Hugo Packet

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?

8 thoughts on “Hugo Packet

  1. Haven’t read the other, but greatly enjoyed The Stars Came Back. I would recommend putting that one in. Especially if you are working on a sequel to it 😉

    1. Shakedown Cruise is in Riding the Red Horse, a mil sci-fi anthology published by Castalia House. It’s a short story, ~6k words, about Armadillo‘s first mostly-operational mission, one that turned out a bit more eventful than planned. Next year, if I’m on the Campbell list again, I’ll have a couple of stories and the prose version of TSCB out, so including one of those might make more sense.

      At this point, the packet is out and Shakedown is in it, but it can always be updated later if the desire arises.

      Oh, and glad you liked the story. Hopefully the sequl is received as well.

  2. I just downloaded my packet and don’t see “Shakedown” in it anywhere. What am I missing?

  3. The entire Riding The Red Horse anthology is included

    In which packet? Clearly I’m looking in the wrong place.

  4. Hi Rolf:

    I enjoyed Shakedown and have read TSCB some 4 times or so now. And, am looking forward to the prose version and sequels. I imagine you have cash cow there in sequels and as interesting a universe as Webers Harrington’s.

    I did notice you have nothing in the Hugo packet under the Campbell but that you are still on the ballot? Anyway, I will be voting you regardless. TSCB was a really nice breath of fresh air in the morass of bad SF/F. As the Bedford Forest used to say, ‘Keep up the skerr.’

    1. Yes, I’m still on the ballot. “Shakedown Cruise” is in the “related works” section, with the Riding The Red Horse anthology. Vox thought that including TSCB might be problematic because of the format. I disagreed and was willing to take the slings and arrows of criticism, but being a total newcomer to the game I was also willing to let him (as a more experienced author and publisher) make the call one way or the other.

      That said, thanks for the kind words and support. It’ll only be a cash cow if I can up writing speed and keep the quality up; I hope the next one is as well received.

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