2018 Hugo Novel

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Posted on : 4/03/2018 03:33:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

This is where I will review and rate the nominees in the novel category for the 2018 Hugo awards.

I make a point of purchasing all of the nominees in the novel category.  Authors should get paid whenever possible.

  • The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin - More later.  Very well written while being disturbingly negative in outlook.
  • Raven Strategem by Yoon Ha Lee - This is the second book in a series.  The first book was also nominated.  I believe this book benefitted from literary inertia; people that enjoy the first book in a series are likely to find and read the second book in the same series.  I read this year's installment as a fantasy novel wrapped in a sci-fi cloak and had a much better time.
  • Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty - More later.  Almost certainly not making it to the top of my ballot due to some plot holes.
  • No Award
  • The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi - longer thoughts to come soon.  The short version is that while it is enjoyable, it is not one of the five best books of 2017.  It isn't even close.  The longer version is that the world building was poorly executed, there were problematic characters, and there were features in the storytelling that undercut a more serious reading experience.  While reading this book was an enjoyable experience, it was not of the stellar quality that one associates with being a Hugo Award-winning book.  [For the record, I have found other works by Mr. Scalzi to be definitely worthy of such recognition.  This book is just not in that category.]
  • Provenance by Ann Leckie - I made it through about a third of the book before I gave up.  The main character was uninteresting and not terribly inspiring.  She was essentially flailing about in pursuit of some way of lowering the status of her adoptive brother.  She had no plan, she just jumped from one "idea" to the next.  Add to that the incidents where characters were confessing their crimes to her for no valid reason whatsoever.  
  • New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson - The level of utter nonsense in this book made it a Do Did Not Finish tome worthy of Dorothy Parker's best.
This was a disappointing group of nominees.  Just off the top of my head, the following are easily as good as (if not better than) the works that I put below "No Award".
  • Tyrant's Throne by Sebastien de Castell
  • The Core by Peter V. Brett
  • All Good Things by Emma Newman
  • Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

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