by James S. A. Corey (aka Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck)
This is the first of the Hugo nominees I’ve read from the packet (already read Deadline by Grant).
I’d certainly not pick this out for myself; it seemed to me to be space opera/military sci fi, and I’m just not interested in that (unless Cheryh writes it, it seems). Its one of those books that you’re reading the first third, thinking, “this is OK, I guess, nothing special”, and then its 11:30pm. Again. The book definitely improves as it goes on; there was a space battle I was genuinely rooting for the crew in, and some excellent transhuman tech (I almost felt that the authors had recently read Eclipse Phase and wanted to write in that world; it would have fitted in superbly). Plus, vomit zombies, so that’s a theme this Hugo so far..
It wasn’t until I read the addendum at the end that I realised Corey was an amalgam (appropriate for the book, too); I’ve encountered Abrahams work on Podcastle and have his latest on my wishlist, so that was a nice surprise.
Its a definite challenger for Grant; doesn’t have her flair, but has her verisimilitude. I’m looking forward to the other candidates now! I have until the end of July to read as much of the packet as I can; I’m cautiously optimistic.
Note on the Hugo Voters Packet; as James_ mentioned to me, most of the Hugo Voters Packet this year comes in PDF; this works fine for me, since the iPad displays this fine in Goodreader, but sucks to convert into, say, mobi (Kindle) or ePub (most everything else), as things like page numbers break up the flow of text, assuming that the PDF converts at all using Calibre; at least two of the novels caused Calibre to go into a death spiral trying.
Hopefully the committee will be able to source other formats for the works. I’m not too upset, since I’ve already got £10 value from the $50 membership, and that’s just one book, some estimates range as high as $300 for the full voters packet if you went out and bought them all, but since last year they were all multi format, its disappointing.