Lots of people have views on the process of constructing the ballot and the views are so diverse that I couldn’t do justice with a bunch of links here. If you’re interested in that crowd reaction, John O’Neill covered the tip of the iceberg in his post last week.
I suppose my only two cents is to point out that nobody likes 100% of any ballot and that, because they are based on a nomination process of voters who have different tastes and criteria, this is hardly surprising. On the content, I think there’s plenty on this ballot to make a strong showing at the Hugo Awards Ceremony over Labor Day Weekend.
The novels ballot looks interesting. I’ve been told wonderful things about Leckie’s debut novel Ancillary Justice and now I want to read it even more. I love Charles Stross (an honor I share with Nobel in Economics Laureate Klugman), but I have to admit that Neptune’s Brood is neither exciting nor captivating literature so far (although I’m only a third of the way through).
I was discussing Stross with a friend yesterday. He’s got a dizzyingly varied corpus (the Laundry Files novels, “Rogue Farm,” Saturn’s Children and “Lobsters” stake out just a few examples of some of his creative way stations), but my friend and I noted that we sometimes have a harder time with his character work and plotting, much as we might with Perdido Street Station by Mieville. I’ll finish Neptune’s Brood and see what I think.
There are some intriguing entries on the novella ballot, including some Stross, but also Cat Valente and a Brad Torgerson story from Analog. Analog doesn’t seem to get a lot of Hugo attention, and at first, I thought this might be the sign of editorial changes at the magazine.