Category: Hugo2019

  • Hugo 2019 Novellas: Binti – The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor (some spoilers)

    I enjoyed the first of the Binti novellas. The second (Binti: Home) I found less engaging and also effectively incomplete as a story. Binti: The Night Masquerade is the third and is the missing second half of Binti: Home as a story and I really struggled to finish it. (Spoilers follow).


  • Hugo 2019 Novellas: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

    The third book in McGuire’s Wayward Children series is a sequel to the first, with one of the murders in the first book having severe repercussions on the magical-portal world connected to the victim. There’s more of Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children in this story than the last but it’s clear that the interesting […]

  • Hugo 2019 Novellas: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

    I read this sometime ago and there have been two further instalments of Murderbot’s adventures since. Looking at it again in the context of the Hugo Awards raises a tricky dilemma: how to see the second novella in the series as a thing in itself distinct from the series as a whole? This is further […]

  • Cats, Dogs, Robots & Rockets: Hugo 2019 novels where they stand

    I’ve reviewed and ranked the Hugo finalists for best novel by my subjective impressions but how about some more objective criteria. Specifically, how does each one feature in the key metrics of: Does it have cats in it? Does it have dogs in it? Does it have robots in it? Does it have rockets (or […]

  • Hugo 2019 Best Dramatic Short etc Round-up

    I really like Doctor Who and I really like The Good Place but two episodes each, particularly from not particularly strong seasons is too many. So we have a weird battle of three groups Not The Doctor Good Who Place: The Expanse: “Abaddon’s Gate,” written by Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by […]

  • Hugo 2019 Best Dramatic Long etc Round-up

    And the contenders are: Annihilation, directed and written for the screen by Alex Garland, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer (Paramount Pictures / Skydance) [my review] Avengers: Infinity War, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Studios) [my review] Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler and […]

  • Hugo 2019 Novel Round-Up

    Six novel finalists and six books read (well, one listened to). I’m not going to give my final ballot rankings but I think from my reviews there’s some obvious groupings to how I see the books. Specifically, I see the finalists in three groups: Peak of their craft: books that are exemplary works by their […]

  • Hugo 2019 Novels: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

    One of the things I admire about some of the best short stories is the way some writers can quickly establish both character and setting with a few brushstrokes. Short stories have little space to linger and if we are going to find ourselves caring about a person’s fate, establishing a distinctive person quickly is […]

  • Hugo 2019 Novels: Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

    And I think this is the point where I part company with a lot of Hugo voters. I know a lot of people enjoy the Wayfarers series of novels and I was OK with A Long Way To… and I quite enjoyed (mainly – or at least 50% of) A Close and Common Orbit but […]

  • Hugo 2019 Novels: Revenant Gun

    Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire has always been ambiguous about the protagonist of the story. The stories begin and end with Cheris but Shous Jedao is central to each book. The middle book (Raven Stratagem) confuses matters further with Cheris apparently subsumed beneath Jedao (and identified by most as Jedao) but with twists. Here […]