Hugo finalists announced

Rosefolly

The Hugo award conference was set to take place in New Zealand this year, but due to the pandemic will be digital only. I had not planned to attend, but had signed up for a voting membership again this year. I know that there are some SF readers on this forum so I am listing the books nominated for best novel.

  • The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK)
  • A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK)
  • Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)


I have previously read The Ten Thousand Doors, and am just now starting Middlegame.

There are a number of other categories, some fan fiction based. I don't read of vote on those. I do like to read and vote for short story, novella, and novelette; sometimes the YA award and sometimes the new author award. If anyone is interested in these categories, they can be found at https://www.tor.com/2020/04/07/announcing-the-2020-hugo-award-finalists/

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Comments (15)
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colleenoz

Thanks for this! I love science fiction, but seeing this makes me realise what a rut I have got into as I recognise none of the names. Living in a country town for over 30 years away from SF bookshops hasn't helped.

Now I have a fresh lot of authors to look for for my Kindle :-)


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vee_new

I'm not 'into' SF but, in the past have read and enjoyed a few by John Wyndham, although I suppose he is considered very 'old hat' these days.

BTW a librarian friend attended a w/end conference where JW was one of the speakers. She couldn't remember the talk he gave but said he was a wonderful dancer and swung her round the dance-floor!

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roxanna7

I loved The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Rosefolly - when is the decision announced? If it's on the link you sent, my computer is possessed and I can't open it. Sorry.

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Rosefolly

It's not on the link, Skibby. The conference is 29 July - 2 August, and the results are announced then.

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Have you made any choices?

DH wants to know if this award was named for Victor Hugo?

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sheri_z6

Thanks for posting this, Rosefolly! I have The Ten Thousand Doors of January in my TBR pile, and I enjoyed All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, so I will definitely look for The City in the Middle of the Night.

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Rosefolly

Hi Skibby, I am far from making my choices, just beginning to read. I work in the garden during the day and have been not reading as much as I usually do. I'll have to re-prioritize.

As for the origin of the name, the award is in honor of Hugo Gernsback, the publisher of Amazing Stories, the first science fiction magazine. It was founded back in 1926. He did a lot of other things, but that is why the award was named for him.

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

How embarrassing, although I thought he made a good guess. Please post your thoughts about the SF books you read. I don't read much of that genre but I'm trying not to rule out anything. Open mind and all that.

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Rosefolly

Well, I liked 1000 Doors, but have put down Middlegame only a couple chapters in. I'll give it another try later, but so far I don't like it - not sure why. It feels like it's going to be a depressing book, and this is not a point in life when I am willing to read a depressing book. I think I'll try A Memory Called Empire next.

I don't have the packet with all the shorter fiction yet. I buy or borrow the novels from the library, but as the shorter fiction can be difficult to track down, they give you links to e-versions.

And don't be embarrassed about Hugo. I'll bet any number of people have guessed Victor Hugo. He's certainly the most famous Hugo around.

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Rosefolly

It is entirely possible that I will skip voting for the Hugos this year. So far I cannot get into any of the books I've tried. Or I may just vote for 10,000 Doors. I thought it was an okay book, readable but not really award worthy - but it is the only one I have been able to complete.

Or it may not be the Hugos' fault. I have not been able to read my book club books either.

Coronavirus blahs, I guess. Well, certainly far better to have the blahs than to have someone near and dear to me fall sick!

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Rosefolly

As I mentioned in the monthly reading thread, I seem to be back on track. What a relief. I was not enjoying the dulling of my mind, which I blame on stress.

So far I'm really liking A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, definitely better than I liked 10,000 Doors. That was a decently readable book but not in my estimation an award-worthy novel. If Memory finishes up as well as I think it will, it will be a worthy contender, and I may vote for it.

I've downloaded the novellas, novelettes, and short stories and will begin on them as well. We usually get them free. I generally purchase the books, though sometimes I get them from the library. Not this time!

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Rosefolly

Now that my brain has emerged from lockdown dullness, I have been reading Hugo nominees as fast as I can. I have just started on the final novel*, and am about halfway through the short stories. I have not yet read the other short form fiction - novellas and novelettes. I'll vote on them if I get to them.

Here is my opinion so far of the novels, always the most important category for me.

The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)

It turns out that I read this book months ago, and had completely forgotten it. Guess I'm not going to vote for it.

The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK)

Military SF in a future ruled by some very nasty tyrant corporations. I found it to be very well done, a complex net skillfully woven, and resolved to sense by the end. So far I am considering it and one other.

A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK)

This is the other one I liked a lot, complicated political infighting and plotting in a future empire. I love this stuff. Again, very well done.

Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)

I began this book and very quickly disliked it enough that I did not finish it. If I were a professional critic I would have to push myself to read on to the end, but I am not. Definitely not voting for it.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)

I enjoyed, but did not love, this novel. An interesting but not compelling story. Both The Light Brigade and A Memory Called Empire engaged me to the point I could not put them down. This one did not. But the author was also nominated for the short story award and so far I like her short story the best. I do like her writing.

Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing)

Hated it. Think Gormenghast with necromancers. If we were required to rank them (we can if we want to), I would place this one dead last.

* Since I first posted this, I read as much of Gideon as I could stand, and knowing I would never vote for it, quit.

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yoyobon_gw

I tried to like The 10,000 Doors Of January but could not get into it enough to want to finish the book.

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Rosefolly

Well, the World SF Convention is over. I would not have liked to be on the committee that had to run this during the coronavirus pandemic. Most of it was virtual, as I understand.

As promised, here is the list of Hugo award winners in the categories for which I voted:


Best Novel
A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK)

Best Novella
This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books)

Best Novelette
Emergency Skin, by N.K. Jemisin (Forward Collection (Amazon))

Best Short Story
As the Last I May Know, by S.L. Huang (Tor.com, 23 October 2019)


Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book (not a Hugo)
Catfishing on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)

Astounding Award for Best New Writer, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo)
R.F. Kuang


The choices for novel, Lodestar (YA), and new writer agreed with my votes, and the novella probably would have been my second choice, so I am well satisfied.

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