Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Scalzi's Redshirts Takes 2013 Hugo, And No Surprise

Although you might have missed it if depending on Siri ...

... WorldCon 2013 ended yesterday.  (The above text reflects the results of asking for first WorldCon Twenty-Thirteen then asking for WorldCon Two Thousand Thirteen. And no, I've never heard anybody refer to a time of day with thousands.)

Hosted by Lone Star Con 3 in Austin, Texas, the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention was (as each is) also the place to be to see the Hugo Awards announced.  This year, those of us who'd read John Scalzi's Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas were completely unsurprised to learn it was voted Best Novel.  On the one hand, it enjoys much that went right in Galaxy Quest's awesome sendup of Star Trek – the main characters are surprised to find they're living the fiction that's been off the air for years, and it's not a happy surprise to discover they face real risks – but on the other it mixes the horror of being a bit character in a story about somebody else, the writers of which are fond of killing extras for dramatic impact while exploring the characters' desperate efforts to keep their sanity, and safety, in a world gone mad.  And it asks some interesting questions:  who are the bit characters in life?  Who's this story really about?  Geeks with a thing for fiction will enjoy the three endings, each told not only from a different point of view but from a different person.  It's a fun Trek spoof and a serious story and an intellectual riddle and it's the winner of the 2013 Hugo Award.  Those of you who haven't had a chance to enjoy this one can get Redshirts' first four chapters from Amazon free, right here.

As for the rest of the 2013 Hugo winners ... I now have my autumn reading list.

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