Monday, June 21, 2021

Hugo Awards 2021 - Some thoughts

A couple of random-ish thoughts now that I'm getting down and dirty into my Hugo finalist readings.

The Best Series category is going to be really difficult for me this year because I've never read ANY of the finalists. I found myself overwhelmed by the category and posted a request for help on Facebook. What I got wasn't terribly helpful. I wish each finalist had put together a single page file that gave the names of the works in the series, a suggested reading order and possibly suggested highlights - but at least a list of the works with the reading order. It would have been EXTREMELY useful for the category. I think I've figured out the first book in each series, but I'm not completely certain. Sometimes series start with a short story, sometimes people list the chronological order instead of a good reading order, sometimes the first book isn't the best place to start.

The Best Video Game category has me kind of excited, as I've been much more a gamer over the last couple of years than a reader. I have requested copies of the two games that are offering Hugo voters review copies, but I know the number of games are limited so I don't know if I'll get the copies. One of the other games is a free-to-play browser-based game, if I am reading the information correctly, and so I'll be able to play it as well. Two other games are big enough that I already know a lot about them - but they are both Playstation only, which means I can't play them, since I'm a PC gamer and have no PS system. However, I should be able to find playthrough videos for both the PS games that give me enough of an idea of how gameplay works. I'm not even sure how to deal with the last game, which is only available on Nintendo Switch, but I'll think of something.

I also glanced through some of the other works in the packet. In particular, I looked at the Best Graphic Story category to see if the files were readable. I don't mind watermarks, but one year the watermarks on some files were so bad I couldn't actually read the comics because the watermarks obscured too much of the text. It doesn't look like that will be a problem this year. I'm looking forward to reading the finalists, despite none of them being familiar to me.

I have started on the first of the novels in the Best Novel category, and I'm really enjoying it so far. But then, what else can you expect from N. K. Jemisin? The packet only had an excerpt, so I went to the library and got a digital check-out of the full book. That's why it's on the top of my reading list - I only have three weeks to finish it. I'll be done by tomorrow night at the pace I'm going.

I'll try to update as I continue my Hugo reading/watching/listening and this year, playing. So far I'm enjoying myself, and I'm definitely feeling more connected to fandom than I have in far too long.