Sunday, September 2, 2012

a minimum of Hugo thoughts

When I turned to the Locus website to see the Hugo results, I was at first distracted by what my eye saw as much bigger news: Stan Schmidt is retiring. As he points out, his tenure at Analog matches John Campbell's. Somehow 1978 doesn't seem as long ago as 1937 seems distant from 1971, but that may be because of what I can remember. Certainly he seemed to keep his editorial juices flowing in a way that many thought Campbell did not, and I haven't heard mutterings that he was worn out, but after such a tenure, that may be the time to go.

So, the Hugos. Ah, Among Others won Best Novel. That's the only nominee I've actually read. I thought it a subtle fantasy in the Diana Wynne Jones mode, quite brilliant in its unobtrusive way, but I fancy that's not the aspect that won it the Hugo. Perhaps it was all the references, even though they're not central to the story, to the narrator reading old SF novels, further evidence of the popularity of a recursive "SF eats its young" theme that I noticed in a couple of the (nevertheless pretty good) short fiction nominees last year.

When I was a member, and read them all. I didn't read any of them this year, except for the Scalzi quip which happened to float in front of my face online, and which was passingly amusing, but ... come on. At least it didn't win. (I suspect Scalzi is secretly relieved too.)

The only DP nominee I saw was the movie Hugo. I didn't like it. With its title, I'd have thought it an inevitable winner, but ... it didn't. Instead, the 500-pound gorilla won. Merely the fact that it is that large is achievement in itself.

Fanzine went to one of the two nominees I don't know. (I don't even know what a "fancast" is, let alone that there was a Hugo category for it, though I can guess what it is - a fannish podcast - assuming that I know what the word "podcast" means, which I'm not entirely sure that I do.) At least I've heard of the fan writer and artist winners, and most of the other nominees too. I expect that average to plummet sharply in the future.

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