The 2017 Hugos and the Last Three Stories

Well, that’s the Hugo Awards done with. I wrote a report for WWAC, covering not only the winners but some in-fighting that occurred within Puppy circles, and then promptly collapsed into bed. A good night’s sleep and here I am!

This year’s Hugo winners weren’t my personal choices, by and large – I’m pretty sure Arrival was the only one I voted for – but there was some great work being honoured. And I couldn’t help but notice that WWAC was longlisted for Best Fanzine:

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When I saw that I felt tempted to break into a “U-S-A, U-S-A” chant, only with “USA” replaced with “WWAC”, but then I quickly realised that the disparity in syllables would render this a fool’s errand.

On top of that, I’m happy to say that I’m now a small step closer to finishing my book Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers: Speculative Fiction in the Culture Wars

See, as a starting point for my book, I decided to cover every single story that fits into any of these three categories:

1: Finalists for the Hugos’ prose categories between 2013 and 2017.

2: Stories slated for those categories by the Sad/Rabid Puppies between 2013 and 2017.

3: Stories that would have made it into category 1 had they not been pushed off the shortlist by the Puppy campaigns.

Okay, at times I did have second thoughts about whether this was a good idea. After all, it means that I’ll be writing about work that was never really embroiled in the culture war – such as Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, for example – and therefore of less relevance to the book’s topic than, say, “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” or “An Unimaginable Light”. But in the end I decided to go through with it: it means that I’ll be including a pretty clear snapshot of the SF/F scene as it was in the period I’m writing about.

Now, this year around there were three Rabid Puppy choices across the Hugos’ prose categories. Now, with the voting stats published last night, we can see which three stories were pushed off by these finalists…

Best Short Story: “Things With Beards” by Sam J. Miller (pushed off by “An Unimaginable Light”)

Best Novelette: “Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea” by Sarah Pinkster (pushed off by Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By the T-Rex)

Best Novella: The Dispatcher by John Scalzi (pushed off by This Census-Taker)

So, there we go. These are the final three stories for my category 3 – the three stories that finish off my Hugo reading list. And I’m pleased to say that they look pretty easy to slot into my book: John Scalzi’s getting his own chapter, so that’s The Dispatcher covered. I’ve read “Things With Beards” and I had already decided to cover it in a chapter about LGB themes. That just leaves Sarah Pinkster’s “Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea”, which I have yet to read.

I’d better get started…

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