2017 Hugo Noms

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We interrupt this irregularly scheduled podcast with a special, albeit belated, episode. We decided to sit down and discuss the 2017 Hugo Award Nominees for Best Novel. Extra heavy spoiler alert on this episode, as every book we talk about was published in 2016 at the earliest. In addition to touching on every nominated book, we also discuss diversity, writing styles, identity, and the proliferation of series in the SF/Fantasy world. We also talk about scenes that make you feel, writers who have never met a woman before, the future corporate age of exploration, and the cool factor of space wizards wielding laser swords.

The music bump is “Robots” by Flight of the Conchords because, as discussed in this episode of the podcast, all science fiction is about robots.

113 – 2017 Hugo Noms – Diversity of Ideas


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This week’s episode is Redshirts by John Scalzi, a science fiction/comedy novel with more than a touch of meta to it. It’s also a fairly short novel, and you’ll notice that our episode is a few minutes shorter than usual to match, only minus the three codas. In our conversation we touch on science fiction tropes, author commentary, some of the qualities of bad writing, and violating the fourth wall. We also touch on the meta-ness of meta-ful meta-tude, hilarious misspoken phrases, and, of course, ice sharks. The mystery of what exactly an ice shark is may not get solved, but I think you’ll agree that Ben should not be allowed to title books.

The music for this week’s episode is “Redshirt” by Jonathan Coulton, which was commissioned by John Scalzi for the release of the novel.

The header is Troy Zimmerman’s (winning) entry in the fan art contest for Redshirts held on John Scalzi’s blog.

23 – Redshirts – Yo Dawg I Heard You Like Star Trek