Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Hugo nominees 2018

As you may know, Hugo nominees were announced this past weekend. Passover/Easter weekend seems like an odd and rather inconvenient choice, and I believe there was a certain amount of pushback about that. Certainly I’d think a new tradition of announcing the nominees on, say, the first Monday of April seems like it would be better.

Anyway, finally got a chance to look up the nominees this morning. I’m not going to WorldCon this year and I don’t expect to buy a voting membership, but I’m still somewhat interested and you may be too, so here are the categories that interest me:

Best Novel
The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi
New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson
Provenance, by Ann Leckie
Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee
Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty
The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin

Best Novella
All Systems Red, by Martha Wells
“And Then There Were (N-One),” by Sarah Pinsker
Binti: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor
The Black Tides of Heaven, by JY Yang
Down Among the Sticks and Bones, by Seanan McGuire
River of Teeth, by Sarah Gailey

Best Novelette
“Children of Thorns, Children of Water,” by Aliette de Bodard
“Extracurricular Activities,” by Yoon Ha Lee
“The Secret Life of Bots,” by Suzanne Palmer
“A Series of Steaks,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
“Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time,” by K.M. Szpara
“Wind Will Rove,” by Sarah Pinsker

Best Short Story
“Carnival Nine,” by Caroline M. Yoachim
“Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand,” by Fran Wilde
“Fandom for Robots,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
“The Martian Obelisk,” by Linda Nagata
“Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon
“Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™,” by Rebecca Roanhorse

Best Series
The Books of the Raksura, by Martha Wells
The Divine Cities, by Robert Jackson Bennett
InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire
The Memoirs of Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan
The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson
World of the Five Gods, by Lois McMaster Bujold

UPDATE: I didn’t scan down far enough to see the YA nominees. Here they are:

The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) Award for Best Young Adult Book
Akata Warrior, by Nnedi Okorafor
The Art of Starving, by Sam J. Miller
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman
In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan
A Skinful of Shadows, by Frances Hardinge
Summer in Orcus, written by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon), illustrated by Lauren Henderson

STILL PART OF THE UPDATE: I’ve loved Frances Hardinge and T. Kingfisher’s work, so those and Sarah Rees Brennan’s books are all on my TBR list. But I haven’t read any book on this list yet.

Overwhelmingly a Usual Suspects kind of list. Basically all the same names as the last few years. Not completely, obviously, but I’m must admit that I’m not super-keen that so many of the same authors always get nominated over and over. I expect people just pick up Scalzi’s latest with the expectation that of course they will nominate it; same with McGuire; same with some of the others. Yep, not really likely to buy a voting membership this year.

Except! I might, just to vote for Martha Wells in both her categories, especially the novella category. Not that I’ve read the other nominees, and “And Then There Were N-One” is such a great title I would hope to love that story.

For Series, it would be hard to choose between the Raksura series, the Lady Trent series, and the Five Gods series. Tough choices there! Though I believe I would go for the former on the grounds that I’ve always read each Raksura novel the same week it was released and I’ve loved all of them, whereas I’m two years behind now with the Lady Trent series and did not really love the third Five Gods book.

Of course if I do buy a voting membership, I would have to read the nominees in all these categories so I could actually vote knowledgeably. Quite a commitment.

If you’re interested, here is a complete list of all the nominees in all the categories.

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6 Comments Hugo nominees 2018

  1. Allan Shampine

    I’m more familiar with the nominee list than I expected, which is somewhat disappointing, as the ones I recognize were generally okay. The InCryptid series? Really? I read it, I like it, but I’ve always had the impression the series is intentionally the movie popcorn of the genre.

    And I just can’t stand Brandon Sanderson. Something about his writing style just doesn’t work for me.

    Wells and Bujold are serious contenders with really good series.

    Otherwise, I liked Raven Strategem, but didn’t I vote for the prior book last year? And another Jemisin? And another Binti? And another Leckie? And another Scalzi? Come on! Where’s my Three Body Problem for this year?

    Ah well. I’ve got a membership, I’ll vote, but it looks like a pretty meh year. On the plus side, I’ve heard good things about a couple of the series that I haven’t read.

  2. Linda S

    It’s definitely a good year for Martha Wells! I’ll be shocked if “All Systems Red” doesn’t win for novella. And while I’m not personally as big a fan of the Raksura books as many people are, I’m guessing she has a decent shot at Best Series as well.

    For Five Gods, I agree with you that the third novel was pretty weak. However, I thought the first two were amazing, and I’ve enjoyed most of the Penric stories. On the other hand, Divine Cities had some great worldbuilding and terrific characters. (I’m still disappointed that City of Stairs didn’t make the Hugo ballot in 2015.) Best Series is going to be a tough call for me even if I don’t like the ones I haven’t read yet (Incryptid, Lady Trent, Stormlight Archive).

    “And Then There Were N-One” has a fascinating premise and is well worth reading, but I liked Murderbot better. I haven’t read any of the other novellas yet, but it’s hard to believe that I’ll like any of them better than “All Systems Red.”

    Have you read any of the YA finalists?

    If anyone wants to check out some of the finalists, JJ posted a very helpful set of links to everything available for free online on File 770: http://file770.com/?p=41534. I was delighted to see that Winter of Ice and Iron was listed as one of the works that can be used to evaluate Navah Wolfe for Best Editor–Long Form!

  3. Madscientistnz

    The Novel nominations are a bit usual suspects, but the one book I read by Mur Lafferty was only ok, so she’s obviously jumped up a notch with Six Wakes.
    The Best Series nominations seem to be wider ranging than the rest of the categories, and I think its great that the Raksura books are getting more publicity. (I’m reading the latest InCryptid book and enjoying, but I wouldn’t have nominated it.)
    I really enjoyed ‘N-One’ and the Rebecca Roanhorse story (plus they are both available to read on-line.)

  4. Rachel

    Linda, I hope you’re right about Murderbot. I kind of think you are. It was absolutely one of the best things I read last year.

    Also, that’s great about Winter being listed for Navah. I wish it were possible and customary for authors to comment about the editing job their editor did for their book(s). Navah did a ton of work on mine, less on Winter than Mountain, but still. Great editor, I hope people vote for her.

  5. Mary Beth

    I might pick up a voting subscription to vote for Martha Wells. I adore Bujold’s Five Gods books but I think Bujold is well-served with Hugos already and Wells has done absolutely stunning things with the Raksura books and Murderbot.

    I’ve read one of the InCryptid books and found it pretty forgettable popcorn fluff. Lady Trent left me fairly cold as well, and I’ve never been fond of Sanderson. Some great short fiction this year though!

  6. Rachel

    That’s a good point about Bujold having won plenty of Hugos. That comment may be enough to tip me over the edge into buying a voting membership after all.

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