The nice guys at Geek Syndicate have been looking at this year’s Hugo nominees. The first part is in Episode 129 and occupies around the last third of the program. The second part is apparently already in the can and will be online soon.
The interesting thing about this is that while these guys are clearly massive science fiction fans, their interests are very different from mine. They know comics inside out; know film TV and video games better than I do; but know rather less about written SF. So I’m happy to take Barry’s word that Dark Knight is head and shoulders about the other BDP: Long Form nominees, and I’ll be very interested to see what they have to say about the Graphic Story nominees. But it was their response to the fiction that made me sit up and take notice.
Firstly they loved Mike Resnick. Amongst the circles I move in, Resnick’s stories have begun to attract yawns. But to Dave and Barry they contained interesting ideas told in a simple and straightforward way. The boys didn’t like “Pride and Prometheus” or “Shoggoths in Bloom” because they didn’t get the references (to Pride & Prejudice and Lovecraft respectively). And this isn’t coming from people who have no taste: Dave loved “26 Monkeys” and “Exhalation”.
Personally I still think that “Pride & Prometheus” is head and shoulders above everything else in the Novelette category. However, in future when thinking about how the wider fannish world is likely to react to Hugo nominees I will try to remember to ask myself what background knowledge is required to appreciate the story.