Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Ah, here we are: Hugo nominations

Trust tor.com to keep us apprised of this kind of thing! I’m glad to see that Hugo nominations are now open for works published in 2014, because for a change I have read enough works from 2014 to have a nomination slate in mind. And nominations don’t close till March, so there’s time to read more stuff, too!

Who is eligible to nominate? Here is what tor.com says:

Anyone who is or was a voting member of the 2014, 2015, or 2016 Worldcons by the end of the day (Pacific Time/GMT – 8) on January 31, 2015 is eligible to nominate. You may nominate only once, regardless of how many of those three Worldcons you are a member.

And that’s fine for me, because I am going to go register for the 2016 WorldCon in Kansas City in about a minute. I definitely plan to attend the 2016 WorldCon because (a) Kansas City! That is not as good for me as St. Louis, but it is (very) drivable, whereas Spokane (the site of WorldCon this year) would definitely require a plane ticket. And also because (b) I will have two traditionally published books coming out in 2016, so I would kind of want to go anyway.

Here, in case you are interested, is the nominating ballot.

And in case you, like me, are from the Midwest and are possibly interested in attending the 2016 WorldCon, here is a link for registering.

Now: A nominating slate. Of course BLACK DOG is eligible and I suppose I might nominate it, because hey. BUT! Here are the titles I definitely plan to nominate and will hoping lots of other people nominate:

THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by “Katherine Addison.” One of my favorite books published last year, with astounding depth of worldbuilding on an intimate scale and one of my favorite protagonists ever. Also, I’m hoping that if this one gets on the ballot for the Hugo and Nebula, Sarah Monette will get a nudge from her publisher to write a sequel. I really want a sequel!

A DARKLING SEA by James Cambias, because of his admirable job developing the world and those alien species.

I think there was something else that I’ve already read that I wanted to nominate; I’ll have to think about that. But there are a good number of books I want to read because I think there’s a fair chance I will want to nominate them. These are all second or third books in series, which in fact I am not necessarily keen on nominating unless they totally stand on their own and are great books on their own, without reference to the first book. That is not always the easiest standard to meet, obviously, and if I love a series enough I may bend on either or both of those points, because hey, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, as whoever it was said.

So, these titles include:

ANCILLARY SWORD by Ann Leckie. Since her first book won last year, I will be somewhat less inclined to nominate the second, on the grounds that probably other people will (which is fine) and I would rather see more different authors on the ballot instead of the same ones in consecutive years. But if I think the book is too great to pass over, I’ll nominate it anyway.

THE SHADOW THRONE by Django Wexler. THE THOUSAND NAMES was my second-favorite fantasy title last year. If I love this second book enough, I would be happy to nominate it.

TROPIC OF SERPENTS by Marie Brennen. The first book was very much a first book, setting up the world. I thought Brennen did an outstanding job with that, but I wonder if I might like the second book even better now that the story is underway. I must admit that the beautiful job Tor did with the actual physical book doesn’t hurt, though I do think any title should be judged exclusively on the story, really.

STELES OF THE SKY by Elizabeth Bear. I have only read the first book of this trilogy, but the depth of worldbuilding (on a broad scale) was so impressive. This is a true epic fantasy. I admired so much about the first book. If the whole series is that good, I will be happy to nominate this book.

As a happy consequence of wanting to participate in nominations this year, I will be compelled to read all those books before March. So in fact to make sure I get through them all, I will probably read them in the next couple of weeks, after I finish revising MOUNTAIN (nearly done!), while I am letting the manuscript rest before reading through it again for continuity and other small-scale stuff.

Okay! What am I missing or forgetting? Please chime in with novels you definitely feel ought to be nominated, and if I possibly can add them to the To Be Read Immediately stack, I will.

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4 Comments Ah, here we are: Hugo nominations

  1. Craig

    THE JUDGE OF AGES, volume three (or 2B, really) in Wright’s Count to the Eschaton sequence that I just recommended, came out in 2014. It *so* does not stand on its own that I would be dubious about nominating it if I were a voter — although, unlike the first two volumes, at least it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger.

    I should mention that Weir’s THE MARTIAN is probably not eligible under the Hugo rules, because while it was published in book form in 2014, it was e-published a couple years before.

  2. Linda S

    I’m also planning to nominate THE GOBLIN EMPEROR and A DARKLING SEA. I liked both ANCILLARY SWORD and THE SHADOW THRONE, but they’re definitely not stand-alone books. I’ll be interested to learn whether you end up nominating one or both of them despite that.

    I’m going back and forth on MY REAL CHILDREN, by Jo Walton. I found the story intensely absorbing, and I really cared about the characters, but some of the underlying assumptions about politics annoyed me. I’d still recommend it, though.

  3. pete mack

    Steles of the Sky is the best epic fantasy I’ve read in years. It really needs to be nominated. Just beautiful work.

  4. Rachel

    Pete, I can believe it! I’m glad I now MUST read the second and third books of that series.

    Linda, we’ll see, I really don’t like to nominate books that don’t stand alone, and yet . . .

    I haven’t read MY REAL CHILDREN. So far, in general, I seem to like Jo Walton’s books, but not as much as other people do.

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