RogerBW's Blog

Hugo 2014: Editor, Short Form 30 July 2014

These are my thoughts on the remaining Hugo packet submissions for Best Editor, Short Form. If you're planning to vote, you may wish not to read these notes until you have done so. There will also be spoilers here.

John Joseph Adams: The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination.

Neil Clarke: the submission is Clarkesworld 78, with just three pieces of fiction (Aliette de Bodard's The Weight of a Blessing, rather good but fragmentary; A.C. Wise's The Last Survivor of the Great Sexbot Revolution, just fragmentary; and Genevieve Valentine's 86, 87, 88, 89, clearly trying to make a Point). Clarkesworld calls itself a "science fiction and fantasy magazine" rather than anything narrower, so I'm going to have to score it down for insufficient variety: all three of these stories are of the no real beginning, only a vague attempt at an end, don't care about details, vaguely arty style which is apparently popular right now, and if you're putting together an issue of a general-purpose magazine I think it's appropriate to mix that with other styles.

Ellen Datlow: twelve short stories, ranging from the thoroughly enjoyable (Dennis Danvers' All the Snake Handlers I Know Are Dead, Pat Cadigan's The Christmas Show, Garth Nix's Fire Above Fire Below, all of which make me want to read more not only by this author but in this specific universe) via the purely dreamlike (Jedediah Berry's A Window or a Small Box) and the facile (Veronica Schanoes' Burning Girls) to the uninspired and mechanical (Priya Sharma's Rag and Bone). But this isn't an issue of a magazine, or an anthology: it's just stories which (presumably) have appeared in things Datlow has edited. It's impossible to detect her influence here; all I can vote for is whether I liked the stories, i.e. on Datlow's ability as a commissioning editor. On balance, most didn't really appeal. Nonetheless, I think this collection would have made an interesting anthology representing the broad field of current spec fic, simply because of the huge range. (Possible a better one than Fearsome Journeys.)

Jonathan Strahan: Fearsome Journeys.

Sheila Williams: the submission is Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2013. A mixed bag, but including some very solid material (Ian Creasey' The Unparallel'd Death-Defying Feats of Astoundio, Escape Artist Extraordinaire and Jay O'Connell's That Universe We Both Dreamed Of are the standouts for me), far better than last time I read Asimov's in the 1990s when Gardner Dozois was still in charge. Perhaps more to the point, as well as the two solid hits, there are no complete misses. Definitely the standout entry here.

For voting, Williams and then Datlow are at the top of my list, with the rest fairly undifferentiated below.

Addendum: Hugo voting order was Datlow, Adams, Strahan, Williams, Clarke. I guess there's still an audience for rotefant.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1