Yet again, it is that time of the Galactic Standard Year - the Hugo Nominees are out for 3002. As you all know, their release means that it is also time for my annual picks of which nominees I think that the members of InterplanetaryCon should vote for. Sometimes the decisions can be tough, but your esteemed reviewer forges on.
This year has been a relatively strong one, especially in the Song and Dream categories. Book Fiction nominees were a mixed bag; my favorites were U.S.S Carthage by W.U. 3142 and Panacea Planet Plutocracy by Juan Toure.
In this reviewer's humble opinion, Simulation should go hands down to the Collective Mind on Miranda, who once again produces a brilliant simulation. Short fiction should definitely go to Finnison's "Marlowe the Obscure," a witty, well-written, and engaging alternate history.
I have downloaded as much as my feeble human brain can handle, and slogged through the bad to find the good. It's enough to make a man want to go into suspended animation for a few years. My wife is contemplating leaving me for a young, handsome, and attentive simulation. But enough about me! You want my picks for the 3002 Hugo.
Book Fiction: U.S.S Carthage, by writing unit 3142
Although I have a soft spot for Zarathustra and truly enjoyed Toure's Panacea Planet Plutocracy, U.S.S. Carthage is by far the best book of the lot.
Short Fiction: "Marlowe the Obscure," by Stephen Finnson
Can I say enough how wonderful this story is? Don't take my word for it, download it yourself!
Song: "Estrella de Mort," by the Lone Mariachi of the Apocalypse
I'm going out on more of a limb voting for this song, but I have always had a fondness for Venusite folk music. The rest of the nominees in this category are also very strong.
Simulation: "In the Mind of the New Species," designed by the
Collective Mind on Miranda
Several notches above the other nominees in this category, "In the Mind of the New Species" knows how to balance the strange with the inspiring, without resorting to cheap tricks of causing the user pain.
Dream: "O Cosmos," by Fis Taverack
Although I liked "Nightmare Number 7 with Pastry," by Rashid al-Khaldoun for its artistic merits, "O Cosmos" trounces it because it is the kind of dream you would want to have again. I also must note that I didn't try "Skiing and Nothingness," by Dream Unit Olaf because of the publicity about the unfortunate effects this dream had on some dreamers.
Go in peace, fellow science fiction fans. Vote wisely!
Copyright © 2003 by E. Thomas