This is the award for best new writer, regardless of output length (or quantity), and year after year it ends up my favourite category by delivering works that I think are better than any of the nominees in the main ballot. This year I will be thwarted however, as the three shorter pieces in this category are all in regular competition. On the upside, this makes this category an easy ask, as I’ve also already read Under the Pendulum Sun, leaving me with just three novels to cover.
Novellas are almost exclusively short novels, self contained and fully fleshed out. I was expecting good things given that one is a sequel to a novella I liked last year (A Heart Shaped Door), another by an author I liked last year (Sarah Gailey), and a third is the sequel to a 2016 winner (Binti).
A young girl defies her tribal traditions and sneaks off-world to university. Binti has magical artifacts, powerful rituals, strange races, and arcane institutions – it’s not science fiction that is obsessed with, or even interested in technology. Instead, Binti is about leaving home, encountering new cultures, and becoming part of the big scary world. Two […]
The world might be different but there will always be London, or at least there are four of them, spanning from Georgian England to a lifeless world scoured by magic. A few special mages ferry messages between the worlds, but not all messages are created equal…
Sequel to Ninefox Gambit/Book 2 of the Machineries of Empire Trilogy
I thought Ninefox Gambit was brilliant and strange, if a little obtuse. With all the strange technology and bizarre calendar tricks out of the way, Raven Stratagem feels like a chance for Yoon Ha Lee to cut loose and have fun.
A young woman in private practice after being cast out of the academy in disgrace, is hired by a partner in a major firm to assist in a post bankruptcy restructuring of a global entity, but a range of opponents both old and new are arrayed against her. Oh and the practice is wizardry, the academy was above the clouds, and the entity being restructured is a god.
A loyal commander teams up with a traitorous general to crush a rebellion through a combination of super advanced weapons and manipulation of the calender.
Weird is easy. Believably, coherently and off-puttingly weird is much harder…
A member of the filth finds his calling as the police’s newest, and nearly only, wizard.
Peter Grant is not your typical urban fantasy protagonist. For starters he’s a cop, and an extremely junior one at that. More importantly, at the beginning of the series, not a very good cop: better than a hanger, but lacking in the instincts and discipline that would make him stand out. He’s also black, which matter less then it might have in the past, but certainly carries varying degrees of baggage in the Police, London, and England respectively.
Now we get to the category where I can actually seem vaguely competent because I’ve read most of them before. As you would hope, this is an extremely strong category, and my only regret is that I didn’t have time to read more books in these series.