Friday, March 29, 2024

Hugo finalists

This year's Hugo finalists have been announced. There are finalists in Chinese scattered throughout several categories, no doubt a result of the members of last year's Worldcon, which was in China, being eligible to nominate. I see that several of the Chinese-language fiction stories have been translated, which will enable them to be considered on an equal basis with the other finalists by non-Chinese-reading voters.

Not long ago, a friend revealed that he'd nominated my essay collection, Gifted Amateurs, for the Best Related Work category. I felt quite honored, but I never considered it likely that it would make the final list, and it didn't. If it had, I'd have needed to appoint somebody as my designated acceptor at the awards ceremony, as I'm certainly not attending the convention in Glasgow myself.1 At least the category does have one book that I've read, Maureen Kincaid Speller's posthumous essay collection, A Traveller in Time. Maureen was a friendly acquaintance of mine and an excellent writer, so I'm pleased to see her collected and honored.

I have and have read one other written nominee, the fanzine Idea edited by Geri Sullivan, which is always worthwhile; and I've seen exactly one of the dramatic presentation nominees, the movie Nimona, which I thought was quite good. It has a coherent and touching plot, and the animation is imaginative. Of the two main characters, one's a gay man and the other is conspicuously non-gender. No big deal is made of any of this, which is how it should be.

I've read and enjoyed other works by some of the fiction nominees - John Scalzi, Nghi Vo, T. Kingfisher, Naomi Kritzer - plus a few others I didn't enjoy quite so much, and that about sums it up for me and this year's Hugos.

1. I've never been to Glasgow at all. I've been to Edinburgh, but not Glasgow. Standing in the queue for the big 1995 Steeleye Span reunion concert in London, which was just after the end of a Worldcon in Glasgow, I ran into friends who said to me, "We didn't see you in Glasgow," and I got to reply, "I wasn't there! I just flew in from the States this morning."

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