The nominees for the highest honors in speculative writing came out last week. The full list can be found here, at their website. We’re especially proud to see some of our favorite books of 2018 on the list as well as the stiff competition they’ll face.
In the Best Novel category, The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal and Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente from our Best of 2018 both made the list, but they’re facing off against tough opponents, Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers , Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee, Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik and Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse.
The Best Related Work Category honors the nonfiction and critical side of the speculative fiction world. Alec Nevala-Lee’s awesome literary history book, Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction is nominated! For those who haven’t checked it out, this is an excellent look at the formative years of the genres, but with discerning edge – it’s not all nostalgia here. Another fascinating addition to this category is Jo Walton’s An Informal History of the Hugos which should please fans and would a be little ironic if it didn’t win this year. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but Walton’s research shines in her fiction and be right at home in a history book. This category also honors websites and research works.
Yes, there’s a Hugo for film, and this year, it’s probably going to a Marvel film. Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse have been nominated. I still can’t really decide which of the three I like best. Other contenders include John Krasinski’s surprise horror hit, A Quiet Place, and Boots Riley’s absurdist comedy, Sorry to Bother You. Rounding out the ballot is Annihilation, which I found rather an underwhelming adaptation of an excellent book.
In the Best Graphic Fiction category, Brian K. Vaughn has two works up for consideration. Volume 9 from Saga is going up against volume 4 of Paper Girls. Can tweenage adventure beat space fantasy? The other entries are pretty strong, too, Abbott written by Saladin Ahmed, a Black Panther arc written by Nnedi Okorafor, and Marjorie Liu’s Monstress. Of course, the book version of Tillie Walden’s webcomic, On a Sunbeam, might upset them all.
The dominance of the short story genre still thrives and it shows in the Best Short Story, Best Editor, Best Semiprozine categories. Many of the best stories in speculative are available online for free. This year, nominees represent Uncanny, Fireside, Lightspeed and Clarkesworld. The editorial staffs at Fireside, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, FIYAH, and Shimmer fill out the best semiprozine category. Guys, Shimmer just released its final issue! If you want to see where the genre’s going checkout some of theses stories that you can easily read on your phone.
Last year’s Hugos proved historic by awarding N.K. Jemison the first ever Hugo hat trick, but this year’s competition looks downright cutthroat. Results will be announced at WorldCon in Dublin August 15.