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  1. Dim light from the setting sun fell on a group of men and women sitting around a table. A few of them spoke in hushed but urgent tones. The air was thick with nervous tension. A tall woman, who seemed to be leading the discussion, was unaffected. She pressed forward, demanding the attention of everyone in the room. A small man in the corner fidgeted with a gold ring on his finger. Light glinted off the “You can’t possibly-” he began to say. “Yes, I can,” the woman responded. She stared at him, a hardened determination clear in her expression. “They are weak. Now is the perfect time.” --- Raucous laughter filled the Great Hall. The emperor smiled as he looked across the gathering of arbiters. Members of each of the eighty factions were there. Despite most of their arguments against the practices of the Heritage faction, they all loved a good feast. “Aren’t we missing someone?” asked the head arbiter. “Hmm?” The emperor had developed quite a talent for ignoring the droning of the head arbiter. The man liked to hear himself talk, even if no one else was listening. “The Glory Faction seems to be missing. At least, their leaders.” “Ignore them. They’re simply jealous of how far we’ve come.” Welcome to MR37/AN6: An Empire is Falling! It takes place in the Rose Empire prior to the events of The Emperor’s Soul. This will be an anonymous, blackout game. Most game-relevant rules will not be revealed except to those to whom they apply. See the following for those rules that will be revealed to everyone. The Heritage Faction: A new threat has arisen against the Heritage Faction’s hold on the Rose Empire. The leaders must unite and remain strong if they wish to keep their hold of the empire. To win, eliminate all threats against your faction. The Glory Faction: The Heritage Faction has been in power for far too long. It is finally time to carry out years of planning. It’s time to bring down their reign. To win, eliminate anything that threatens to thwart your plans. Miscellaneous Rules: MR: 48hr combined day/night cycles Maximum number of players is 25 - Players can sign up in the thread, but it is preferred they sign up through a PM to the GM. Each player will have one action available per cycle PMs are open Tied lynches will be decided at random and one person will be lynched Sign-ups will close Monday, September 9th at 11 a.m. PST. Fifth Scholar will be the IM. He has requested to not be included in player-to-player PMs at this time. Reminder: Rules for Anonymous Accounts: There are a number of rules associated with the use of an Anonymous Account. Please follow them carefully. Given the potential for abuse of Anonymous Accounts, any rule breaking using the accounts will be dealt with harshly. 1) Do not change the password of the anonymous account you are issued. 2) Do not use the anonymous accounts to PM any non-anonymous account, other than the account of the GM. Please do not use your normal accounts to PM anonymous accounts. 3) Do not change anything cosmetic about the accounts, including member title, username, signature, and avatar. 4) Do not reveal your identity or explicitly claim to be another player. You will be sent a PM with the anonymous account information. All other information will be sent to that account, which is where you will also submit actions. Please check which account you are on prior to submitting a post on the thread. If you do post from the wrong account, tag a moderator (Fifth Scholar or Alvron first) so it can be addressed as quickly as possible. Player Count Quick Links Rule Clarifications
  2. Wow, it's been a while since I've posted a new "Letters from the Cosmere" they added a whole new Form to post to! Several months ago I lost my Hard Drive which gave out from overwork. With it, I lost my Thumbnails, notes, and Cosmere Art. This setback required and lengthy recovery but we are finally done! Look forward to the return of Letters from the Cosmere! Forgery is by far the most interesting of the Cosmere's magic systems. it does something that no other Investiture (currently known) can do, alter the past. These changes are temporary and require an intimate understanding of the person or object that is to be affected. So what exactly is happening when a Forger applies a seal? Here is the full transcript: Of the many wonders of the Cosmere, Forgery is by far the most fascinating that I have ever come across. Forgers by the nature of their craft must reach a heightened understanding of realmic theory and the fundamental nature of the Cosmere. I suspect that Forgers can be numbered as some of the earliest metaphysical scholars in the post Yolan Cosmere. Forgery is the expense of Sel Investiture into the Spiritual Nature of an intelligent entity, changing its connection and Spiritual History. This change cascades into the Cognitive Intelligence of the object and subsequently changes the nature of the Objects Cognitive form. This change is then reflected in the Physical realm. As you are likely aware, cognitive and physical changes are relatively common in the Cosmere, especially on Roshar where Soul casting provides the clearest example of this quantum relationship. However, the ability to affect the Spirit Web of an intelligence is far rarer, especially in such specific and dramatic ways. I appreciate that the mechanics of Forgery can be complex so I will attempt to break them down in the simplest way I can manage. I have read your most current studies into the Spiritual Aspects of Ferrochemy and your understanding of these arts will be the cornerstone of this letter. In Ferrocheme the practitioner can store up the spiritual manifestation of concepts like Fortune, Identity, and Connection. With the storage and pulling of these aspects, the Ferrochemist twists their spirit web, which changes the way intelligent beings interact with them. (Note: intelligences are a reference to both animate and inanimate objects that have a cognitive presence.) This alters the flow of Investiture, power, and even pluck at the strings of fate. Yes, I was surprised to discover that fate is essentially a reality of the Cosmere. When we have Slivers, who can see the future it can be nearly impossible to outmaneuver their plans. Yet Investiture by its nature can change fate by altering the paths taken, dispelling the idea of absolute fate in favor of a dynamic collection of branching conductor fields of existence. But I am getting ahead of myself. While the ability to manipulate the Spirit Web through Ferrochemy holds incredible potential, these changes are situational and are typically time-locked. While a metal mind does effectively shuttle attributes and investiture through time, they can only store at one point, to then be used at a future time. A Ferrochemist may be able to influence his luck through storage of or drawing out of fortune, they cannot change the events of the past. Forgery takes this into the realm of Quantum entanglement, and actually pushed an objects spirit web into a parallel potentiality of the past, accessing metaphysical information that is beyond the barrier of time dilation. By all accounts this should be impossible. In fact, I haven’t come across any accounts of Shards actively altering reality by manipulating the Spirit Web backward in time. This is a disturbing and fascinating discovery that I feel many of my fellow scholars have overlooked. It can be easy to overlook considering the Cosmere is filled with apparent exceptions to the rules. But Reaching back against the flow of time opens the doors to staggering implications in the realm of Physics and Realmac Theory. Even with my extensive years of study I feel I can barely brush against the momentous truths that this revelation brings. Naturally, this process is temporary in the best of times, often these changes cannot maintain themselves longer than a day without needing to apply another crafted stamp. The process likely devours investiture at an incredible rate to maintain an effective bubble of altered time along the object’s or person’s past. Despite the incredible powers that I will sound be outlining, keep in mind that the physical limitation of Selian magic and the likely persistent need for Investiture limits the long-term effects of these powers. Perhaps there are work arounds but as of now, I am unaware of any practical methods of changing the current status quo. As for the mechanics of this miraculous transformation, they are fairly straight forward. Ironic considering the implications of what this power is actually doing to the Cosmere. The Forger creates what is called a stamp out of a stable material. The best materials are those that can be shaped with delicate patterns but then be baked or locked into a ridged shape that is unlikely to break. Often a template is created for stamps that are intended to be maintained over a length of time so new stamps can be crafted and imprinted routinely. Understanding the culminated history of the person or object that is to be forged is critical in the development of a stamp that is stable enough. Forgers remark on the need of believability for such changes to be made with any sense of stability. I feel that the underlying issue is a result of the instability inherent in the creation and sustaining of time opposing attractor fields. The closer such realities are to the tangible timeline the less investiture the time/space warping costs. By extension, the more likely a history of an object is to the Forger’s desired form, the more stable the stamps can be. For instance, it is nearly impossible to stamp iron into gold by trying to change the metals physical nature. Rather the Forger should learn about the mine where the iron was collected and alter the mines location or change the nature of the trade service that provided the metal. These changes work off an understanding that a mistaken delivery or a production order being placed with a different mine in the same region is far more likely that altering the planets metallic formation. Even so, these changes are likely too unstable to be useful. Intense study and reasoning is required to make any changes. This is why stamps that restore an object rather than replace it are far more common. Once a stamp has been completed, an individual simply applies the stamp to the surface of the object (usually in an inconspicuous location) where the stamp begins to activate. A properly crafted stamp will resonate with the identity of the object it has been crafted for and will start to bond with it. From my studies, it can be assumed that the stamp at this point begins to bond through all three realms simultaneously which is why it seems to meld into the surface of the object without physically altering or damaging it. The stamp is then locked into place and activated. If crafted properly the stamp will take and the alterations will take hold almost immediately. Forgery has perhaps the most boundless of practical and fantastical uses of all the Investiture based magic that I have ever seen. However, it also has some of the harshest limitations. Firstly, it is one of the Selian magics which is locked to the geographical location of its native continent. The farther away from its homeland the weaker these stamps become. Perhaps with artificial identity and connection methods, this barrier could be overcome much like how the Ire must exist. Yet there are other issues. Often the practitioner needs an intimate knowledge of an objects or person’s history. This would be difficult for a worldhopper who hasn’t spent decades living on worlds like Roshar or Taldain which have very different geological and physical histories as planets let alone their cultures and technology. Furthermore, the need for a consistent source of Investiture is a large issue. Perhaps a scholar far cleverer than I will find a way to let a stamp feed off a local source of investiture like Rosharian Stormlight, but such knowledge eludes me for the moment. Not to say that it’s impossible but using stamps off of Sel seems unlikely to me given Sels unusual Investiture situation. I trust this letter finds you well, considering everything that is going on. The Cosmere continues to be a realm of conflict and struggle for both men and gods. Yet as we continue to peel back the layers of mysticism surrounding the Shards I feel we will eventually see wonders beyond our current reckoning. Give my best to Harmony. Elsric P.S. I just acquired some new books in one of the trading posts I passed through on my way to visit Roshar, look forward to a real treat when I return.
  3. Hi Sanderfans/Sharders, I will be posting a series of "scrolls" about Moshe Feder, Brandon's Tor editor, on my blog. Moshe was the person who "discovered" Brandon and acquired Brandon's sixth novel Elantris in 2003. In 2005, Elantris became Brandon's first published novel. Moshe has kindly agreed to be interviewed for this series. Here is the first "scroll" in case any of you are interested to check it out: http://shazarose.blogspot.com/2018/08/moshe-man-behind-copper-mind-scroll-1.html This is the first scroll in what is expected to be a multi-short scroll series on Moshe. A future planned "scroll" will document half of Brandon's twin inspiration for including characters like Kaladin, Shallan and Dalinar, who all suffer from various mental health issues, in his Stormlight Archive series. Moshe himself is one half of this inspiration, and I will be documenting Moshe's bout of bipolar that he wants to share in order to help raise awareness about mental health issues. When I asked him if it would be a painful thing for him to share, he had this to say: "Not painful to share. It’s a duty to help fellow sufferers and to work on reducing stigma. When I was Corflu (fanzine fan con) GoH, it was a major part of my speech." Hope you do enjoy the series if you decide to check it out! Warmest Regards Sharon Hooper
  4. There seems to be a surprising lack of Forgery Seal / Soul Stamp / Essence Mark fan-art in the Gallery, so let's fix that. Hurrah for abstract art! (AKA scribbles -- with style. ) Mine's a bit more messy than the original, but I'm still pretty happy with how it turned out, considering my less-than-comprehensive education in the visual arts. Plus, I had fun drawing it, which is its own reward. Here's the official one, for comparison:
  5. So I'm in the middle of rereading The Emperor's Soul for the first time in awhile. On Day 12, Shai is explaining Forging to Gaotona in realmatic terms and says the following: " '...as the wall wants to act as a whole.' 'The wall,' Gaotona said flatly, 'wants to be treated as a whole.' 'Yes.' 'You imply that the wall has a soul.' 'All things do.' she said. 'Each object sees itself as something.' " Is it just me, or does that sound very much like the idea of spren? Spren are the physical embodiment of items' (alespren, flamespren, groundspren) and concepts' (awespren, hungerspren, painspren) perceptions of themselves. We have seen spren existing in Shadesmar, but what if there are "spren" in the other "worlds" in the Cognitive Realm? Basically what I'm saying is that the wall Shai uses in her example has a "spren" in the Cognitive Realm and Forging convinces this "spren" that it is different, somehow. We, or at least I, think of spren as being limited to Roshar/ Shadesmar but I believe that is merely the only place they are physically embodied as well as cognitively and that you could conceivably find the equivalent of tablespren and gloryspren in the Cognitive Realm of Sel, Taldain, Scandrial, or Nalthis (obviously adjusted for their specific cultures and peoples).
  6. Shai's experience recreating the Emperor's soul reminds me a lot of Brandon's experience finishing the Wheel of Time
  7. Hi everyone! First of all, I hope this is the right sub-forum… I am currently visualizing the environments of The Emperor’s Soul, as a base for my next portfolio project. More specifically, I am starting with Shai’s Room(s), Shai’s Wing of the Palace, and the Emperor’s quarters/wing (more to come!). Also vases/urns and other artifacts that are mentioned in the novella. Here’s my problem. I found a visual style to work with (heavily inspired by Asian architecture of course), but the details are giving me problems. I am working of descriptions like these: I have pretty good references what reliefs and inlays in Temples/Palaces can look like (see attachments), but I do not want to just take images of Chinese patterns, dragon reliefs and folklore and put them on the hallways and urns for TES. I would really like the designs to fit the world. But I am also at a loss what kind of imagery would be used in the Rose Empire (except for a phoenix headbord bed), as the novella doesn’t mention too many (visual) things other than the main plotline. So that’s where I would really appreciate your help! It has been a long time since I read Elantris, but if I understand it correctly, Elantris and Rose Empire don’t really share much other than being on the same world. Would the Anchient Lamio / Rose Empire people integrate Aons in their art and designs? There are hills in the city, and (I think) mountains nearby. That’s a starting point for what people might base their decorations on. But it’s also not really unique to Sanderson’s worlds. I’m a bit at a loss here, and if I can find nothing else, I’ll make up something myself to make it look more than a real world mashup of Chinese Architecture. But if you can help me brainstorm something that would fit the Cosmere, I would appreciate it a lot. What do you imagine the reliefs, inlays, and artifacts/urns and other decorations would depict in the setting of TES?
  8. In Emperor's Soul, soulstamps were only used for forgery, beautification, or healing, but what other uses could there be? Could you take an old rusty sword and 'reforge' it into a brand new one? Or fix a roof that had fallen in? Or recover an extremely important manuscript that had been burned irreparably? Anyone have ideas? I think there are great possibilities out there! Edit: This would also be great for warfare. Soldiers could carry around pre-prepared mini stamps for their most important pieces of equipment; e.g. if your sword breaks, stamp it, it's as good as new. Any damage is instantly repairable.
  9. I noticed a parallel between Ashravan, the titular Emperor in The Emperor's Soul, and the Returned on Nalthis. (Props to @dragonshadowbob for sparking the thought with this thread.) It looks like Ashravan's soul went Beyond, and Shai's Forgery made a new soul for him, redrawing the Connections that Ashravan had in his life using her soulstamps to make a soul that would replace his mind. I've suspected something like this happens with the Returned in Warbreaker. They don't have the memories of their past life at first because the soul for that person has gone Beyond, and it's a Divine Breath that takes its place. It will reanimate the body, but it needs to rebuild the Connections that the soul has before it can access the memories. Just like Shai's work was discovering who Ashravan was close to and why he did what he did, Lightsong discovered his past while he explored his Connection with his past, with his family. The Connections need to be fully rebuilt to repair the memories and have the new, artifical soul replace the old one. However, these artificial souls don't stick very well to the bodies. They require a constant source of Investiture to be maintained - Ashravan needed to be stamped every day, and the Returned need to consume a breath every week. Without that, the Investiture that makes up the artificial soul will separate from the body, and the person will die again. So, I think that the original Lightsong, the original Vasher, etc. all went Beyond after their conversations with Endowment. The Returned themselves don't actually return... the Divine Breaths are artificial souls implanted in their bodies to replace them as they go Beyond. Oh, and that's the same thing that happens to a lesser extent with Lifeless. The new soul isn't trying to replace the old soul, and there's no intelligence, so there's nothing to reject. But it can slowly rebuild Connections naturally, if the Lifeless builds Connections of its own that are natural reflections of the host body. (Like if Arsteel's Lifeless body stuck with his old comrades...)
  10. From the album The Emperor's Soul Art Book

    A part of The Emperor’s Soul art book (sort of) I always want to make. It is in the stamp magic section
  11. From the album The Emperor's Soul Art Book

    (Tools: Brush pen, calligraphy ink) Some sketch study Primary character design of Emperor Ashravan
  12. Finished! Nine characters from eight Shardworlds! From left to right: Dusk from First of the Sun / Kaladin from Roshar / Vasher from Nalthis / Hoid from Yolen / Harmony (Sazed) / Khriss from Taldain / Shai from Sel / Vin from Scadrial / Silence from Threnody This piece is also celebratory art! Happy Chinese New Year 2016 (Year of the monkey)! At first I drew these characters mainly for an online fantasy magazine because they kind of let me (as translator of WoR) introduce Stormlight and the whole Cosmere series in their New Year issue, which meant I’d better add some festival stuff. So here it is - Characters from eight different Shardworlds wishing you a Happy New Year! In China, this is a popular traditional gesture when people give New Year’s greetings. It’s called 作揖 (zuò yī, in spoken language: zuō yī). When you do this, you make a bow with hands folded in front of you and greet others at the same time. Raise your folded hands and then lower them. The motion can be repeated several times. For men, they should use their left hand to cover their right hand (In ancient China, men tended to hold weapon with their right hand, so they covered it when saluting, to reduce hostility and show respect.), while for women, they should do it otherwise and it’s better not to clench the left hand into a fist (You can learn this from the picture above.). If you do it wrong, you will convey some ominous meaning. Please be careful # # # Heck, so many tags! Also seriously, I think we may need a Cosmere crossover art album
  13. The God Beyond is an entity that is worshiped on multiple shardworlds. Here is a coppermind page about it. In the spirit of covering my bases, here are some other things it could be: The God Beyond is a planet. The God Beyond is an entity in the cognitive realm, formed by the collective hopes of humanity across the cosmere. The God Beyond is a character who is weak now, but later becomes powerful and travels back in time. The God Beyond is the ugly lizard crab thing. The God Beyond is Brandon Sanderson himself. The God Beyond is Peter's sideburns. The God Beyond is Calamity. The God Beyond actually doesn't exist. It's just a coincidence. The God Beyond is the physical embodiment of Kobold King's rep. The God Beyond is a spaceship full of dragons. The God Beyond is Bela.
  14. I got my hardcover copy of The Emperor's Soul. I asked "Can you tell me something about how the people of MaiPon came to their knowledge of Realmatic Theory?" He answered "Through study + observation." Which seems to imply that they didn't have outside help in making those discoveries. I think I remember hearing somewhere that Sel was the most advanced civilization of any of the Shardworlds we've seen so far in the canon, so this defintely makes some sense.
  15. Hello there! I am new to the forums, having read vigorously and wanting to post something for a while. So I decided, hey, why not Forgery! It is one of the most interesting magic systems in my eyes. I have two main thoughts I wanted some opinion on. 1: if you had a very basic soul stamp with vague history that could describe any one that would make them have been, say, incinerated and burned to ash, would it hold for any period of time and if so, if the ash collapses could they revert to their previous state? And 2: if somehow a peice of hemalurgic metal with forgery 'in' it was put in a scadrian (let's say harmony is messing around) would they have to change the base design from MaiPon into their home city, or would the origional owners spiritual connection to MaiPon carry over? I would love to hear some ideas, and if anyone is interested in some more strange ideas, then I posted a personal list of epic God metals inspired by the thread about it on there. Bye!
  16. Hello, and welcome back to the madhouse. EDIT: Start on the second post if you want to follow a completely unrelated (yet still more intelligible and possibly more interesting) discussion about the nature of the spiritweb. -Start off on this whole other thread if you want a much more succinct version of the points made on this one, as well as much more evidence that came out after I posted this original thread. I do plan on a more comprehensive expansion to the MEC based on TES, but this is a bit of a side-jaunt that I think it's valuable to have. Aside about previous theories: First of all, a bit of a disclaimer. While this idea has been bouncing around in my head for awhile now, and I've even posted a few disparate thoughts on it, Nepene was the first one to get anything of this form down on paper. I'm pulling a bit of a Leibniz to his Newton, then. Nepene had some good ideas, but I think his terminology and/or focus was a bit off, and his thread got seriously derailed by unnecessary discussion of Brandon's spirituality. I tried to redirect Nepene towards Platonism, but alas, 'twas not to be. That being the case, I'm now posting my alternate view on how "Forms" (Nepene's "Archetypes") work in the Cosmere, based primarily on my understanding of Platonism and the Spiritual Realm rather than Jung and the Cognitive. I have this alternate focus because Brandon referenced Jung as a bit of a one-off on how the Parshendis' songs work; this may well be interesting and lead to some useful conclusions about Realmatics, but I don't think Spiritual Archetypes follow from it. On the other hand, Brandon has explicitly stated that Realmatics is "based on a mash-up between Platonic Forms and Asian style 'everything has a soul'", and we know from Shai that the "Window" Form and others like it exist in the Spiritual Realm. And, obviously, me being me, I will be going into absurd depth. However, I do acknowledge that Nepene has priority as to the rough outlines of the importance and nature of Forms/Archetypes. P.S. Also, as it turns out, I kind of took a right turn at Albuquerque, and shot off into crazy-land. I'd intended to just lay out some general outlines for how Forms would work, but that was apparently too easy (and short), so I (unconsciously) decided to tackle almost the entirety of Forging as well. Looking at Nepene's thread, I think we split off fairly sharply in focus, so there isn't too much overlap (although, incidentally, I still think he's wrong on his impacts over there ). Background: Awhile ago, I posted a thread postulating that spren work by accessing "Forms" stored in the Spiritual Realm. Here is the main evidence I based it on: Basic Theory: sForms Basic Realmatics, Gaotona Emulating Ashraven, and Human Forgery in general: Plausibility "Calculation": Strength, Scope of Effect, and Inertia Role of Cognitive Aspects: Closing: Wow, that was longer than intended, and went some places I didn't expect. Sorry about that. Anyone want to suggest a TL;DR for me to throw in? There are a few chinks to be filled in in order to have a proper MEC-response to TES, but I got more of my thoughts down than I meant to. Sorry about that too. Discuss, permutate, criticize (immediately skip because of how long it is...). Have fun. P.S. Also, I acknowledge that there is a slight possibility that this thread is absurd. Either that or awesome. But that's how I roll. No middle ground for me. P.P.S Also also, this is slightly more TES-centric than I intended, but the implications flow to the rest of the Cosmere. EDIT: TL;DR: There exist a range of semi-independent "Forms" in the Spiritual Realm--created and maintained by the perceptions of living beings--the strength and reach of which are determined by the strength and reach of those who "believe" in any given Form. These Forms range from a weak, regional "our mayor is a mean guy" to strong, universal "Humans: they age." The "plausibility" of any Forgery is assessed in reference to these Forms, with each object having a certain number of connections to certain Forms based on its Cognitive identity (a table won't bother to connect with the Human form, I don't think, though it could without any real harm). When a Forgery is done, the network of Forms which are related to its target do a group "gut call" on whether and to what degree it is acceptable. Same on the level of individual souls, as in the case of Gaotona. Living beings kill off stamps because their Cognitive aspects actively fight against the external imposition of identity. Stamps do not replace original aspects, merely overlay them for a time. Also, just as an aside, I don't think a bunch of rocks in space without any observer will ever form a coherent Cognitive aspect as a singular being, so there can exist objects which, while Physically singular, are made up of a plurality of Cognitive aspects. EDIT 2: A bit more evidence. I hadn't recalled this quote until Nepene put it in his Cosmere 201 quote-bank: (WoK 711) While this is in-line with Vorinism's "everything is super-powered when you die" (farmers grow entire fields with a wave of their hands, etc.), and so might be religiously inspired, Ashir and Geranid seem to be pretty Realmatically knowledgeable, so I'll give them credit on this one. So a hint that "objects" in the Spiritual Realm are in "a state of ideals". EDIT 3: Significantly changed the Gaotona part, as well as moving stuff around. I had been waiting for someone to post a criticism before saying this, but apparently I scared everyone off, so I'll just put it down for posterity. EDIT 4: Threw in some extra stuff in the Cognitive section. EDIT 5 (01/04/2015): For what it's worth, plausibility does seem to be decided by Forms.
  17. A huge congratulations to Brandon, as it was just announced today that The Emperor's Soul has won a Hugo nomination. The Emperor's Soul is simply fantastic--and in my opinion the best of Brandon's shorter works--and is entirely deserving of this honor. For those who don't know, the Hugos are a very prestigious award in Science Fiction/Fantasy and are given out by attendees of the World Science Fiction Convention (also known as WorldCon). So, if you happen to be going to San Antonio for it on August 29th-September 2nd, why not vote for TES? You can see the full list of Hugo nominees at WorldCon's site.