Ahoy there me mateys! The Hugo Awards are being announced at this year’s DisCon III December 15 – 19, 2021. I made an effort to read most of the works in the categories of specific interest to me. I may not have gotten to them all but I certainly have opinions on those I read.
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 current thoughts thus far. I will give final impressions once the winners have been revealed.
- 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: No change here as I did not read the remaining books and have not really felt moved to pick any of them up. It is unlikely that I will at this point.
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 cause I LOVE MURDERBOT!!).
- 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: I did read all of this list. My main choice hasn’t changed but Nghi Vo’s novella was lovely and I can’t wait to read the sequel.
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.
Best Novelette (click for all reviews)
- “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Thoughts: Only five of these novelettes are available as one has been withdrawn from nomination. Of the rest, I found most of the rest just to be okay. There was only one that I really loved. Easy choice here.
Hoped for Winner: “Two Truths and a Lie”, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com)
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: I did read all of these short stories and really loved three of them. I liked the other three just fine. The top pick did change.
Hoped for Winner: – “Metal Like Blood in the Dark”, T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine, September/October 2020)
- 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 did not manage to read this whole category. I am still interested in reading the Deonn book. I am not interested in reading the rest of the books at this point. Of the two I read, either could win and I would be happy but I have to pick so . . .
Hoped for Winner: ” A Deadly Education, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
So there ye have it. Me Hugo wishes. Looking forward to seeing who wins. In the meantime
Q: Where do pirates put their weapons?
A: In their enemies!
Hardy har har!
x The Captain