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? of the Week: What do you think of the Nebula Awards finalists?

28 Feb

If you don’t know already, the Nebula Awards finalists were announced a little while ago.  It’s an interesting list, to say the least, and it has sparked some interesting responses across the blogosphere.  But what do you all think about the list?  Feel free to leave a comment.

Here are our brief responses:

Shaun

Overall, I’m happy with the list, though there are certainly some anomalies there.  A lot of repeat names, some works that I didn’t think would make it to such a list anyway and a few things I saw coming from a mile away.  As others here will mention, there are an extraordinary amount of women and a fair shake of POCs here — something I can’t help appreciating because such things tend to drive certain people in this community up the wall.

The only glaring omission is in a category that nobody really cares about anyway:  dramatic presentation.  For all its criticism of vision over substance, I find it difficult to understand why the genre community has completely neglected to include Cloud Atlas on the list.  If any film deserves genre’s recognition, it’s that one.  Such is life…

Julia

I’m quite excited about this year’s list. I think there is a wealth of strong work on the ballot. I look forward to seeing the winners, and I think that this year, no matter who wins, I’ll probably be really happy with the outcome.

I would like to add that the fact that some people are being ridiculous and getting upset because non-white and non-male people are nominated makes me like this ballot even more.

Paul

I will be terse.

I am very pleased by the Novel ballot. 4 out of the 6 are by women. An
epic fantasy written by a woman, too.

Interestingly, five of the six novel nominees are Fantasy, too. Only
2312 sits there defending SF.

Adam

I think it is one of the stronger lists of the past few years, especially in the short fiction categories. I would like to see more diversity in the short story category though, as far as the publications represented. Five out of the six stories come from either Lightspeed or Clarkesworld.

Jen

I’m *really* happy about this list of nominees – over half are women!! Yay women in SF&F! That’s about all I can reliably comment on though as I’ve only either read or watched 4 of the nominations.

Now it’s your turn!

? of the Week: What was your favorite novel in 2012 and why?

21 Feb

No need for introductions.  You’ve got the question and fingers for typing.  So do some thinking and offer your responses in the comments below.

To get things started, here are our answers:

Shaun

Who would have thought that I’d pick another “literary” SF novel, replete with intense character development, an extraordinarily rich near future world with a slice of the weird, and an unconventional narrative style?  Oh, right.  That’s normal for me.  And that’s why I’ve picked Lost Everything.  Brian Francis Slattery’s novel blew me away last year.  You could call it a “river novel” set in a near-apocalyptic future and get away with loose comparisons to Mark Twain and Cormac McCarthy — comparisons even I’ve made.  But I think there’s something more to Lost Everything.  The characters are complex and beautiful, the world terrifying and yet strangely enticing, and the narrative just slightly off kilter enough to make this more than just another “dystopia.”  The deeper I got into the book, the more intrigued I was by the characters and their way of viewing the world.  From houseboat scenes, savage war with no apparent end goal, and a mysterious super storm set on destroying everything, Lost Everything never ceased to amaze me.   It’s the kind of book only Slattery can write, but also the kind of book that SF desperately needs because it has a depth of “reality” that so many SF novels lack (perhaps because they are too focused on plot and action).  We’ll see if it makes any awards lists this year… Continue reading

Question of the Week: Which Doctor Who villain should be retired?

30 Jan

We’re sure to get more of the classic villains in the final episodes of this season of Doctor Who.  Some of these have been with us since the beginning (or close enough) and haven’t had the same scary effect on audiences in the new incarnation of DW.  But should the makers of DW retire some of these classic villains? Or are some of the newer villains worse?

Doctor Who

That’s what we want to know.  If you were going to retire one a Doctor Who villain, who/what would it be and why?

The comments are yours!

Question of the Week: Who are the five greatest science fiction writers of all time?

26 Jan

I’m bringing back the “Question of the Week” feature with a vengeance.  And to start it off, I’m asking you all a rather large question:

Who do you think are the five greatest science fiction writers of all time?

I’m putting a lot of emphasis on you think.  Whatever your criteria for inclusion, the most important thing is that your list is your list.

So — who would you include?

? of the Week: What is the right price for an ebook — to you? (Poll)

5 Mar

The ebook wars have been raging for a few years now, and the result has been a bit muddled.  Books have gone from floating around $9.99 to running anywhere from $14.99 to Free.  Things likely won’t stabilize anytime soon.

That’s why we want to know what price for ebooks is right to you.  First, we should set some parameters:

  1. For the purposes of this poll, we are only considering *new* ebooks.
  2. For the purposes of this poll, we are only concerned with novels.  Short stories, novelettes, and novellas can wait for another day.

Now for the poll:

Feel free to leave a comment if you want to provide a specific price point, or a range that is not available above.

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