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What should I read for the next Hugo Awards?

Gareth3

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I've never read everything nominated for the Hugo Awards, but I was suprised this year that I made a clean sweep. I read absolutely none of the written nominees, apart from the first few Laundry books by Charlie Stross. I'd like to do a little better for the 2020 Hugos, especially since they're in New Zealand, so I'm open to suggestions. The criteria for nominating written fiction is that it must be first published, first translated into English, or first published in the United States in 2019. Any kind of publishing is fine, and I didn't read any of the comics either, so include them. Nominations will open early next year, but I'd like to get started reading stuff already published.

A couple more restrictions for this thread are that I can't read anything other than English, and the fiction has to be easily available in New Zealand. We get UK editions quite fast, but there may be delays with books published only in America. Print SF magazines other than Analog are quite scarce, so please concentrate on short fiction that's available online. Other than being some kind of science fiction or fantasy, I'm not specifying what kind of story I'm interested in. Partly this is to make the recommendations useful for as many people as possible, partly because I'll have to broaden my reading to cover more of the nominees.

So, please suggest something that fits these criteria, in one or more of these categories:
Novel, 40,000+ words
Novella 17,500-40,000 words
Novelette 7,500-17,500 words
Short Story less than 7,500 words
"Graphic Story" ie comic book, graphic novel, or web comic
Please choose just one work per category and explain why you chose it. Thank you for your suggestions.
 

Boris

I am invincible?
Validated User
So you're looking for stuff likely to be nominated for the 2020 Hugos?

I propose the novel Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone. It's a huge sweeping space opera but also has deep thematic and character richness. Some parts are beautiful and almost poetic. I can see it getting a nomination.
 

Gareth3

Registered User
Validated User
Yes, there's still four months in which eligible stuff can be published, but I thought I'd see what's available now. You can take "electability" into consideration as well as whether it's your personal favourite: what you think is likely to be nominated. Also, I don't mind if you're just seconding a suggestion, more people recommending the same thing gives me more incentive to try it. Thanks for your suggestion, I'll check it out.
 
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Bookwrack

Gazer
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This might be a good place to ask, you just need a worldcon membership to get the nominee packet once they come out?
 

CaptainCrowbar

Charismatic Megafauna
RPGnet Member
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This might be a good place to ask, you just need a worldcon membership to get the nominee packet once they come out?
Yes. If you're not planning on actually attending the con, you only need to pay for a supporting membership, which is a lot cheaper than an attending membership.
 

PaulK

I am not a number! I am a
Validated User
In novels, I’d suggest Anne Leckie’s The Raven Tower and I’m hearing good things about Elisabeth Bear’s Ancestral Night
 

Boris

I am invincible?
Validated User
For novella, and being indulgent by suggesting two works featuring the same author I'll say This is How You Lose the Time War by Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar. An incredibly beautiful epistolary novella of love letters between time travelers from rival factions. It has the incredible ability to draw out tiny moments of intimacy against the backdrop of epic events, so that you are so happy that one character found some seeds, you don't care about the war fleet burning in the background.
 

Arethusa

Sophipygian
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For novella, and being indulgent by suggesting two works featuring the same author I'll say This is How You Lose the Time War by Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar. An incredibly beautiful epistolary novella of love letters between time travelers from rival factions. It has the incredible ability to draw out tiny moments of intimacy against the backdrop of epic events, so that you are so happy that one character found some seeds, you don't care about the war fleet burning in the background.
I was just scrolling down to recommend it. So good!
 

randomgerbil

Registered User
Validated User
In the novel category I'd suggest A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. It's a beautifully written space opera about imperialism, both military and cultural, where we follow a young ambassador summoned from her small collection of mining stations to the dominant empire as the previous ambassador had died in mysterious circumstances.

It's been getting a lot of buzz since it came out this Spring so it's a reasonable shout to make the final shortlist.
 
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