2007 Hugo and Campbell Nominees: My Ballot

For the curious, below the cut is my Hugo and Campbell ballot.

Best Novel:

  1. Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge
  2. His Majesty’s Dragon, by Naomi Novik
  3. Eifelheim, Michael Flynn
  4. Blindsight, Peter Watts
  5. No Award
  6. Glasshouse, Charles Stross

I both liked Rainbows End and thought it had strong speculative-fiction content. I liked His Majesty’s Dragon very much, and maintain that the series as a whole is doing more interesting things than are often recognized, but that’s more in the second book.

While I disliked Blindsight, I didn’t dislike it as much as Glasshouse, and more importantly, my objective concerns weren’t as serious.

Best Novella (review post):

  1. Robert Reed, “A Billion Eves”
  2. Robert Charles Wilson, “Julian: A Christmas Story”
  3. William Shunn, “Inclination”
  4. Paul Melko, “The Walls of the Universe”
  5. No Award
  6. Michael Swanwick, “Lord Weary’s Empire”

No change in my ranking order of these, with the exception of putting the Swanwick below “No Award,” because I cannot think of any reasonable interpretation under which it is a standalone story.

Best Novelette (review post):

  1. Michael Flynn, “Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth”
  2. Ian McDonald, “The Djinn’s Wife”
  3. Geoff Ryman, “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter”
  4. Paolo Bacigalupi, “Yellow Card Man”
  5. No Award
  6. Mike Resnick, “All the Things You Are”

After much internal debate, I settled on this order through the following reasoning: I had no serious problems with “Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth,” so it went first. I saw no merit to “All the Things You Are,” so it went last. I really disliked “Yellow Card Man,” but at least it was well-written, so it goes above No Award.

I had serious problems with both “The Djinn’s Wife” and “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter.” Ultimately I decided that sweeping statements about the relationships of humans and AIs, via stupid sexist actions, bothered me slightly less than sweeping statements about the state of an actual country and the desires of genocide victims.

Best Short Story (review post):

  1. Robert Reed, “Eight Episodes”
  2. Bruce McAllister, “Kin”
  3. Tim Pratt, “Impossible Dreams”
  4. Neil Gaiman, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”
  5. Benjamin Rosenbaum, “The House Beyond Your Sky”

No change from my prior rankings. I debated putting “The House Beyond Your Sky” below “No Award,” but on comparing it to the other works I rated thusly, I don’t think it quite falls in the same category.

John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award (all posts about the nominees):

  1. Sarah Monette
  2. Naomi Novik
  3. Scott Lynch
  4. Brandon Sanderson
  5. Lawrence M. Schoen

I originally thought this would come down to the two second-year novelist nominees, Monette and Sanderson. But that was before I did my reading and found that I wasn’t impressed with Sanderson’s first book, Elantris (his second’s not out in paperback yet, and interlibrary loan hasn’t come through). After tossing out that decision-making principle, it was a tough choice between Monette and Novik, as I’ve read three novels by each and liked them all very much. I’m voting for Monette because I’m more impressed with her characterization and because it’s her last year of eligibility. Lynch only has one book out, and another year of eligibility, but I liked that book more than Elantris.

(Schoen writes short fiction. I read the free stories on his website and formed no strong opinion about his work, which I’m afraid puts him at last place by default.)

I’m not voting in any other categories, as I don’t feel qualified and don’t have the time to become so.

3 Comments

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  1. P.S.: I fully expect to be in the minority on every single one of these except Novella. Oh well.

  2. I think you might be closer than you think to the majority opinion on Best Novel — Rainbows End won the Locus sf novel award by quite a way, and His Majesty’s Dragon walked best first novel. (Which means I expect Novik to pick up the Campbell.)
    I have no idea how the novelette category is going to pan out.

  3. Niall: yeah, Novik seems very likely to win the Campbell, given that _HMD_ is much more visible than Monette’s books (particularly among Hugo voters, having been nominated) and has been out in paperback longer.
    I’d forgotten about the Locus Awards; it’ll be interesting to see how much overlap there is there.

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