award nomination season

February 8, 2017

The nominating season for the Hugo and Nebula awards is upon us (the former nominated by attendees of last year’s and this year’s Worldcons, and the latter by the membership of SFWA), and I like to try to talk about what I’m looking at nominating, at least a little.  (A couple months ago I posted my own eligible work, if you’re so inclined to look.)

As usual, I didn’t read much in the way of shorter fiction — I keep meaning to and I keep not making it happen. Grr.  I did encounter Paolo Bacigalupi’s new one, “Mika Model,” super brutal and pointed and very good.  I actually did pretty well on novels.  My favorite new novel last year was probably Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip, a very quiet but very clever. . .actually I can’t say much more about it without spoiling the surprise, which is right there in the title and I didn’t even notice it until I was a third of the way through.

A lot of good entries in series:  Four Roads Cross by Max Gladstone, part of the very cool Craft Sequence. Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey.  The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, which wraps up the excellent Raven Cycle, which everyone should try.

This brings me to this year’s Hugo Awards, which added a special category for best series. This has the potential of being quite contentious, which is why I was sure to nominate all of the above, as well as Wild Cards, the longest-running shared-world anthology series in SF&F, which had a new book out last year, High Stakes.  It would be awesome to get some recognition for the 30 years of storytelling the Wild Cards gang has put out.

The other category I paid attention to is Graphic Story, because there’s just so much going on in this field, both in the big publishers and with independents. I’d like to draw attention to Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress, the ongoing Strong Female Protagonist, and a couple of out-of-left-field entries from DC and Marvel:  Bombshells, which on the surface looks like an excuse to draw all the DC women heroes and villains as 1940’s pinups, but manages to be a totally woman-centric alt-history adventure story, which is very cool; and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. I’m late to the party on that one, but it’s goofy and meta and hard not to love.

And that’s what I’m looking at right now.




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