As I said in the last post, I decided to read the Hugo-nominated fiction because I wanted to be able to comment on their merit, as well as the politics.
The novelettes: no, no, no, no and no. Again, nothing worthy of a Hugo nomination in my opinion.
“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium,” Gray Rinehart: I kinda liked the concept, but the characters were nothing and there was no fleshing out of consequences either physical or metaphysical. Could probably (can’t believe I’m saying this) make an interesting novel if some effort was put in to the characters, especially.
“Championship B’Tok,” Edward M Lerner: a somewhat interesting premise although not at all original. Some military speak, some boring characterisation.
“The Day the World Turned Upside Down,” Thomas Olde Heuvelt: I feel like this definitely owes something to “The Water that falls on you from nowhere” – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it did win a Hugo after all, but it doesn’t make itself different enough. I didn’t like the main character, which isn’t a problem necessarily, although I think we are meant to sympathise and I just couldn’t do that. Better than the other nominees buuuuut still not award material.
“The Journeyman: In the Stone House,” Michael F Flynn: did not finish. Excruciating to try and read, characters utterly unappealing.
“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale,” Rajnar Vajra: plucky young things manage not to get themselves killed or thrown out of the service by being obnoxiously cleverer than people who’ve been on the ground for some length of time. Weird aliens are weird and not developed enough.