Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: ScarletBea on May 01, 2020, 03:28:13 PM

Title: 2020 Hugos
Post by: ScarletBea on May 01, 2020, 03:28:13 PM
The short list was announced earlier this month, see here:
http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/2020-hugo-awards/ (http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/2020-hugo-awards/)

As usual, I don't know that many.
I'm glad that Watchmen have 2 episodes nominated, that series was superb! I also watched Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, a great documentary (still available on BBC iplayer).

Have people read The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow? I keep hearing about this one and wondered if it was something I'd like...
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: cupiscent on May 02, 2020, 01:22:04 AM
I'm really sad that Priory of the Orange Tree isn't on the list, that book was so well done. I suspect it's the perceived YA-fantasy bias operating against it.

Very glad to see both Gideon and A Memory Called Empire on there, both well deserved imho.

Really sad that Silver in the Wood didn't make the novella list, but happy to see Emily Tesh on the Astounding shortlist. (Loving that entire list, honestly. Great worthy names, all of them.)

Somewhat ironic that of the Best Editor (longform) list, Diana Pho (I know) and Navah Wolfe (I think) have both been let go from their publishing houses in the past year. (Navah may have shifted from Saga of her own volition, I am not clear on the details there.)

Regarding Ten Thousand Doors of January, I haven't read it, but there was a discussion on the Be The Serpent podcast about it - it's very much about portal fantasy, sort of digging into the themes and tropes around that. Which is not something I'm particularly into, so I've not put it on my list, but I also hear lots and lots of good things about it.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Elfy on May 02, 2020, 03:45:10 AM
I’ve read Ten Thousand Doors of January it’s an interesting book with an intriguing concept and and engaging narrator. Ultimately, though I think it promised more than it wound up delivering.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Magnus Hedén on May 02, 2020, 08:12:10 AM
Several novels that are on my to-read list, so that's nice.

But...

Rise of Skywalker?? ???
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on May 02, 2020, 10:52:21 AM
Several novels that are on my to-read list, so that's nice.

But...

Rise of Skywalker???

This. And Captain Marvel? *vomits emoji*
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Nighteyes on May 03, 2020, 11:45:00 AM
These two novellas are on my kinde and need to read ASAP: This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone and To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers

For the Madalorian I think I would have gone for Sanctuary.  Love the The Magnificent 7 riffs of that episode.  But either of the two Watchmen espisodes would be great choices,.

Long form- can't really see past Avengers End Game for that one. Past that it wasn't a great year for Sci Fi related films - but Spider Man: Euro Trip can feel a bit aggrieved not to get a nom. 

Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Magnus Hedén on May 03, 2020, 02:48:20 PM
I've read both those novellas and they are very good, but I think I'd put Time War as my personal favourite, despite being a total Becky Chambers fanboy.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: DrNefario on May 03, 2020, 03:38:29 PM
I've read Memory Called Empire and Ten Thousand Doors of January. I liked them both, but didn't love either. I doubt I would have nominated them, although I've only just read the latter, so that would have been too late anyway.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Alex Hormann on May 03, 2020, 04:05:18 PM
A Memory Called Empire absolutely deserves to win. It's the only novel nominee I've read, but The Light Brigade intrigues me too. The Expanse would get my vote in series, but Planetfall is good as well.

Drama I think will go to Endgame and Watchmen, but I'd vote Rise of Skywalker and The Expanse/Good Place.

As usual, I'm not familiar with most of the nominees, which tend to skew heavily American and/or politically interested. The drama categories are a little different, but having looked around, there's very little on the lists I would describe as 'fun.' Speaking of politics, I'm a little disappointed in seeing *That Speech* up for an award in Best Related Work.

I'm not entirely sure how you can be nominated for best new author twice, but I hope R F Kuang wins it this year. I still haven't got around to The Dragon Republic yet, but Poppy War was amazing.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: cupiscent on May 04, 2020, 05:07:30 AM
I'm not entirely sure how you can be nominated for best new author twice...

The award is open for the first two years of an author's career, because eligibility starts with first professional sale, so that might just be one thing - just one short story, even! Widening to two years gives the opportunity to consider more material - lots of shorts, or a few longer pieces - to consider as a whole. Usually, because of this, the shortlist is heavy on 2nd-year candidates, and winning in your first year of eligibility is an extra special thing. (Though honestly, the sheer weight of words Jenn Lyons has put out in her first year of eligibility... wow!)
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: ScarletBea on August 01, 2020, 03:52:10 PM
Winners:

https://www.tor.com/2020/07/31/announcing-the-2020-hugo-award-winners/ (https://www.tor.com/2020/07/31/announcing-the-2020-hugo-award-winners/)
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Nora on August 01, 2020, 04:55:11 PM
I'm really sad that Priory of the Orange Tree isn't on the list, that book was so well done. I suspect it's the perceived YA-fantasy bias operating against it.

Very glad to see both Gideon and A Memory Called Empire on there, both well deserved imho.


LOL, wild, I so disagree with that. I found priory to be an extremely disappointing and mediocre book where everyone was lying, had no character, no consistency beside that of being boring and insufferable, the payoff was stupid bad and felt like a soap of bubble popping, and the dragons were irrelevant. I didn't buy a single relationship and can't believe I lost an entire month of my life to this book.

As for a memory called empire, I found it entertaining at times but woefully lacking overall. It comes across as a massive carbon copy of Ann Leckie's work, with the same type of empire, the same type of cold people, except they're obsessed with poetry instead of tea. It felt hollow, despite being kind of written ok. It had none of the funk and sass of Gideon, which to me should definitely have been the winner.
It has a lot of character, a super intriguing world, does super bold stuff with the main character, a great cast of side characters... And a genuinely well pulled off enemies-to-friends arc which is hard to do well.

I also absolutely hated This Is How You Lose the Time War. It's a pile of pretentious hogwash imo. Lots of absolutely senseless and heavy handed metaphors to build up a nonsensical sense of world around pointlessly dense and flowery letters that absolutely doesn't sell the relationship. Gave up halfway through.

To Be Taught, If Fortunate, was... emotionally impacting to me, but my least favourite story by chambers if solely because of the totally unrealistic ending. I would never believe a bunch of scientists would make this choice. It totally broke it for me. Still 10x the story Time War is haha.

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 I just put on my kindle and will start soon.

Good Omens winning over Us is just... SMH. Why is even Skywalker on there. Come on.

I'll be looking up all the novelettes and short stories later as I haven't read any of them, but this is a deeply disappointing selection of winners for me. Another reason I don't usually pay attention to prizes.

Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Alex Hormann on August 01, 2020, 05:10:33 PM
Generally speaking, I'm pleasantly surprised with the winners. It's been a long while since mine and the Hugos' opinions matched up.

A Memory Called Empire I absolutely loved, and is even more impressive considering it's a debut.

Anything shorter than a novel I haven't read.

I was surprised The Expanse got a nomination for best series, but I'm glad it won, since it would be ineligible next year when the next book is likely to be out. I still think a series should be completed before being eligible, but the results I approve of.

Best related work I'll just sigh and move on.

Odd that a TV series got nominated as a whole alongside a bunch of films, but Good Omens was enjoyable. I'd have put Rise of Skywalker above it, but I'm not surprised by this one.

Also surprised by Short form Drama, which I assumed Watchmen would walk away with. I suspect the double nomination split the votes. Even if the season finale did ruin it for me, Good Place deserved the win.

Very happy for RF Kuang getting the Astounding Award. I really need to pick up Dragon Republic (and Burning God), and her acceptance speech was one of the best I've seen.

In the retros, which I'm not entirely sure of the point of, it was nice to see the big names getting some praise. I know it's probably just a reaction to the mess of last year's ceremony, but I hope it shows a bit of balance in voter opinion. A little surprised that Asimov lost out so heavily though.

Seeing all the drama trending this morning, it seems like it was another messy ceremony, which sadly isn't a surprise. Hopefully it will run smoother next time.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: cupiscent on August 02, 2020, 01:51:51 AM
The ceremony was not just messy and a very long drag, it also had a lot of quite disrespectful stuff toward the nominees, including mispronouncing names (in pre-recorded material, with pronunciation guides having been requested from the nominees) and spending a lot of time rhapsodising about John W Campbell, who is at the very least a contentious figure in that context. George Martin was at best unprofessional in his handling of the host role. It's very disappointing, and I feel really bad for those nominees who had what should be a wonderful moment in their lives and careers marred by his behaviour.

I would have loved to see Gideon win the best novel, I think it'd be great to see something that funny get recognised as also being that good. But I personally really enjoyed Memory, though I acknowledge its strength is in themes, character and prose, not in action plot. Very interesting, in the full data released alongside the winners, to see that Ann Leckie would have been on the list with Raven Tower but she refused the nomination. I am wildly curious to know why.

Also from the full data, it's amusing to see that a lot of people - myself included! - had no idea Tamsyn Muir had published short stuff from 2015 onwards and was therefore ineligible for the Astounding new writer award.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Nora on August 02, 2020, 02:48:01 AM
Can you go in details about GGRM? I'm curious but don't really want to subject myself to this whole thing...

I wonder if Leckie thinks the hugos are still a wreck on fire? She certainly doesn't need them. If she'd been part of the list she should have won imo as, again, I think memory is a pale copy of her scifi series.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Elfy on August 02, 2020, 05:14:41 AM
They often say that they want to make the awards more inclusive and then they go and nominate something that makes them more exclusive, as displayed with best related work and again with short form a few years back.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on August 02, 2020, 05:30:01 AM
I didn't know most of these stuffs, but I'm pretty glad Good Omens won. It was an amazing series, and interactions between Azeraphael and Crowley are definitely one of my most favorite things ever.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: cupiscent on August 02, 2020, 05:50:40 AM
Can you go in details about GGRM? I'm curious but don't really want to subject myself to this whole thing...

GRRM was the host/toastmaster, and he was the one mispronouncing names (despite the Hugos being virtual this year, and thus all of his material being pre-recorded, and the organisers having asked nominees to provide a pronunciation guide to their names) and also talking a lot about Campbell.

A sidenote about John W Campbell! He's the guy after whom the new-writer award used to be named, until Jeannette Ng won it last year and used her winner's speech to point out that he was very exclusionist in his editorial policy, and that set the tone for the early years of science fiction and fantasy. The award was this year renamed to "the Astounding award". I think it's worth noting that Astounding was the name of John W Campbell's magazine. It's not like acknowledgement of his contribution to the early genre has been removed entirely. It's just no longer him in person by name that's being commemorated. I feel like that was a really nice compromise.

Apparently GRRM disagrees, because he seems to have taken every possible opportunity to praise Campbell during his very long speaking at the ceremony. (Of a nearly four-hour ceremony, I hear his segments took up nearly two hours.) Given that Jeannette Ng's speech from last year was actually nominated for a Hugo award in the "best related work" category, that seems... well, it's a choice he's made there, and I honestly don't know what he was trying to achieve.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: Nora on August 02, 2020, 02:36:12 PM
Mmmh I see, thanks.

Well, I feel like we're lucky enough GRRM hasn't fallen to any worse controversy yet than being a bit too fond of Campbell.  :-\
The mispronunciation though... probably means whoever runs the Hugo also didn't give a crap, since footage must have been run by them.
Sigh... hey, let's see the silver lining, at least the ceremony has authors whose names aren't random white British people's names. Maybe in 5 more years they'll get these names right.  ::)
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: cupiscent on August 03, 2020, 01:41:41 AM
I do feel a certain degree of sympathy for the organisers this year, as the sudden pivot to 100% virtual everything can't have been easy. I "attended" WorldCon this year, and from the communications received regarding the convention and the awards, it was clear everyone was working very hard to get everything working in new formats, and also that it was extremely challenging to get it all over the line on time. (The convention schedule was barely working the weekend before the con started; the Hugo voters' packet was very late.)

That said, there were benefits that come from being virtual, and one of those is that they had an immense pool of volunteers to draw from (not just those physically present in Wellington), and that they could do a lot of things ahead of time. They don't seem to have made the best use of these opportunities. It wasn't quite the first all-virtual convention - the Nebula conference and awards were run in late May, and Mary Robinette Kowal has tweeted about how all the training and learnings from that event were passed on and offered in detail to the Hugos... and were not taken up. Again, I have sympathy for how clearly under the hammer the organisers were. But I'm really disappointed in the choices they made and the focus that put on the ceremony - a focus that didn't seem to be on the nominees, whose big night it should arguably have been.
Title: Re: 2020 Hugos
Post by: hexa on August 03, 2020, 02:36:08 AM
John W Campbell disliked the name Astounding.  He pleaded for years to change the name.  It wasn't until the year 1960 that it was changed to Analog.  Campbell believed that the name Astounding was too sensational