Saturday Waffling (May 30th, 2015)


First of all, the Perdido Street Station post is going to be in June. I foolishly didn't look at the length of the book before planning my reading for the month, and am only halfway through. Will go back to reading after I schedule this though.

Hoping to clear time to look at the Hugo Packet a bit, if only to get a broader sense of the Puppies. My interview with Day/Beale isn't quite nailed down yet, but it's getting close. (He's still rereading Wasp Factory, which is the main delay. I, in what was in hindsight the wrong call, reread it prior to Seveneves, putting Perdido Street Station after that.)

But for those who have read the Hugo packet, how are things in it? What are your ballots, if you're not voting No Award in all categories (or if you're ranking things below No Award, as I am planning to do with the non-Puppy choices, after perusing the Puppy choices to see if there are any surprises there.

Other than that, I've wrapped up the Davison revisions and started in on Colin Baker. Friday's Last War in Albion is a big one. And there's my first stab at original fiction in years up for people backing the Patreon at $5 or more. See you tomorrow night for Hardhome.


Reinder Dijkhuis 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm not there yet. The only puppy nominations I've seen are the webcomic Zombie Nation, which is crap, and Guardians of the Galaxy which is a serious contendor but not a movie I loved. As long as there's still non-puppy stuff I haven't read, I'm not diving in to the puppy noms.

Novels so far:
1. Three-Body Problem
2. Anxiliary Sword
3. Goblin Emperor
4. No Award.

1. No Award
2. The Day the World Turned Upside Down
(Side-note: everyone please respect Thomas Olde Heuvelt by using his last name correctly. It's "Olde Heuvelt". )

Graphic stories (completed)
1. Ms. Marvel
2. Sex Criminals
3. Rat Queens
4. Saga
5. No Award

Dramatic presentation, short:
Binge-watching Orphan Black to consider if "Listen" should go first or second. Copious-spare-time puppywatching will start with Arrow because my wife likes the show.
Best Novel nominations for next year may include Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor, whose name I no longer have to look up to make sure I spell it right. I will be extra super livid if it turns out that the puppies have knocked Lagoon off of this year's list, because that would have been my number 1 pick by a very large margin.

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Pierce Inverarity 5 years, 9 months ago

I'd love to hear what you think of Seveneves - I've been waiting for more people to finish it. I thought it was an engrossing read, but it definitely screams "Neal Stephenson wrote this book!" to anyone who's familiar with his work; both his strengths and shortcomings as an author are amplified a bit in this one. On balance, though, I thought it was fantastic, and I've been going back and rereading bits of it since I finished it last weekend.

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Daru 5 years, 9 months ago

I have got the packet but not had the chance to do anything but skim as of yet. Not overly impressed (as an artist) by the professional artists section, and have had a bit of a read of Wright's 'Transhuman' essays - not that impressed by hwta simply feels like a series of diatribes.

Going to get onto the novels, short stories and novellas, etc when working less.

I am mainly aiming to vote 'no award' but will read works to get final assessment, and considering voting for Ms. Marvel (Graphic Story) and Laura J. Mixon (Fan Writer).

That's it so far and looking forwards to more Last War in Albion, really enjoyed the last installment.

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John Toon 5 years, 9 months ago

It's bleak, although Best Novel and Best Graphic Story are pretty strong and there's something to be said for the Dramatic Presentation nominees. Thing is, those are the categories I care most about as a consumer anyway - I don't think I'd miss the other categories if they were dropped altogether.

Not willing to blanket-vote No Award, and - with the exception of Beale and items published by his small press - I'm not comfortable with putting Puppy picks below No Award on principle alone. I'm judging it all scrupulously on the quality of the nominees, which in most cases puts the Puppy nominees below No Award anyway.

I currently plan to No Award five categories: Novella, Novelette (sadly including the Olde Heuvelt, quite a disappointment), Short Story, Related Work and Fan Writer (sadly including Laura Mixon's piece, on the grounds that a single piece isn't a great body of work to recommend a fan writer, and it's not as scientifically rigorous as she'd like the reader to believe). In fairness, the quality of the nominees covers a full range from mediocre all the way down to outright shit, but that's five whole categories of material that doesn't deserve an award.

Not willing to No Award the editor categories even if the Puppies did pick them all, and even though the editor categories are kind of weird and hard to judge anyway - I'm prepared to give Jennifer Brozek and Sheila Gilbert a vote on general merit.

Still watching Dramatic Short Form nominees (currently one season through Orphan Black as research for the nominated episode) and reading Novel nominees (Ancillary Sword extremely good, Goblin Emperor so far a bit dull), but otherwise I've gone through it all and made my decisions.

Placing Ms Marvel third below Sex Criminals and Rat Queens, with Saga vol 3 in fourth place (the shine's come off that one). Zombie Nation below No Award on (lack of) merit.

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Reinder Dijkhuis 5 years, 9 months ago

In my comment above, that should have been Grimm, not Arrow. I can't remember anything correctly without having the list right in front of me these days...

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Scurra 5 years, 9 months ago

Just out of interest, Phil, have you read Boneland by Alan Garner? It's a novel about a man who, when he was a child, was involved in some fantastical adventures. I haven't read One Bright Star... but the summary made the premise sound moderately similar, although I suspect that it doesn't have anything like the psychological depth of Boneland (nor the distinct advantage that the adventures in question were actually recounted in two books published fifty years earlier, which probably makes it unique as a series.)

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Nyq Only 5 years, 9 months ago

Boneland gave me chills because I had really obsessed over Garner's books as a child and being familiar with area they were set in.

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Nyq Only 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm putting Ms Marvel number 1 because not only did I love it but because my daughter loved it too - maybe it is a semi-cyncial marketing strategy by Marvel to capture some of the broader audience that is watching their movies and TV shows but if so it is the kind of cynical market strategy I approve of :)

Overall I'm following what I'm calling a high-bar no award strategy ( ). I think next years Rabid Puppy slate (if Beale doesn't get bored and give up) will contain nominees intended to cause consternation to non-puppies. For example he clearly realizes that if he'd have included The Three Body Problem many non-puppies would not have wanted to put it below No Award.

I'll put slated works above No Award if (and only if) they meet have tests of quality i.e. a plausible candidate for my number 1 vote after considering any non slate works.

This year it works out the same as all puppies below No Award (Totaled caused some pause for thought but it wasn't good enough).

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Nyq Only 5 years, 9 months ago

1/2 still dithering between Ancillary Sword and 3BP. Sword is a tighter book with fewer obvious faults but 3BP really grabbed me.
3. Goblin Emperor. My Kindle says I'm at 80% of it and yet somehow I didn't read any of it this weekend.

Graphic stories
This has to be the clearest category to see how awful Puppydom is. A largely Puppy free slate full of engaging, clever, commercial, popular work with one Puppy nominee that is just sad. Not even sad by comparison, just sad.
Not only that there are so many things the Puppies could have nominated and said "look how we are shaking things up". Why didn't they nominate Fables? Not my favorite but surely it ticks several Puppy boxes?
Any way
1. Ms Marvel
2. Sex criminals
3. Saga
4. Rat Queens
5. No Award
confined to the pits of hell: Zombie Nation

Zombie Nation is losing to Wisdoms from My Armpit for worst piece of crap on the Puppy slate.

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David Anderson 5 years, 9 months ago

It reminds me a little of Le Guin's Tehanu, in that it's an author writing a deconstruction of their own story.

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5tephe 5 years, 9 months ago

Ooooh! Is the fiction piece something punkish we may have heard about in the inaugural Shabcast?

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5tephe 5 years, 9 months ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

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phuzz 5 years, 9 months ago

I devoured it in a weekend, but I do love my Space Stuff, so it was great to read some hard science fiction revolving (orbiting?) around the ISS etc.
I do agree that it's very obviously a Stephenson book, you can see a few recurring character archetypes from his earlier work but the section when the hard rain comes I found very moving.

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