really not my type of work and while love may be real, pretty much no one really thought that it was a contender. And I’m also going to skip “If You Were an Award, My Love”, because it’s just a parody of “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”, and if that story had actually won its category in 2014 there’d be a point in examining it, but it didn’t, and I’m not really interested in seeing if it was worthy of even being nominated.
So, that leaves, for short stories, in the order that I’ll examine them:
1) “Cat Pictures, Please”, which I’ve already read and whose analysis should come some time this week.
2) “Asymmetrical Warfare” , which I did manage to find but haven’t read yet.
For novels, order matters, so I’m trying to work out the order. Reviewing books that are part of a series is, as I’ve said before, risky — since the real assessment of their quality can only be judged by how they fill their role in that series — but “The Fifth Season” and “The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass” are the first in their respective series, as far as I can tell, and so they can be assessed objectively on how well they work to make me want to read the rest of the books in the series. “Ancillary Mercy” is the last in the series, and so it can’t be judged on its own, so I’ve ordered all three. The risk here is that if I don’t like the first two, then the payoff in the third won’t happen and so that will bias me against that work.
For order, my thought is to start at the bottom and work my way to the top. If the order is really reflecting quality, then I should be more and more entertained as I go along. But that’s not all that great a measure for an objective assessment, and I worry that I want to do that because I want to put off reading “The Fifth Season”, and if I come into a work thinking I won’t like it, I probably won’t. But I don’t want to rush that one either, for the same reason. I could just go random, but that seems a bit pointless. So, for now, once they arrive, I’m planning on starting at the bottom and working my way up, though that might change.
Anyone who is interested, keep following along and you’ll see my updates as soon as I post them.
Tags: Hugo Award Assessment