- Best SF novel: The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier. Admittedly I have not read it, but it’s a Puppy name I recognize. Hopefully he’s improved his editing and technique since, uh, whatever the first book in the series was called.
- Best Fantasy Novel: There is no way in heck I am voting for MHI-Memoirs by John Ringo. They just ain’t good. Ringo’s first book was sub-Correia quality. It was rotten popcorn. Ditto for the Vox Day book.
Dangerous Ways by R.R.Virdi was my choice, although it’s a narrow thing. I don’t care for Paranormal Fantasy, except for Dresden Files, and almost everything else on the list is a part of/continuation/spinoff of some series.
- Best YA novel: OK this was the first and only hard choice: Swan Knight’s Son or Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland?
Rick Riordan’s novels are hella overrated, featuring obnoxious protagonists and a repellant worldview (you can’t actually kill monsters? They just go into time out if you hit them? What?)–not to mention that the writing is simplistic and low-grade. The best children’s books can be read and enjoyed by adults–Diana Wynne Jones for instance–his can’t.
Swan Knight’s Son is a good book–it has a hero who needs a summer job and therefore goes off to get training as a knight. It has a talking dog who is the bestest talking dog ever, good boy! It has twists and irony, courtly language and Walter Scott-style chivalric flourishes. It has a fight on a Christmas-not-Kwanzaa tree. It’s annoyingly Catholic (at times!) and slightly preachy, and I can’t think of any teenager who would actually read it. Oh, and the mentor who trains the hero as a knight? Is a talking bear.
Rachel Griffin it is. I genuinely like these books, and there is an increasing level of maturity and complexity to the characters and world, and Mrs. Lamplighter is improving with every published book. Book 1 was ok. Book 2 was perfect. Book 3 maintains that same level and deepens the characters.
- Best Military SF or Fantasy Novel: I feel bad about picking something at random, but: Starship Liberator by BV Larson and David VanDyke. Too bad the Dragons weren’t around when I was thirteen and into military SF.
- Best Alternate History novel: Hm, Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library books didn’t make the cut. Too bad; she deserves more exposure, even if her writing isn’t the best yet.
I don’t recognize any of the names beside Eric Flint, and I don’t care for him any more than Ringo.
Witchy Eye by D.J.Butler.
- Best Apocalyptic novel: Good grief with these stupid categories!
Wow, there are a lot of books with colons in the title. That’s never a good sign.
Codename: Unsub by Declan Finn and Yoskowitz it is.
- Best Horror novel: look, I don’t care about this. Live and Let Bite. At least Declan Finn had the brainpower for a good title for that one.
- Best Comic book: But I don’t read–oh, Dresden Files. Finally! Dog Men by Jim Butcher. Remind me to go pirate it some time. I don’t like the comics because they aren’t drawn the way I imagine the characters…and some time I will post a pic of the random boobs&butt pose in the background during a battle that annoyed me…but hey, Jim Butcher is a rockstar.
- Best Graphic Novel…waitaminute, what’s the difference?
Girl Genius–no. I developed a dislike for it somewhere about the time Agatha got stuck in the castle for five bleeding years and Tarvek failed to die. Let me know when to pick it back up if: Gil grows a spine, Agatha stops being a bitch, Tarvek dies a horrible and fatal death, and the plot starts to move forward.
Oh, look, another Dresden Files. Man, JB’s been busy on everything except Peace Talks.
- Best SF or Fantasy TV series: I kind of feel like there’s enough choice to split this into two separate categories, y’know. Unfortunately, none of the choices appeal to me, even slightly.
- Best SF/Fantasy movie: Wonder Woman. Hands down. Second choice: Dr. Strange, which was a standard Marvel comic book movie just about redeemed by the clever and unexpected nature of its final twenty minutes. Also I like Dr. Strange, though the movie!Strange isn’t a patch on his comic book original. Also I like Benedict Cumberbatch, although he’s getting to be rather too mainstream these days.
- -15: Games. I don’t play them, so that part will have to stay blank.
Results to be announced September 3rd.
Here’s to hoping the Wright-Lamplighter household wins a matched set of Dragons. Other than this, may the best author win.