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Tuesday News: Hugo Nominees, Tencent’s global ambition, summer reads, and hilarious...

Announcing the 2014 Hugo Award Nominees – So the Hugo Award nominees have been announced. First of all, a HUGE congratulations to The Book Smugglers, which has been nominated for Best Fanzine. So well deserved! It’s also interesting to see the way the Hugo’s fiction categories are conceptualized, especially in comparison to an award like the RITA. I’m particularly intrigued by the “related work” category, which contains a piece by Kameron Hurley, called “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle, and Slaves Narrative,” which got a lot of (deserved) attention last year for the way it takes on the habitual marginalization of women in the writing of fiction and history.

BEST NOVEL (1595 ballots)

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit UK)
Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia (Baen Books)
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books) –i09

China’s Tencent looking to expand globally to take on Facebook, Amazon and more – Although this article is refers to a longer piece in Fast Company, it’s a nice summary of a) what everyone seems to be looking for, namely a challenger to Amazon’s ever-growing empire, and b) the possibility that Tencent, a Chinese conglomerate that is currently worth $139 billion and serves almost a billion users, may be eyeing a number of US markets, from commerce to media to communications.

Similar to Alibaba, which is expected to IPO in the U.S. this week, Tencent is another tech conglomerate out of China that is hard to understand because it does so much. Just as Alibaba is considered Amazon, eBay and PayPal in one, Tencent offers an overwhelming mix of services, making it a serious threat to many U.S.-based companies. –Geek Wire

Best Summer Books 2014 – Not a Romance in sight, but PW’s recommended reads for the summer months is still an interesting mix. I’m intrigued by John Waters’s memoir based on his cross-country US hitchhiking experiment a couple of years ago, which resulted in some pretty hilarious sightings. –Publishers Weekly

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart Play the Newlywed Game – Possibly the best version of the Newlywed Game ever, and definitely the best bromance ever. –E! Online

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. elle
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 04:23:28

    PW lists best summer books for each genre though, including romance. They list Dakota Cassidy, Kate Noble, and Nalini Singh among them.

  2. Jia
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 05:10:30

    The troll-y nature of some nominees aside, the Best Fan Writer and the Campbell Award (yes, yes, I know it’s not a Hugo) categories look really, really great.

  3. Talia
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 08:10:42

    The past few years getting a supporting Worldcon membership (voting rights for the Hugo without actually having to be at the con, basically) came with a voter’s packet of nominated works, and Tor’s already said this year’s will include the ENTIRE Wheel of Time series. Assuming all the other Best Novels are in there too, that’s $40 for 14 full size novels? In addition to the novellas and whatever else finds up in there? That’s pretty tempting this year.

  4. carmen webster buxton
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 08:41:50

    I just got my supporting membership for Worldcon! The Hugo voter packet is one reason I always buy a supporting membership, even when I’m not going to the con. The other is I like to be able to vote. There aren’t many literary awards (OK, I know some Hugos go to artists and to movies and TV shows, but mainly it’s about books and shorter works of fiction) where I can actually vote. If anyone buys a membership just for the packet, be aware that you will need to sideload the ebooks onto your device. They generally provide at least Mobi (Kindle) and epub formats, non-DRM’d. Last year I had a problem with the Kindle format for a novel refusing to go to my Kindle, but I just used Calibre to convert the ebub to Mobi and that went fine.

    Membership info is here if you’re interested:

    It’s GBP-£25 for a supporting membership, so that makes the packet a good deal IF you were going to buy all those books anyway. I also like having the short fiction available. Sometimes you can find it free online, but it’s nice not to have to hint for it.

  5. Jia
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 08:52:13

    @Talia: I will definitely say that if Wheel of Time is on anyone’s list of books to read, that buying a supporting membership this year is worth it. At $40, that’s a steal. Wheel of Time is 14 books long!

  6. Jane
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 10:08:25

    The Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart was so amazing. I want them to have a reality tv show.

  7. Lostshadows
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 10:30:28

    @carmen webster buxton- I couldn’t find anything about getting a supporting membership at that link.

  8. Jia
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 10:40:08

    @Lostshadows: Look on the left sidebar. The current rate is there along with the link to the registration form.

  9. carmen webster buxton
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 11:13:44


    You fill out the same form as for a regular membership but select “Supporting” form a pull-down menu for type of membership. It’s not especially clear. :)

  10. ms bookjunkie
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 11:47:24

    I’m mighty tempted by the supporting membership—and if I get it, I will surely vote! A question for those with experience of the packet: These are the actual books, not some sketchily bundled ARCs/galleys? In a packet, not a bundle? (Though now that I know of the existence of the separator app…)

  11. carmen webster buxton
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 12:05:18

    @ms bookjunkie:

    They are the generally the full novel, short story, novella or novelette. A few publishers only provide a limited format, such as PDF, but most provide the book in both epub and Mobi/Kindle, at a minimum. The download instructions remind the reader that the files are provided as a courtesy to Hugo voters, and should not be shared. I had not heard the Wheel of Time series would be included until I read it above. That’s a first, so far as I know. They have only been doing a Hugo packet for all members for about 5 or 6 years, since ebooks first got popular. I have never seen any stats on whether or not they have increased supporting memberships or not, but they can’t have hurt.

  12. carmen webster buxton
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 12:06:18

    @ms bookjunkie:

    Forgot to add, they come in a zipped file, with directories for each category.

  13. Little Red
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 16:09:25

    If you want to see some more Patrick Stewart/Ian McKellen goodness, go find the clip of them on Seth Meyers’ new late night talk show. More goodness. And yes, definitely the bestest bromance ever!

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