Nominations have closed for 2017. I’m not going to list other categories because I feel less confident about my choices. Short fiction, in particular, can be hard to pick favourites. Also, I don’t like listing the awards for people rather than works.
- – The Obelisk Gate by N K Jemisin; – maybe not the same punch as The Fifth Season but still a stand out work and a strong promise for the concluding volume.
- – City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennet; I was late arriving to City of Stairs (pushed off the 2015 ballot by Puppy shenanigans). Another solid mid-trilogy fantasy that breaks fantasy conventions.
- – Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee; Didn’t blow my socks off initially but worked its way into my head and I discovered sometime later my socks were missing. Perhaps the socks were never there or maybe the reality with socks was a heresy.
- – All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders; A story about genre fiction in the form of genre fiction. I suspect it won’t win because of its many marmite qualities but my favourite of 2016 I think.
- – The Liberation by Ian Tregillis; I really like Tregillis’s books despite their tendency to go to some dark places. This alt history Franco-Dutch war of alchemical clockwork versus chemistry, plus duelling women spies, hides deep ideas about free-will. Concluding volume in the Alchemy Wars series.
Looking at that list I see:
- they each do an SF/Fantasy crossover thing in quite different ways. Each of them have a liminal quality to them: the reality warping heresies in the Ninefox space opera; the quasi-magical Orogenes of Obelisk Gate; the post-divine world in City of Blades; the alchemic robots of the Liberation; and lastly an overt conflict/romance between two characters – one rooted in fantasy tropes and one in SF tropes.
- One series start, one series end, two mid-series and one stand-alone. Is modern SF/F too series dominated? Maybe, the investment in world building makes trilogies a wise investment in time for both readers and authors. I don’t think a mid-series book has a won a Hugo aside from Harry Potter (may be wrong there).
- Looking at other round-ups (http://file770.com/?p=33861 ) Ninefox Gambit is looking like a strong contender as is All the Birds in the Sky. However, both novels have strong marmite factors – nominations self-select for the people who liked (or weren’t turned off by) whatever thing it was that other people didn’t like. Final votes depend on the finalists winning over some readers new to the book – I suspect both Ninefox & ATBITS will generate some lively debate.
Speaking of round-ups, thank you to the people who have nominated me for Fanwriter. I was a bit freaked out when people began suggesting it but I’m coping – I don’t generally handle praise well.
Lastly, you might not believe this because of the number of typos and solecisms in my posts but I run Grammarly over my blog posts. It made this helpful suggestion: