Category Archives: Archives

Five reasons why the ‘Battle for Pop Culture’s Soul’ isn’t about ‘white men’

WIRED has written another ‘Puppies are evil’ screed about the 2015 Hugo Awards controversy: There are many reasons why I might be “angered” by previous Hugo winners.  And none of them are anything to do with ‘the increasingly multicultural makeup’ of the awards: ONE Science fiction’s most prestigious

The Two Cultures of Hugo short stories

Lela E. Buis argues that hard SF writers are in danger of extinction, even in their traditional home of Analog magazine. She says: Does staying within the confines of science really limit creativity? Cixin Liu has refuted this one. He’s written something very creative within the

Hugo Award nominees by nationality, and Read for the Day…

Lynn E. O’Connacht has done a fascinating analysis of the nationalities of Hugo Award nominees. I thought they were biased towards America, but this is the first time I’ve seen data. According to Lynn, 82.2% of Best Novel nominees since 1959 have come from the US. Only 12.4% have

Do the Hugo Awards have a short fiction problem?

At least one person complained that the Sad/Rabid Puppy nominees kept award-worthy short stories off the 2015 Hugo ballot… So I was curious. Was this true? Were these stories better than the stuff I’d read? An experiment was in order. I’ve now read the nominees on io9’s Puppy-free

Read for the day – The School of English

My complaint about the Hugo Awards 2014 Best Short Story was that the winner was mediocre literary fiction, which raises the question – “What is good literary fiction?” So I asked a few Facebook friends to recommend some literary short stories they loved. I’ve read one

Fandom, what fandom? The obligatory post-Hugo Awards post

I was amused to read in Yes! Magazine: Sci-Fi Fandom Declares Victory After Reactionary Nominees Lose Big at the Hugos ‘Sci-Fi fandom’ implies millions of booklovers, worldwide, all coming together to avert a hostile takeover of ‘science fiction’s most prestigious award‘  Yet the reality is that the Hugo Award 2015 for Best

Reading the Rocket: Best Novel

Are there any recent SF novels as good as The Three-Body Problem? Novels with world-changing ideas? Wild sweeps of imagination? Nail-clenching consequences for the characters? The ability to inspire my younger self to a passion for science? Published post-2010 and in the English language… Going by the rest of

An Open Letter to Tom Kratman – Big Boys Don’t Cry

Dear Tom, Yesterday I read your Big Boys Don’t Cry, which is nominated for the  2015 Hugo Award for Best Novella. There were bits of Big Boys Don’t Cry that I enjoyed, but your novella was a struggle to read. I nearly gave up at the 7% mark.  It

Reading the Rockets – Best Graphic Story

I’m currently reading and ranking the Hugo Award nominees for 2015 and I’ve moved onto ranking Best Graphic Story in ascending order (worst to best). I’m not a regular reader of graphic novels and it’s hard for me to review these titles on their own merits. I have the

Reading the Rockets – Best Short Story

If you’re interested in reading science fiction, you’ll know about the Sad/Rabid Puppies controversy that’s dogged this year’s Hugo Awards. The furore encouraged me to buy my first supporting membership, which gives me the right to vote for the prize winners. I’m currently reading my way through