Thursday, August 25, 2016

Books Read: July 2016

Wow, folks, I'm really late on this. But - Now that another month has come and gone, let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. The Complete Peanuts: 1999-2000, by Charles M. Schulz
2. Flesh and Wires, by Jackie Hatton
3. Consequence, by Eric Fair
4. A Time of Exile, by Katharine Kerr
5. The Sorcerer's Daughter, by Terry Brooks
6. Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
7. Hit, by Delilah S. Dawson
8. Blameless, by Gail Carriger
9. The Operators, by Michael Hastings
10. Dark Run, by Mike Brooks
11. Storm Front, by Jim Butcher
12. Roses and Rot, by Kat Howard

Best Book of the Month: Flesh and Wires. I could read another hundred pages of this and only hope that Jackie Hatton plans to write more - whether in this particular setting or elsewhere.

Disappointment of the Month: None

Discovery of the Month: The only previous Dresden Files novel I had read was last year's Hugo nominated Skin Job. Since I enjoyed that book, I decided to go back and start the series from the beginning. I had heard the first several novels were noticeably weaker, but I did very much enjoy Storm Front, though there was a bit of an odd quiet sexism running through Harry Dresden that I didn't remember from book 15 in the series.

Worth Noting: I don't remember a time in my life when I wasn't reading Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strips. Fantagraphics have collected the full 50 year run of Peanuts and have been releasing them in volumes collecting two years at a time, two volumes per year. So, I've been re-reading (and discovering strips I had never seen before) these collections for the last 13 years. And now...I'm done. Charles Schulz passed away in early 2000, so there haven't been any new strips for the last 16 years, but now there is also no more new Peanuts for me to discover either. Once again, I am sad.

Gender Breakdown: 5 of the 12 books I read in July were written by women, which brings my total to 48 out of 98 for the year. That's 48.98% and is down from the perfect 50% the first six months of the year brought me. If I keep bouncing on either side of the 50/50 line, I'll be content, but I'll be happiest if I land on the 50%+ side.

Previous Reads

Monday, August 01, 2016

Hugo Awards 2016: My Final Ballot

Now that the deadline has passed and I have done all the Hugo reading and consuming that I am going to do this year, the final ballot I submitted is below.  The full list of nominees can be found here.

Best Novel (my thoughts)
1. The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin
2. Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
3. Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie
4. Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson
5. The Aeronaut's Windlass, by Jim Butcher

Best Novella (my thoughts)
1. Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor
2. The Builders, by Daniel Polansky
3. Penric's Demon, by Lois McMaster Bujold
4. Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds
5. Perfect State, by Brandon Sanderson

Best Novelette (my thoughts)
1. "Obits", by Stephen King
2. "And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of the Dead", by Brooke Bolander
3. "Folding Beijing", by Hao Jingfang
4. "Flashpoint: Titan", by Cheah Kai Wai
5. "What Price Humanity?", by David VanDyke

Best Short Story (my thoughts)
1. "Cat Pictures Please", by Naomi Kritzer
2. "Seven Kill Tiger", by Charles Shao
3. "Asymmetrical Warefare", by S.R. Algernon
4. No Award

Best Related Work
No Vote

Best Graphic Story (my thoughts)
1. Invisible Republic: Vol 1
2. Erin Dies Alone
3. The Divine
4. Sandman: Overture
5. No Award

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form (my thoughts)
1. The Martian
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4. Ex Machina
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form
No Vote

Best Editor: Short Form
1. Neil Clarke
2. John Joseph Adams
3. Ellen Datlow
4. Sheila Williams
5. Jerry Pournelle

Best Editor: Long Form
1. Liz Gorinksky
2. Sheila Gilbert
3. Toni Weisskopf
4. No Award

Best Professional Artist
1. Abigail Larson
2. Michal Karcz
3. Larry Rostant
4. Larry Elmore
5. No Award

Best Semiprozine
1. Uncanny Magazine
2. Beneath Ceaseless Skies
3. Strange Horizons
4. Daily Science Fiction
5. Sci Phi Journal

Best Fanzine (my thoughts)
1. Lady Business
2. File 770
3. Subversive SF
4. Castalia House Blog
5. Tangent Online

Best Fancast (my thoughts)
1. Cane and Rinse
2. HelloGreedo
3. The Rageaholic
4. 8-4 Play
5. Tales to Terrify

Best Fan Writer
No Vote

Best Fan Artist
1. Matthew Callahan
2. disse86
3. Christian Quinot
4. No Award

John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer
1. Andy Weir
2. Alyssa Wong
3. Pierce Brown
4. Sebastiel de Castell
5. Brian Neiemeier