This year, more then ever, the Hugo Voting Packet resembles the curate’s egg: parts of it are good, other parts not so much:
The packet contains the full text of three Hugo-nominated novels, The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, and The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, plus excerpts of Skin Game by Jim Butcher and Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie.
That gets you two of last year’s best novels and nobody will force you to read the Kevin J. Anderson. Many of the other categories are of course soiled with Puppy droppings you don’t want even if free, but there are some gems among the dross. Especially so in the Best Graphic Story category, with no Puppy nominee included and complete PDFs of Sex Criminals Vol. 1, Saga Vol. 3, Ms Marvel Vol. 1 and Rat Queens Vol. 1.
Though the Hugo Voting Packet should be seen as a bonus, rather than an inalienable part of buying a supporting membership for Worldcon, for plenty of people this of course has been the main benefit of membership, after getting to vote for the Hugos and all that. For those people this year’s packet is far from a bargain, despite the presence of the books listed above. Another reason to smack down the Puppies..