Well voting’s all done,
and the evening’s getting late,
time to see what I should rate,
of all the stuff I saw and read,
that touched my heart and my head.
I can’t compare everything and while I did think of a grand inter-category rating of all the stories, I decided that was too hard. So instead, here are my favourite discoveries from the Hugos. To be a ‘discovery’ I have to have only read, watch or listened to it AFTER it was nominated for a Hugo. So some great stuff is not on the list because I’d already read it.
In no order:
- Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer. I certainly got my money’s worth out of this long but incomplete novel. Complex, weird, flawed but maybe intentionally so. Not so much an intellectual novel as a story about people who overthink things for people who overthink things.
- The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle. I think of the two Lovecraftian novellas “Vellit Boe” is getting more love and rightly so – it is more loveable. This one stuck with me though and my head keeps revisiting it.
- “That Game We Played During the War”, by Carrie Vaughn. No particular feature stood out for me with this story but as a whole it was well crafted. I liked how it worked as a short story without relying on surprises or twists or even an unusal narrative structure – not that I dislike those things, just that it was done well here.
- Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda. An almost perfect combination of art, design and story.
- Stranger Things, Season One, created by the Duffer Brothers. It could have been dull and nothing more than a bunch of cliches or warmed-over tropes but instead it worked as a compelling TV show with genuine scares and warmth.
- Black Mirror: “San Junipero”, written by Charlie Brooker, directed by Owen Harris. A clever, humane and emotionally deep story about youth, old age, regrets and holiday romance. At the same time a strong SF story.
- Splendor & Misery [album], by Clipping. A really unexpected gem that I had playing over and over on my phone. I’m still gushing about this one.