RE the last blog, I don’t mean to pick on Michael A. Burstein. Other Analog authors have similar track records; for example, this year’s nominee Michael F. Flynn, who’s been nominated seven times for a Hugo without any wins. These go back a ways, too—and I thought Flynn was an entertaining writer. I’m starting to wonder how Vinge slipped through in 2004.

Trevor Quachri did an interview in 2013 after he took over as editor of Analog, which can be found here. When asked what he’s looking for, he says he’s mainly interested in the science content of stories, which suggests writing style isn’t one of his main criteria. After all, he says, writing issues can be edited easier than the underlying ideas. Quachri also says Analog publishes a high number of previously unpublished authors, which also results in less-polished writing styles. As I already said, I’m suspicious of the stated science content of the stories, but both these policies are going to reduce the likelihood Analog will win at the Hugos or the Nebulas, either one.

Having looked at the situation, I can see why the Puppies’ nominating committee picked what they did from Analog. They’ve chosen established authors, at least. I’m not sure what to think of this. On the one hand, Analog is holding the fort against invasions from MFAs writing fantasy and magical realism. They’re also providing opportunity for new writers. On the other hand, the lack of character development in the stories means they’re not taken seriously in the awards. Looking back at Hullender’s reading list, will some of the top 10-15% of SF stories really be found here? What’s the criteria?