26 August 2015

'Hugo Worthy'

There are naturally a lot of posts about the Hugos going around at the moment, and the phrase 'Hugo worthy' has come up a lot, starting me thinking about perhaps nominating next year.  And what to nominate.

Other than favourite authors on auto-buy lists, it's unusual for me to read books in their year of publication, let alone the books that people seem to think are 'best' or 'worthy'.  And when I do get around to reading one of the hot nominees or winners, it rarely seems to be the sort of story I like, let alone thought excellent.

Which is, oh well, people like different things. 'Best' is a construct built of buzz, and word of mouth, an active fan base or, apparently, sealing wax, string and puppy dog tails.

So I circle back to that term 'worthy', and what exactly 'best' means, and realise that, substantively, they're terms that push me to not nominate the kind of books that work best for me.

So when the nomination deadline approaches I shall compile a little list of books I've read that were published in the relative year, throw away any criteria other than a yes/no decision on whether the book 'worked' for me,  and nominate them.

'Worthy' really is that simple.


  1. This is pretty much my response to the various conversations I've read on. The whole point of a fan based award is the fan has to like it. I've conscientiously read as much as I could of the nominated books when I'm entitled to vote and most of them to me were; technically fine writing; not my thing and left me cold. Some were even "please let me skim through this quickly". And some I loved. I voted for the ones I loved. Irrespective of any hype or opinion of someone else. I'm a fan, its what I enjoy that matters for my vote...which would also be the case if I was nominating, but I've never got round to that for reasons of workload/timing/laziness.

    1. The books I like most never appear on the Hugo finalist lists at all. And when people start trying to narrow down their shortlists, you can clearly see them making an effort to read the books that have been getting the buzz all year, rather than listing the books that they personally liked enough to buy and read at release.

      I think people discount a lot of the books they actually like and enjoy in favour of 'worthy as determined by others'.

  2. I have often wished there was an award NOT given out when something was published, but like 10 years later. And not given out to just one book, but to any book that was felt to be truly exceptional by some adequate number of readers. I would totally nominate the Touchstone books. Just finished them, haven't read anything I enjoyed that much in quite a while.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed them Donald!

      There are the Retro Hugos, which are given to books published quite a long time ago. Maybe I'll be in with a chance!


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