As of yesterday, I, Carl, am a voter for the 2011 Hugo Awards. This means that I will provide critical opinions as to which works of science fiction from 2010 are the best.
Don't panic. (Nominated authors can make their checks out to my name. I also accept PayPal.)
Two men dressed in business suits, sunglasses, and Bluetooths, one of which was probably a cyborg (the man, not the Bluetooth, although that is also very possible), came to my door yesterday and told me that my reading expertise was needed. (They may or may not have dropped the name “SHIELD.”) This request made immediate and perfect sense, as my insight into good writing is incisive and sublime. I naturally agreed, and the men left... but not before they left a tracking device in my house.
Actually, I just paid to be a Supporting Member/voter for Worldcon.
As you probably already know, the Hugo award is named for Victor Hugo, who wrote the first great work of science fiction, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Tales of a deformed monster named Quasimodo and the enormous spaceship he took sanctuary in on the alien planet of France captured the imagination of bajillions of readers.
The important thing here is that I get access to the electronic versions of all the nominations. And this isn't just like four books. They're also the books for Best New Author, Graphic Novel, Art, Other Medium, et cetera. It comes out to probably thirty or so of last year's most highly recognized sci-fi products. So, basically, I don't have to go around asking everybody what the latest and greatest in science fiction is. I just decide what it is, because I'm a freaking Hugo voter, baby!
Obviously, my first plan was to vote for all of the half-written, unpublished sci-fi documents on my computer. (I think this was everyone else's idea, too.) (To vote for my unpublished fiction, I mean.) Unfortunately, they were never nominated, which was a gross oversight. So I'll have to stick to voting for the actual nominees, of which I know absolutely nothing.
Those authors whose works have been nominated probably want to know by what criteria I will be basing my vote. Now, dear reader, you may be wondering, “Why, Mr. Duzett, not to impose upon your blog, but I do believe that their works are already completed! However would knowing your criteria assist them in the slightest at this point in time?”
The answer, of course, involves wormholes. Or black holes. Or possibly both at the same time. These are science fiction writers we're talking about. They have every ability to go back in time and correct their manuscripts so that I'll like them.
But I want to see robots. That's criterion numero uno. I'm pretty sure that it's not sci-fi if there are no robots. Laser beams that come from their eyes would be nice, too. Or a dirigible. (Although a non-shot-from-robot-eyes dirigible would also be acceptable.)
Criterion number dos is more robots. None of this “one robot character thrown in just to satisfy criterion number uno” stuff. You know what they say: two killer robots is better than one. Oh, yeah -- I almost forgot. The robots have to be killer robots.
I'll let you guess what criterion number three is. Here's a hint: it's not less robots.