Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

October Books 12) Writers of the Future vol XIX

12) L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future volume XIX, ed. Algis Budrys

I bought this way back when Jay Lake's story "Into the Gardens of Sweet Night" got its well-deserved Hugo nomination a couple of years ago, but have only now got around to reading the rest of the fourteen pieces of short fiction in the book, all of which are given a single illustration by an up-and-coming artist. Lake's is the jewel of the collection, and several others show promise though there was none that quite grabbed me in the same way. There is a rather odd inclusion of a short piece on writing by Hubbard himself, and an even shorter piece on illustrating sf by Will Eisner, as well as a retrospective by Sean Williams on what it meant to be included in an earlier volume.

I was really struck at the time that "Into the Gardens of Sweet Night" came only fourth in the Hugo votes, despite getting the most first preferences (and nominations) by far. In the transfers for determining the winner, Swanwick's "Legions in Time" picked up 217 votes, and Lake's story only 50; in the run for second place, "The Empire of Ice Cream" literally doubled its tally from 163 to 326, and Lake's story gained only 65; "Nightfall" got third place by nearly doubling its first prefs from 167 to 330, while "Into the Gardens of Sweet Night" gained only 38 preferences. It's a really nice story, and there is no reason on its own merits for it to be so transfer-repellent. I wonder if voters had deliberately avoided reading it simply because of its provenance being so closely linked to Hubbard?
Tags: bookblog 2007, sf: hugos
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