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David Steffen’s 2015 Hugo Picks

The last couple years I’ve shared my Hugo nomination ballot as well as the final Hugo ballot, on the general principle that people might enjoy reading through stories they hadn’t been aware of before and it might remind them of something they would nominate.  Since the ordering of the nominations on the list doesn’t matter on the ballot, my entries are also in no particular order.

BEST NOVEL


BEST NOVELETTE

BEST SHORT STORY

  • “Makeisha in Time” by Rachael K. Jones (Crossed Genres)
    Solid story from new author, inspired by Kameron Hurley’s Hugo-winning essay “We Have Always Fought”, about a girl who jumps back in time and has lived many lifetimes there.
  • “The Clockwork Soldier” by Ken Liu (Clarkesworld)
    Emotionally engaging story that also features a text adventure as a major component, reinspired my interest in that kind of game.
  • “Drones Don’t Kill People” by Annalee Newitz (Lightspeed)
    One of the most convincing stories of AI gaining sentience, actually justifies how the progression might happen.
  • “No Sweeter Art” by Tony Pi (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
    Sequel  to another great story, following a Zodiac-confectioner magician.
  • “That Other Sea” by William Ledbetter (Escape Pod)
    Really interesting alien point of view in a civilization in the waters of Europa.

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM

  • The LEGO Movie
    Goofy, silly, fun. great casting, fun look.  And Chris Pratt.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
    I’d never heard of this Marvel franchise before, super fun, and I love Chris Pratt from Parks and Rec.
  • The Edge of Tomorrow
    I’d avoided this one because Tom Cruise, but it was worth it.  Action-packed, solid, and I especially liked Emily Blunt.

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM

  • “Geothermal Escapism” (Community)
    One of my favorite Community episodes of all time, the game plays an epic game of The Floor is Lava.
  • “G.I. Jeff” (Community)
    Hallucinating Jeff imagines the community college people in an episode of G.I. Joe, who are soon on trial for killing a member of Cobra (which has apparently never happened before)
  • “App Development and Condiments” (Community)
    New people-rating app MeowMeowBeenz is beta-tested on campus, and naturally the campus forms a class system that dictates all of their social statuses in epic fashion.
  • “Advanced Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” (Community)
    Not the first D&D-themed episode, but they upped the ante.
  • “Sock Opera” (Gravity Falls)
    One of the creepiest episodes.

Since we cancelled HBO last year, I haven’t kept up with Game of Thrones.  But Community‘s season was epic, before being cancelled off network TV (and renewed for Season 6 upcoming on Yahoo video).  And I’ve really gotten into Gravity Falls as well (picked the creepiest episode)

BEST EDITOR, LONG FORM

  • Will Hinton (Orbit UK, Ancillary Sword)
  • Jenni Hill (Orbit, Ancillary Sword)
  • Melissa Frain (Tor, Silverblind)

BEST EDITOR, SHORT FORM

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Tina Connolly
  • Norm Sherman
  • Scott H. Andrews

Although the category is probably mostly meant to focus on just picking editors who publish stories you like, since I interact with short fiction editors with submissions I take their author friendliness and professionality of communication into account.

BEST SEMIPROZINE

BEST FANCAST

I think that Welcome to Nightvale might not be eligible, but I haven’t been able to confirm this.

As I mentioned in a previous article, I would LOVE to see one or more fiction podcasts on the Fancast ballot.

The common opinion seems to be that paying markets aren’t eligible for the Fancast category, but if you look at the rules the rules indicate that the Fancast is equivalent to BOTH the semiprozine and fanzine, not just the fanzine.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the category, but while it exists I’d rather see some fiction podcasts get some honors.

JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER

About David Steffen (64 Articles)
David Steffen is a writer and editor and software engineer and a voracious consumer of podcast fiction. The first piece of fiction he's edited is now available, "Taste the Whip" by Andy Dudak on Diabolical Plots(http://www.diabolicalplots.com/dp-fiction-1-taste-the-whip-by-andy-dudak/). David is also the co-founder and administrator of the The Submission Grinder(http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/), a tool for writers.

1 Comment on David Steffen’s 2015 Hugo Picks

  1. I’m in amazing company!

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