World Fantasy ballot

I’m just going to note that I haven’t read ANY of these and acknowledge that that’s a shame and move on. Still, considering that I’m going to be at WFC this weekend — I’m driving to KC as you read this, probably — I thought at least I’d mention the nominees. Have any of you read any of these? What should I add to my (massive, obviously) reading list for last-minute reading in 2023?

In the absense of having read anything whatsoever, I’m rooting for Spear solely because I think Griffith is such an amazing writer.

Saint Death’s Daughter by C. S. E. Cooney
Spear by Nicola Griffith
The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings
Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R. F. Kuang
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia
The House of Drought by Dennis Mombauer
Even Though I Knew the End by C. L. Polk
Helpmeet by Naben Ruthnum
Pomegranates by Priya Sharma

“The Devil Don’t Come with Horns” by Eugen Bacon
“Incident at Bear Creek Lodge” by Tananarive Due
“The Morning House” by Kate Heartfield
“Telling the Bees” by Kat Howard
“Douen” by Suzan Palumbo

And the judges this year were: Dale Bailey, Kelly Robson, Ginny Smith, A. C. Wise, and Ian Whates. I’m not familiar with any of them either.

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7 thoughts on “World Fantasy ballot”

  1. I have read St Death’s Daughter. I remember liking it a lot: it’s grim, but not in the ways you imagine, and it’s very different, also in ways I can’t describe. I don’t think it’s a book I would go back to reread, but again, I haven’t deleted it, so maybe I would. This is not a 100% go read that book kind of recommendation, but the people here might enjoy it more than they think they will.

  2. I too liked Saint Death’s Daughter. It’s grim, but in a positive way, lol. There is even a romance! Like Alison, I hesitate to recommend it to others, not because I didn’t like it or because it wasn’t well written, but because I don’t think it would appeal to everyone. I do suggest trying at least the first chapter to see if it sucks you in.

  3. To continue my earlier comment, I read all but one of the novels (Babel) and they mostly struck me as “literary” or stylized. Less popular fantasy and more highbrow, if you will. They were definitely interesting, and I enjoyed several (Hild, Saint Death), but I don’t think any of them will be re-reads.

  4. I’ve picked up a sample of St. Death’s Daughter. I went to a reading — chapter two of the sequel (not out yet) — it was a bit on the grotesque side, but fun. And I liked the author’s enthusiasm and energy!

  5. I read part of The Ballad of Perilous Graves. I liked it. DNF only because the ebook had to be returned to the library and then it was out of sight, out of mind. I lived in New Orleans for a while some years ago and I liked the setting for this. I should finish this.

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