2014 Hugo Nominees: Novel

Look, it’s the very last 2014 Hugo post!

Parasite by Mira Grant. I read the first couple of chapters of this, and found it competent, but I realized it was putting my shoulders up around my ears because I found the opening rather gross and I knew more like that was on the way. So I stopped. (It’s not objectively explicit as horror goes, it’s just really not my thing.)

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Still not a novel.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Still damn good.

Not read: Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia, again for the reasons discussed here; Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross, again because I am allergic to his writing.

My ballot: 1) Ancillary Justice; (2) Parasite (competent, not its fault I couldn’t read it); 3) No Award; 4) Neptune’s Brood; 5) Warbound; 6) Wheel of Time (on ranking items below No Award). I’m ranking Wheel of Time last because this is a year where I genuinely think there’s a worthy book in the running and my guess is that if anything is a threat to it, it’s Wheel of Time (which, again: not a novel). I have no idea how its presence on the ballot is going to play out, but I’m going to do what I can just in case.

(Edit: it has come to my attention that ranking WoT last doesn’t have any effect on Ancillary Justice‘s shot at winning, as long as I put WoT somewhere behind; I admit the fine points of this form of voting are not something I have a strong grasp on. I’m not sure if I’ll revise the order of my vote below “No Award” as a result.)


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  1. I liked Parasite until almost the end, when I realized that it was clearly a set-up for a sequel (or series) which will no doubt include a plot development that I hated. On the other hand, I really liked the animal names. I’ve never met a dog named Beverly, and started to wonder after a while whether the animal character names had been assigned through a fan contest or something.

  2. I knew it was a series going in, and I’ve heard people complain about the pacing with regard to its first-book nature.

    I’ve never met a dog named Beverly either, but it doesn’t seem so different than Emmy to me, which is what we named our dog . . .

  3. Your choice, of course, but I’m sorta baffled at your rating of the Stross book, compared to the Mira Grant book.

    The way you describe it, you’re allergic to both, in different ways. So why put Grant above No Award and and Stross below? Doesn’t quite make sense to me.

    (My copy of Ancillary Jusyice has been sitting in my TBR for a couple months but I have been so busy I haven’t had time to read it yet; I’m expecting to enjoy it. I did read Neptune’s Brood, and found it to be a fast-paced, fun read with an interesting exploration of future economic systems. I’m totally allergic to Mira Grant in particular & zombie novels in general. The Wheel of Time is simply not worth my time to read: I’m not a big fan of doorstop fantasy. I wouldn’t read Warbound under any circs. And I’m not a particular fan of any of the authors.)

  4. Thanks for asking. “Allergic” in this case is shorthand for “didn’t think anything above the sentence level was good in the prior Stross works I’ve read,” which I grant is probably misleading.

    However, I’d forgotten that _Parasite_’s narration makes no sense on its own terms (see this Book Smugglers review), and so that might bump it down below No Award too.

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