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Ahira's Hangar • View topic - Hugo Nominees 2007 (rescued)

Hugo Nominees 2007 (rescued)

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Hugo Nominees 2007 (rescued)

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Tue May 26, 2009 2:03 am

originally started by duchess of malfi:
29 Mar 2007 20:50 Post subject: Hugo Nominees for 2007

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http://www.hippoiathanatoi.com/News/Entry/2326/

I am putting up this link, as they have the nominee list with all sorts of great links embedded in it.

As usual, I have not read many things on the list: for novels Novik's His Majesty's Dragon and the short story by Neil Gaiman.
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Posted: 30 Mar 2007 00:23 Post subject:

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Don't worry, I haven't read any.

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Posted: 30 Mar 2007 00:59 Post subject:

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I often do not read them until they are out in paperback. Since the Novik was published in paperback, that is one I have read. Great little adventure story with some genuinely moving and genuinely cute and charming passages. Probably no way it can win, as it is not dark enough.
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Posted: 31 Mar 2007 12:27 Post subject:

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John Scalzi's comments on this year's Hugo nominees:
http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/005000.html
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Posted: 09 Apr 2007 17:46 Post subject:

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If you go to that original link you can find links to four out of the five nominated short stories, by the way! Read and enjoy!
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danlo
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Posted: 09 Apr 2007 22:20 Post subject:

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Novik has a huge following...



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danlo wrote:
Novik has a huge following...


I really enjoy her writing. It is probably too "fun" to win, though - just as Scalzi's Old Man's War last year.

I am hoping to get a chance to read those short stories soon, though this weekend will probably be way too busy.
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I've bought Charles Stross Glasshouse, Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things, and Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora for the John W. Campbell Award. I also like to read Robert Reed, but I haven't read his nominated story.

Not bad for me, usually I haven't read a lot of them, lol.



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I thought Fragile Things was a very good collection - though I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman. I also think that the nominated story is one of the less memorable stories in the collection! It is not a bad story - but some of the others have haunted me since I read them.

MINOR SPOILERS FOR THE NOMINATED NOVELS FOLLOW!!!!!

As with last year, here are the Science Fiction Book Club synopses of the nominated novels:

For the Novik, they have a three in one for the first three novels in the series, but it is the first- His Majesty's Dragon which is nominated for the award:

Quote:
Naomi Novik breathes new life into a formidable fantasy icon with the first three books in an exciting new series set during the Napoleonic Wars. In Temeraire, valiant warriors rise to Britain's defense by taking to the skies—not aboard aircraft, but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.

His Majesty's Dragon: Thanks to thousands of years of domestication, dragons have come to be used as fighting forces around the globe. England's own aviators can outfly any other nation, but Napoleon's dragons outnumber theirs two to one. So Capt. Will Laurence is pleased when his ship captures a French frigate and its precious cargo, a dragon egg…until the black hatchling unexpectedly chooses to bond with him. As master of the noble dragon he names Temeraire, Laurence must leave his beloved Navy and report for training in the remote coverts of the Aerial Corps. Together, the pair will undergo a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle until, as Bonaparte's own dragon forces rally to breach British lines, Laurence and Temeraire soar into their baptism of fire.

Throne of Jade: China has discovered that its gift, the rare dragon intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands—and vows to reclaim the remarkable beast. Now Laurence has no choice but to accompany Temeraire to the Far East—a long voyage fraught with peril, intrigue and the untold terrors of the deep. And once the pair reaches the court of the Emperor, even darker dangers await.

Black Powder War: Laurence and Temeraire must travel to Istanbul to escort three valuable dragon eggs back to England before they hatch. But disaster threatens the mission at every turn, for the Chinese dragon Lien blames Temeraire for her master's death and vows to join Napoleon in revenge. (832 pp.) 2006.



Charles Stross ~ Glasshouse

Quote:
It's the twenty-seventh century, when interstellar travel is by teleport gate, and conflicts are fought by network worms that censor refugees' personalities and target historians. Robin served during the recent war, but if you ask him what he did, he frankly isn't sure. Fresh out of memory excision, he wakes up in a rehab clinic with only mysterious flashes of his previous life (was he a military historian? A counter-intelligence agent? Or something much stranger?), though he has the expected post-surgery rage pretty much under control. Luckily, his dueling skills are still intact, because someone is trying to kill him.

What did he know that's so threatening that someone wants him out of the picture? His earlier self left a letter that hinted at dark things, but Robin simply can't remember. Searching for a safe place to hide from his pursuer, he volunteers to participate in a unique experimental society built to simulate a 20th-century Earth culture. Participants in the Glasshouse are assigned new identities, are expected to work and to socialize with their peers, and will not be allowed to leave for the duration of the experiment.

It looks like the ideal hiding place for a posthuman on the run. But in this escape-proof environment, Robin will undergo an even more radical change, placing him at the mercy of the experimenters—and at the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche. (335 pp.) 2006.




Michael Flynn's Eifelheim:


Quote:
In microhistory, you look at the details. You focus on one small settlement and find its place in the scheme of things. To Tom Schwoerin, the one small place was Eifelheim. In 1349, the tiny German village was abandoned and never resettled. By all logic, the town should have survived, but it didn't—and that violates everything Tom knows about history. What was so special about Eifelheim that it utterly disappeared—in fact devolved into folklore, a place of malign superstition—leaving only tantalizing clues behind? Tom and his physicist girlfriend, Sharon, become obsessed with finding out….

Eifelheim, 1348: The Black Death is gathering strength across Europe, and Pastor Deitrich, an educated man who knows science and philosophy, does his best to quell fear among his flock. But one day he awakens with dread in his heart, a feeling of foreboding the villagers share. The air is alive with static electricity; then, from a cloudless sky, lightning strikes without warning, setting thatched roofs ablaze. Something has taken up residence in the depths of the Black Forest.

To Dietrich's astonishment, he becomes the first contact between humanity and a race of strange, inhuman beings from a distant star. They cannot go home without his help, and thus, in the shadow of the plague, is a legend born. Though separated by more than six hundred years, Tom, Sharon and Father Deitrich share an intertwined destiny of spirituality and science, and ultimately, tragedy and triumph. (312 pp.) 2006.




Vernor Vinge's Rainbow's End
Quote:
Four-time Hugo Award winner Vernor Vinge has carried readers into the depths of time and space. Now he takes us to a strange and exciting near-future world, as conspirators attempt to use cutting-edge technology for world domination.

It was only by luck that the threat was detected at all. When the Intelligence arm of the Indo-European Alliance linked an innocuous candy commercial to a harmless strain of plague, they found an ingeniously cloaked test of a new kind of weapon. But the unknown enemy working from a research complex in San Diego was aiming for something far greater than biological terror—something that, if not properly dealt with, could mean the end of human history….
***
In another year or so, Alfred Vaz would possess the technology to control whole populations. He saw it as the only way to save humanity from itself. Now, bad luck had jeopardized the project. The bright side was that the IEA had come to him, the head of an obscure department within India's External Intelligence Agency, to fix the problem. He contracted a suitable agent to, ostensibly, subvert the San Diego facility—someone he could manage, someone whose virtual persona was a shifty-eyed rabbit….
***
Robert Gu was dying of Alzheimer's when a radical new treatment restored his mental and physical health. In his former life, he had been one of the century's literary giants. But if he were to ever again write world-class poetry, he would need to catch up with the technologically crazy world he found himself in. Enter the Mysterious Stranger, who promised to provide the cure for his poetic affliction in exchange for a few simple tasks. Next thing he knew, Robert was swept into a complex scheme to save an endangered library—a smoke screen that would put his whole family at risk….

Brimming with fascinating ideas and fast-paced action, Rainbow's End is another triumph of storytelling from a true master of science fiction.
Jacket art by Stephan Martiniere. (Approx. 368 pp.) 2006.




Peter Watt's ~ Blindsight

Quote:
It started when the lights came down—a myriad alien objects evenly spread along an invisible grid in the sky, as though planet Earth had been caught in a giant net. The net's corners glowed with fire, screaming as they burned. Afterward, the heavens were silent—until a space probe captured whispers from a distant comet. Something was talking out there, but not to us.

Who did they send to meet the alien, waiting deep in the Oort Cloud? Biologist Isaac Szpindel—so spliced to machinery he can barely feel his own flesh. Susan James, a linguist with three deliberately induced alternate personalities. Major Amanda Bates, a warrior in command of nano-fabricated robot soldiers. Synthesist Siri Keeton, a man with half his brain and all of his emotions gone since childhood. And Commander Jukka Sarasti, a vampire recalled from the grave by paleogenetics.

But, as strange as these misfits are, they may not be strange enough to comprehend the alien entity that calls itself Rorschach. And they'll have to unravel its mysteries quickly, because Rorschach is growing, and with it, its weapons capability…. Jacket art by Thomas E. Pringle. (384 pp.) 2006.



All of the books except for Blindsight got an average of 5 stars (highest rating) and many glowing comments about how good they were. Blindsight got an average of three stars, and some comments about it being extremely depressing.
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Posted: 04 May 2007 17:17 Post subject:

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Interesting, because all of my experience with Blindsight has been reading various authors and reviewers rave about how good it is.



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Posted: 04 May 2007 20:42 Post subject:

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Well, the reviews at that website are more from average readers rather than professionals. I'm not sure if that would explain the differing reaction to the book or not. Pretty much very review I read there said the book was brilliantly written, but had a very negative message and was very depressing.
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Posted: 03 Aug 2007 14:47 Post subject:

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Well, I have started my yearly quest to read the Hugo nominated novels. I have already read (and loved) Novik's His Majesty's Dragon several times, so it is on to the other four.

Today's read was complicated by the fact that I had the week from hell at work, and am exhausted and very stressed out.

So I have only made it through the first seventy pages of the first candidate, Blindsight. And then I conked out cold with the book on my chest.

But those first seventy pages were very interesting and brilliantly written. I'm still waiting to see if it gets depressing later on...

But for now, it is back to bed for another nap. Maybe my reading will go better tomorrow, when I am not so tired.
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I am about 3/4 of the way done with Blindsight now...

I might start a separate thread about it so I can really dig in and give out spoilers. I am really impressed with the writing skills of Peter Watts, an author I have never tried before. And he is certainly up on his hard science in everything from physics to neurology to evolutionary biology.

But I do have one problem with it so far, though that problem might be resolved by the end of the book.

Obviously, I have not reached the end, so cannot comment on whether or not the ending is depressing or contains suckage, as those reviews I read all stated.

However, the story (among many other fields of science) does cover Darwinism. And in a First Contact story, that is somewhat unusual. So instead of friendly (or even friendly Godlike) aliens such as in Rama, Pushing Ice, or Learning the World you have TRULY alien aliens, in a very Darwinian setting. I have the feeling that the story might become very bleak for humans...
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Well, I have to say that I did not care for the ending of Blindsight. It was well written and well researched, but there was one thing I sort of had issues with, and then the ending... If/when I have a bit more time, I will start a thread about it, well marked for spoilers, so I can get more into things.

So I have moved on to Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End. It is edging towards cyberpunk, and I have always disliked cyberpunk...and the main character is a true jerk. However, Vinge is a good writer, and I am still reading it.
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Posted: 06 Aug 2007 23:31 Post subject:

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Heh. Goes to show you. I usually do not care for cyberpunk, but I ended up loving Rainbows End. Loved it, loved it, loved it!

Next up will be the Stross.
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Re: Hugo Nominees 2007 (rescued)

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Tue May 26, 2009 2:06 am

started by duchess of malfi:

08 Aug 2007 10:29 Post subject:

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As horrible as last week was at work, this week is so far going quite well, and it has been super quiet, so I have been able to take breaks and read.

So last night I read Glasshouse before, during, and after work. Now, this is the second book I have read by Stross. The first one was last year's Hugo nominee, Accellerando. That book was one I had some issues with - the writing was good, there were some great ideas - but I thought it was flawed. So I was not sure what to expect with Glasshouse.

Thankfully, the great ideas and good writing were there - but the elements that bothered me in Accellerando such as were absent.

Instead we got flawed but very interesting characters, an interesting plot, and a unique setting. It was a win.

Next up: the one I thought from the blurbs I would enjoy the most: Michael Flynn's Eifelheim.

Incidentally: I do not particularly like cyberpunk. Before this week the only cyberpunk sorts of things I have ever enjoyed are Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash, and the films Tron and the three Matrix movies. And now I have read two novels that are edging into cyberpunk in a row in Rainbows End and Glasshouse, and liked them both.

Very cool!
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Posted: 11 Aug 2007 01:38 Post subject:

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Eifelheim was...it was so good I'm not even sure what to say about it.

It is a bit slow paced, but everything comes together in the end.

And the message is so profound and wonderful.

The power of acceptance, friendship, love, and hope shines forth, no matter how deep the gulfs of time, space, fear, differences, and death.

I'm speechless.
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Posted: 01 Sep 2007 16:00 Post subject:

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And the winners are:
Quote:
Best Novel: 'Rainbows End' by Vernor Vinge

Best Novella: 'A Billion Eves' by Robert Reed

Best Novelette: 'The Djinn's Wife' by Ian McDonald

Best Short Story: 'Impossible Dreams' by Tim Pratt

Best Related Book: 'James Tiptree Jr: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon' by Julie Phillips

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: 'Pan's Labyrinth'

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: 'Doctor Who: Girl in the Fireplace'

Best Editor, Long Form: Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Best Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder

Best Semiprozine: Locus

Best Fan Writer: Dave Langford

Best Professional Artist: Donato Giancola

Best Fanzine: 'Science-Fiction Five-Yearly' edited by Lee Hoffman, Geri Sullivan, and Randy Byers

Best Fan Artist: Frank Wu

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer of 2006: Naomi Novik


So Novik loses for best novel, but wins for best new writer. The Vinge was a good and very fun read, but I thought it was lacking depth in comparison to Eifelheim.. Ah well.
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Posted: 03 Sep 2007 00:12 Post subject:

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Hey, I saw 'Pan's Labyrinth.'



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Posted: 03 Sep 2007 11:19 Post subject:

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Avatar wrote:
Hey, I saw 'Pan's Labyrinth.'



--A

And I haven't yet, so you are ahead of me.
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Posted: 03 Sep 2007 22:58 Post subject:

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I so rarely even recognise, let alone have read or seen, anybody on these lists that I'm quite surprised.

Good movie...not for kids. Violent.

--A
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