Shiver me Timbers! The 2020 Hugo Winners – The Conclusion!

Ahoy there me mateys!  The Hugo Winners have been announced!  Let’s see how I did.  I be using the list as published on Tor.com with links to me reviews where applicable.  The winners are listed in bold.  A reminder that I only be tracking the categories of specific interest to me.  They be:

Best Novel

  • The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK)
  • A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK)
  • Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)

Hoped for Winner:  The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK) (by default even though I didn’t love it and just liked it)

Expected Winner: I had no idea and no real excitement for this category.

Thoughts:  For those of ye who missed it, I read and abandoned ship on three of these – gideon, memory, and middlegame.  I had no interest in light brigade or city.  So this category is lackluster to me personally.  However, the winner is the only one out of the abandoned books that I would be willing to try again in another mood.  But I am not rushing out to buy it.

Best Novella

  • “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador)
  • The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga Press/Gallery)
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
  • In an Absent Dream, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books)
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton)

Hoped for Winner:  To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton)

Expected Winner: This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books)

Thoughts:  No surprises here even if the winner was not for me.  I have formally given up on reading the deep because of style issues.  I need to read P. Djèlí Clark’s novella.  I haven’t made up me mind about whether I should read Ted Chiang’s novella as his style has not worked for me on the stories I did try to read.

Best Novelette – for me reviews of these click here

  •  “The Archronology of Love”, by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, April 2019)
  • “Away With the Wolves”, by Sarah Gailey (Uncanny Magazine: Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Special Issue, September/October 2019)
  • “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye”, by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny Magazine, July-August 2019)
  • Emergency Skin, by N.K. Jemisin (Forward Collection (Amazon))
  • “For He Can Creep”, by Siobhan Carroll (Tor.com, 10 July 2019)
  • “Omphalos”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador))

Hoped for Winner: “Away With the Wolves”, by Sarah Gailey (Uncanny Magazine: Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Special Issue, September/October 2019)

Expected Winner: “Away With the Wolves”, by Sarah Gailey (Uncanny Magazine: Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Special Issue, September/October 2019)

Thoughts:  Though I love Jemisin’s other works, this winner was the only novelette I was completed bored reading and abandoned half-way through.  I honestly think Sarah Gailey’s work should have won.

Best Short Story – for me reviews of these click here

  • “And Now His Lordship Is Laughing”, by Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons, 9 September 2019)
  • “As the Last I May Know”, by S.L. Huang (Tor.com, 23 October 2019)
  • “Blood Is Another Word for Hunger”, by Rivers Solomon (Tor.com, 24 July 2019)
  • “A Catalog of Storms”, by Fran Wilde (Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2019)
  • “Do Not Look Back, My Lion”, by Alix E. Harrow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2019)
  • “Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island”, by Nibedita Sen (Nightmare Magazine, May 2019)

Hoped for Winner:  “Do Not Look Back, My Lion”, by Alix E. Harrow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2019)

Expected Winner: “Do Not Look Back, My Lion”, by Alix E. Harrow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2019)

Thoughts:  The winner was me fifth out of six choice.  The winner honestly surprised me.  I think any of my top three choices would have been more satisfying winners.

Best Series

  • The Expanse, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)
  • Luna, by Ian McDonald (Tor; Gollancz)
  • Planetfall series, by Emma Newman (Ace; Gollancz)
  • Winternight Trilogy, by Katherine Arden (Del Rey; Del Rey UK)
  • The Wormwood Trilogy, by Tade Thompson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Hoped for Winner: Winternight Trilogy, by Katherine Arden (Del Rey; Del Rey UK)

Expected Winner: The Expanse, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Thoughts:  I am not surprised by the winner given that is it a popular television series.  I don’t really watch tv so have no opinion on the show.  However I did quit the books series because I got bored with how drawn out the story was.  Winternight is one of the best trilogies I have ever read especially because of how the three books work together.  It should have won!

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

Astounding Award for Best New Writer

  • Sam Hawke (2nd year of eligibility)
  • R.F. Kuang (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Jenn Lyons (1st year of eligibility)
  • Nibedita Sen (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Tasha Suri (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Emily Tesh (1st year of eligibility)

Hoped for Winner:  R.F. Kuang

Expected Winner: R.F. Kuang

Thoughts:  No surprise here and I do think Kuang’s writing is much very interesting.  I actually liked book two of her trilogy better than book one!

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

Hoped for Winner: Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee (Disney/Hyperion)

Expected Winner: The Wicked King, by Holly Black (Little, Brown; Hot Key)

Thoughts:  I eventually managed to read four of the six.  I have no interest in Holly Black’s book cause I don’t enjoy her writing.  I do still need to read riverland.  As I said before, I also read catfishing which was cute but the short story was better (and won the Hugo in 2016).  I would have thought either dragon pearl or minor mage would win.  No such luck.

So there ye have it.  Out of the seven categories that I follow I managed to get three correct.  Only one of those wins (R.F. Kuang) was I actually happy about.  The category I enjoyed reading the most this year was short stories.  The novel category was the most disappointing.  But this year has been insane and so of course the Hugo awards not completely floating me boat makes complete sense.  Until next year’s Hugos . . .

Always remember:

Q: What is a pirate’s favorite letter?

A: P. because it would be an ARRRRR, but it’s missing a leg.

Hardy har har!

x The Captain

10 thoughts on “Shiver me Timbers! The 2020 Hugo Winners – The Conclusion!

  1. I really loved both Time War and To Be Taught for the novella category, although it would have been amazing if Chambers had won–I think her writing is outstanding. But I honestly can’t be mad that Time War won since I also loved that one. 🙂

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  2. You’re better with predictions than me. Now, you’re not exactly a full blown Kwisatz Haderach but nearly a halfway baken.
    Concerning the most beloved letter, I give you two additional choices: The I because shiver me timbers! And the Z because it ends all things.

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  3. I agree with you that “Away With The Wolves” was my favorite in its category. I wanted it to win, too. I liked Huang’s short story best, though, so I was happy that it took the win for that one.

    I always find it interesting to see where I agree / disagree with the winners for these awards. But no matter who won, this year’s list did provide me with some great new material for the TBR!

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  4. I hoped The Ten Thousand Doors of January would win, too, but mostly I’m glad Gideon the Ninth didn’t. I did not enjoy that one (DNF’d it), and I am sick of seeing all the hype for it and the next one.

    I wish Winternight had won, too. It really is one of the best written trilogies I’ve come across, and it is really underappreciated.

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  5. I am not phased by the fact that a book won an award, I tend to think its all one big farse, and biased event. Soon as I see an award on a book I tend to leave it alone…

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  6. I really had hoped the Winternight trilogy would win too! But I knew the Expanse would win because…popularity.

    I’d thought that Middlegame would pick up Best Novel since it seemed like it was Seanan McGuire’s year (and the only book on the list I hadn’t read). And I’m super glad How to Lose the Time War won, although I was expecting Becky Chambers to win (and had a small hope P. Djèlí Clark would win because he is fabulous).

    The Light Brigade was fantastic and one of the best military sci fi books ever, IMO, but would never have won.

    Lol ok so I was interested in a couple categories (mostly novella and novel since I somehow read a lot of them).

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