Thursday, July 03, 2014

Hugo recommendations: Best Editor


Liz Gorinsky, Tor Books: Jason Sanford says it's hard to imagine Tor without Gorinsky. If she's in any way responsible for the abominable Pink sewage they've been putting out for the last 20 years, she goes right to the bottom of the list. It's remarkable that for all the Pink SF/F authors they've been relentlessly pushing over this time, their bestselling authors are still Orson Scott Card, Orson Scott Card and someone else, Robert Jordan, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, and Brandon Sanderson.

Lee Harris, Angry Robot:  I looked over their entire list of 2013 publications. Nice covers. Haven't read a single book. Haven't HEARD of a single book. I have heard of Wesley Chu; The Lives of Tao appears to be one of their best-regarded books. Tons of editorial reviews. 145 Amazon reviews averaging 4.2 rating. And #166,807 on Kindle. Translation: Hivemind hype.

Ginjer Buchanan, Ace: Retired after 30 years at Ace and Roc Books. Translation: a longtime gatekeeper and a nomination in lieu of a gold watch.

Sheila Gilbert, DAW Books: Sanford calls her "one of those people who helped shape the direction of our genre". Translation: a longtime gatekeeper and likely responsible in part for the decline of the genre.

Toni Weiskopf: Baen Books: Published Larry Correia. Published our own Tom Kratman. Signed Brad Torgersen. The one mainstream editor willing to go against the grain and stand against the rising tide of Pink effluvience. She's got my vote.

My vote for Best Editor, Long Form, and my suggestion to others, is Toni Weiskopf of Baen Books. My vote will go as follows:
  1. Toni Weiskopf
  2. Sheila Gilbert
  3. Ginjer Buchanan
  4. No Award
 I recommend leaving the other two editors off the ballot.


I don't know anything about the various editors nominated. I will vote No Award and leave the category otherwise blank.


Best Novel



Anonymous Alexander July 03, 2014 1:10 PM  

What's the logic for putting two gatekeepers looking to collect their participation trophy above 'No Award"?

Anonymous Doug Wardell July 03, 2014 1:13 PM  

I had personally been planning to vote Toni > No award, but that's because I am not familiar at all with any of the others' work and I just assume that they are probably part of the problem in the genre if they made the hugo ballot and were not on Sad Puppies. I'm glad you posted your thoughts and I hope a few others do as well because I would rather give them a fair shake here if it's deserved. Are any of the ilk familiar with any of these other editors?

Anonymous VD July 03, 2014 1:16 PM  

What's the logic for putting two gatekeepers looking to collect their participation trophy above 'No Award"?

Why not? They participated, after all. And neither of them are Tor editors. If anyone has more information on what books they are responsible for publishing, I would certainly take that into account.

Anonymous Anonymous July 03, 2014 1:23 PM  

I Googled up some of their background. I found Penguin now owns all the imprints Vox listed Buchanan and Gilbert as working for.

DAW's best-known authors seem to be Tad Williams, C. J. Cherryh, Mercedes Lackey, Melanie Rawn, C.S. Friedman, Jennifer Roberson, and Tanith Lee. Anybody on that list you like?

Anonymous VD July 03, 2014 1:31 PM  

Tanith Lee. Melanie Rawn isn't bad if you're down with fantasy soap opera. With dragons. Although her books were the first to feature a "sacrificial" rape that was not only gratuitous, but voluntary, that I'd ever encountered. Proto-Pink fantasy.

Anonymous Daniel July 03, 2014 2:03 PM  

I believe Angry Robot published the Indianapolis ghetto retelling of King Arthur called...The Knights of Breton Court (IIRC). The characters are good, and it is cleverly written, but boy the story was fairly dull. Part of it is that the stakes are so incredibly low in the ghetto, that King Arthur as gang lord ascendant really doesn't have meat on the bone.

Anonymous jack July 03, 2014 2:04 PM  

Pure speculation here. When Castalia gets big enough somebody maybe should be talking to Toni...she seems well respected in these parts; and, that's good enough for me.

Blogger Feather Blade July 03, 2014 2:06 PM  

Tad Williams wrote "Tailchaser's Song".

Kind of like Watership Down but with cats. Or possibly more like Lord of the Rings but with cats.

Whatever: It's a grand quest against an ancient evil and the characters are cats. I liked it enough to buy the 25th anniversary paperback.

Anonymous Longo July 03, 2014 2:25 PM  

###Tons of editorial reviews. 145 Amazon reviews averaging 4.2 rating. And #166,807 on Kindle. Translation: Hivemind hype.###

How do direct sales vs. amazon compare for Castalia House? Angry Robot has a better storefront on their site, so perhaps there are things you are not considering?

Anonymous Longo July 03, 2014 2:35 PM  

Wait, A Throne of Bones, 146 Amazon reviews averaging 4.2 rating. And #120114 kindle. Does that also translate to Hivemind hype

Anonymous VD July 03, 2014 2:42 PM  

Does that also translate to Hivemind hype

No. How many editorial reviews of ATOB are there? And yet, it's still actually selling a little better on Amazon than a heavily hyped book that came out few months later.

Anonymous Longo July 03, 2014 2:43 PM  

Sorry, last comment, but I've got The Lives of Tao at #48014 for the kindle edition. What are you looking at?

Blogger Quadko July 03, 2014 2:47 PM  

I still enjoy re-reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and of course Tailchaser's Song, but haven't made it through his other work in spite of trying hard. I also like C.S. Friedman, especially the Coldfire series, and the rest have been enjoyable as well - The Magister trilogy most recently.

It's been ages since I hear of or read Rawn, Cherryh, or Lackey. I guess they didn't stick with me beyond their name, but I didn't hate whatever it was I read, just didn't like it enough to follow up. Haven't heard of the others.

Anonymous watcher July 03, 2014 2:50 PM  

I knew Wesley Chu on the AW Boards. Typical pink sjw with a chip on his shoulder. Think of him as an asian Scalzi blowhard who thinks he's more twee and clever than he really is. Most of his reviews are from fellow Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot authors pushing his book. Strange Chemistry was another imprint that pushed pink YA novels, especially Laura Lam's sub par Pantomime because it had an intersex character as the main. The big news recently was them going out of business. Guess their editor, Amanda Rutter, should have spent less time on twitter bitching about homophobia and sizism and more work on the imprint.

Anonymous Wendy July 03, 2014 2:54 PM  

Seems like men are under represented as editors. The equality police should get on that.

Anonymous Bz July 03, 2014 2:55 PM  

C J Cherryh is one of the greats. Try Downbelow Station for instance, or Merchanter's Luck, or 40,000 in Gehenna, or Cyteen, or the Chanur series, or the multi-trilogy Foreigner series or ... Well, there's a lot. Even her lesser work is considerably above today's pink sludge. I think The Paladin (fantasy-ish) was published by Baen; I enjoyed it and so did several of my friends.

The drawback is, you get a keen reminder of what SF used to be like.

Anonymous VD July 03, 2014 2:55 PM  

The big news recently was them going out of business.

They're not going out of business, just shutting down two of their imprints.

Anonymous watcher July 03, 2014 2:56 PM  

Also lives of Tao is boring pretentious nerd wish fulfillment fantasy with some dork being given super duper powers and being trained by a femme fatale version of nerd wet dream Felicia Day. The much vaunted "humor" is the wacky zany monkey cheese brains sort, and the action scenes are tired and weak. In no way does this novel justify the hype.

Anonymous watcher July 03, 2014 2:58 PM  

I know. Lives of Tao was originally an SC book (Chu got in on the 2011 SC open call) and that was what I was referring to. Sorry for the confusion.

Anonymous Bz July 03, 2014 3:04 PM  

Tanith Lee is one of the more stylish fantasists of the 70s and on; I quite liked some of her work, like the Arabian Nights-like Tales from the Flat Earth, but I haven't read her thoroughly. Some say she writes in the vein of Angela Carter. Perhaps so. I haven't read a lot by AC.

Anonymous Nathan July 03, 2014 3:05 PM  

Gorinsky is a regular, so her place at the bottom of the list is appropriate.

Anonymous Bz July 03, 2014 3:06 PM  

Watcher: I see what you mean. Writing wacky, zany, whimsy humor is so easy, yet so very difficult to get right.

Anonymous maniacprovost July 03, 2014 4:13 PM  

The complaint I have about CJ Cherryh is that the hero of the first Foreigner trilogy is a perpetually terrified woman. Supposedly it's a male diplomat, but he reads like a heroine in a bodice ripper. Other than that I liked it.

Blogger James Dixon July 03, 2014 4:16 PM  

> Tad Williams, C. J. Cherryh, Mercedes Lackey, Melanie Rawn, C.S. Friedman, Jennifer Roberson, and Tanith Lee.

Cherryh is very good. Tanith Lee is more erratic, but also very good. I haven't read Williams, but his books both look and sounded good when I looked at them. I haven't even looked at the others.

Anonymous Bz July 03, 2014 5:37 PM  

Well, in his defense, Bren-ji is a peaceful junior academic/diplomat thrown into hot water among a lot of large, unpredictable and rather violent aliens. I'd say he gets better, both more assertive -- well, in the way of that Atevi culture which Cherryh paints so well -- as well as steadily moving up in the ranks. I don't think he's a coward, but neither is it in him to be much of a fighter regardless of rank. Rather, he becomes an increasingly trusted advisor in a high-stakes game ... at least as far as I've read. (One trilogy behind.)

Anonymous Bz July 03, 2014 5:49 PM  

I haven't actually read any Mercedes Lackey, but from the discussion I always got an impression of flaming pinkness. Outcast homosexuals riding magic unicorns, and so on.

For instance, here's a clip from Amazon ("Arrows of the Queen"):

"Chosen by the Companion Rolan, a mystical horse-like being with powers beyond imagining, Talia, once a runaway, has now become a trainee Herald, destined to become one of the Queens's own elite guard. For Talia has certain awakening talents of the mind that only a Companion like Rolan can truly sense.

"But as Talia struggles to master her unique abilities, time is running out. For conspiracy is brewing in Valdemar, a deadly treason which could destroy Queen and kingdom. Opposed by unknown enemies capable of both diabolical magic and treacherous assassination, the Queen must turn to Talia and the Heralds for aid in protecting the realm and insuring the future of the queen's heir, a child already in danger of becoming bespelled by the Queen's own foes."

So I thought I could safely give her a pass. That said, I hear she's a skilled writer.

Blogger James Dixon July 03, 2014 8:27 PM  

> That said, I hear she's a skilled writer.

At this point, probably. There was a lot of room for improvement when she started out.

Anonymous 1^38 July 03, 2014 8:53 PM  


Still? The kindle edition for The Lives of Tao is #39,141.

Anonymous Pellegri July 03, 2014 10:26 PM  

I haven't actually read any Mercedes Lackey, but from the discussion I always got an impression of flaming pinkness. Outcast homosexuals riding magic unicorns, and so on.

Fair description of her subject matter, yeah. The thing I find strange about her (and enjoyable!) is that she typically writes with really libertarian themes even while she's got outcast homosexuals riding magic unicorns. I suspect she's actually doing it subconsciously, but there's always a lot of "no, evil really IS evil, not misunderstood" in her work, along with the idea people can't be micromanaged and coddled into performing their best.

So it's got social earmarks of pinkness but some of the philosophical grounding of blue. (Also her female protagonists largely avoid pint-sized-pixie-asskicker problems. Exceptions are Kerowyn and Tarma, albeit Tarma had a hefty helping of divine power on her side. Typical Lackey female protagonist tends to be really good at being a mage or a tracker or something and not face-to-face throw-downs with men.)

Blogger Matt July 04, 2014 10:28 AM  

I'm a big fan of Tad Williams, I think he's one of the most gifted fantasy authors alive right now. Otherland is absolutely brilliant. Some people find his work too bloated, but I love every word he writes.

Gilbert , I think, signed Pat Rothfuss. He's easily, the most talented and best selling of the pink writers... also a much more reasonable human being than most of them.

Anonymous Anonymous July 04, 2014 10:51 AM  

I read Williams's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series back when I had just read the Belgariad and a few similar stories, so at the time it seemed like more of the same: lowly kitchen boy is swept up into great events beyond his ken and gradually becomes a reluctant hero. But it was well done, with some unique touches of its own. His Otherland series looks interesting, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

Anonymous Obvious July 07, 2014 1:20 PM  

"I don't know anything about the people up for this award, therefore I will vote that no award should be granted instead of taking the time to do my research.

Bravo Zulu, sir. Bravo Zulu.

Blogger GK Chesterton July 15, 2014 2:35 PM  

So the first story in the Adam's collection is great...but does he deserve an award for that. Wish I knew more about the short form folks.

Blogger J Van Stry July 28, 2014 5:22 PM  

A friend of mine is published by DAW and Sheila is their editor. Overall Sheila has been very very good to them, and helped them a lot. My friend is not very PC, rather far from it really.

The only thing that Sheila ever wanted changed was at the end of the series the bad guys were originally going to be wiped out, all of them, no mercy. Sheila was opposed to that, didn't think it would go over well. So they'll be punished and ham stringed a different way.

I don't know if she still feels that way or not. My friend (and I) disagreed with that, but she may have been right. It's the whole 'good guys have to show remorse when they kill' meme that is so prevalent in so many genre's today. Personally I think that's bunk, but then again, I don't run a major publishing business and she does. So from what I know, I really can't find fault with Sheila and think she does deserve to be on the list.

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