[Originally part of one post discussing the 2004 Hugo Nominees for Novel, broken up for MT import; see that post for comments]
And so my last two votes are between Lois McMaster Bujold’s Paladin of Souls and Robert Charles Wilson’s Blind Lake. This was a tough decision, actually. I’ve previously logged Paladin, so I’ll just say that being fantasy does not disqualify it, certainly not if American Gods can win—Paladin is at least as rigorous a working-out of theology, and in my opinion a better book too. I really liked Paladin, but the problem was that it didn’t blow me away the way A Deepness in the Sky (the 2000 winner) did, which appears to be my subconscious standard for what a Hugo winner ought to be like. So I held my decision in reserve and read Blind Lake last of all the nominees.