But I had a seriously hosed night last night, and I don’t have the motivation to do the full-fledged link research that requires. I say that, but this post has six open links. I also have a new pair of bifocals, and adapting to them is making me tired a little quicker than usual. Though I’m reading well enough.
I’ve been busy with Camp NaNoWriMo this last month, and things have been going well, 39800 words so far, and 14 chapters of Book 3 of the Hellenistic Fantasy. It’s been fun, with two huge battles so far. Fun Fun.
There is a lot of Hugo-related nomination sadness and madness this week. The most balanced post, ironically enough, is John Scalzi here: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/04/19/the-2014-hugo-nominees/
In it he acknowledges what his friends on the left like here: http://www.donotlink.com/framed?26218 cannot. That is: 1) Yep, he’s been reminding his readers he’s eligible for awards all the time. And 2) He’s encouraged his readers to check out works nominated by his friends and those he respects. So all Larry Correia did was box up a whole slate of said nominees and encourage his readers to find and nominate them.
Furthermore, unlike the assertions of some, I’d read enough of the “Sad Puppies” slate formation to know that these were works they actually read. The name was meant as a sly bit of goading. But please, don’t tell us the Left of SFWA doesn’t goad its opponents. Really. Not buying it. And the responses in the above no-link show full well they do. The one thing I’m not crazy about is The Wheel of Time being boxed as a single work. But try to tell me Memories of Light wouldn’t have merited nomination by itself. No really. I’m not even a WoT fan, and I can recognize that was easily the work of the year. So on the list of things to be upset over, that just doesn’t merit consideration. And I do get why they did this with WoT. A lot of voters, like they did with LoTR in the Oscars, WANT to wait until the full work is out to vote for it as a complete unit. So in the end, whatever. Either way, MoL merits consideration. And probably winning by a landslide.
That said, having read Warbound, and enjoying it thoroughly, anyone saying it didn’t merit consideration for best novel of the year is letting their feelings regarding Larry get in the way of the work. Is it action fantasy? Sure. But Faye and Jake Sullivan are fascinating characters, and there was a strong supporting cast, with the motivations of the presumed Book 1 villain being explained and to a large degree, made sympathetic. Not excused. But sympathetic.
Most of the hatred I saw dumped on Warbound came from it’s negative portrayal of FDR. Well, why didn’t Scott Westerfeld get dumped on for turning Churchill into a 1 note behind-the-scenes villain? And yes, FDR did have some rather unsavory elements to his Presidency that historians have whitewashed. Including the incarceration of the Nissei, which Correia highlights with the fate of Actives quite well. As a story, Warbound is coherent, well-paced, and has solid character and narrative arcs. It doesn’t do the nearly impossible, of pulling together a hundred threads and making a coherent story out of them as Sanderson did with MoL. But that’s why Sanderson is, with Steven Erikson, Jim Butcher, and Daniel Abraham, on the shortlist for premiere prolific fantasy authors of our generation.
So yeah, I think those works, and most of the Sad Puppy slate in general, merited inclusion. Just because Larry Correia campaigned for his friends doesn’t exclude their right to consideration. Anymore than it did with Scalzi and others before. This is how the interwebz works. Like minded people can get their ideas together. On both sides. We may think it would be better if these things were done without fandoms and ideology. But that’s expecting robots programmed by a single ‘impartial’ observer to do the voting. Because the only thing more visceral than ideological confrontation is fandom wars.