This year my husband signed up to vote in the Hugo Awards, and together we’re reading as many of the nominees as possible. Voting runs from May 11 to July 31, and the awards are announced in August at WorldCon in Dublin. As described on their website, the Hugo awards are awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, voted on by fans. I think it’s pretty cool that regular people can vote in an award like this (you have to pay for a ticket). Though in the past it’s led to controversy, when an anti-diversity slate called the Sad Puppies tried to take over the voting, and Hugo consequently changed its nomination format to limit the impact of bloc voting.
I never used to be interested in the Hugo Awards, but in the last few years they’ve really increased the diversity of their writers (see controversy above), and I love seeing so many women nominated and winning awards. Last year’s winners included N. K. Jemisin, Martha Wells, and Rebecca Roanhorse. More importantly, they are nominating the science fiction and fantasy I like to read. One of my favorite reads this year was Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, a former Hugo winner.
There are a lot of different categories, but listed below are the ones we’re focusing on. Of the novels, I’ve read two (Spinning Silver and Trail of Lightning) and my husband’s read Space Opera. Kowal’s book looks great but I’ve been mixed about her other novels, and I’m not as big a Chambers fan as most people are. I haven’t read any of Yoon Ha Lee’s novels.
I’ve read all but one of the novellas already (Beneath the Sugar Sky). I’m leaning towards Artificial Condition though Binti and Lucky Peach make this category difficult to pick, and Wells and Okorafor have already won in this category.
Neither of us have read any of the novelettes or short stories (a novelette has between 7,500 and 17,500 words). I’m looking forward to reading Zen Cho and T. Kingfisher, and the nice thing about short stories is I’ll discover new authors I like.
For best series, the husband loves Stross’ Laundry Files. I like October Daye but he feels more strongly than I do, and he’s the one voting. I’ve never heard of the Centenal Cycle so will have to look that one up, though it seems unlikely to come close to the popularity of the other nominated series.
Which of these books have you read and what do you recommend? And have you ever voted in the Hugos?
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