Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2019 – Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Obviously the companion category to Long Form, Short form here means shorter than 90 minutes.  Unlike its longer cousin, this category often has a diverse range of media beyond tv and short film, and as such is the more interesting non textural category.  Unfortunately this is also the category that, as I predicted at the beginning of the Hugo season, I couldn’t get to all of the entries in.

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Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2019 – Novel

The marquee category, prima inter pares, what people mean when they refer to “The Hugo Award”, the novel category is open to works greater than 40,000 words (~80 pages plus).  It is also the category I dread the most; no matter how bad a short story is, it will be gone in a moment, while even a good story can drag at novel length.  This year I’ve read two going in, Trail of Lightning and Revenant Gun.

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Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2019 – Novelette

Hugo novelettes tend to be long short stories (7500-17500 words). The little bit of extra space gives more flexibility and can lead to greatness (last year’s Wind Will Rove, or two years ago’s Tomato Thief spring to mind), but far to often they fall into the uncanny valley where the length makes them flabby without gaining the depth of a longer work.

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Review – The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

I understand that Historical 14th Century Russian Folk Fantasy might not be the selling point for others that it is for me, but regardless, the Winternight Trilogy is something special.  I can’t speak to the accuracy of Arden’s Rus, but the verisimilitude is impressive, from the frozen rural hold where the book starts, through to the proto-city of Moscow, all under the yoke of absent Tartar rulers.  It is a land of hard work, resilient people, and of course magic.

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