Award shows and popularity contests normally have no influence on my book buying. With a long back-list on the SF/F TBR stack demanding attention (not to mention the History book TBR stack, the Science TBR stack…), and the growing availability of all types of titles, glomming onto any “this year’s best” has seemed a small influence (especially given the low voter numbers, see results here). Plus different genres and different authors obviously appeal to different people.

But this year, given certain events (Yay John!), I participated in the voting and enjoyed the benefits of the Hugo voter packet (an outstanding deal).  The Hugo packet certainly had the desired effect: I’ve purchased other works by a couple of these authors, based on what I read and enjoyed in the packet.

I voted simply based on which book I enjoyed the most, versus any context of whom I thought was the most deserving. The group of nominated novels contained a near-future space opera, a near-future zombie apocalypse, the continuation of a historical fantasy series, a coming of age novel of fairies and magic, and a story of alien language. Another interesting fact is that three of the five are part of series and two are standalone novels.

Here are my notes on the nominated novels, with where I placed them in the voting (which correlates with my tastes not matching the voters at large):

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I realise that the big news about the 2012 Hugo nominations lies in another category entirely (congrats to the whole SF Signal crew of 2011!), but I thought I’d fire off a reaction to the announcement of the Best Graphic Story nominees.

Those nominees are:

  • Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)
  • Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
  • Locke & Key Vol 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
  • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
  • The Unwritten Vol 4: Leviathan by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo)

The truth is, what I mostly want to do is talk about the one (yes, just one) of the nominees that I can actually say something substantial about, but we’ll get to that in due course.

The Best Graphic Story category in the Hugos has only been around since 2009, and all three of the awards to date have gone to Girl Genius, a webcomic . Its creators, as I understand it, think it’s time someone else had a turn and consequently withdrew their comic from the fray this year, for which I’m inclined to applaud them.
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