Hugo Shortlist: You may have already heard about this by now, if you haven't, where have you been? There's been lots of good discussion going on, not nearly as bad as a certain other award, but I definitely recommend checking it out. Justin, Rob, Larry, to name a few, go into the discussion in some depth.
You can view the list linked above, but I wanted to focus on what people are saying, some very good points being made:
From Justin regarding the "Best Professional Editor - Long Form" category: "[rant] No Jeremy Lassen, no care. These five are all great editors, but no one had the kind of year Lassen did. He created the New Voices Program at Night Shade Books and brought us first novels from Kameron Hurley, Teresa Frohock, Stina Leicht, Bradley Beaulieu, Courtney Schaefer, Mazarkis Williams, Michael Dempsey, Will McIntosh, Rob Ziegler, Katy Stauber, among several others."
From Rob regarding the same list: "Pyr published a lot of good novels in 2011, novels I enjoyed a great deal but none of them made the short list. DAW has no books on the shortlist though is responsible for the juggernaut that is Patrick Rothfuss’s The Wise Man’s Fear. On the other hand, two Orbit titles are on the Novels short list but none of their editors are on this list of Long Form editors"
From Larry regarding the "Best Novel" category: "As long as there isn't an active critical base within these genre fandoms that make readers question what they are reading more and seeking out more than just reiterations of familiar, beloved works/genres, "safe" shortlists like this will continue to be produced."
Game of Thrones: Viewership is staying strong even on a holiday weekend where almost no one was running new episodes of anything, but then again maybe that helped. From Westeros.org, they report that episode 2 of season 2 pulled in 3.8 million viewers, "[t]his is a very slight dip from the 3.9 million for the first episode." They also have a good article on why no news about the renewal of a third season is good news.