2016 Best Related Work

Ok, sorry, a bit behind, I will try to schedule next week’s ahead of time.

Although the title is relatively clear, it’s not as obvious of a category as “Best Novel.” So here is the description fro the Hugo Awards site:

Awarded to a work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year. The type of works eligible include, but are not limited to, collections of art, works of literary criticism, books about the making of a film or TV series, biographies and so on, provided that they do not qualify for another category. Nonfiction collections are eligible here, but fiction anthologies generally are not because all of the individual works within the anthology are eligible in one of the “story” categories. There is no category for “Best Anthology.”

And the finalists are:

Any thoughts on which are worthy for the Hugo Award?

As always, keep in mind the Comment Rules, and let’s discuss the Hugo finalists!

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6 thoughts on “2016 Best Related Work”

  1. Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe – I am admittedly not a big Gene Wolfe fan (hey, different tastes!) but this does look like some solid work from what I’ve seen. I will have to spend some time with it to see if it’s “award worthy,” but I won’t be opposed to spending that time.

    “The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” – Interesting and definitely a lot of work. But I’m much more iffy on whether it is actually “award worthy” than I am with the Gene Wolfe work above, and would be more interested in the “Final Version” rather than the “First Draft.” 🙂

    “The Story of Moira Greyland” – This is certainly a tragic situation and it’s important for people to speak up against abuse in our community. Unfortunately, however, it certainly doesn’t strike me as the “Best Related Work of 2015” (or even of these finalists).

    The others… I tried, but they are such poor quality (rantings tend to be) that I do not find them “award worthy” at all.

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  2. I think Between Light and Shadow sounds the most promising. I like the idea behind the Appendix N book. But as far as a series of blog posts destined to be a book, I would rather have seen Adam Whitehead’s A History of Epic Fantasy as a finalist. I imagine Beale’s book might be unintentionally amusing in the way that Wright’s frothy Best Related Work was last year.

    The Spacefaring Happy Kitty has reviews of the other two:

    https://sfkittens.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/years-first-review-of-vile-nonsense-safe-space-as-rape-room-by-daniel-eness/

    https://sfkittens.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/admirable-bravery-bogus-science-moira-greylands-story/

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  3. The only one I’ve read a bit of is the Gene Wolfe book – I came across some of the essays online last year. I’ve seen some weird misconceptions that it’s a biography (!) – no idea where people got that from – so thought I’d explain what it’s about and give some context.

    Gene Wolfe’s stories are typically like puzzles, except that not all the answers are revealed at the end. But when you read the story a 2nd time, some sentences suddenly become very sinister and you go “Whoa, did he really do that? No way!”, and the whole story changes. What this book attempts to do is to solve those mysteries. (I’m oversimplifying – there are also themes, allusions, etc explored – but this is the essence).

    Now you might be thinking, why haven’t Wolfe fans done this before – and they certainly have. There are places like Wolfe Wiki, the Urth forums, etc with many years of discussions. And Aramini was one of the participants. There’s a good chance that if you’ve looked for Wolfe discussion before, you’ve already read some of his work.

    The problem here is – if you haven’t read Wolfe before, this book will make no sense. One way to sample it would be to read a Gene Wolfe short story, and then the corresponding essay in the book. As for which short story to choose – The Death of Dr. Island seems to be his most popular one. (It won the Nebula and Locus Awards in 1974). After some Googling I found this Harper Collins sampler where it’s available for free (skip to chapter 1).

    (I realize this is a long essay for a category that not many people are interested in, but I had a lot of free time and nothing to do!)

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    1. No, this is excellent. Thank you! My wife read some Wolfe, but I haven’t yet, so I was going to rely on her to help gauge it. But your pointing out the short story angle definitely helps. Thanks!

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