I’m currently having a debate about the “Hugo Packet.” The Hugo Packet is the pile of writing that all the Hugo / Sasquan members/supporters get as part of membership that has a copy of the nominated works so that members can read them and make more informed choices. That is the idea, anyway. So, the question is, should Castalia House send them The Stars Came Back or Shakedown Cruise?
Obviously it is TSCB that put me on the very small corner of the map that I’m on. It has a great story, good ideas and characters. But it’s also a rather “style-challenged” piece. Or, to mix and amplify a couple of expressions that have been used, the idea of style has been mugged, murdered, and buried deep with extreme prejudice by the format. For a lot of people, style is more important than substance; many of those people are literary reviewers and people of some influence, or at least notoriety. Another fact is that if they really like the short, they are more likely to buy the full book, but the reverse may not be true. But if they like TSCB’c story-line, they might want to but the prose version…. So there are both review and revenue considerations.
I can see it either way. On the one hand, TSCB is the better and longer story. On the other hand, it opens itself to major criticism by some sorts of readers, and finishing below “no award” might be sen as damning by some people (though I don’t care personally – it would be easily explainable as being purely political, much like Vox’s “6th of 5.”) On the gripping hand… well, you get the idea: lots of pros and cons.
Any thoughts from the readership?