Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2023 – Novella

Works in the Hugo Novella category are almost always short novels (17500-40000 words).

In 2019 I wrote that this category had been revitalised by digital publishing and it continues to be true – novellas seem more accessible to consumers and more vital than ever, and the quality of this section has in previous rounds been exceptional.  I’m really looking forward to this category as it is a mixture of authors I am extremely familiar with (McGuire, Tchaikovsky, and to a lesser extend Kingfisher) and some new (to me) faces.

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Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2023 – Introduction

It’s been a while since I’ve done this, (2019) so I hope I’m not too rusty.  As is my want, I’ll stick to the Fiction categories, prioritising Novel, Novella, Novelette and Short Story (the last two generally being my favourite categories), then if I have time hit Series, Graphic Novel, New Writer, and Young Adult (the last two technically not being Hugos).  I’ll also dip my toes into the presentation categories if I’ve already covered off most of the entrants.

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Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2019 – Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

In theory, this category can include just about any medium (TV series, Game, Street Performance) as long as it is longer than 90 minutes.  Disappointingly, it end up as the best movie category.  Given my scarcity of going out time, I generally only see films that appeal to my wife (horror), or my kids (superheroes), but this year that covered four of the six, and I watched Annihilation when it dropped on Netflix.  On the upside, this means that I only had to watch Sorry to Bother You to vote in the category, on the downside, a lot of these films are a bit fuzzy in my recollection.

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Review – North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud

This collection of stories is best described as horror based magical realism of poor and working class America (except for The Crevasse, which is a straight up riff on the Mountains of Madness). Most of the plots involve people crushed by poverty or living on the edge of it, encountering something supernatural, usually a monster, that throws into relief the fact that their lives were already horrific, and being terrorised, killed, or even just encountering the supernatural doesn’t change that appreciably. Not all the stories are hopeless, but that’s usually the way to bet.

This fits into the most interesting category of book for me, well crafted, interesting, deep, and entirely not to my tastes. This is a good collection of stories, and I did not like it.


Recommended for people who think magical realism would be better if it was more depressing.

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