Hugo time again. If you want a primer on the Hugo awards and where I fit in, I did one last year.
This year, some personal stuff happened and I got a little bit sidetracked.1 Indeed, I missed the announcement of the Hugo packet because I forgot to actually register for Worldcon until this week. Fortunately, ballots aren’t due until July 31, giving me six and a half weeks to make some progress through the slate.
As per usual, I’m really only interested in the fiction categories, and I’ll focus on the categories I enjoy most: I’ll start with the short fiction categories (Short Story, Novelette, Novella), transition to the Campbell award for best new author, and then hit the graphic novel category. Anything I manage past those is a bonus.
Given how I always feel that I keep up poorly with contemporary SFF, I’m actually pretty happy with how much of the slate I’ve already consumed. I’ve read and reviewed both The Collapsing Empire and Raven Stratagem in the Novel category,2 and have also read Under the Pendulum Sun, the novel anchoring Jeannette Ng’s Campbell entry.3
In contrast, when it comes to the dramatic categories, I’ve probably seen fewer than most tv and movie watchers, let alone SFF fans. I’ve seen most of the Long Form (basically the movie list) entrants, but missed The Shape of Water, 4 and finding nearly three hours for the new Blade Runner was just a bridge too far. In the short form section I feel even more remiss – I’ve watched both Good Places and the Discovery episode, but waited for Doctor Who to come to streaming and have been watching it glacially with my kids, and just haven’t watched Black Mirror since the first season. Meanwhile anyone who knows me will not be surprised that I haven’t hear the song nominated in this category, but at five and a half minutes, I’m sure I’ll manage it.
So what am I looking forward too?
Obviously I avoid plot descriptions, but looking over the slate I see a number of authors I’m extremely enthusiastic about including favourites from last year such as Ursula Vernon, Yoon Ha Lee, and Sarah Gailey, and old staples such as Leckie, Robinson, Bujold, Sanderson and Jeminsin. What I’m most excited for however is the Best Graphic Story category, where there are sequels to two books I loved, Monstress and Bitch Planet, a continuation of one of the best series in comics (Saga), and a couple of books that tweak my interest because of title, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, or author, Black Bolt (Saladin Ahmed). Only Paper Girls Volume 3 doesn’t excite me, and I still thought the first volume was a solid story with exceptional colouring.
So what now
Reading. So much reading.
And then of course the writing. I’ll follow the format of last year and put up posts on a category by category basis, and assuming I get the reading done, I will aim to improve upon last year and have the key ones (three short fiction, Campbell, and Graphic) up before voting closes.
I hope that you will join me.
- As evidenced by this being the first post since February
- The first a welcome return to form for Scalzi, the second a solid sequel to one of the most inventive novels of the previous year.
- You’ll have to wait for my opinion on that one…
- Including Brisbane’s Modern Art Gallery’s double feature with the Creature from the Black Lagoon, which I aspired to get to.