I seem to have correctly anticipated three of the five Best Novel nominees for this year’s Hugo Awards — by Stephenson, Doctorow, and Stross. I should have guessed Scalzi, just based on his general and internet presence and popularity… I did read his book, found it perfectly pleasant, though not in my mind especially exceptional. I’m rather happier with the Arthur C. Clarke Award finalists, which includes MacLeod and Reynolds and McAuley, though I haven’t read the Tepper and Wernham titles there.
Other categories? As I wrote previously, I haven’t kept up with short fiction in the past year, though I intend to sit myself down and read all of these finalists pronto, so I can vote on them. As for most of the graphic story and dramatic presentation finalists — I’m clueless. I very rarely read graphic novels (though I will be very interested to hear whether the Hugo smofs determine if this category is viable, considering their decisions about past try-out categories), and I’ve only seen one of the short form nominees (the Lost episode), and three of the films.
And of course, congrats to semiprozine and short form editor nominees Brown, Gong-Wong, Trombi, and Strahan.
As an Awards Index compiler, I’m a bit consternated about the Hugo ballot’s generosity with nominee credits; if, say, METAtropolis wins, will the Hugo admins really hand out six trophies? In compiling past years’ dramatic presentation winners, I’ve followed apparent Hugo admin policies in awarding only a single trophy for each winner, meaning all the associated credits (for director, writers, producers, studio) are comments, not nominees. I’ve alluded to that in the second para of my Hugo nomination analysis post on the Locus News Blog earlier this evening. I’m willing to change my policy in the Awards Index if there is any evidence to do so.
Meanwhile, I am not at ICFA, where all the cool people are gathering this weekend, mostly due to the current economic climate — my employer has first deferred routine merit raises, usually given in April, by six months; and then announced a corporate-wide furlough of five days without pay through the end of 2009. I’m sure I should count myself lucky; at least I still have a job. But then there’ve been the $4000 in repairs to my car, a year and half out of warranty, over the past three months. Things happen. Maybe next year.