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Hugo nominees

I am nearly done reading "Old Man's War" by John Scalzi and am puzzled as to how it got nominated. Am I missing something? I mean aside from the obvious high regard that everyone still has for Heinlein. Is that why this is on the list?

I realize now that beginning to read this book the same day I finished "Accelerando" was certainly a mistake but it's giving me a serious case of the blahs. I don't hate it, it's not terrible or anything, I just can't find anything in it that impresses me particularly or that I haven't seen elsewhere. In fact I wondered for a bit whether Scalzi might be a non-SF author coming to the genre with a bag full of tropes he didn't know we'd seen before. To be fair it is a first novel.

It's not the subgenre, I've read and enjoyed Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War series and other military SF. I loved the Haldeman's Forever War and Forever Peace. And it's not like I dislike Heinlein, for that matter.

I feel kinda bad at how underwhelmed I am. Then again, I truly hated a few of the short fiction nominees, so... "de gustibum"

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
poeseewi
Jul. 22nd, 2006 09:57 pm (UTC)
well...
I give you credit for attempting to finish the book, although I do try to finish books I start even when I am bored to tears. It is sad when reading a book becomes a chore and not enjoyable, we can only hope that the votes follow our desires...
cmdrsuzdal
Jul. 23rd, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC)
Re: well...
Well, some books fall apart in the third act while others have unexpected payoffs. Mostly if I really can't get into a book I'll put it aside and come back to it later. But with just a week left to vote I'm trying to be thorough :)
poeseewi
Jul. 24th, 2006 03:13 am (UTC)
Re: well...
It has been so long, that I have forgotton all those dates that used to be burned into my being!
zzedar
Jul. 23rd, 2006 06:37 am (UTC)
Old Man's War isn't Scalzi's first novel; he wrote Agent to the Stars several years ago.
cmdrsuzdal
Jul. 23rd, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC)
Correct, "Old Man's War" is Scalzi's first *published* novel. "Agent to the Stars" was available online earlier but was not actually published until last year.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 31st, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)
De Gustibus indeed
As I wrote at my blog (http://www.di2.nu/07/31a.htm ) I found myself disagreeing with just about everything you wrote
cmdrsuzdal
Jul. 31st, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
Pace!
This is why there's a voting process

I noticed the Heinlein flavour a little but didn't think much about it until I read the acknowledgement at the end of the book. I know many Heinlein fans love OMW and Scalzi addresses the subject at length on his website:

"The Starship Troopers correlation, on the other hand, is emphatically not a coincidence, since Old Man's War is modeled after that novel in several ways"

http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/002329.html

The point I was making about Accelerando is not so much that the Stross novel is superior but that going from one style to the other so fast probably did Old Man's War no favours. To my eyes the idea-per-page count in Accelerando was dizzying, the characters and style complex. Old Man's War was so different in pace, characterization and style that a palate cleanser might have been a good idea. I don't think it would have changed my vote, though.

Mind you, I'm not surprised that you've had a hard time reading Accelerando. It was touch-and-go for the first few pages for me as well. I was certain it was going to be one of those books whose style I would have difficulty adjusting to. Sometimes it never happens (Hardwired), sometimes it takes several attempts (Cosmonaut Keep) and in this case it just hacked my brain to suit it's needs and off we went :)

As for the Latin, ack! All I can say is... you guessed it: "mea culpa"
cmdrsuzdal
Jul. 31st, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Pace!
Ok, LJ ate the smiley face at the end of the first sentence, which makes the tone seem a little harsher than I intended. So here it is again: :)

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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