Friday, July 31, 2015

2015 Hugo Awards: Voting Closes Today; Here's Excerpts Of My Ballot

Despite the coincidence that today is National Mutt Day, my final ballot in the 2015 Hugo Awards is delightfully Puppy-free. If you don't know what the heck I am talking about, go here and read up.

Anyway, here are my votes for the important categories of Best Novel and Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form and Short Form).

Best Novel 
  1. The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)
  2. Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
  4. Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Orbit UK/Roc Books)
  5. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)
  6. The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor Books)
It should not come as a surprise that I placed the two books that got onto the short list due to the Puppy shenanigans below NO AWARD. I tried to read all the nominees for Best Novel and simply could not finish The Goblin Emperor and The Dark Between Stars. I did not expect to like Skin Game but I actually did enjoy it, even if it was the 14th book in the Harry Dresden books.  I think it was clever and engaging, but I wold rather no award get the nod instead. Actually I should be clear that I did not rank The Dark Beneath The Stars sith, I simply left it off my ballot completely.

My reviews for The Three Body Problem and Ancillary Sword can read at the link. I thought both of them were excellent works, with Three-Body really harkening back to late Asimov for me, while Leckie's second book was slightly less interesting than her blockbuster debut. That said, I fully intend to buy and devour both follow-ups to these books (The Dark Forest and Acillary Mercy, respectively) when they come out.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form 
  1. Interstellar, screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Syncopy)
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy, written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)
  3. The Lego Movie, written by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, story by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, LEGO System A/S, Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation (as Warner Animation Group))
  4. Edge of Tomorrow, screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment; Viz Productions)
  5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, concept and story by Ed Brubaker, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Entertainment, Perception, Sony Pictures Imageworks)
I saw all of these movies, and my reviews can be accessed at the link. I don;t usually review movies that I see on television (i.e. not at the theater) so that is why The Lego Movie and Captain America: The Winter Soldier do not have full reviews. My favorite movie of 2014 was Interstellar; I admit I am a full-on fanboy of Christopher Nolan. Edge of Tomorrow was surprisingly good (especially for a Tom Cruise movie!) but The Lego Movie astonished and delighted me in its cleverness.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form 
  1. Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper”, written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss, directed by Alex Graves ((HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  2. Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”, ” written by Graham Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)
  3. Doctor Who: “Listen”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (BBC Television)
  5. The Flash: “Pilot”, teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, story by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns, directed by David Nutter (The CW) (Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television)
  6. Grimm: “Once We Were Gods”, written by Alan DiFiore, directed by Steven DePaul (NBC) (GK Productions, Hazy Mills Productions, Universal TV)
I'm a huge fan of the Game of Thrones adaptation and since Season 3 have been blogging every episode. There is no question this is the cream of the crop. I binge watched Season 1 and Season 2 of Orphan Black and am not a card carrying member of the Clone Club but I am a fan. (The actor Dylan Bruce playing Paul is one of the best looking guys on television!) Doctor Who is barely my cup of tea any more but I would be fine with them winning an award even though I am not completely sure that I saw the specific episode in question. I have to admit that I have never seen an episode of Grimm and although I have seen parts of The Flash it does not interest me (I'm sort of surprised there was no Marvel's Agents of Shield on this list.

John W. Campebell Award (Not a Hugo)
  1. Wesley Chu
  2. Kary English
I have read and enjoyed the four books by Wesley Chu I read this year. I think he is an exciting author to watch. The Tao series is an incredible work, one I hope that he returns to soon or that Hollywood realizes that it there is even better Chu-related work than the one they have already optioned to become a movie.

For the other categories, like Best Novella,Best Novelette, Best Short Story, Best Graphic Story, Best Related Work and others you will just have to guess. Suffice it to say, Noah Ward appeared more than once!

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