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Some Hugo Picks

December has come, and the end of 2016 (thank god, what a bloody awful year) will be upon us in a few more weeks. Which means, inevitably, that people will soon be drawing up lists of the year's best books, stories, television shows, and movies... for the Hugo Awards, the Emmys, the Oscars, the Dragons, the Tiptrees, the Nebulas, the World Fantasy Awards... or just for the fun of it.

For my part, I already know what two of my Hugo nominations for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form will be.

ARRIVAL, to start with. Terrific adaptation of a classic story by Ted Chiang. Brilliant performance from Amy Adams. (She is always great, I think, but this was her best role to date). A real science fiction story, not a western in space. Intelligent, thought-provoking, with some wonderfully alien aliens.

And WESTWORLD, season one, from HBO. Of course, as with GAME OF THRONES, one can nominate individual episodes of this one in Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form... but for me it makes more sense to nominate the entire season in Long Form. (GAME OF THRONES season one was nominated in this fashion at Chicago, and won). It really is one very long, complex, wonderfully rich story, with great acting, writing, and directing, and the usual spectacular HBO production values. Like ARRIVAL, this is one that bears repeated re-viewing, and requires some thought. The Academy will likely nominate WESTWORLD for a shelf full of Emmys. I hope fandom recognizes its brilliance as well. This is a story about the nature of sentience and the cost of being human, a commentary on our society and (especially) on the ways we choose to entertain ourselves, full of twists and turns and gut punches and reveals and surprises, all masterfully delivered by Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy.

(GAME OF THRONES is also eligible for Hugo nomination this year, of course. The entire sixth season in Long Form, or individual episodes of same in Short Form. However, because of the air dates and eligibility periods, GOT will not be in the running for the Emmy Awards this year, so WESTWORLD will have a clear run at those... contending, of course, with BETTER CALL SAUL, OUTLANDER, and all of the other terrific dramas out there).

There were other good movies and television shows released in 2016, and I have no doubt that some of them will find places on my own personal Hugo ballot as well... but honestly, I cannot imagine that I will like any of them as well as I liked ARRIVAL and WESTWORLD.

Comments

seankirk
Dec. 6th, 2016 05:29 am (UTC)
A Song Of Ice And Fire - BEST SERIES HUGO AWARD - Eligible for 2017
George

I am not sure if you are aware but under the current WSFS Constitution A Song Of Ice And Fire is eligible for the new Best Series Hugo Award in 2017.

Worldcon 75, to be held in Helsinki August 2017 announced in October that it will exercise its right under the WSFS Constitution to run a special Hugo category for “Best Series.”

Eligibility Requirement:
A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R. R. Martin, Arianne (short story) May 10, 2016.

A Song Of Ice And Fire series is eligible for the 2017 award because you released the new story titled "Arianne" from Winds Of Winter on your website.

Jared Dashoff on September 30, 2016 on John Scalzi's "Whatever" blog said:

“As a maker of the Best Series motion up for ratification in 2017, a volume is anything. We didn’t want to say work because that gets confusing when you call the series a work of works. We didn’t want to specify any length of each part, either, because we wanted short stories, novelettes, novellas, blog posts, novels, graphic stories (assuming the entire series makes it to 240,000 words), etc. were eligible.


Since Helsinki is exercising its right to include the Best Series Hugo Award in 2017 even though it has not yet been ratified. The Best Series Hugo Award may or may not be ratified at next year's business meeting. So it is possible that 2017 Best Series Hugo Award may be the only Best Series Hugo Award that is ever awarded.


I am wondering what your thoughts on this are?
grrm
Dec. 6th, 2016 06:27 am (UTC)
RE: A Song Of Ice And Fire - BEST SERIES HUGO AWARD - Eligible for 2017
"Arianne" was not a short story, it is a sample chapter. It would be absurd to nominate Ice & Fire for Series on that basis.

Beyond that, I am not a supporter of the new category.

Best Novel remains the Big One as far as I'm concerned. That's the category with all the history behind it.
seankirk
Dec. 6th, 2016 07:05 am (UTC)
Re: A Song Of Ice And Fire - BEST SERIES HUGO AWARD - Eligible for 2017
Good to know. I will scratch A Song Of Ice And Fire off of my list of nominees, this year.

I to am not a fan of the new category myself. Its places to much of a burden on voters.

I am some what grateful that Helsinki opted for a trial run of the award this year before it is either ratified or voted down at the 2017 business meeting. Voters will get the opportunity to see how it feels to them once nominations are announced.

Many voters will be faced with one, two, three, four, or all five of the Best Series nominations that they may possibly be unfamiliar with and now have three to four months to catch up on a whole lot of reading in order to make an informed decision.



Edited at 2016-12-06 07:08 am (UTC)

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