July 28, 2018
Hugo Reading 2018: Best Related Work
(Note: Some of these books were not available at my library, so I had to rely on the limited excerpts included in the Hugo packet. This is not ideal, obviously, but was the best basis for comparison I had.)
Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate, Zoe Quinn (PublicAffairs)
Iain M. Banks (Modern Masters of Science Fiction), Paul Kincaid (University of Illinois Press)
A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison, Nat Segaloff (NESFA Press)
Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, edited by Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal (Twelfth Planet Press)
No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, Ursula K. Le Guin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Sleeping With Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Liz Bourke (Aqueduct Press)
6) Iain M. Banks (Modern Masters of Science Fiction), Paul Kincaid
This was, I gathered, intended to be a scholarly, academic study of the man and his books. Unfortunately, it was way too scholarly and academic for this reader. The excerpt was hard to get through, and I can't imagine slogging through the entire book.
5) A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison, Nat Segaloff
Due to Ellison's recent death, I think this has a better chance of winning than it might otherwise have had. For me, it was just okay.
4) No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, Ursula K. Le Guin
I'll be honest: I liked this book, but I didn't think it was top-tier, and I hope it doesn't win. For one thing, Le Guin won this category last year with Words Are My Matter, which I think is the superior work. Also, we gave the award to her while she was still alive, which is the better thing in my book.
3) Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate, Zoe Quinn
This was actually a pretty harrowing tale of Twitter mobs, harassment, and online hate. But Zoe Quinn is a survivor, and I liked how she came out on top, and used her experience to help other women.
2) Sleeping With Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Liz Bourke
One mark of a good book, for me, is if reading a sample or excerpt makes me want to own it. That's what happened with this book. I like Bourke's conversational writing style, and I appreciate that she states her viewpoints and biases up front. They happen to fairly mirror my own, but if they didn't, reading her reviews would still be rewarding, which is a mark of their quality.
1) Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, edited by Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal
I loved this. All those essays, from writers of many different backgrounds, expounding so eloquently on what Octavia Butler meant to them. It made me sad and angry all over again, knowing what we lost by her untimely death.
This is my last full weekend of reading (the voting deadline is Tuesday, July 31), so I may be throwing out quite a few entries over the next several days. I'll get through as much as I can. Onward.