Shiver me Timbers! The 2019 Hugo Finalists – Part Four – The Final Countdown

Ahoy there me mateys!  So the Hugo Awards be this weekend on 8/18/19.  So it be time to check me lists and see if any changes need to be added before the winners are announced.  I be using the list as published on Tor.com with links to me reviews where applicable.  Under each category I will share me thoughts.  A reminder that I only be tracking the categories of specific interest to me.  They be:

Best Novel

  • The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
  • Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)
  • Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)
  • Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Thoughts:  Well no changes as I didn’t manage to read any of the others off this list.  I think the three that I read do deserve to be on this list.

Hoped for Winner:  Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)

Expected Winner: The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)

Best Novella

Thoughts:  Tor.com for novella domination!  I never read the Robson because it was too expensive to buy.  I loved all of the ones I did read.  But I LOVE MURDERBOT!!!  Arrrr!

Hoped for Winner:  Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)

Expected Winner: I don’t know!  Let’s go with The Black God’s Drums, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)

Best Novelette

  • “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” by Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 29 November 2018)
  • “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections,” by Tina Connolly (Tor.com, 11 July 2018)
  • “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth,” by Daryl Gregory (Tor.com, 19 September 2018)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bolander (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “The Thing About Ghost Stories,” by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny Magazine 25, November- December 2018)
  • “When We Were Starless,” by Simone Heller (Clarkesworld 145, October 2018)

Thoughts:  I read five of the six.  I did not read the Brooke Bolander story because of the price point and the fact that I didn’t like her short story either.  To see me thoughts on the novelettes see the post about 2019 Hugo Awards Part Two.

Hoped for Winner:  “The Thing About Ghost Stories,” by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny Magazine 25, November- December 2018)

Expected Winner:  “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections,” by Tina Connolly (Tor.com, 11 July 2018)

Best Short Story

  • “The Court Magician,” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, January 2018)
  • “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society,” by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine 25, November-December 2018)
  • “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” by P. Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine, February 2018)
  • “STET,” by Sarah Gailey (Fireside Magazine, October 2018)
  • “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat,” by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine 23, July-August 2018)
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)

Thoughts: I read or tried to read all of these.  To see me thoughts on the novelettes see the post about 2019 Hugo Awards Part Three.

Hoped for Winner:  “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” by P. Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine, February 2018)

Expected Winner: “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” by P. Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine, February 2018)

Best Series

  • The Centenal Cycle, by Malka Older (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Laundry Files, by Charles Stross (most recently Tor.com Publishing/Orbit)
  • Machineries of Empire, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • The October Daye Series, by Seanan McGuire (most recently DAW)
  • The Universe of Xuya, by Aliette de Bodard (most recently Subterranean Press)
  • Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)

Thoughts:  Aye, me opinions here be bascially the same.  I still have only read the Wayfarers series.  The Xuya series and the Machineries of the Empire series be on the list to read..  I have no real interest in the October Daye series, the Centenal Cycle, or the Laundry Files.  But ultimately, it doesn’t matter that I haven’t read any of the others because I adore the Becky Chambers series.

Hoped for Winner:  Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)

Expected Winner: Hmmm toss up between October Daye (cause of popularity) or the Machineries of the Empire (because of the hype of how different it be).  Again that be going on reviews I have read because I haven’t read any of those books meself.

Side note:  The next two awards are technically not Hugos but are given out on the same day.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Katherine Arden (2nd year of eligibility)
  • S.A. Chakraborty (2nd year of eligibility)
  • R.F. Kuang (1st year of eligibility)
  • Jeannette Ng (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Vina Jie-Min Prasad (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Rivers Solomon (2nd year of eligibility)

Thoughts:  I have read work by four of the six.  I loved Vina Jie-Min Prasad’s “A Series of Steaks” which was a finalist for the Nebula and Hugo best novelette in 2017.  I have now read the first two books of R.F. Kuang’s series Poppy War.  I have only read Rivers Solomon’s writing from the vela and abandoned an unkindness of ghosts and dont know if I will go back to it.  I still know nothing about Jeannette Ng and be not interested in her fae boook.  The crew convinced me that I should give S.A. Chakraborty ‘s Daevabad Trilogy a chance but I haven’t gotten to it yet.  But Katherine Arden’s Winternight trilogy is seriously one of the best trilogies I have ever read.  And her middle grade stuff is fun too.  She be in her 2nd year of eligibility.  No contest for me in this category.

Hoped for Winner:  Katherine Arden

Expected Winner:  Katherine Arden

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

  • The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform / Gollancz)
  • Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt / Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black (Little, Brown / Hot Key Books)
  • Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
  • The Invasion, by Peadar O’Guilin (David Fickling Books / Scholastic)
  • Tess of the Road, by Rachel Hartman (Random House / Penguin Teen)

Thoughts:  I have fully read two of these and didn’t really like either.  I abandoned tess of the road because I disliked the main character.  The Clayton book and Black book hold no interest.  I hadn’t heard of the invasion until the list was published but the synopsis holds no appeal.  This category be a bust.  Given all the hype, I expect the Adeyemi book to win.  I am in the minority about it.

Hoped for Winner: None.  Though of course one will be chosen.

Expected Winner:  Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt / Macmillan Children’s Books)

So there ye have it.  Me Hugo wishes and guesses.  Very much looking forward to finally seeing who wins!  In the meantime

Always remember:

Q:  What did the pirate say when asked about the treasure island?

A:  It be on me T B ARRRRRR!

Hardy har har!

x The Captain

14 thoughts on “Shiver me Timbers! The 2019 Hugo Finalists – Part Four – The Final Countdown

  1. Ahhh so many great books being nominated and you’ve read so many of them too. I do hope our good ol’ Murderbot will get a win here though! 😀 Excellent round-up, Captain! I’m personally not big on these “award” winners in general except maybe the Eisner award for comics hahah

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m happy to see Trail of Lightning in the list for best novel, since I read it recently and enjoyed it very much – while I still have to read The Calculating Stars and hope that Kowal wins because I know she’s an amazing writer. And I’m cheering for MurderBot too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Murderbot!! I am still going to give trail of lightning a shot at some point because I have heard it has excellent world building even though some crew didn’t love the plot. And aye, the calculating stars was so well written. Thanks for visiting.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh, I still need to read the Winternight trilogy! And Wayfarers! And Lady Astronaut! I am so far behind.

    But… I hope Murderbot wins Best Novella, too! On the other hand, I’ve read 3 of the 6 (and 2 more are on my TBR) and I’d be happy with any of the ones I’ve read winning. Still. MORE LOVE FOR MURDERBOT!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well at least ye have lots of fantastic books to look forward to. And aye, I think that any of the novellas could win and it would make sense. It was a very strong batch this year. And I LOVE MURDERBOT!!!!
      x The Captain

      Like

  4. Maybe it’s just me, or I don’t understand Hugo judging, but I swear the same books appear on these lists every year, or at least I keep seeing the same books two years running. I should brush up on the rules because I’m clueless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well it is a fan based award so lots of folks do show up over and over again. The artists category is one of them. The judging is very weird and I have to read a reminder every single year cause I can’t keep it straight.
      x The Captain

      Like

  5. Great roundup, Cap! I’ve just got hold of the audio copy of A Spaceborn Few, but loved the other two books in this series and would also love Becky Chambers to win. While I enjoyed Spinning Silver, I don’t think it is as good as Uprooted, for example. And I MUST get hold of the Katherine Arden trilogy – too many bloggers I respect and trust, including you, fervently recommend it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aye to Katherine Arden. Seriously I already know that ye will love them. And they are great to read in the fall 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what ye think of spaceborn few. I actually don’t rememberr enough of the details of uprooted anymore and have been ponderin’ an audiobook read at some point. The countdown to the hugo results begin. I am excited.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

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