The Campbell Award for Best New Writer is the Hugo, which isn’t a Hugo, which doesn’t make sense, so I’m going to call it a Hugo anyway. Voting closes on Friday, and as they say in post-apocalyptic Harlan, it’s not over until the undead have voted.
- Jason Cordova
I read his short story Hill 142, his short novel Murder World: Kaiju Dawn, and Kaiju Apocalypse novellas One and Two (co-written with Eric S. Brown). His short story and the two co-written novellas weren’t bad, but they weren’t exactly good either, and, while I won’t ignore them, I’m not going to give quite full weight to the co-written works either.
- Rolf Nelson
I am reading The Stars Came Back. I have him fourth on my ballot, with the major caveat that I am still reading The Stars Came Back and I may move him before voting closes. But it also says something that I haven’t finished it a week and a half after I started reading. It has glimpses of strong writing and good ideas, but the damned script format drives me nuts and I think it’s a prime example of a work that would have benefited from a strong editorial hand.
- Eric S. Raymond
I read Sucker Punch. Sucker Punch is a very interesting near-future military scifi story about a Communist Chinese invasion of Taiwan that sees the introduction of two weapons that will change warfare forever. But the strength is in the speculation and the story is a bit of an afterthought. Raymond’s story is strong, but he’s at a distinct disadvantage with just the short story.
- Kary English
I read Totaled (also nominated for Best Short Story, and second on my ballot), Departure Gate 34B, and Flight of the Kikayon (two short stories and a novelette/novella). Departure Gate 34B is very short but may be even better than her Hugo-nominated Totaled. English is a writer to watch with a lot of potential.
- Wes Chu
I read The Lives of Tao, The Deaths of Tao, and The Rebirths of Tao. I also own a copy (now signed and personalized after ArmadilloCon) of Chu’s new release Time Salvager, but haven’t yet read it. Chu has to have an advantage purely because he had already published three full novels with his Tao trilogy and now Time Salvager, which as best I can tell also qualifies for consideration. That is an advantage that could have been squandered with weak books, but the Tao trilogy is pretty damn good, interweaving this sort of Chuck-esque fat guy becomes a spy comedy-spy thriller with alien-SciFi. It’s funny, the action scenes rock, and Chu adroitly weaves in bits of his invented history as seen through the eyes of humans with symbiotic aliens riding inside them.
My other Hugo posts are here.