2019 Hugo Season

It’s that time of year again where the Hugo Nominees are announced. This year I’m going to try and read the novels, novellas, novelettes, short stories and maybe graphic stories of both the current 2019 awards, and the 1944 Retro Hugo awards.

Damn, I have a lot to read in the next couple of months. For a full list of the nominees for both Hugos, click here.

All the novels for this year’s award I have either read, or they were on my To Read list, with the exception of Spinning Silk by Naomi Novik. I’ll probably like it, since there was a lot about Uprooted (Novik’s 2016 Hugo Nominee and Nebula Award winning previous novel, and the only other book of hers I’ve read) that I liked. However, there was also a lot about Uprooted that I didn’t like, which is why it wasn’t on my To Read list before. The other two novels that I need to read, The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal and Records of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers I have been looking forward to for a while.

I was surprised to see that Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse made the list. Don’t get me wrong, I mostly liked the book and am eagerly awaiting the sequel, but I didn’t feel it was award-worthy. I felt there were some pacing and info-dumping issues early on, and there were so many other great novels last year. But on the other hand I know this book did something special for a lot of people, and ultimately the Hugo Award is a reflection on what the community loved.

With the novellas, the only one I haven’t read yet is Aliette de Bodard’s The Tea Master and the Detective, which surprise surprise, is also the only novella on the list to not be published by Tor.com. As in previous years, the quality of the novellas is very high, and I have no idea how I’d rate the ones I have read.

Last year I imagined that I was pretty well informed about all the short fiction coming out, but I have read hardly any of the novelettes and short stories on this year’s list. Some of them I have heard about before, and I am really looking forward to reading through this list. Same story with pretty much everything on the Retro Hugo list. Some I’ve read, some I haven’t, but there are a lot of big names on that list, so I know that if I can get my hands on half the stories in the list, I’m in for a treat.

Now I need to get reading. And also need to figure out which Pokémon to use for this year’s theme team. Anyone think Forretress looks enough like a disco ball to pull of Space Opera?       

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