2020 Hugo Finalists

See http://file770.com/hugo-awards-2020-finalists/

2020 Hugo Award Finalists

Best Novel

I’ve read three of the five. The only one not read and not on my TBR was Seanan McGuire’s. My favourite is The Light Brigade.

  • 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)

Best Novella

No surprises. A cast of Hugo voter favourites.

  • “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador)
  • The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga Press/Gallery)
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
  • In an Absent Dream, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books)
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton)

Best Novelette

I’m a bit deficient in novelette reading. I loved ‘for He Can Creep’ for obvious reasons.

  •  “The Archronology of Love”, by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, April 2019)
  • “Away With the Wolves”, by Sarah Gailey (Uncanny Magazine: Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Special Issue, September/October 2019)
  • “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye”, by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny Magazine, July-August 2019)
  • Emergency Skin, by N.K. Jemisin (Forward Collection (Amazon))
  • “For He Can Creep”, by Siobhan Carroll (Tor.com, 10 July 2019)
  • “Omphalos”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador))

Best Short Story

I usually really like half the Nebula short stories and those shorts are then often the ones that also appear in the Hugos. I didn’t really warm to ‘A Catalog of Storms’ though but the skill in it was undeniable.

  • “And Now His Lordship Is Laughing”, by Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons, 9 September 2019)
  • “As the Last I May Know”, by S.L. Huang (Tor.com, 23 October 2019)
  • “Blood Is Another Word for Hunger”, by Rivers Solomon (Tor.com, 24 July 2019)
  • “A Catalog of Storms”, by Fran Wilde (Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2019)
  • “Do Not Look Back, My Lion”, by Alix E. Harrow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2019)
  • “Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island”, by Nibedita Sen (Nightmare Magazine, May 2019)

Best Series

Honestly, I think The Expanse deserves this.

  • The Expanse, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)
  • Luna, by Ian McDonald (Tor; Gollancz)
  • Planetfall series, by Emma Newman (Ace; Gollancz)
  • Winternight Trilogy, by Katherine Arden (Del Rey; Del Rey UK)
  • The Wormwood Trilogy, by Tade Thompson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Best Related Work

Good stuff. I appreciated Ng’s speech but I’m less keen on it winning this category.

  • Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood, by J. Michael Straczynski (Harper Voyager US)
  • Joanna Russ, by Gwyneth Jones (University of Illinois Press (Modern Masters of Science Fiction))
  • The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, by Mallory O’Meara (Hanover Square)
  • The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein, by Farah Mendlesohn (Unbound)
  • “2019 John W. Campbell Award Acceptance Speech”, by Jeannette Ng
  • Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, produced and directed by Arwen Curry

Best Graphic Story or Comic

Not familiar with Mooncakes. Looks interesting.

  • Die, Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker, by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)
  • LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, colours by James Devlin (Berger Books; Dark Horse)
  • Monstress, Volume 4: The Chosen, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Mooncakes, by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker, letters by Joamette Gil (Oni Press; Lion Forge)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 6, written by Brian K. Vaughan, drawn by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image)
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 9: “Okay“, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Russian Doll is an interesting nominee. I really enjoyed the show and it might be a surprise winner but I suspect Good Omens will win. Gaiman and Pratchett and David Tennant? Like catnip for Hugo-cats.

  • Avengers: Endgame, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Studios)
  • Captain Marvel, screenplay by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios/Animal Logic (Australia))
  • Good Omens, written by Neil Gaiman, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios/Narrativia/The Blank Corporation)
  • Russian Doll (Season One), created by Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler, directed by Leslye Headland, Jamie Babbit and Natasha Lyonne (3 Arts Entertainment/Jax Media/Netflix/Paper Kite Productions/Universal Television)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, screenplay by Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams, directed by J.J. Abrams (Walt Disney Pictures/Lucasfilm/Bad Robot)
  • Us, written and directed by Jordan Peele (Monkeypaw Productions/Universal Pictures)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Only one Good Place episode this year, which is a blessing.

  • The Good Place: “The Answer”, written by Daniel Schofield, directed by Valeria Migliassi Collins (Fremulon/3 Arts Entertainment/Universal Television)
  • The Expanse: “Cibola Burn”, written by Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by Breck Eisner (Amazon Prime Video)
  • Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar”, written by Jeff Jensen and Damon Lindelof, directed by Nicole Kassell (HBO)
  • The Mandalorian: “Redemption”, written by Jon Favreau, directed by Taika Waititi (Disney+)
  • Doctor Who: “Resolution”, written by Chris Chibnall, directed by Wayne Yip (BBC)
  • Watchmen: “This Extraordinary Being”, written by Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, directed by Stephen Williams (HBO)

Best Editor, Short Form

Oh look editors.

  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • C.C. Finlay
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

More editors.

  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Brit Hvide
  • Diana M. Pho
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

Nice choices.

  • Tommy Arnold
  • Rovina Cai
  • Galen Dara
  • John Picacio
  • Yuko Shimizu
  • Alyssa Winans

Best Semiprozine

Solid set of nominees. Nice to FIYAH on the list.

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor Scott H. Andrews
  • Escape Pod, editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya, assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney, audio producers Adam Pracht and Summer Brooks, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart
  • Fireside Magazine, editor Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson, copyeditor Chelle Parker, social coordinator Meg Frank, publisher & art director Pablo Defendini, founding editor Brian White
  • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, executive editor Troy L. Wiggins, editors Eboni Dunbar, Brent Lambert, L.D. Lewis, Danny Lore, Brandon O’Brien and Kaleb Russell
  • Strange Horizons, Vanessa Rose Phin, Catherine Krahe, AJ Odasso, Dan Hartland, Joyce Chng, Dante Luiz and the Strange Horizons staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, nonfiction/managing editor Michi Trota, managing editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky

Best Fanzine

All good stuff. I haven’t really looked at Rec Center, so time to repair that omission.

  • The Book Smugglers, editors Ana Grilo and Thea James
  • Galactic Journey, founder Gideon Marcus, editor Janice Marcus, senior writers Rosemary Benton, Lorelei Marcus and Victoria Silverwolf
  • Journey Planet, editors James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Alissa McKersie, Ann Gry, Chuck Serface, John Coxon and Steven H Silver
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, editors Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, Vance Kotrla, and The G
  • Quick Sip Reviews, editor Charles Payseur
  • The Rec Center, editors Elizabeth Minkel and Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Best Fancast

  • Be The Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
  • Claire Rousseau’s YouTube channel, produced & presented by Claire Rousseau
  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts, producer Andrew Finch
  • Our Opinions Are Correct, presented by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Skiffy and Fanty Show, presented by Jen Zink and Shaun Duke

Best Fan Writer

I was delighted by this list. So many good writers! So many blog friends! Hoorah. Now I must decide between them in a horrific gladiatorial thunderdome! Ouch, this is going to hurt badly!

  • Cora Buhlert
  • James Davis Nicoll
  • Alasdair Stuart
  • Bogi Takács
  • Paul Weimer
  • Adam Whitehead

Best Fan Artist


  • Iain Clark
  • Sara Felix
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Meg Frank
  • Ariela Housman
  • Elise Matthesen

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

Ooh, some tasty treats here! Nice to see Minor Mage which I really enjoyed.

  • Catfishing on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
  • Deeplight, by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)
  • Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee (Disney/Hyperion)
  • Minor Mage, by T. Kingfisher (Argyll)
  • Riverland, by Fran Wilde (Amulet)
  • The Wicked King, by Holly Black (Little, Brown; Hot Key)

Astounding Award for the Best New Writer, sponsored by Dell Magazines

Lots of 2nd year eligibility names.

  • Sam Hawke (2nd year of eligibility)
  • R.F. Kuang (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Jenn Lyons (1st year of eligibility)
  • Nibedita Sen (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Tasha Suri (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Emily Tesh (1st year of eligibility)

46 responses to “2020 Hugo Finalists”

  1. Many things to say about many categories, but firstly and most importantly I have to kermit flail about the great people I know in the fan categories.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Really happy with these nominees. I’m curious your eventual thoughts on Middlegame, which I liked but didn’t love – and I’m a huge Seanan McGuire fan. The Light Brigade is also my pick for best novel but seems destined like the Nebula to either come down to Gideon or A Memory Called Empire

    All in all, a damn good ballot.

    Liked by 1 person

      • @Cora

        Lives in England though and is mainly published there. Might utterly be possible that she doesn’t have a large fan base there yet.


      • I’m curious how the preferential ballot will play in — a lot of the reactions I have seen are of the love-it-or-hate-it variety so I wonder how many votes GIDEON will pick up in elimination rounds.

        (I thought something vaguely similar about Related Work last year; preferences from eliminated works split 385 for Le Guin and 215 for AO3, but AO3 was already sitting on a 344-vote plurality.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • My general impression is that love-it-or-hate -it is great for getting a finalist slot via fptp, but terrible for actually winning. (e.g. see how Space Opera fared in the finals last year)

          Liked by 3 people

  3. […] all waiting for, is coming as soon as I can get it written. In the meantime, you can read Camestros Felapton’s comments about the 2020 Hugo finalists. And if you want to get started reading the finalists (never too early), JJ has put together a […]


  4. I was happily collecting some more of the finalists, and, running through the short stories, commented to my wife Deirdre about Shiv Ramdas’s ‘And Now His Lordship Is Laughing’:

    Rick: “Strange Horizons has a widgets you can frob to show content warnings. This story has a whole smörgåsbord of them:

    Animal cruelty/death
    Disregard for personal autonomy
    Body transformation
    Child death

    …and the ever-popular…


    Deirdre: “Oh, so, just your average day, then?”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s been pointed out elsewhere that all of the novel finalists are women and cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth from certain quarters…

    Liked by 2 people

    • But the fanwriter ballot is four guys, one non-binary and one woman, so maybe they’ll be happy about that. On the other hand, maybe not.


    • UGH. I’ve been in the Reddit threads about the nominations and those complaints are So. Tiring.

      At least one of the complainers (surprising me!) responded semi-productively when I prodded him about which works he’d have preferred to see on the ballot.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m as suspicious of the nameless mass of Hugo voters as anyone, but after reading last year’s novel finalists I thought they showed really good taste. It’s amazing what you find out when you actually read the books….

      Liked by 4 people

      • But that might mean exposing yourself to different ideas! Who said that you have to expose yourself to different ideas in order to enjoy good SF? What ever happened to manly men doing manly things like killing all the bug eyed monsters and getting the girl?


        Liked by 2 people

      • The ironic thing is that in the almost 30 golden age science fiction stories I reviewed for the Retro Reviews project, there was not a single bug-eyed monster. There were bug-eyed monsters on the covers, sure, but not in the stories themselves.

        But I suspect the main problem of those folks is that they are yearning for a version of the genre that never existed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “I suspect the main problem of those folks is that they are yearning for a version of the genre that never existed.”

        If only there were a group of writers who had this wish and were capable of writing engaging stories to give themselves the genre they wish to exist. Imagine the vast expanses of fiction which could be created to bring their vision to life! If only such a group of talented writers existed!

        Liked by 3 people

  6. I have so successfully gafiated that I’ve read nothing but some of the Fan Writers and one Graphic Novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve read quite a few of these works. I’m sorry to say that there will be a significant amount of No Awarding on my ballot. Ah, well, chacun à son gout.


      • So far I have three definite “No Awards”, two of them in the dramatic presentation categories. I haven’t read many of the short story and novelette finalists, so there may be more.


    • I realized I have copies of all six of the novels, but I’ve only managed to read one of them.

      I’m doing better with the novellas, where I’ve read two of them.


  7. Random thoughts in no particular order:
    Series – Winternight is the standout to me – a complete, and very good, series. The Expanse would have been my clear choice *next* year after the final book is published later this year, it seems very weird to be judging it so close from completion.
    Astounding – doesn’t the name already sound natural? Anyway, Tesh and Sen were on my list, and Kuang ought to have been if I’d realised she was eligible.
    Lodestar – delightfully tricky, 3 stories I loved and nominated but Catnet is the one that absolutely charmed the socks off me.
    Novel – I’d decided that Gideon didn’t quite sound like my thing (and it’s been at a high price!) and that there was a fair chance of awards season bringing it to me anyway… so my plan is coming to fruition bwahaha.
    Memory and Light Brigade were real favourites of mine last year. I’m slightly sad not to see the Raven Tower on there, but it doesn’t seem to have caught on like the Ancillary books did.
    Short stuff – I had a Very Bad short reading year – just got pulled into lots of novels and lost momentum – and then my planned intensive catch up got wrecked as well … so I’ve got loads of presumably great stories to read now!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Graphic Novel has the same problems as usual with repeats. I won’t even rank Paper Girls, Monstress and Wicked + Divine.

    LaGuardia was nice and Die was very meh in story, but with great artwork. Mooncakes looks a bit to cute for me, but will try it out.

    Liked by 1 person

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: