10 August 2008

2008 Hugo Awards

It appears that the 2008 Hugo awards have been awarded. The winner for Best Novel is Michael Chabon, for his The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, an alternate fiction crime novel. This is one of the first times I've managed to actually read a Hugo winner before it won the award; in fact, this year I read two of the nominees. Usually I end up waiting until the books are available in paperback, which means I completely miss the awards.

The Yiddish Policemen's Union was a pretty good book that I bet I would've enjoyed much more if I had a better understanding of Jewish culture. The premise of the book is astoundingly interesting; the point of divergence for the alternate history occurs shortly after the formation of the state of Israel, where, IIRC, a war causes the state to collapse. Unwilling to abandon the concept of a Jewish state, the US government grants the freshly homeless a sizable chunk of Alaska (prime territory, I guess...). The story follows a detective working in the Union as he investigates an apparent suicide in his apartment building. As he does, he uncovers a plot that is much larger than it first seems...

I'm also pleased to see that Stardust won the Hugo award for 'Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form'. Stardust rates fairly high on my list of all-time favorite movies, as well as my list of all-time favorite novels. If you haven't seen it, do so. If you haven't read the book, pick it up. Both are excellent works, and unlike so many novel-to-movie translations, the movie actually stands very well on its own.

Tor.com has a list of the nominees for the award, including for several other categories, many of which are available online. Enjoy!

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