The Great Hugo Read, 9 Year Draft Schedule

So…yeah. Notice that Great Hugo Read tab up there? That’s new.

Today I decided to sit down with a couple different lists. Lists of the Hugo winners, lists of the lead-up books for certain Hugo winners, lists of the Retro Hugo winners, I sat down with all of them and I came up with an initial schedule, not just for 2013, but for the entirety of the Great Hugo Read. It’s a lot of books and it goes through 2021. Some highlights:

Secondary Books. These are books that I don’t consider as part of the Great Hugo Read. Right now they fall into two categories. Some of them are Retro Hugo winners, paired up with other books by the same author. Some of them are earlier books in series where only a later book won (or infill books for series where books 2, 4, and 9 won, but more on that in a moment). As we go forward, I may also seed in occasional side books, books that explore similar themes or concepts, have a similar story line, or that I otherwise think will pair well with the book from that month. Actually, I lied about doing that as I go forward, I’ve just now decided to add Old Man’s War as a side book to Starship Troopers. I’ll try not to spring these on people, and even if I do, these secondary reads are entirely optional.

Vorkosigan Saga. After hearing from CVSer Melissa, who is a fan of this series, I’ve decided the best course of action with the Vorkosigan Saga is to read the books in series order, even if that breaks the chronology of the read. In fact, I’m shuffling things even more than just these three books in order to put books two and four ahead of the 2018 nominee read through, allowing a gradual parceling out of the rest of the series ahead of January 2019 and book #9.

Blackout/All Clear. Though this doesn’t come up for…awhile, I decided for the purpose of the read to split these back up. Not to take sides in the controversy over whether this should be considered one book or two, but more out of the reality that (a) this is only typically available as two separate volumes and (b) each half is longer than many of the books that are part of the Read.

I’ll be updating the schedule as we go, putting in each year’s nominees, changing up secondary books, pointing to the best places to get either a physical, electronic, or audio copy of each book (as available) as the get closer. But for now, here you go:

Phew, that’s a lot of a thing. I’ve already ordered my copy of the first book, and it should be arriving in the mail any day now. I’m excited to get started, and I hope at least some of you are as well.

  1. avatar

    #1 by Melissa on January 14, 2013 - 10:08 am

    I can’t remember whether I already commented about Blackout/All Clear. I am somewhere beyond halfway through Blackout. I’m not sure I’m ever going to finish it. It’s not….BAD…exactly, but it’s annoying. Many, many of Connie Willis’s stories (short and novel-length) turn on the idea of missed connections and missed communications. That was fine for a few books, but it’s become stale and predictable. You go to the past, you’ll get stuck in the wrong time (and probably the wrong place, too). Technology doesn’t let you communicate easily with your “home” time. Stuff goes horribly wrong.

    Doomsday Book–Kivrin ends up in the plague year instead of one side or the other of it.

    To Say Nothing of the Dog–the best of the time-travel bunch, funny and lighter, but still, nobody knows what the artifact they’re seeking really is.

    Passage–not time travel, but too rife with missing people you need to talk to and avoiding ones you don’t like. And random tragedy.

    Blackout–everyone’s sent to the wrong time and/or place. Everyone’s cut off from “home” time by bad circumstances. War is chaotic (duh!).

    One of my biggest gripes? Nobody in the future has cell phones or any analogous technology! No kidding, they’re all using landlines. Now, I understand that there weren’t cell phones when Doomsday Book was written, and there is some unexplained sort of post-apocalypse-ness to the future setting (maybe, or maybe I’m just reading too much into it), but still, by now Willis should have provided an explanation for the lack of portable comms, but she hasn’t. People still run all over the Oxford campuses looking for each other, and they miss each other’s calls all the time. That aspect drove me CRAZY while reading Blackout.

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