Ahoy there me mateys! The Hugo Finalists for 2021 have been announced. I followed the 2019 and 2020 awards and loved it so much that I be doing it again. Arrr! Looking at this year’s list, I have thoughts about who I think some of the winners should be. So I figured a) I would share; b) I would make an effort to read all the works in certain categories; and c) I will add some excitement to me year waiting for the winners to be revealed in December 2021 (late this year!)
I am using the list as published on Tor.com with links to me reviews (click the titles) where applicable. Under each category I will share me thoughts thus far. I will give periodic updates as we get closer to the reveal. I am only going to track the categories of specific interest to me. They be:
- Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Gallery / Saga Press)
- The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
- Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tordotcom)
- Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)
- Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
- The Relentless Moon, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books)
Thoughts: I LOVE MURDERBOT!! and Piranesi too. I am avoiding the Muir novel as her work and I don’t mesh. The other three are on the list. I loved the Jemisin short story set in the world of this novel. I loved the rest of the Kowal series. And I have heard great things about the Roanhorse book. I have some catching up to do.
Hoped for Winner: Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury) – Cause I loved it and Murderbot has some awards already (though I would be okay if it got more). The other three would have to be something special to knock it out of first place (and Murderbot out of a close second!).
- Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire (Tordotcom)
- The Empress of Salt and Fortune, Nghi Vo (Tordotcom)
- Finna, Nino Cipri (Tordotcom)
- Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom)
- Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi (Tordotcom)
- Upright Women Wanted, Sarah Gailey (Tordotcom)
Thoughts: Tor.com kicks butt again in this category. I have read four of the six. The other two have been on the list but I haven’t gotten to them yet. I will.
Hoped for Winner: Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom) – This one was wonderful and taught me so much. In terms of impact, the others I read haven’t come even close.
- “Burn, or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super”, A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny Magazine, May/June 2020)
- “Helicopter Story”, Isabel Fall (Clarkesworld, January 2020)
- “The Inaccessibility of Heaven”, Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny Magazine, July/August 2020)
- “Monster”, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2020)
- “The Pill”, Meg Elison (from Big Girl, (PM Press))
- “Two Truths and a Lie”, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com)
Thoughts: None. None of them. There is work to be done here.
Hoped for Winner: To Be Determined
Best Short Story
- “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse”, Rae Carson (Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2020)
- “A Guide for Working Breeds”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, ed. Jonathan Strahan (Solaris))
- “Little Free Library”, Naomi Kritzer (Tor.com)
- “The Mermaid Astronaut”, Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, February 2020)
- “Metal Like Blood in the Dark”, T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine, September/October 2020)
- “Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots – 2020, ed. David Steffen)
Thoughts: Surprisingly I have already read three of these but only because they were nominated for the Nebula which I am tracking here on the blog for the first time. I have read half of these but the ones I haven’t read are by authors whose work I love. I am excited to read the rest.
Hoped for Winner: – “Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots – 2020, ed. David Steffen) – for now.
- The Daevabad Trilogy, S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)
- The Interdependency, John Scalzi (Tor Books)
- The Lady Astronaut Universe, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books/Audible/Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
- The Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells (Tor.com)
- October Daye, Seanan McGuire (DAW)
- The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager)
Thoughts: I have read the whole Murderbot series (I LOVE MURDERBOT!!!) and most of the Lady Astronaut books and most of the Poppy War trilogy. The October Daye and Interdependecy aren’t to me taste. I haven’t read the Daevabad trilogy and keep forgetting about it.
Hoped for Winner: The Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells (Tor.com) – Have I told the crew how much I LOVE MURDERBOT!!!!
Side note: The next two awards are technically not Hugos but are given out on the same day.
Astounding Award for Best New Writer
- Lindsay Ellis (1st year of eligibility)
- Simon Jimenez (1st year of eligibility)
- Micaiah Johnson (1st year of eligibility)
- A.K. Larkwood (1st year of eligibility)
- Jenn Lyons (2nd year of eligibility)
- Emily Tesh (2nd year of eligibility)
Thoughts: I have read books by Jenn Lyons, Micaiah Johnson, and Simon Jimenez. I own an unread book by A.K. Larkwood. I have heard of, but not wanted to read, books by Emily Tesh or Lindsay Ellis. Though the First Mate is planning to read an Ellis book.
Hoped for Winner: Simon Jimenez – cause the last novel stuck with me and I want to see them write more work.
Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book
- Cemetery Boys, Aiden Thomas (Swoon Reads)
- A Deadly Education, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
- Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
- Legendborn, Tracy Deonn (Margaret K. McElderry/ Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
- Raybearer, Jordan Ifueko (Amulet / Hot Key)
- A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll Productions)
Thoughts: I have only read two of these and loved both of them. They are hard to choose between. I have no interest in the Thomas book. I am interested in the other three. Time will tell about this category.
Hoped for Winner: To Be Determined (currently a coin toss between the two)
So there ye have it. Me Hugo wishes for now. I will keep y’all posted as I continue readin’ through the nominees. In the meantime
Q: What is a ghost pirate’s favorite type of drink?
A: Boo tea!
Hardy har har!
x The Captain