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Allow me to address the elephant in the room, speaking as an old  white guy; am I alone in being elated in saying that it appears that the days of boring old white guys dominating the awards are finally dead and fucking buried as they should have been over two decades ago. Odds are good that every major award will go to a woman of color (well, the obnoxiously  omnipresent  Brandon Sanderson is up for best series, but I hope he doesn't get it.)

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23 hours ago, OSJ said:

Allow me to address the elephant in the room, speaking as an old  white guy; am I alone in being elated in saying that it appears that the days of boring old white guys dominating the awards are finally dead and fucking buried as they should have been over two decades ago. Odds are good that every major award will go to a woman of color (well, the obnoxiously  omnipresent  Brandon Sanderson is up for best series, but I hope he doesn't get it.)

You are definitely not alone. I have some personal favs, and a fuckton of stuff to track down and read now.

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I'm old enough to appreciate that not everything is for me and not everything has to be for me but I really can't get into Jemisin's stuff. I do get a sense of the craft, at least, as opposed to Ken Liu's stuff which I tried and just didn't think was up to snuff, or let's say Squirrel Girl which I think is actively quite bad relative to other similar titles out of Marvel over the last five years (Hellcat, the X-23 stuff, Mockingbird, Moon Girl, and yes Gwenpool, to name five). I do want to give Six Wakes a shot.

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God, I feel so old.  I used to be fairly well plugged in during the 80's and 90's - read a lot of sf & urban fantasy, had a subscription to Locus as well as a couple of the more popular monthly fiction anthologies, followed the Hugo and World Fantasy award voting and made sure to read the major nominated books, followed the small press scene, etc.

Now... I recognized two names from the major categories (Best Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, and Series) - Kim Stanley Robinson and Lois McMaster Bujold.  None of the other names look familiar.

I still read a lot, but it's been almost strictly non-fiction for the past two decades - mostly sports books.

Edit: Does anyone know if Mark V. Ziesing (might be misspelling the last name) is still around?  Used to deal with him quite a bit for import and small press editions, but it's probably been 20 years since I thought about him.

 

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Yes, Mark & Cindy Ziesing are still around, still thoughtfully carrying stuff that you didn't know that you needed until you saw their catalog.

https://www.ziesings.com/  (And yes, they carry copies of Darkness, My Old Friend; which I will cheerfully sign or inscribe as long as y'all cover the postage both ways.)

Please, buy stuff from these good folks instead of the evil empires of Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. Here's a neat thing about the Ziesings, yes, they carry all the specialty press and import titles in the sf/fantasy/horror genres that you could ever want, but they also carry a whole lot of just plain good reads and odd books. Mark and I go back well over thirty years and I always made it a point to get his print catalog for a couple of reasons... #1 it was always entertaining to read him ripping on Piers Anthony and #2 I would always check out something by an author that I was previously unfamiliar with that he was pushing. Didn't always agree with his picks, but was never bored by them. I recall one of the very first catalogs (way back when it was still "Ziesing Bros. Books",  his recommendation was for a Modern Library edition of a book entitled Blood Meridian by some chap name of McCarthy that I'd never heard of previously... YOW!!!!!) Haven't had another hit quite that good, but still managed to get some cool stuff; think it was Mark that turned me on to both James Lee Burke and Andrew Vachss... 

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On 4/1/2018 at 8:00 AM, OSJ said:

(well, the obnoxiously  omnipresent  Brandon Sanderson is up for best series, but I hope he doesn't get it.)

I was only surprised to see this*, because it seems shockingly premature. I wouldn't suggest the award should only ever go to completed series--though... maybe I kinda would--but the just-released book is the third of a planned ten. If nothing else, awarding it "best series" already diminishes awards drama for quite a few seasons to come.

*But then, I shouldn't have been. Like you said, he's a rather big deal. But if "best series" is to be, unofficially, the epic fantasy Hugo--insofar as "best novel" trends historically sci-fi; and yes, this is a rather arbitrary distinction--I'd rather it be a little more interesting. The Gemmell award already rotates between Sanderson, Mark Lawrence, and the like, covering the (and I use this term mostly affectionately) dudebro fantasy demographic quite well.

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If i'm not mistaken the first three books in that series are part of a cycle. It's 2018 and I'm not crazy enough to read a series that hasn't already been completed, though, so I don't know 100%.

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Not quite. The plan--at least that he's stated thus far--is for the ten books to be split in half, and for both sets of five to function somewhat independently. But everything he's written is also part of a shared universe, and each book in the ten is, in his words, intended to be something like a trilogy between two covers... so it's a bit messy. (I have read the first three of this nominated series, though none of his other books. His focus is a bit too mechanical for me, often focused on an almost gamified magic system and worldbuilding at the expense of timely plot movement and character development, and his prose is really ordinary; but I got the first at a bookstore closure for 99-cents, and I'm a sucker for big fat fantasy. I also find some value, for better and worse, in keeping up with the Jones' reading habits within my preferred genres; and of course there is enough I do like to reward the investment. So I'm probably along for whatever the length of the ride. But best series, it ain't. Not yet, and probably not ever.)

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