sholio: (Books)
Sholio ([personal profile] sholio) wrote2017-08-11 01:40 pm

Vorkosigans for the win! (Literally.)

There aren't very many years when I have really strong opinions on Hugo award winners, but this was one of those years when there was one category where I did have very strong opinions, and I'm completely delighted that the Vorkosigan books won for best series. (Full list of winners and nominees here.)

This isn't specifically because of my personal feelings about it (all the nominated series are ones that I either personally really enjoy or have heard good things about). It's because, of all the series on the list, it's the only one that I consider really, truly groundbreaking at the time it came out. Yes, the series has dated badly in some ways, but it's still kind of amazing to me that these books (the first half-dozen or so, anyway) were written in the 1980s. They stand out much less today, with so much more diversity of books available -- not just in the kinds of people in the books, but the kind of books that are around in the genre. But even by modern standards, these books are kind of weird (one part mil-SF, one part generation saga, one part comedy of manners). And at the time they were written, they were really, truly visionary. There just wasn't anything else like them. I think they were the first SF books I ever read where gay and agender and disabled characters were just there, as an ordinary human component of the future -- and yes, I know that is one aspect of the books that hasn't aged very well, but it was the 1980s! One thing that sticks in my head is LMB's account of what made her write Ethan of Athos: as a mom herself, she had a conversation with some male friends about whether men would be able to raise children by themselves (without a woman in the picture). She thought it was possible. Not a single one of her male friends agreed. I mean, literally didn't think it was a thing that could happen. So she went and wrote Ethan of Athos about an all-male planet to prove them wrong.

That's how much the world has changed in the last 30 years, and that's the milieu that the early books in the series were written in, and yet, books like Shards of Honor and the early Miles books are still completely readable today; they've dated a bit, but to me, anyway, they don't feel nearly as dated as the vast majority of 1970s/80s sci-fi does now.

So yeah, that's why I had strong feelings on that category, and that's why I'm really thrilled it went the way I was hoping it would go. The other series are excellent books. All of them have their own individual strengths; many of them do well what the Vorkosigan books don't. But I wanted LMB to win because, though they have their flaws, I think her books are really, truly visionary, groundbreaking, and influential in a way the others aren't, and that's what I think the Hugo awards (ideally) should recognize.
philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)

[personal profile] philomytha 2017-08-11 10:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Hurray! I'm so glad she won, and yes, I completely agree about just how groundbreaking the series was. The genre mash-up is particularly great - some of the books are capers, others detective stories, others political drama, others romance, others war stories - and yet they're all part of one series. I'm glad that it's getting recognition as a series.
melagan: (Default)

[personal profile] melagan 2017-08-11 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I love that series SO HARD and I'm thrilled it won for best series. Very deservedly so.
madripoor_rose: milkweed beetle on a leaf (Default)

[personal profile] madripoor_rose 2017-08-11 11:10 pm (UTC)(link)
So glad Bujold won!

Yeah, there are still so many days where "Forward momentum!" and "If Miles could do it, I can do it!" gets me through the rough spots.
muccamukk: Colleen looking at something she likes, hands on her cheeks. a little heart in the air. (Marvel: Heart)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-08-12 01:12 am (UTC)(link)
I was really pleased with that one as well, partly because they just work so well AS a series. You couldn't start on say Memory, but by the time you get to it it's a PUNCH IN THE FACE. But it's also a good book in its own right. Even if I personally like the Chalion books better, I think the award for Vorkosigan is well earned.
vicki_rae: (Default)

[personal profile] vicki_rae 2017-08-12 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
So happy the series won! You summed up my feelings perfectly and for the same reasons.

On a more personal level, I started with Memory and it (and the whole series) are still among my favorite books. Huge influence for me post-cancer on reshaping my life when you can't do what you thought you were going to be able to do.
Edited 2017-08-12 01:22 (UTC)
mecurtin: Daniel agrees reading is fundamental (reading)

[personal profile] mecurtin 2017-08-12 01:26 am (UTC)(link)
YES, exactly. When I voted for it, I wrote:
It's the one that has been growing with me for decades, parts of which I've re-read many times, so it's hard to separate my love of the series from my life. Just as important for my decision is that it has periods of lightness, humor, and grace: fantasy of manners. Complexity and darkness are all very well, but comedy is REALLY hard. And in these difficult, Interesting Times, it's more necessary than ever to have something that can give a feeling of light-hearted joy – while reminding us to honor "Persons before principles."

When I put together my ballot, I ended up voting for almost all women in first place -- through no intention of my own, it just kind of happened that way. So I'm not all that surprised that Hugo voters as a whole also ended up voting for all women.
winter_elf: Sherlock Holmes (BBC) with orange soft focus (Default)

[personal profile] winter_elf 2017-08-12 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
Very glad Bujold won - and a bit surprised at some of those on the 'series' ballot - some VERY new series there. I would have thought more older ones would have gotten recognized/nominated.

However, a bit disappointed in the Best novel winner. It's a sequel - and the 1st book won last year. I would have voted for Becky Chambers - as I found Closed and Common Orbit very well written and a wonderful world building
muccamukk: Creedy and Quinn reenacting a lightsaber battle. Text: "Bedtime Stories" (Reign of Fire: Stories)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-08-12 06:15 am (UTC)(link)
Rules stated that they had to have a new entry in the past year, so that cut a lot of older stuff out.
veleda_k: Stacks and stacks of books (Books)

[personal profile] veleda_k 2017-08-12 03:47 am (UTC)(link)
I've actually just started the Vorkosigan series (only read Shards of Honor and Barrayar so far), and I can say they hold up really well to a new reader in 2017. Also, I love Cordelia.

But even before I actually started reading the series, I was very firm that Bujold should win. No one on that list has affected science fiction like her.
sheron: (Default)

[personal profile] sheron 2017-08-12 03:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Is this the kind of thing you think I might like? I haven't actually read this series, it just keeps popping up in various conversations and I'm starting to think I should let it bubble up to the top of my reading list.

ETA: Basically I'm asking if you think there are some hard NOPEs for me there or not.
Edited 2017-08-12 15:56 (UTC)
sheron: (Default)

[personal profile] sheron 2017-08-12 06:10 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm actually okay with written torture. A lot more so than visual. I mean, IDK how it works, but I can read endless fanfics of pretty gruesome stuff and if I nope out it's only for a few paragraphs of the worst parts. Similarly with TV, it's not like I didn't watch the torture scenes at all, I just fast forwarded through them (apparently fast enough to miss the good bits XD ). Anyway, *that* part isn't going to be a NOPE thing. I guess the stuff we talked about where nobody seems to actually like each other or care about each other depresses me the most, and if that's absent I'm pretty flexible about the rest. (Except random MCD for an ending. XD )
sheron: (Default)

[personal profile] sheron 2017-08-12 07:05 pm (UTC)(link)

the characters tend to suffer from more of a "caring too much" problem. XD

my faaaavourite :D :D
rachelmanija: (Default)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-08-12 05:59 am (UTC)(link)
I think it was far and away the best series. I don't like the last few books but if you stop at A Civil Campaign it's wonderful.
shehasathree: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)

[personal profile] shehasathree 2017-08-12 10:39 am (UTC)(link)