April 27, 2015

The Hugo Project: "On a Spiritual Plain"

(Note: this is the second in my continuing series of reviewing as many 2015 Hugo nominees as I can, and explaining why I will or will not vote for them.)

First, I must say that this story was *really* hard to read. It was formatted without any paragraph breaks, and I ended up wading through what was essentially a wall of text. I don't quite understand why the author would leave it like that, if he wants people to judge his story fairly, as I'm sure some readers would have given up before they were finished.

I didn't give up because of that, but I almost gave up before I reached the end because this story did not interest me, not a whit. It's a kind-of alien ghost story, and a kind-of scientific exploration of the soul's existence story, and kind-of the religious protagonist's affirmation of his faith story--and none of it left any favorable impression on me, or indeed much of an impression at all. It wasn't as stupid as "Turncoat," admittedly, but it was just...boring. Meh. No exciting ideas to ponder over, no memorable characters to think about, no sparkling dialogue to make one chuckle...in short, nothing that shouts "Hugo winner" at me. (Come to think of it, the protagonist doesn't even have a name, and I didn't care enough about him/her to notice its absence until I had gone back and read the story a second time.)

C'mon, people. Y'all gotta do better than that.

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