Monday, July 25, 2016

Musical Monday - Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

So, we are in the final run-up to the close of voting for the 2016 Hugo Awards. I am still working my way through some of the finalists in the short fiction categories, but thus far my rankings are working out more or less as I expected them to. On the plus side, there isn't quite as much terrible stuff in the field as there was last year. On the down side, the lows are often lower than the lows from last year. While the Sad Puppies last year mostly just had poor taste in fiction that was served with a side helping of racism and misogyny, for the Rabid Puppies, the racism and misogyny is often the main course, and it often comes packaged in a container so juvenile that a junior high schooler would be embarrassed by it.

I usually read something else alongside my Hugo reading, more or less to provide a comparison point. Last year I read the 2015 WSFA Small Press Award nominees (who, by the way, completely outclassed the short fiction 2015 Hugo finalists). This year, I've been rereading Nebula Awards Showcase 2015 alongside the 2016 Hugo Award finalists, and while it isn't quite as dire as it was last year, there are several stories among the Hugo finalists that are simply well below par - and all of those sub-par finalists are finalists drawn from the Rabid Puppy slate. I don't think I will end up putting "No Award" first in as many categories as I did last year, because in many categories there is at least one or two finalists who are good enough to rise above that mark.

So what does this have to do with Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4? Well, not much. But it is good music to read to.

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