Tag Archives: awards

Denvention 3 (World Con) and the Hugos

This afternoon, I bought my supporting membership to Denvention 3, a.k.a. the 66th World Science Fiction convention. I decided on a supporting membership because I really don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to Denver in August, as much as I’d like to, but (a) I still want to be able to vote for the Hugos and (b) I found out that I can upgrade my membership later should I decide to attend in person.

This will actually be the first year that I’ve ever voted for the Hugos and it’s a good year to do it. I won’t reproduce the list of Hugo nominations, but those interested can find the list here.

First off, it will give me the opportunity to vote for Robert J. Sawyer‘s fantastic book, Rollback, which I read when it was serialized in the October 2006-January/February 2007 issues of ANALOG.

Secondly, it gives me the opportunity to vote for Barry Malzberg’s terrific book, Breakfast in the Ruins, which is a kind of extension to his earlier work, The Engines of the Night. I am really hoping that Barry will win in this category this year.

For shorter fiction, I’m currently torn between Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “Recovering Apollo 8” and Connie Willis’ “All Seated on the Ground”. In other short fiction categories, I still have some reading to do before making a decision.

I have no opinion on the “dramatic presentation categories”. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to voting for Stanley Schmidt as best editor, short form. The stories that have been appearing in ANALOG in the last year or so have been outstanding, as has Stan’s editorials. I think he’s long overdue for a win in this category.

So I still have some reading to do before making a final decision, but I will be voting this year and that’s pretty exciting for me.

MVP!

We had our end-of-season softball party last night at Champps. Each season, the team votes for various awards: most spirit, rookie of the year, silver slugger, golden glove, and MVP. At the party last night, I won both the golden glove and MVP awards, which was just astounding to me. I didn’t really think I’d win any this year. But we had a great team this year and they are all deserving of these awards. Regardless, it was a fun evening and a great end to our best season ever.

July/August 2007 ANALOG

The July/August double issue of ANALOG was waiting for me when I got home last night. Like I did with SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, I’m trying to get through the entire magazine within a day or two, setting aside everything else I am reading until I’m done with it. I started on the train this morning with Michael Flynn’s lead novelette, “Quaestiones super Caelo Et Mundo”. I am still trying to get through a book a week (The Greeks is well underway) and have the advantage of having finished the previous book early, so that I really don’t have to be done with The Greeks until next Sunday.

Nebula awards are this weekend. I’m eager to see the outcome of the novella category…

Nebula Awards final ballot

The Nebula Awards final ballot for 2006 has been posted. In the novella category, mabfan made the final cut for his story, “Sanctuary” (Analog, Sep 2005). And shunn also made the final cut for his story, “Inclination” (Asimov’s Apr/May 2006). Congratulations to both of them on making the final ballot.

And congratulations to everyone else on the ballot. I’m just so far behind that I haven’t had a chance to read everything else yet.

Certificate of Excellence

I went to check my interoffice mail and waiting for me in my box was a “Certificate of Excellence” from my grandboss, the CIO of the company, regarding a software project I worked on and completed a few months back. It was a pleasant surprise, and it also marked the first time I’ve gotten this type of recognition from this CIO.

MVP: Too depressing

I don’t know what the sports writers were thinking when they voted for Justin Morneau over Derek Jeter for MVP. It couldn’t have been a strictly numbers thing. Jeter came in second for the batting title. He got his 3rd Golden Glove in a row and he also got he Silver Slugger for short stop. And yet Morneau beat him out. Well, congrat, Justin, but I really don’t know how you did it.

Here’s the voting, for any one who is interesting

Player/Club                  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points

Justin Morneau, Minnesota     15   8   3   2   -   -   -   -   -    -    320
Derek Jeter, New York         12  14   -   1   -   1   -   -   -    -    306
David Ortiz, Boston            -   1  11   5   7   3   1   -   -    -    193
Frank Thomas, Oakland          -   3   4   7   7   4   1   -   -    -    174
Jermaine Dye, Chicago          -   1   2   6   5   7   4   2   1    -    156
Joe Mauer, Minnesota           -   -   3   6   1   2   5   3   2    1    116
Johan Santana, Minnesota       1   -   5   1   3   3   3   1   1    3    114
Travis Hafner, Cleveland       -   1   -   -   -   2   4   7   3    2     64
Vladimir Guerrero, Los Angeles -   -   -   -   -   2   3   4   6    -     46
Carlos Guillen, Detroit        -   -   -   -   1   -   3   3   2    3     34
Grady Sizemore, Cleveland      -   -   -   -   1   -   1   1   2    7     24
Jim Thome, Chicago             -   -   -   -   -   1   3   -   -    -     17
Alex Rodriguez, New York       -   -   -   -   1   -   -   2   -    1     13
Jason Giambi, New York         -   -   -   -   -   1   -   -   2    -      9
Johnny Damon, New York         -   -   -   -   1   -   -   -   -    1      7
Justin Verlander, Detroit      -   -   -   -   1   -   -   -   -    1      7
Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle         -   -   -   -   -   1   -   -   1    -      7
Joe Nathan, Minnesota          -   -   -   -   -   1   -   -   -    1      6
Manny Ramirez, Boston          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   1    1      6
Miguel Tejada, Baltimore       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   2    1      5
Raul Ibanez, Seattle           -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   -    1      4
Robinson Cano, New York        -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   -    -      3
Paul Konerko, Chicago          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   -    -      3
Magglio Ordonez, Detroit       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1   -    -      3
Vernon Wells, Toronto          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    1      3
Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    -      2
Mariano Rivera, New York       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    -      2
Kenny Rogers, Detroit          -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    -      2
Chien-Ming Wang, New York      -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   1    -      2
Troy Glaus, Toronto            -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -    1      1
Gary Matthews Jr., Texas       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -    1      1
A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago       -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -    1      1
Michael Young, Texas           -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -    1      1

Reading update (and Hugos)

I’ve been stalling on Our Oriental Heritage and all of the catch-up I’ve been doing with the s.f. magazines, has got me back in an s.f. mood. So I picked up Robert J. Sawyer’s Flash Forward last night and started it, and like everything I’ve read by Sawyer so far, it’s hooked me. (And hey, mabfan, I noticed you were in the acknowledgements!)

My progress on reading the Hugo-nominated stuff

Rating fiction

On the eve of the final votes for the Hugo Awards, I am trying to catch up on as many as the nominated stories as I can, so that I can post which stories I would vote for, if I were voting. I’m not quite ready to post my results yet, but I did make me think about how I rate the fiction that I read.

Everyone has their own system for rating fiction, and I’m not different in that respect. For many years, it was a simple system, based on 5 points, five being the “best”. It was sort of arbitrary, and I found that a lot of stories were rated 3s. Also, I always hesitated to rate a story as a 1 or a 2 because, frankly, I felt bad. I’ve always believed in constructive criticism and I can’t stand reviewers who skewer writers just because they think they can. So, over the years, my system has changed. I began to think about what it is a story should do, at least for me personally. Here is what I came up with:

First, a story should entertain.
Second, a story should make you think about what you read.
Third, a good story should make you feel something, anything, whether the feelings are good or bad.
Fourth, a really good story should move you emotionally.
Fifth, a truly good story should change you. This is the hardest thing of all for a story to do.

Being an orderly creature of habit, I still use my 0-5 point rating system, but for years, I’ve used it as follows:

  • 0-1: at the very least, the story entertained me
  • 1-2: the story made me think about what I read
  • 2-3: the story made me feel something (for the characters, for the drama, for the humor, whatever)
  • 3-4: the story moved me; I felt it in my gut; it drew blood, sweat and/or tears
  • 4-5: the story changed me in some significant way

It seems to me, with this type of rating system, everyone is a winner. I’ve rated stories I’ve read (even some of my own) as 0.6 (they entertained me to some degree). Joe Haldeman’s Forever War for instance, was getting a solid 3.0 through a good portion of the book. Then I came to the ending and it jumped up a notch; I got something I didn’t expect and I rated the book a 4.0.

Anyway, that’s how I rate the stories I read and that works well for me. It also helps me think about how I write stories. Do I just want to entertain, or do I want to try for something more?

Later on this week, I’ll post my votes (predictions?) for who I think will win the Hugo for best short story, novelette and novella. I can’t guarantee that I will have read all the stories, but I’m doing my best. I can guarantee that there is no chance I’ll have read the novels. There just ain’t enough hours in the day.

Hugh Laurie win the Golden Globe

This is how out of touch I am: I just found out that Hugh Laurie won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama series, playing the role of Dr. Gregory House, the doctor we all love to hate. I didn’t watch the Golden Globes–haven’t watched them since I moved out of L.A.–but I was glad to hear that Hugh won. House is a great show–the rare show these days that emphasizes scientific method and the use of reason and logic; as opposed to the flim-flam that’s presented in shows like “Medium” and “Supernatural”. (Or worse yet, Psychic Detectives on Court TV. Don’t get me started on that!)