The results are in and the winners have been announced. Congratulations to the winners of 2011 Hugo Awards!
- BEST NOVEL: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
- BEST NOVELLA: The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
- BEST NOVELETTE: “The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010; also in audio)
- BEST SHORT STORY: “For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
See the complete list of winners here.
Now for the point of this post…have you read any of the works listed above? No? Well, neither have I. (If your answer is yes, then you can weigh in on what you thought about the winners.) So often the winner of these awards, and others, are not works I’ve read. However, I’m usually familiar with the other nominees. Every year when the winners are announced I feel compelled to search out these novels and short stories and more often than not I’m disappointed. Last year it was The Windup Girl by Paulo Bacigalupi. I read ten pages–it was all I could force myself to read. So while I’m tempted to seek out Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis, I’m also hesitant.
If you’ve read Blackout/All Clear I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I haven’t read Blackout/All Clear, but I did read The Windup Girl, and while it was a really interesting premise, the book wasn’t that great (I think I gave it a 3/10 on my review). The only category you listed where I read the entries was the short story (Escape Pod had several of them in audio format, there’s a link to the site on my blog). I listened to I think three of the stories and I didn’t really care for Kowal’s story, it never went where I thought it was going to go, which was upsetting.
I’ll have to check out the full list to see if I’m familiar with any of the other winners.
Amanda Makepeace said:
Glad to know I’m not alone in thinking The Windup Girl was not so special. I will check out your blog for that link. Thanks!
Gave Windup Girl a try and had the same experience as you Amanda (and Adam), which was a bummer. I wanted it to work, but like Kraken (sorry China) I couldn’t get any reading momentum going.
Sent Ms. Willis’ book to my sister, for a present, and she really liked it. She even cried foul to me because I’d only sent her the first of the two books in the series and she had to go out to buy the second book (apparently under difficult/annoying circumstances … like her being sick, if I remember clearly?)
I do love Connie Willis and really dug the Doomsday Book, but am not usually into historical premises … hence I haven’t read her most recently celebrated book duo.
Soooo, I don’t think that I will read the Hugo winners this year … not unless someone I know (other than my sis, who’s a history buff) twists my arm a bit. I don’t think that competitions always turn up with the best of the best.
Thanks for the post Amanda, it helps to know that I am not the only one who couldn’t get into the MUCH CELEBRATED Windup Girl.
Amanda Makepeace said:
I tend to stay away from novels with the Civil War and the World Wars–so that’s another reason to be hesitant. Thanks for chiming in Jan!