Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hugo Reading - Editor, Long Form

Editing is not something that is easy to judge if you aren't a writer being edited. But my general notion is that bad editing sticks out like a sore thumb while good editing is totally invisible. Long form editing is even harder to judge than short form... with short form you can look at a variety of stories and say, "these are all competent" and sometimes even be able to tell if the same issues run from story to story. But long form requires more effort to read and figure out what contribution the editor likely made.

  • Vox Day
    This person did not submit anything to the Hugo packet, and I'm not willing to go looking at the cesspool of misogyny and racism on his website for more information. He's off my ballot.
  • Toni Weisskopf
    The packet notes say to check out this editor's work at Baen Books. However, once on that website, there is no clear indication which of the many books published by Baen she has personally edited. Apparently she's the publisher of Baen now, which is fine and dandy, but I'm not judging publishing. I'm judging editing. And without a list of works, it's pointless to try. She's off the ballot.
  • Jim Minz
    Same as Weisskopf, except there is nothing in the packet notes at all about this nominee. In short, he's a big blank. So I looked him up online and found that he's also a Baen editor. Again, there is no information that can be easily accessed about what novels he worked on in 2014, so he's off the ballot. I don't see any reason to give him a chance if he can't be bothered to give the very minimum needed to judge his work.
  • Anne Sowards
    The packet has a list of works she edited in 2014, including Skin Game by Jim Butcher (I've already read the excerpt in the packet) and Maplecroft by Cherie Priest which immediately moved up on my to-read pile. I liked Skin Game, although there were placed it could have been tighter. Maplecroft was fun, but again, there were places it needed just a nip and a tuck to make it read better. Still, both were excellent and I can't fault this editor for her work.
  • Sheila Gilbert
    This editor is pure evil. She put together a sampler with the first chapter each of a ton of books she's edited. Yes, teasers. Yes, they draw you in. I like the way she thinks. THIS is how you do a Hugo packet as a long form editor. I feel like I ought to put her at the top of the ballot just for this lovely trick, since it's almost certainly going to lead to me buying more books. Yes, there were a few really good first chapters in there, enough to make me nod my head and think, this person is deserving.
Even with the field narrowed to two, I almost can't make up my mind. At the moment, Gilbert is just a little higher than Sowards on my ballot. As I read a bit more and seek out other works (or finish some of those books I got samples of) I might change my mind. But they will both be on the ballot, certainly. "No Award" will also be on the ballot. Again, I'm not sure where it will fall in relation to the people who get on my ballot, but it'll be there.