Hugo Nominees for 2019

I did not read a lot of 2018 books, in 2018 or now.1  Given my ignorance, I tend to nominate things that might not get attention otherwise, that stood out for some reason, or that are so good, they would have gotten nominated anyway.  I also don’t usually write about my nominations unless they are really off the beaten track, but I haven’t posted in a while, so with that out of the way:

TV

Hilda

One of the best shows on television is a kids show on Netflix.  Based on the comic series, Hilda is about a girl who lives in world of wonder, with trolls, giants, thunderbirds and many more exotic and original animals, but one that is still recognisable as a take on our modern world.  More importantly, it transcends age, having enough fun for young kids, but with enough substance and wonder for, well me.  For shot form drama, the biggest problem is picking an episode, because they are of such consistent quality, but I’m leaning towards “The Lost Tribe” because, well all the best quests start with paperwork.  Runner up would probably be the Tide Mouse (your local library has a magic section right?), but regardless I will also nominate the entire series for best long form drama.

Good Place

Consistantly the best show on tv, but no one episode really stood out in the way that The Trolley Problem, Micheal’s Gambit, or Dance Dance Resolution did in previous seasons.  The pick of the bunch is Janets, which is a magnificent showcase for D’Arcy Carden to play every member of the cast.  In spite of this, I just can’t bring myself to nominate it, though if it finds itself on the ballot I would vote for it.

Doctor Who

I’ve previously praised Demons of the Punjab as being the best new who episode in a long time, and I stand by it.  Anchoring the season in emotion, rather than elaborate meta-plots, payed huge dividends, and this episode is the apex of this trend.

Missed opportunities:

I’m not going to get through all the Magicians in time for nomination, being a show I can watch with my wife, but with a bit of time to dwell on it, I might nominate “Be the Penny”, which shows that the Magicians is best when it embraces the it’s lighter side.  Similarly I did watch all of Altered Carbon and loved it, but it is very much a show that benefits from a slow burn where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Fortunately, if you are curious about either show, the discussion in pop culture references on the Magicians, and the clone fight in Altered Carbon are everywhere on the internet.

Novels

The Girl in the Tower

Katherin Aden’s second book is so good I did something I haven’t done in a long time, I bought the next book in the series the week it came out.  The only reason I haven’t reviewed it is because I’m holding out for a quiet weekend where I can read Winter of the Witch cover to cover.

Unfortunately, it was also published in December 2017 and is ineligible.

The Consuming Fire and the Mortal Word

A sequel has to be pretty spectacular for me to nominate them usually,2 but here we have two sequels that gave me something unexpected from each series; the first a sardonic space opera, the latter a series moving on after vanquishing it’s villain.    I’m swinging back on forth on nominating them as I’m pretty sure the Scalzi will get nominated anyway, and in that situation it seems unfair not to try to get Cogman’s book nominated as well.

Movies

Teen Titans Go to the Movies

To make a great parody of something, you really need to be passionate about it.  If you love the thing you are parodying, then the highest compliment you can pay to it is to have a parody that also works as the thing you are parodying, and Teen Titans Go to the Movies is a parody of modern superhero movies that is also a pretty great superhero movie.  I’m also not sure I laughed harder at any joke in 2018 than Teen Titans Martha joke, and in a year with three great animate superhero movies, one a sequel to one of my favourite movies of all time, and another staring my favourite superhero, this was my favourite.

Black Panther

I’m not the right person to discuss why Black Panter is important, but that doesn’t matter because one, it’s great, and two, judging from the box office everyone on earth has seen it at least once.

Other

Last year I nominated Alice isn’t dead, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to listen to season 3 (I’m bad at endings).  If it holds up to last season, I promise a review when I finally get to it.

Given the request on his blog, I am however, seriously consider nominating the Laundry Files in best series, as, while it has had ups and downs, it is an incredibly unique series of espionage, chthonic horror, and math.

  1. I did on the other hand watch some of the relevant movies, a fair whack of TV, and a bunch of other stuff.
  2. Hence Revenant Gun and Lies Sleeping being out of contention as more of the really great same even as I really liked both.

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