Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Novella - The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson is about a woman in the dream realm going on a quest to the "real" world.

Another story that takes H.P. Lovecraft on from a different angle. In this case, the story looks at the dream worlds he wrote about and tackles the distinct lack of women. Again, having recently read all of Lovecraft's works, I was familiar enough with the setting and creatures to enjoy this without wondering what the heck I was trying to read. In this tale, we revisit Ulthar and Lovecraft's other dream cities on a quest.

The good: Wow, I really like Vellitt. A strong middle-age woman whose adventures are behind her, but she's up for one last necessary trip. The understanding that there are people among those who live in this realm who come from another reality altogether is an interesting aspect of Lovecraft's creation - when I think about it, I believe it was there in the original as well. I love that people from that realm are, in fact, able to cross into our realm, and was both amused and distressed at what happened to the gug.

The bad: I can't really find all that much to criticize. It's a great story, and I enjoy the thought of the ending, but it isn't my favorite of the finalists.

Conclusion: I'm going to be rethinking the order I'm putting the novellas in, but I think this is up there with the best of them. Every single one of these finalists is good enough for a Hugo, and while my heart belongs to Bujold, I won't be disappointed if any of them win.

Best Novella: I've read all the entries. Check them out in my Reviews of 2017 Hugo Finalists.