Shiver me Timbers! The 2021 Hugo Finalists – Part Five – Final Predictions

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 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.

Best Novel

  • 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 WinnerPiranesi, 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!!).

Best Novella

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 WinnerRing 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 (

Thoughts: Only five of these novelettes are available as one has been withdrawn from nomination.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 (

Best Short Story

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)

Best Series

  • 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 (
  • 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 ( – 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

Always remember:

Q:  Where do pirates put their weapons?

A:  In their enemies!

Hardy har har!

x The Captain

8 thoughts on “Shiver me Timbers! The 2021 Hugo Finalists – Part Five – Final Predictions

  1. I am looking forward to the results. And I get what ye mean about series being better than individual books. I have not read October Daye cause it deals with the type of fae stories that don’t tend to float me boat.
    x The Captain


  2. I am rooting for Murderbot to win Best Series as well, though I would be happy if the October Daye series wins as well because I think that McGuire has done some fun things with that series. (I like the series as a whole better than any of the individual books… it’s hard to explain, but there you go.) We don’t have much longer to wait, at least!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoy novellas way more than short stories. No matter how good the short story, it doesn’t usually stick in me noggin for long. There are a couple exceptions. That is why I tend to read the award nominees. I am not a huge fan of most award shows cause politics prevail or popularity where I be in the minority. But the Hugos and Newbery have nostalgia from when I was little. I LOVE MURDERBOT!
      x The Captain


    1. I actually enjoyed the research I did after reading the ring shout novella more than I enjoyed the novella. But it had excellent imagery and fun characters despite the horrible situation. I am looking forward to the awards being announced soon.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not much of an awards person and it doesn‘t influence my buying decisions much, apart from the increased media coverage. And I am really not sure how serious I should take an award that is hiunded by so many scandals… 🤷‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

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