Through Bookslut, I stumbled onto this plea for better Hugo shortlists.

It was interesting and inspiring, but I think it may miss the point of why many people read science fiction. Genre readers are often very similar. Mystery readers are an excellent example, some of them churning through the books in the field at a pace that astonishes and may scare people a little. Looking around the advice on the tubes, you find that mystery novelists especially, and genre writers in general, general are editing one book, working on writing the next, and promoting the one that just got published. The industry has to keep pace with the most voracious readers with low sales and high volume, which doesn’t serve the authors very well, and doesn’t let the books achieve anything beyond a workmanlike mediocrity most of the time. Those sorts of readers are looking for escapism more than erudition, and if there are a large number of voters who are that kind of voracious reader, for better or worse, it will show up as mediocrity in the listed books.

Also of note from that post was that the new Le Guin was good if flawed. This is heartening news. I had given up on her after I felt she phoned in several novels upon closing up the Earthsea cycle.

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