July 26, 2019

Hugo Reading 2019: Best Professional Editor, Long Form

This category is really hard to judge, and I'm wondering if it should be altered in some way or perhaps eliminated. I couldn't judge anybody's editing unless I actually saw the progress of, and various versions of, the manuscript, and of course I'm not going to see that (and even if I did, I wouldn't have the time or expertise to evaluate it). So I'm pretty much reduced to judging this by the editor's lists of books she's worked on, and whether I've read them. Which is not a very good way to approach a category, when it comes right down to it. Nevertheless, we shall forge ahead. 

Note: I'm not going to include editors whose work I haven't read, if they haven't included excerpts in their packets. I don't think it would be fair to rank someone just by the names of their authors, and I don't have time to hunt down sample chapters and such. This may mean that one or two names are left out. 

4) Navah Wolfe

When I found out Navah Wolfe edited Catherynne M. Valente's Space Opera, I almost left her off my ballot--as I stated earlier, I didn't like that book. (Although I imagine the skill required to navigate Valente's rambling, over the top prose has to be pretty high.) But I read the sample chapters of some of the other books in her packet, particularly Mutiny at Vesta, which gave me a better view of her accomplishments.

3) Sheila E. Gilbert

Among other people, Sheila Gilbert edits and publishes the incredibly prolific Seanan McGuire, which must amount to two full-time jobs all by itself. I've probably read the most books edited by her, and I think DAW is a good publisher. Unfortunately, in this three-way tie, two others squeaked out ahead of her.

2) Diana Pho

I've already read her novella, The Black God's Drums, and I read sample chapters of novels she provided, By Fire Above and Guardian. The former is a steampunk with a (at least in the sample) broken-down airship, and the latter is a politically charged fantasy. There's some good stuff here. 

1) Beth Meacham

When I saw that Beth Meacham had edited my #1 pick for Best Novel, Mary Robinette Kowal's The Calculating Stars (as well as its companion, the just as good The Fated Sky) as well as Elizabeth Bear's Stone Mad, I pretty much had to put her on top.

Next up: Best Professional Editor, Short Form

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