July 11, 2016
Hugo Voting 2016: The Big One
(This is last year's Hugo trophy. This year's design hasn't been posted yet.)
We've reached my final Hugo vote this year, Best Novel or what George R.R. Martin calls "the big one." I'll link to my Goodreads reviews of all these books.
1) The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (full review here, with spoilers)
When I originally wrote my review in September 2015, I said, "This is one of the best books I've read this year." I'll revise that now; it is the best book I read in 2015, bar none. I really really hope Jemisin gets the rocket.
2) Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (full review here, with spoilers for entire series)
In the third volume of the Imperial Radch trilogy, Ann Leckie brings it on home.
3) Uprooted, Naomi Novik (full review here, with spoilers)
I debated the placements for #2 and #3 for quite a while, and finally tossed a mental coin. This could change tomorrow, and back again the next day, these two books are so closely matched.
4) Seveneves, Neal Stephenson (full review here, with spoilers)
I understand why this book was nominated, and why it may even win (although the God of Infodumps forbid, I certainly hope not). But it has some pretty severe flaws.
5) No Award
6) The Aeronaut's Windlass, Jim Butcher (full review here, with spoilers)
This book disappointed me greatly, because Jim Butcher can write better books than this, dammit. The worldbuilding here is very good, but I need more than a fascinating world; I need characters that come to life, characters I can care about. That is what this book lacks, and a Worldbuilding Report doesn't cut it, not for a Hugo.
(Note: The eagle-eyed may have realized I omitted any voting for the [famously Not-A-Hugo] Campbell Award. I am still trying to get to that...I have until the end of the month [nervously looks at calendar]).