Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2017 – John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

As mentioned before this is not strictly a Hugo category, it just uses the same voting system with the same electorate and is given out at the same time. It’s also an odd duck, as novels duke it out with short stories and mixtures of both. Still, the Campbell Award often ends up being my favourite slate – in previous years I have preferred the novels represented here to those in the novel category.

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Review – North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud

This collection of stories is best described as horror based magical realism of poor and working class America (except for The Crevasse, which is a straight up riff on the Mountains of Madness). Most of the plots involve people crushed by poverty or living on the edge of it, encountering something supernatural, usually a monster, that throws into relief the fact that their lives were already horrific, and being terrorised, killed, or even just encountering the supernatural doesn’t change that appreciably. Not all the stories are hopeless, but that’s usually the way to bet.

This fits into the most interesting category of book for me, well crafted, interesting, deep, and entirely not to my tastes. This is a good collection of stories, and I did not like it.


Recommended for people who think magical realism would be better if it was more depressing.

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