Hugo Awards Novellette : “It takes Two” by Nicola Griffith

A very well chosen title for a cautionary tale. Nicely ambiguous. Are we talking about Richard and Cody, or about Cody and Susana.

Going deep into the question of how reliable our memories are, and how we could be influenced to do things we would not otherwise do.

While the idea could be said to be lifted from the “Red Pill/Blue Pill” choice in “The Matrix”, this story has a quite different take on the concepts of memory and reality.


Hugo Awards Novellette : “Eros, Phillia, Agape” by Rachel Swirsky

Interesting take on the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence evolving into consciousness. In this case involving a robot, or should I say android.

I found the story a bit longer than I would prefer for this relatively simple plot, on the other hand I found the writing itself interesting and somewhat captivating.

Also the relationship between robots/androids takes an interesting turn when the robot is set free to evolve. Maybe a good example why most robot stories abide Asimov’s rules.


Hugo 2010 Novelette : “One of our Bastards is Missing” by Paul Cornell

I have mainly known Paul Cornell from his stories in the Doctor Who universe (“Father’s Day” and “Human Nature/Family of Blood”). his is my first Cornell story outside that.

Nice to see that he is nominated in two categories this story is best Novelette and also in the graphic story category – mor about the graphic story later.

This one starts nicely out, the protagonist, a security officer is confronted with a mystery at the wedding of the princess.

The story has a slight surreal feel, but at the end it is quite consistent. So we have got mystery, betrayal and a good wrap-up.

Two more novelettes to go, and for now my choice is between this one and the Eugie Foster one


Hugo2010 : Novellette : “Sinner, ….” by Eugie Foster

Full title :
“Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest : Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast”

I listened to that one last year on the Escape Pod podcast.

The question is wether this is science Fiction, Fantasy or what . Genre really does not matter .

This is one of those wonderful small stories that I like.
The choices and consequences of people. Which mask should I wear today, in essence which identity do I choose for today, and the consequences of those choices.

On top of that, the question of your true identity (the “Who are You” question to which there is, it seems, no right answer.

This story has a chilling end when the protagonist reveals his true nature.


Meta : A look at the “After Hugo2010” activities.

When I have finished the reading/watching and voting for the Hugo Awards – some time in Early August I have a few things in mind that I would like to do, SciFi wise.

Audio stories :

Catching up on some podcasts – they all have some absolutely marvelous stories (even if not all will be to my liking, there wil be many I like :
– early Escape Pod
– Podcastle
– Starhip Sofa
and other audio drama/audio book podcasts

– Doctor Who (Big Finish) stories – there is a lot, some very good, some ok-ish

Video :

– All of Lost – whenever the last season DVD set is out – it will be an all new one for me long term
– Older Doctor Who , long term project
– Detailed rewatch of Babylon 5 with lots of comment on this blog – will take a lot of time, probably with watching almost every episode twice, so please be patient. Also some comparison to Star Trek DS9 – probably an episode every one or two weeks on average, yes, it will be a long term project
Since I have seen B5 a few times by now, each episode review will probably be a relatively spoiler free post, followed by a review in the context of the whole story – possibly with some extra comments on issues of special interest to me (and hopefully others)
– Rewatch of (more or less) all Star Trek, with blog comments on the episodes I enjoy – another long term project
– Supernatural (first watch) – it comes recommended
– Second seasons of Dollhouse and Fringe
– Chuck – that is a fun one

All this will be a bit at a time, no great marathons, except when I visit a good scifi friend

Dexter – not scifi, but good TV drama, *very dark*

… and much more

Books :

– All of George RR. Martin’s Son of Ice and Fire – well, what is out there, since he will be Guest of Honor at the Eastercon/Olympus2012 in London – I got through the first volume Game of thrones by now
More Dresden Files books – they are fun and I got through the first two for now
– Dan Simmons’ Hyperion series
– Babylon 5 books, including the script books series – partly in conjunction with re-watching the series

– Some graphic novels and comics, especially ones written by J. Michael Straczynski, but others, too

…and much more reading of scifi/fantasy old and new that I cannot yet specify

If this looks like a lot …. well, it is, and I am probably not going to get any of it done fast, but here we go, and I will see how much will be achieved

Lately I have re-entered into building electronics equipment, and this will take some time from the scifi stuff – yes , I am prioritizing, so some scifi stuff will be done

For now, until the end of July, the Hugo awards’ stuff has high priority

Hugo Awards 2010 Novellette : “The Island” by Peter Watts

A massive ship building Wormholes (Stargates ?) for billions of years. People who are in suspended animation for most of their lives. An AI that wants full control.

Finally, they meet an intelligence massively more intelligent than humans. Truly alien. I am, in a small amount reminded of Fred Hoyle’s novel “The Black Cloud” from the 1950’s, but the twist at the end of the story is good. Maybe not quite as alien as first thought.

This is clearly better than any of the short stories I have read for this year.

Lurker’s rating : 8/10

Hugo Reading : Short Story : “Bridesicle” by Will McIntosh

A story on the possibility of being preserved at death with the possibility of revival.

The combination with a “dating service” may seem a bit macabre, but the story actually works better than the other Hugo nominated short stories this year – at least for me.

This one will get my preferred vote for setting more thoughts in motion than the others.