June 4, 2015

The Hugo Project: "Letters From Gardner," by Lou Antonelli

(Note: This is the latest in an ongoing series of posts reviewing as many of the 2015 Hugo nominees as I can before the July 31 deadline, and explaining why I will or will not vote for them.)

This Related Works nominee, an excerpt from a longer book, was downloaded from the Hugo packet. I hadn't been terribly impressed by Mr. Antonelli's short story, but this is quite a bit better. As he says, it's a combination memoir/how-to/history, with the focus (at least on the chapters included in the excerpt) of his relationship with Gardner Duzois and how Antonelli used Mr. Duzois's personalized critiques of his rejected stories to improve his writing.

(Gardner Duzois comes across as a wonderfully knowledgeable, thoughtful editor, with very good insights both into the story process and Mr. Antonelli's stories in particular.)

Having said all that, "Letters From Gardner" is just...okay. It's certainly not actively bad like most of the other Impacted Canine stuff I've read. I actually preferred some of the stories in this excerpt (particularly "Body By Fisher") to the Antonelli story nominated this year. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite knock my socks off, which is the criteria I've been using. I'll have to finish the category to have a fuller picture, though.

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