I truly had every intention of updating my last post first thing Monday morning, but I woke up with a migraine and there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to write coherently. The migraine led to a bout of insomnia that night which left me completely out of it yesterday as well. Today though, I feel human enough to pontificate on the Hugo Awards Ceremony.
First of all, as one of the creators of the “livid Twitter messages”, I was happy to see Ustream issue an apology and start working to make sure that what happened won’t happen again. Annoyingly, the feed cut out right as they got to the awards I had actually voted for. (I just didn’t have time to get to the fan created content, I’ll start earlier next year!)
This was the first time I’d watched any part of the Hugos (other than the Dramatic Presentation Short Form-nominated Drink Tank acceptance speech) in addition to being the first time I voted. I have to say, this is my kind of awards show! Despite the fact that most people are dressed up, there’s a wonderfully casual atmosphere that comes from everyone in the room loving the same thing (in this case SF/F) that isn’t there in the more popular Hollywood awards shows. I found myself truly enjoying every acceptance speech, even for those categories I knew nothing about, which is a rarity.
I also loved watching John Scalzi joking around and generally being a giant nerd. Having my favorite author up there facilitating everything, made it that much more awesome!
While the UStream simulcast was up, I was randomly checking in on Twitter, but once that went down I was following the event almost exclusively via Twitter and found that that wasn’t so bad either. I like being able to see real-time reactions from other fans and Neil Gaiman’s tweet shortly after winning was awesome. All-in-all, it was a great experience and assuming Ustream fixes the copyright issue, I’ll happily watch again next year!
For those who haven’t yet seen them, here are the Hugo results, with my thoughts on the winners:
Best Novel: Among Others by Jo Walton
This was my number one choice. The prose was absolutely beautiful and I found myself engrossed in the story. The sci-fi classics devoured by the main character definitely had a hand in the conception of this blog. I couldn’t have been happier that this amazing novel won.
Best Novella: The Man Who Bridged the Mist by Kij Johnson
Again, this was my number one choice. Like Among Others, it has a somewhat low-fantasy vibe which it combines with sci-fi ideas to create a story that I still think about at random times throughout the day. It touched me in a way I can’t really explain. I was gratified that others might feel the same.
Best Novelette: Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders
I was generally less impressed with the novelettes that were nominated than the previous categories, but this one was a standout, and I voted it my number one choice. The idea was engaging. Somewhat reminiscent of The Time Traveler’s Wife but with its own conceit that was simultaneously thought-provoking and heart-breaking.
Best Short Story: The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu
I had a tough time making the call between this and John Scalzi’s The Shadow War of the Night Dragon: Book One: The Dead City. Two VERY different stories, I ended up putting Scalzi’s on top simply because it was such a refreshing break from the other nominees, which made me cry to varying degrees. The Paper Menagerie made me cry the most. In fact, in the course of reading the nominees, I had occasion to read three different stories by Liu and I was impressed by all of them. I fully intend to hunt down more of his work, and was in no way disappointed by his win.
Best Graphic Novel: Digger by Ursula Vernon
I have in-depth reviews of the graphic novel nominees up on my comics site, so I’ll keep this brief. This was, again, my number one choice and I was super happy that this awesome (complete) story won!
Best Related Work: The Encylopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight
I honestly don’t remember how I voted on these. I was under-whelmed by the nominees in general and had a difficult time comparing such disparate formats to each other.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Game of Thrones, Season One
I first read Game of Thrones and its sequels about 10 years ago, so when I found out it was being developed into a series, I was very excited and followed along during production of the pilot. I don’t subscribe to HBO, so I didn’t watch it until it came out on Blu-ray, but I was excited by how many people seemed to truly love it. When I sat down to watch it, therefore, it was with high expectations. Perhaps too high. I just didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the rest of the world seems to. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, but Captain America: The First Avenger got my top vote.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: “The Doctor’s Wife” Doctor Who written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Richard Clark
In voting, this was another toss-up category for me. I’m a HUGE Doctor Who fan, and this episode was hands down my favorite of last season. However, I’m also a huge Community fan, and “Remedial Chaos Theory” was the best of their last season. In the end, I put Community in my top slot, as Doctor Who has won something like 6 years in a row and I think Dan Harmon deserves an award for his work. (Season four just won’t be the same without him.)
Best Editor, Short Form: Sheila Williams
This was also a strange category, I especially had trouble comparing the short story collections with the SF/F magazines. Not having read any of those magazines before, I went with my gut reaction and voted for Stanley Schmidt. I liked them all enough to have since subscribed though.
Best Editor, Long Form: Betsy Wolheim
The Hugo Voter’s Packet gives you a list of books the long form editor worked on during the Hugo year and there was no way that I was going to be able to read them all, so I ranked the two who had books I had already read and left the others blank. Betsy Wolheim wasn’t one of the ones I ranked, but that was more that I just hadn’t read any of her authors than saying anything about her work.
That was the last category I voted in, but I’ll include the rest of the winners, just to have a complete list.
Best Professional Artist: John Picacio (I didn’t feel I knew enough about SF/F art to make an informed decision, but his drawing of Bran and the 3-eyed crow is stunning).
Best Semiprozine: Locus
Best Fanzine: SF Signal
Best Fan Writer: Jim C. Hines
Best Fan Artist: Maurine Starkey
Best Fancast: SF Squeecast
John W. Campbell Award: E. Lily Yu
And that’s it. All in all, a great experience. I hope to be able to participate in the nominations this year as well.
Add your thoughts on the awards in the comments!