It feels like I’ve only just stopped talking about the 2021 Hugo Awards, and now nominations are open for the 2022 awards. In fact, they opened up just after the ceremony, but I haven’t been blogging a lot lately.
Nominations for the Hugo Awards are open to all members of both the 2021 DisConIII and the 2022 Chicon 8 Worldcons until March 15 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT; UTC – 7). Only members of Chicon 8 will be allowed to vote on the final ballot. There have been a lot of great stories released in 2021, and I have a pretty good idea what my ballot will look like. Still, the field is huge, and I know I’ve missed a few gems.
This is usually the time of year when I turn to Rocket Stack Rank’s Years Best list. Every month, RSR collects the most recommended stories of the month and sorts them by length and score. You can also search by other categories; such as works by people of colour, queer authors, or new writers. Rocket Stack Rank is a great place to get story recommendations, and is super useful for anyone looking to participate in any of the open awards running at the moment.
Another useful list for Hugo voters is the 2021 Locus Recommended Reading List. This list was published in Locus Magazine’s February 2022 issue and has been compiled by a range of editors, columnists, critics and reviewers both within and without of Locus Magazine. This is a huge list, and I’ve been using it to catch up on some 2021 short fiction along with the Rocket Stack Rank list.
Which brings me to the Locus Awards. Through that Recommended Reading List, there is a link to Locus’s 2021 survey and poll, which will be used to determine the winners of the Locus Awards in June this year. Unlike the Hugo Awards, anyone can vote in the Locus Poll. Also, you don’t need to just vote from the list; write ins are welcome. Voting closes April 15, and this will be my first time participating in the Locus Awards.
After seeing the 2021 Hugo Ballot, I began catching up on books I’d missed in 2020. Most notably, I finally finished T. Kingfisher’s A Wizards Guide to Defensive Baking. Great YA book; I loved it so much. But playing catch up then, and playing catch up again now reminds me of how many good stories I miss. Which isn’t really a problem; as I said it is a big field. No-one can be expected to read everything. I think though it might be interesting to go back and see some of the books I did miss in previous years. I started this blog in 2016, so I think it might be interesting to have some throwback reviews of books from that year. Standalone books that made the Locus Recommended List, but didn’t make the Hugos, meaning I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to read them. We’ll see if I can get one from every novel category by the end of the year.
What were your favourite books of 2021? Or of 2016? I am always looking for recommendations. Even if it takes me a while to get around to them.