from the best-page-turners dept.
In Science Fiction, some awards have become almost meaningless as they came to be dominated by interests other than the pure enjoyment of a truly good story. The Hugo Awards, for example, have descended into a left/right catfight. They have become as meaningless as a Nobel Peace Prize.
Some, like yours truly, have entirely stopped reading about awards after getting burned once too many times and rely almost entirely on word of mouth or serendipity to find new authors and worthwhile books.
Our recent discussion of "The winners of the 2018 Hugo Awards" brought the idea (from bzipitidoo) that perhaps Soylent News could do a better job of pointing out new works of Science Fiction that could be of interest to soylentils and janrinok supported the idea, going so far as offering a kidney to the best author. (I think he's British, so he might have meant a kidney pie. [Not true, but funny])
Mind you, we would need to separate Science Fiction from Sci-Fi, Fantasy and other genres that have been mishmashed into one by most publishers and awards organizations.
So what do you think? What is the best new author/book in Science Fiction?
Want to read some books? Many of our users have shown interest in having a book club. Now it's finally time to kick it off.
Your soytyrant has pre-selected the first three books so that you have more time to read them, should you choose to do so:
September: Mars, Ho! by Stephen McGrew
October: Foundation by Isaac Asimov
November: The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin.
The plan is to read a book, and discuss it on the 1st of the following month. Suggestions for new books (of any genres, not just "science fiction") will also be collected at the same time. You can start listing some of your suggestions right now in this comment section. We'll pick up to eight of them and run a poll on September 15th to decide the book for December. And so on.
The first book is Mars, Ho! by Stephen McGrew, one of our more literary users (not to be confused with Mars Ho! by Jennifer Willis). The book is available for free on McGrew's website, although there are some purchasing options available if you want to support him. From the description:
Captain John Knolls thinks he's just been given the best assignment of his career -- ferrying two hundred prostitutes to Mars. He doesn't know that they're all addicted to a drug that causes them to commit extreme, deadly violence when they are experiencing withdrawal or that he'll face more pirates than anyone had ever seen before. Or that he'd fall in love. A humorous science fiction space novel, a horror story, a love story, a pirate story, a tale of corporate bureaucracy and incompetence.
All book club posts will be in the Community Reviews nexus, which is linked to on the site's sidebar. You'll likely want to click on that link once the posts fall off the main page.
The Hugo awards, being the favorite they are with SN readers, are out again!
As posted at The Vox.
The first-ever threepeat of the Hugo Awards — the prestigious, long-running fantasy awards handed out annually at WorldCon — just issued a giant rejection of right-wing gatekeeping in the struggle to diversify the world of science fiction and fantasy writing.
N.K. Jemisin's groundbreaking fantasy series the Broken Earth trilogy has won critical acclaim, been optioned for development as a TV series, and received numerous accolades from the sci-fi and fantasy community. And on August 19, it achieved yet another milestone when Jemisin became the first author in the Hugos' 65-year history to win back-to-back awards for every book in a trilogy. Jemisin won the award for Best Novel three years in a row, starting with The Fifth Season in 2016, The Obelisk Gate in 2017, and now The Stone Sky in 2018.
Meanwhile, The Verge reports:
The 2018 Hugo Awards were held last night at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California. The Hugo award, voted on by members of the fan community, is considered the highest honor for science fiction and fantasy literature.
Like the previous couple of years, women almost completely swept the awards. N.K. Jemisin took home the top honor for The Stone Sky, the third installment of her Broken Earth trilogy. Other winners include Martha Wells for her first Murderbot novella All Systems Red, Suzanne Palmer for her novelette “The Secret Life of Bots,” and Rebecca Roanhorse for her short story “Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™.” (Roanhorse also took home the John W. Campbell Jr. Award for Best New Writer.)
Jemisin’s win gives her a history-making hat trick: she’s won the top award for each Broken Earth installment, the first two having been for The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate. It’s a significant achievement, earned for Jemisin’s groundbreaking writing, blending of genres, and outstanding storytelling.