21 August 2015 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW (Conclusion): The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (Translated by Ken Liu)

Less than a month ago, just before the Hugo Award voting deadline, I gave a preliminary review of the first 100 pages or so of the Hugo-nominated novel The Three Body Problem. I gave the partial review then to get it published before the Hugo deadline, but since then I’ve finished reading. This review will be pretty brief because I don’t want to spoil everything, and the truth about what exactly explains the weirdness that’s happened so far in the book takes a while to unroll.

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22 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Novelette Review: “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” by Rajnar Vajra

“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” by Rajnar Vajra, published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, is nominated for the Hugo Award this year in the novelette category. Analog has posted this story for free for the voting period.

The protagonists of this story are a trio of Exoplanetary Explorers: an earthling, a silver Venusian, and a golden Martian. They get in a bar fight, which puts them on thin ice with their commanding officers. Their punishment is to be assigned to a mission doomed to fail–there is a planet on which they wish to establish a colony, where they have learned that the residents are intelligent but have failed to establish true contact with them. Priam, the Martian, raises the stakes by promising that they can establish contact and offering up their jobs if they fail.

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15 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Novelette Review: “The Day the World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

“The Day the World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelte (translated by Lia Belt) was published in Lightspeed Magazine. It appeared both in text and on the Lightspeed podcast.

Toby’s world turned upside down, figuratively speaking, when his girlfriend Sophie left him, with only a promise to pick up her goldfish the next day. But, before she can fetch the fish, the world turns upside down, literally. No one knows why or how, but gravity suddenly reversed. Many people don’t survive, many from head injuries, many others from falling down into the endless sky. Toby survives. The goldfish survives. Did Sophie? He has to find out. And also give her the fish back. And maybe, just maybe, they can reconnect in this world gone wrong. As Toby makes his way across the dangling undersurface of the Earth, he meets other people trying to survive.

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08 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Short Story Review: “Totaled” by Kary English

“Totaled” by Kary English was first published in Galaxy’s Edge magazine, edited by Mike Resnick. Galaxy’s Edge posted the story for free after the announcement of the Hugo ballot so you can read it for yourself if you like.

The story is told from the point of view of a disembodied brain extracted from a woman’s body after her body is “totaled” in a car accident. Before the accident she had been a member of the research team that made this possible. A rider on her insurance dictated that if she died or got totaled her tissues would be donated to her research lab–including her brain. At first she can only sense from the outside nerve by feeling vibrations in the vascular tissue, but as the experiment advances she is connected to more peripherals, including sensory apparatus, and she can find ways to communicate outward as well because they are scanning her brain. She tries to communicate with her research partner Randy, who doesn’t know that the brain he’s using was his partner’s.

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30 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Graphic Story Review 2015

The Hugo Graphic Story category is the one that I look forward to the most, because I enjoy the medium, but I don’t really keep up with them on a regular basis, so the Hugo packet catches me up on some of the popular comics of the previous year.

I only read the stories that were included in the Hugo packet, so did not read Zombie Nation #2, which was not included.

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27 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Novel Review: Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (link)

Normally I write up full reviews for each of the Hugo novels I have time to read, but I had already read and reviewed Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword over on SF Signal last year, so just follow the link if you want to read it.

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24 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Review of Hugo Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form 2015

written by David Steffen All of the nominees for this Hugo category this year were also nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award that goes with the Nebulas, which I reviewed over here.  At the time, Interstellar wasn’t available to rent yet, so I didn’t review that.  So, these are all repeats of that previous set […]

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02 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Award Eligibility Post 2014

And now the gratuitous award eligibility post–feel free to skip over it if you’re not interested, but figured there might be someone out there who might want to see it. This post covers works by Diabolical Plots and by me personally.

From time to time people ask me if they can nominate the Submission Grinder. In the past, I thought the answer was “no” because most of the awards seemed to be very publisher focused–so the best way I thought to try to recognize the Submission Grinder would be to nominate Diabolical Plots. But there ARE a couple categories the Submission Grinder qualifies for in some awards, so I’ve listed those two first.

And just to be clear, no I don’t really think we have a shot at anything, but I see no reason why I can’t mention what we’re eligible for.

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27 October 2014 ~ 1 Comment

Interview: Betsy Wollheim

625529_576885235658092_918951020_nBetsy Wollheim has an advantage unique in speculative fiction book publishing. She is owner, editor, and publisher of DAW and it is a private company. She recently won her first Hugo for Best Editor. She tells Diabolical Plots what she wants and doesn’t want from authors.

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22 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Almost-Hugo Review: Dog’s Body by Sarah A. Hoyt

“Almost-Hugo Review”? What’s that? If you’re not familiar with the minutiae of the Hugo rules, there’s an odd rule that makes no sense to me. When tallying up the nominations, ordinarily the top five counts for a particular category end up on the final ballot. Except if a story has less than 5% of the total vote. What’s the purpose of that? I don’t know. The percentages for individual stories are going to tend to be lower if there are more voters and if there are more stories that people felt moved by. More voters is good–this year there were almost twice the previous record of voters for a variety of reasons. More stories moving people is good. So… why does that mean we get less Hugo nominees? No sense whatsoever.

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