i always feel bad about talking about the hugos so much. i know it is silly and possibly irritating, i try to tag accordingly, sometimes i get V Insecure about like, what i blog, in a “i should not be blogging i will Irritate People” sort of way but . also it is My Blog and its not Good for me to go “oh no….. ppl wil lbe irritated ….”
and the three potentially good novels are all extracts. its almost like they want me to read the grimnoir chronicles.
saga isnt in the voter packet.
also pissed that theres only three women on the 1939 retro hugo ballot. cl moore and margaret brundage, both of whom they were kind of obligated to put on there — moore being incredibly prolific (and having probably co-written half the stories her husband has on the ballot) and brundage being the person who made so so so many weird tales covers and was one of the — if not the — biggest figure in cover art of early scifi mags. and ayn rand because. we can never be free of ayn rand.
and, God help me, I want to see what Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles looks like without actually having to contribute to the guy’s sales.
i caved and bought a supporting membership to loncon 3.
like i know voting in the hugos is a pointless gesture (and also that theres only a week left till voting closes so the stuff i havent read im gonna have to sort of zoom thru) but if people are going to fuck up the ballot i’m at least going to go down fighting. im at least going to make it hard for them for their shitty ass novels and stories to win.
mostly tho w/ doctorow i run into the wall that i do w/ stephenson which is all the sudden theres lots of math talk interspersed w/ really awkward romances and im like im out friend you keep talking about all these difficult for me to understand math crypto sweet hackz things while also peppering math talk w/ really basic history shit like yes of course enigma etc etc yes i know that why arent you explaining the math more clearly and i just glaze over for. a while.
AND OKAY HERE NO THIS IS UNRELATED
but one of my early favorite science fiction short stories, and one that caught my attention in a big way when i read it in like, eighth grade, was “the cold equations” by tom godwin, where a girl stows away on a supply ship delivering medicine to a colony so she can visit her brother, only for the pilot to enter into this crisis because the ship is only ever equipped with the precise amount of fuel needed to take x amount of weight y distance. The end result of which is the girl has to be ejected out of the airlock, or the ship will be lost in space forever, leading to the deaths of colonists. “The men of the frontier knew — but how was a girl from Earth to fully understand. h amount of fuel will not power an EDS with a mass of m plus x safely to its destination. To him and her brother and parents she was a sweet-faced girl in her teens; to the laws of nature she was x, the unwanted factor in a cold equation” etc.
and the story makes no sense — tho i didn’t like, realize that at the time — because its ridiculous that there wouldn’t be any safety measures, or any sort of buffer w/r/t amounts of fuel, and other Engineering and Physics things. which is fucked up, but the super fucked up thing is, and i don’t think it really registered to me how fucked up this was until like JUST NOW, is that tom godwin never intended for that to be the story. it’s a (semi??) well known fact (i mean for ppl who read lots of interviews and wiki articles and shit about this stuff) that campbell (Hotshot Scifi Editor Man, who edited the mag that cold equations originally appeared in), campbell would not publish a version where Marilyn Lee Cross got to live.
From an interview thing w/ him:
Second, I learned how strong the hand of the editor can be in shaping a story. John [Campbell] told me he had three times! sent “Cold Equations” back to Godwin, before he got the version he wanted. In the first two re-writes, Godwin kept coming up with ingenious ways to save the girl! Since the strength of this deservedly classic story lies in the fact that the life of one young woman must be sacrificed to save the lives of many, it simply wouldn’t have the same impact if she had lived.
and yes, he’s right, w/o marilyn’s death the story becomes much less poignant and hauntingly memorable. it works, and it is, perhaps, a good story decision — but the just, thought behind that and behind some of the bits of the original. we must put a teenage girl in extreme peril, and then we must kill her. its also got a lot of weird shit in it about like, the pilot’s commander is really nonchalant about the jettisoning of stowaways until the pilots like “the stowaways a girl.” very few discussions of the story ever like, bring up her name or anything either. she’s just this weird archetype of grimdark future stories where the universe is cold and impersonal, and women serve as the impetus for male character growth and/or introspection, and we have to twist the knife to make our point, and editors send back stories three times because not enough teenage girls die.
i mean, i realize i make a p piss poor revolutionary myself, not denying that, so i know one when i see one.