First, congratulations to all the winners.
This was my first time voting for the Hugos. One of the stories I voted for won a hugo, matociquala‘s “Tideline”. I also voted for Rob Sawyer’s Rollback, Stanley Schmidt for Best Editor, Short Form, and Barry N. Malzberg’s excellent Breakfast In the Ruins. None of these won, and I would be lying if I did not admit that I was disappointed. Especially about Barry.
I’ve read Michael Chabon’s stuff before and enjoyed it. But I simply couldn’t get into The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. I tried, really I did. I think this marks the first time that I was not able to get through a book that ultimately won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. I’m sure the fault is with my tastes and not Chabon’s writing or story-telling ability.
I find it remarkable that Stanley Schmidt has been editor of ANALOG for 30 years and never received a Hugo award. F&SF is a great magazine and Gordon Van Gelder published outstanding stories. But so does ANALOG, especially their recent serials (like the Hugo Nominates Rollback or the Nebula-nominated Marsbound by Joe Haldeman).
Barry Malzberg should have won a Hugo back in the early 1980s for Engines of the Night. (He should have won for Beyond Apollo also, but the competition was particularly tough that year.) Breakfast in the Ruins was an improved and expanded version of Engines and I was certain that there was no way he could lose this time. Clearly I was wrong.
I was torn over the novella category between “Rescuing Apollo 8” and “All Seated on the Ground”. Ultimately, I voted for the former because I have a particular fondness for the Apollo program. But Connie Willis is a brilliant writer, and I was ultimately happy to see her recent Christmas story win.
I had more invested this time than ever before since (a) it was the first time voting and (b) I know some of the people nominated. I think it made it that much more exciting and I think the thing that I was most disappointed about was that I couldn’t be there in person to watch it all unfold.