Helge, I think perhaps you are attracted to a good writing style along with content, whereas other folks care more about content. Sawyer's books are not very well written but have interesting ideas. Scalzi is a smooth, fun writer who evokes great adventure SF of yore (not the clunky stuff from the 30s, but later!). Chabon tells interesting stories but also uses the language beautifully.
I'm somewhere in the middle when it comes to liking style vs. story. I had a slight preference for Scalzi's Last Colony over Chabon's Yiddish Policemen's Union, until I reread the Chabon and realized how much fun it was regarding the use of language. I couldn't enjoy the Sawyer at all, because the writing irked me. Of course, the Hugos are not necessarily about writing style but rather about readers enjoying stories, whatever the reason!
----- Original Message -----
From: Helge Moulding <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, April 9, 2009 11:35 am
Subject: Re: [SF-LIT] Fw:] Hugo Nominations Announced
> I'm always surprised to see what other people like. For example,
> last year
> I found Chabon's book to be far superior to Sawyer's book, not to
> mentionScalzi's, almost tied with McDonald's Brasyl. I liked
> Stross's book, too, but
> in terms of what I look for, his was clearly in third place (as
> far as I ws
> Yet the voting results were very different. Even though Chabon did
> win, the
> rest were different. I don't know if "number of first place votes
> received" is
> a measure of how choices are ranked in the Hugo voting system (Barry
> might know), but it certainly didn't rank those stories the way I
> would have.
> I know why I like a book. I don't know if there's an objective way
> of making
> decisions like that, but clearly most people (probably myself
> included)decide on a subjective basis, or if they use objective
> measures, everyone
> has their own, based on, again, subjective decisions.
> Is it all down to "there's no accounting for taste"?
> Helge Moulding
> [log in to unmask] Just another guy
> http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name