Review: Best Novellas – The Hugo Awards 2017

Best Novella

1410 ballots cast for 187 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 167 to 511.

  • The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle ( publishing)
    • A man works the streets, guitar case in hand, but he’s not musically inclined at all – instead, inside there’s a book. He deals in mystery and knows when to talk or stop talking to help his business along. In one job he can secure enough money to cover six months rent, which means less worrying about his ailing father, and a chance to treat himself in a gamble for once. This piece was interesting and gripping, dealing with the broad subject of  racism – from the start we see the indifferent warnings given to both side, relating to Harlem and Queens. It’s a harsh and unfair world, and …then it dissolves into the weird, which is somehow even more gripping.
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, by Kij Johnson ( publishing)
    • Absolutely lovely and amazing. Apparently a retake on a Lovecraft story which I haven’t read, this feels entirely its own. A middle-aged woman goes on a quest to save her best and brightest student from a man who’s charmed her away – hopefully before scandal reaches the masses. It doesn’t help that the student is daughter to one of the universities’ highest donators. What’s interesting in this tale is that they all live and belong to the dreamworld, and the charmer is from the waking world – a place Vellitt has been before, which means now she’s the one best equipped to save their young student. A very lovely tale with a cat and hints of the very strange.
  • Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire ( publishing)
    • In this short novel we go to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, which, much alike Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, is a haven for those who are different. It’s for those who have been to other worlds and are no longer satisfied with normal life, but for various reasons can’t return to their other world – at least, until they can. This book is all kinds of awesome, and manages to wrap everything up sweetly in so few pages, yet it seems there’s also another two books on the cards in this series, which is excellent news. – full review is here.
  • Penric and the Shaman, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency)
    • My main issue with anything that I love too much is that I then can’t read anything out of order. Seeing that this is actually chronically third in the series (according to this list) means I didn’t want to read this until I’d first read The Hallowed Hunt, and Penric’s Demon. Which wouldn’t be too bad except that somehow The Hallowed Hunt is also the third in the World of the Five Gods series… bah! You don’t make it easy, Bujold (and yet we still love you.) Somehow I was convinced to start with Penric’s Demon instead, and I loved them both utterly and completely – I now can’t wait to devour all the fantasy Bujold has written, just like the thread of humour and lightheartedness we see in Miles from Vorkosigan series we have the same here – and I just can’t get enough of it.
  • A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson ( publishing)
    • I’ve been meaning to, but I haven’t yet read The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. Now, I think I’ll have to try find the time to fit it in. Aqib is proud to take care of the exotic animals of the prince – such as Sabah, a cheetah. He thinks he has everything he needs in life – a purpose, parents who care and will provide for everything in his future… that is, until, he meets a charming soldier who thinks Aqib is as equally handsome and charming back. Unfortunately, as one could almost expect, their union isn’t allowed nor welcome in their customs… though partly, it’s their customs which draw them to each other – one favour war wounds, and the other favour smooth and unmarked skin. Picking my order of voting is going to be harder and harder.
  • This Census-Taker, by China Miéville (Del Rey / Picador)
    • A hard book for people new to Miéville as it’s a bit weird, and you have to put a lot of trust in the author as to how it’ll all turn out. It’s a bit traumatic – a boy witnesses something beyond awful and is then locked away, where he’s allowed to write the book we’re reading whilst in captivity. The thing is though, that his jailer is his father. Parts in this are beautiful, parts are in ruins, and sadly, parts are confusing as character perspectives change randomly. Miéville is a good writer, and he can take these risks, however I don’t feel it gives me as much as a reader as the other pieces.

Review: Best Novelette – The Hugo Awards 2017

Best Novelette

1097 ballots cast for 295 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 74 to 268.

  • Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex, by Stix Hiscock (self-published)
    • Seems to be an attempt at Chuck Tingle, which either way isn’t worthy of notice let alone award.
  • The Art of Space Travel”, by Nina Allan (, July 2016)
    • Nice enough writing to read, but it feels like not much happens – I love character driven pieces but I didn’t connect with any of them, and though this was about relationships it was a little too airy-faerie to really get into. A bit fanciable, a bit boring. I also don’t feel it does anything genre-wise to make it worthwhile of a genre award.
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary”, by Fran Wilde ( publishing, May 2016)
    • Perhaps the idea of this can work better in a longer format, but under 50 pages seems too short to effectively discuss and unpack the whole ‘slaves’ thing – this piece as it is left me uncomfortable and discontent. Add on the fact that some parts lost me and were a bit boring with so few pages already when there were more important things to handle better… I was disappointed. And stories that involve jems have to be damn good to get me past the ‘eh why?’ query.
  • The Tomato Thief”, by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)
    • I appreciate Grandma Harken. Same last name as one of the QI elves from my favourite podcast, and living on the edge of town people majority of people are rubbish. This is a simple and enjoyable tale about an elderly witch who loves her garden – especially her tomatoes… so when they start to be stolen, one by one, it’s pretty much as bad as it gets for Grandma Harken. (I can’t stand tomatoes so don’t really care, but…) It’s a lovely story that keeps you reading, and well written to boot.
  • Touring with the Alien”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016)
    • I wanted to enjoy this one as the premise sounds fun, but it seemed so hammered down and treated the reader like they were five with no ability to come to their own conclusion. A few elements felt forced like the plot had to go a certain way even without the proper stepping stones to get there, and the ending was a bit too weird without the clever to make it work. Really disappointing, unfortunately – just not for me.
  • You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, by Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine, May 2016)
    • The best one of the lot – two orphans keep each other steady even as their lives start to pull them apart as they grow older. Marisol works in a brothel, and Ellis, our protagonist is a necromancer who’s pulled into the desert each night to seek the dead. It’s a piece that’s beautifully written, elegantly handled, utterly engaging, and Wong needs a book deal this instant. Southern Gothic music is my favourite at the moment, and this short story is music in written form.

Review: Best Short Story – The Hugo Awards 2017

Best Short Story

1275 ballots cast for 830 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 87 to 182.

  • The City Born Great”, by N. K. Jemisin (, September 2016)
    • ‘I don’t stink, but these people can smell anybody without a trust fund from a mile away.’ – HA. Excellently described. A lone homeless guy loves to paint. He’s told to listen, and he can start to hear something out there in the city. He’s told that if they’re not careful, their city (new York) will die  like Pompeii, and Atlantis… or turn into a shell like New Orleans. Jemisin also notes that libraries are safe places. There are lovely notes throughout that give this short story depth and warmth and a fill of our character, as well a his hardships, and though he’s resistant at first he’s then there to help their city through her pains. A rewarding a nice short story with simple depth.
  • A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers”, by Alyssa Wong (, March 2016)
    • Personally not for me, and a little triggering. Lovely writing, but I’m not in the best frame of mind for this currently. I do love things that are clever and play with time, but just a little painful.
  • Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”, by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine, November 2016)
    • Absolutely amazing. An empowering revenge piece where an awful man hurts the wrong woman, who turns out to be a fearful goddess who returns with her sisters to rip him apart and leave him crying and begging. All in about two pages. This takes an awful event and presents it in a way that’s strong, and vengeful and returns the power to the victim.
  • Seasons of Glass and Iron”, by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)
    • Another empowering piece of how women and their friendship can help with the unjust demands of men. Tabitha is cursed to walk until she wears out seven pairs of iron shoes, which would surely demand such a huge length of time and miles I can barely perceive it. In a way it seems okay – the magic also helps with her hunger, sleep, and keeps her from freezing or burning… so… could be worse? And then we find to be stuck on the ground when she belongs in the air… Brilliant, brilliant piece.
  • That Game We Played During the War”, by Carrie Vaughn (, March 2016)
    • A field medic is in enemy territory – though the war is now over. She attracts stares and suspicion, but she carries on doing what she’s there to do – visiting someone in a hospital. She’s Enithi, surrounded by Gaantish who are telepathic, which makes things interesting as there’s no point in ever lying to won. Certainly changes things when you’re in war, and have been captured. The two previous shorts I’ve read for this were important and excellent, but this is gripping and character driven – my favourite. Now voting will be dang hard.
  • “An Unimaginable Light”, by John C. Wright (God, Robot, Castalia House)
    • Failed to hold any interest, and certainly not at the level of those above.

Nominations Open for Hugo Awards 2015


So the nominations round for the Hugo Awards 2015 is open, seems like only a few weeks ago that I was madly reading to cast my final vote!

Taken from ‘Asking the Wrong Questions‘, they make it easy to understand if you’re eligible to vote:

You are eligible to nominate for the 2015 Hugo awards if you are:

  • An attending or supporting member of LonCon 3, the 2014 Worldcon.
  • An attending or supporting member of Sasquan, the 2015 Worldcon, and you purchased your membership before January 31st, 2015.
  • An attending or supporting member of MidAmeriCon II, the 2016 Worldcon, and you purchased your membership before January 31st 2015.

If you’re a member of any of these groups, you should receive an email from the Sasquan awards administrator informing you of your eligibility to nominate some time around the end of the month.  Note that members of LonCon and MidAmeriCon can only nominate for the 2015 Hugos, not vote for the winners–to do that, you need to be a member (attending or supporting) of Sasquan itself (but that’s further done the line).


Below I’ll have a list of novels I want to read for consideration, but haven’t yet managed to get to:

  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
  • The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
  • City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Happy to hear your thoughts or suggestions of who else I should try while we still have time, and especially want to know if I’m nominating anyone/anything that isn’t eligible. I’m always a bit worried I’m doing it wrong. Especially things like artists.


  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Guardian by Jo Anderton
  • Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb
  • Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
  • Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins
  • Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke
  • Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier
  • The Book of Days by K. A. Barker


  • “A Year and a Day in Old Theradane” by Scott Lynch
  • “The Falling World” by Martha Wells
  • “The Tale of Indigo and Cloud” by Martha Wells


  • “Kiss and Kiss and Kiss and Tell” by E. C. Myers
  • “Knotting Grass, Holding Ring” by Ken Liu

Short Story

  •  “Cookie Cutter Superhero” by Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • “Daughter of Necessity” by Marie Brennan (Tor)
  • “Mad Maudlin” by Marie Brennan (Tor)
  • Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon” by Ken Liu
  • The Truth About Owls” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • “Signature” by Faith Mudge
  • “Careful Magic” by Karen Healey

Related Work

  • Invisible: Personal Essays on Representation in SF/F by Jim C. Hines

Graphic Story

  • Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, Image Comics
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, self published
  • Saga, Volume Three by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, Image Comics

Dramatic Long

  • Welcome to Night Vale – Commonplace Books
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past – Fox
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Marvel

Dramatic Short

  • Turn, Turn, Turn – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • White Christmas – Black Mirror
  • Old Oak Doors (parts A and B) – Welcome to Night Vale
  • A Story About Them – Welcome to Night Vale

Editor Short

  • Tehani Wessely (FableCroft)
  • Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)

Editor Long

  • Lee Harris (Angry Robot Books)
  • Amanda Rutter (Angry Robot Books)
  • Simon Spanton (Gollancz)
  • Terry Karten (HarperCollins)
  • Gillian Redfern (Gollancz)

Pro Artist

  • Kathleen Jennings
  • Shaun Tan


  • The Book Smugglers – Ana and Thea (here, or fanzine still?)


  • Fantasy-Faction – Marc
  • The Book Smugglers – Ana and Thea (in semipro now?)
  • Speculating on SpecFic – Shaheen


  • Verity – Deborah Stanish, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, Erika Ensign and Tansy Rayner Roberts.
  • Galactic Suburbia – Tansy Rayner Roberts, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce
  • Welcome to Night Vale – Joseph Fink

Fan Writer

Fan Artist

John W. Campbell Award

  • Wesley Chu
  • Helene Wecker

If anyone needs their memories jogged of what’s eligible, I’ve mostly gone off the Lady Business suggestions in the handy spreadsheet again:

2014 Hugo Awards and 1939 Retro Hugos – Shortlists


The ballot announcements for the 2014 Hugo awards, the 1939 Retro Hugo awards and the John W. Campbell award began at 8:30pm BST on Saturday 19 April at Satellite 4, the 65th British National Science Fiction Convention, held in Glasgow. The event was streamed live on ustream.

The shortlists are to be published through the Loncon 3 website immediately afterwards. Nominations were also released category by category via the Loncon 3 Facebook page at and the Loncon 3 Twitter feed at

Those able to cast votes for the nomination rounds set another record with 1,923 nominations, 34 of those being paper and the rest electronic.

This entry shall be edited as categories are announced. Without further ado…

1939 Retrospective Hugo Awards

Best Novel

  • Carson of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Argosy, February 1938)
  • Galactic Patrol by E. E. Smith (Astounding Stories, February 1938)
  • The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
  • Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis (The Bodley Head)
  • The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (Collins)

Best Novella

  • ‘Anthem by Ayn Rand (Cassell)
  • “A Matter of Form” by H. L. Gold (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
  • “Sleepers of Mars” by John Beynon [John Wyndham] (Tales of Wonder, March 1938)
  • “The Time Trap” by Henry Kuttner (Marvel Science Stories, November 1938)
  • “Who Goes There?” by Don A Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1938)

Best Novelette

  • “Dead Knowledge” by Don A. Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Stories, January 1938)
  • “Hollywood on the Moon” by Henry Kuttner (Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1938)
  • “Pigeons From Hell” by Robert E. Howard (Weird Tales, May 1938)
  • “Rule 18” by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
  • “Werewoman” by C. L. Moore (Leaves #2, Winter 1938)

Best Short Story

  • “The Faithful” by Lester Del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)
  • “Helen O’Loy” by Lester Del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
  • “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma” by Ray Bradbury (Imagination!, January 1938)
  • “How We Went to Mars” by Arthur C. Clarke (Amateur Science Stories, March 1938)
  • “Hyperpilosity” by L. Sprague de Camp (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short)

  • Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Written & directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater of the Air, CBS)
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Written & directed by Orson Welles (The Campbell Playhouse, CBS)
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker. Written by Orson Welles and John Houseman, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater of the Air, CBS)
  • R. U. R.  by Karel Čapek. Produced by Jan Bussell (BBC)
  • The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Written by Howard Koch & Anne Froelick, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater of the Air, CBS)

Best Editor (Short Form)

  • John W. Campbell
  • Walter H. Gillings
  • Raymond A. Palmer
  • Mort Weisinger
  • Farnsworth Wright

Best Professional Artist

  • Margaret Brundage
  • Virgil Finlay
  • Frank R. Paul
  • Alex Schomburg
  • H. W. Wesso

Best Fanzine

  • Fantascience Digest
  • Fantasy News
  • Imagination!
  • Novae Terrae
  • Tomorrow

Best Fan Writer

  • Forest J. Ackerman
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Arthur Wilson ‘Bob’ Tucker
  • Harry Warner, Jr
  • Donald A. Wolllheim

2014 Hugo Awards

Best Novel

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1) Neptune's Brood (Freyaverse #2) Parasite (Parasitology, #1) Warbound (Grimnoir Chronicles #3) The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, #1)

  • ‘Ancillary Justice’ by Ann Leckie
  • ‘Neptune’s Brood’ by Charles Stross
  • ‘Parasite’ by Mira Grant
  • ‘Warbound (Grimnoir Chronicles #3)’ by Larry Correia
  • ‘The Wheel of Time’ (series) by Robert Jordon & Brandon Sanderson

Best Novella

The Butcher of Khardov Analog Science Fiction And Fact, July/August 2013 (Analog 133-7&8) Equoid: A Laundry novella: A Tor.Com Original (Laundry #2.9) Six-Gun Snow White Wakulla Springs: A Tor.Com Original

  • ‘The Butcher of Khardov’ by Dan Wells
  • ‘The Chaplain’s Legacy’ by Brad Torgersen
  • ‘Equoid’ by Charles Stross
  • ‘Six-Gun Snow White’ by Catherynne M. Valente
  • ‘Wakulla Springs’ by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages

Best Novelette

  • ‘The Exchange Offices’ by Brad Torgersen
  • ‘The Lady Astronaut of Mars’ by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • ‘Opera Vita Aeterna’ by Vox Day
  • ‘The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling’ by Ted Chiang
  • ‘The Waiting Stars’ by Aliette de Bodard

Best Short Story

  • ‘If You were a Dinosaur, My Love’ by Rachel Swirsky
  • ‘The Ink Readers of Doi Saket’ by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
  • ‘Selkie Stories are for Losers’ by Sofia Samatar
  •  ‘The Water that Falls onYou from Nowhere’ by John Chu

Best Related Work

  • Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It edited by Sigrid Ellis & Michael Damian Thomas (Mad Norwegian Press)
  • Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary edited by Justin Landon & Jared Shurin (Jurassic London)
  • “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative” by Kameron Hurley (A Dribble of Ink)
  • Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer, with Jeremy Zerfoss (Abrams Image)
  • Writing Excuses Season 8 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Jordan Sanderson

Best Graphic Story

  • Girl Genius, Volume 13: Agatha Heterodyne & The Sleeping City written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
  • “The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who” written by Paul Cornell, illustrated by Jimmy Broxton (Doctor Who Special 2013, IDW)
  • The Meathouse Man adapted from the story by George R.R. Martin and illustrated by Raya Golden (Jet City Comics)
  • Saga, Volume 2 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics )
  • “Time” by Randall Munroe (XKCD)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long)

  • Frozen
  • Gravity
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Iron Man 3
  • Pacific Rim

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short)

  • An Adventure in Space and Time
  • Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor
  • Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor
  • The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot
  • Game of Thrones: The Rains of Castamere
  • Orphan Black: Variations Under Domestication

Best Editor (Long Form)

  • Ginjer Buchanan
  • Sheila Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Lee Harris
  • Toni Weisskopf

Best Editor (Short Form)

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clark
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Sheila Williams

Best Professional Artist

  • Galan Dara
  • Julie Dillon
  • Daniel Dos Santos
  • John Harris
  • John Picacio
  • Fiona Staples

Best Semiprozene

  • Apex Magazine
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Interzone
  • Lightspeed
  • Strange Horizons

Best Fanzine

  • The Book Smugglers
  • A Dribble of Ink
  • Elitist Book Reviews
  • Journey Planet
  • Pornokitsch

Best Fancast

  • Coode Street Podcast
  • Galactic Suburbia
  • SF Signal Podcast
  • The Skiffy and Fanty Show
  • Tea and Jeopardy
  • Verity!
  • The Writer and the Critic

Best Fan Writer

  • Liz Bourke
  • Kameron Hurley
  • Foz Meadows
  • Abigail Nussbaum
  • Mark Oshiro

Best Fan Artist

  • Brad W. Foster
  • Mandie Manzano
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Steve Stiles
  • Sarah Webb

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Wesley Chu
  • Max Gladstone
  • Ramez Naam
  • Sofia Samatar
  • Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Any errors above are probably my own – this started streaming at 5am my time and I’m coming down with a cold.

The cutoff time for voting is the July 31st and they hope to have the voter’s packet to be available early May.

What an exciting time! Now the race is on to read and experience everything on the shortlist, in preparation for casting final votes.