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Scifi / Fantasy News > 2019 Hugo Award Finalists

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message 1: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments As Joe posted in the Quick Burns, the 2019 finalists were revealed. Sword and Laser did not make the cut, sadly, but a lot of dope stuff did.

Best Novel finalists:
The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)
Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)
Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

It's interesting to see that all of the finalists are women or trans. Nice to see different voices being recognized for their work.

It's interesting to see Archive of Our Own as a finalist for Best Related Work. Fanfiction is art and it's cool that it's being recognized as well.

Next year will be S&L's time to shine.


message 2: by Sheila Jean (new)

Sheila Jean | 317 comments Cool!

I've read all of the Novel finalists except Revenant Gun, which is the 3rd in a series. (Record of a Spaceborn Few is essentially a standalone with some subtle character nods to the earlier books, despite being #3 in the Wayfarer series.)


message 3: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2783 comments Hmm. Of those I've read the first 3. I've got Space Opera around and want to read the Roanhorse book anyway. Might as well make it a clean sweep and read Spinning Silver.


message 4: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8315 comments I’m guessing Trail will win but I’d vote for Calculating.


message 5: by David H. (new)

David H. (farrakut) | 908 comments Really? I feel like Calculating Stars is likely to win, though I'm open to being surprised--I don't envy the voters for this year, all of these books offer a lot to everyone.


message 6: by Rick (last edited Apr 02, 2019 02:52PM) (new)

Rick | 2783 comments I've not read Trail. Of the 3 that I have read, I'd also vote Calculating (and I liked Revenant Gun quite a bit).


message 7: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1322 comments I am going to hope Becky Chambers sweeps the Best Novel and Best Series. Spiderman into the Spiderverse in Long form, blew all my nominations on the Magicians for the short form but hope the Expanse wins that category.


message 8: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3511 comments Mod
I hope The Calculating Stars wins even though I don't think it was the best book of last year.

I'd have gone for The Fated Sky


message 9: by Silvana (last edited Apr 03, 2019 01:39AM) (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1618 comments I read all novels except two, with no intention of reading them.
The rest: two I rated two stars (both are overrated: one was a total unfunny mess despite the hype and one read like a tropey YA with a serious issue on female agency), the others are four stars (Revenant Gun & The Calculating Stars). So I'll be rooting for those two.

Bummed that Blackfish City or Semiosis did not make the cut. Also, I thought Circe was a shoo-in but nope.


message 10: by Silvana (last edited Apr 04, 2019 06:29AM) (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1618 comments Dara wrote: "It's interesting to see Archive of Our Own as a finalist for Best Related Work. Fanfiction is art and it's cool that it's being recognized as well."

This is a surprise. Wonder what some authors who hate fanfics thought about it *cough GRRM*

Also I found out today about FIYAH (one of the nominees for best semiprozine), apparently it got deleted by Goodreads controversially last year https://bookriot.com/2018/09/25/all-i...

Edit: Apparently it's back. Good.


message 11: by David H. (last edited Apr 03, 2019 06:07AM) (new)

David H. (farrakut) | 908 comments Fiction magazines have a hard time staying on Goodreads in general, I gave up trying to maintain pages b/c people kept deleting my work.

It doesn't help that FIYAH doesn't use Amazon so never has even an ASIN to keep it on. :(


message 12: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8315 comments So, looking through the whole nomination list (http://www.thehugoawards.org/2019/04/...), I see that under “Best Related Work” is Archive Of Our Own, the fanfic site.

Since there’s no editor or directing hand there, does that mean that if it wins technically all those stories would be Hugo winners?😂


message 13: by David H. (new)

David H. (farrakut) | 908 comments It's more for the platform than the individual stories.


message 14: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 830 comments It‘s like as a EU citizen I could say that I won the Nobel Peace Prize and technically wouldn‘t even be lying.


message 15: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8315 comments Anne wrote: "It‘s like as a EU citizen I could say that I won the Nobel Peace Prize and technically wouldn‘t even be lying."

I don’t think that analogy holds, unless the prize were given to Europe.


David wrote: "It's more for the platform than the individual stories."

Seems like it’s more akin to giving Accountant of the Year Award to Quickbooks. There’s no there there.


message 16: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 830 comments It... was?

„The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union (EU) "for over six decades [having] contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe" by a unanimous decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.“


message 17: by Rick (last edited Apr 03, 2019 10:20AM) (new)

Rick | 2783 comments Stephen wrote: "I am going to hope Becky Chambers sweeps the Best Novel and Best Series. Spiderman into the Spiderverse in Long form, blew all my nominations on the Magicians for the short form but hope the Expans..."

I thought Record was by far the weakest of her 3 books. It severely disappointed me after the first two books. I can't see her 'series' (it's really just related stories in the same universe) holding up to The Laundry Files which would be my run away choice in Best Series.

On Archive... it's for the platform which is scratch built and quite an accomplishment of building an archival and indexing platform from scratch, for a specific purpose and by volunteers.


message 18: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Trike wrote: "So, looking through the whole nomination list (http://www.thehugoawards.org/2019/04/...), I see that under “Best Related Work” is Archive Of Our Own, the fanfic site.

Since there’s no editor or directing hand there, does that mean that if it wins technically all those stories would be Hugo winners?😂"


I've seen a lot of fanfic writers say they're adding that to their stories and nobody can stop them. So yep, sure!


message 19: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8315 comments Anne wrote: "It... was?

„The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union (EU) "for over six decades [having] contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights ..."


Holy shit. I know a Nobel prize winner!


message 20: by Ian (RebelGeek) (new)

Ian (RebelGeek) Seal (rebel-geek) | 548 comments Image Comics is killing it!

The only category I have strong feelings about is:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
I think Avengers: Infinity War should win. I haven't seen "Sorry to Bother You" or Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse" yet.

Doctor Who "Rosa" or The Expanse "Abaddon's Gate" should win for Short Form.

I read TCS, but I don't feel that strongly about it. Most of the books are on my Want to Read list. I already have "Trail of Lightning" on Audible. We'll see. 2018 wasn't that strong of a year for me for novels. All my 5 stars were published in previous years. Once I read more of the 2018 novels, that might change.


message 21: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1309 comments Ian wrote: "Image Comics is killing it!

The only category I have strong feelings about is:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
I think Avengers: Infinity War should win. I haven't seen "Sorry to Bother You..."


Spiderman is so much better than Avengers... If you like Marvel movies it is must see viewing.

Revenant Gun was the weakest of the three book series. TCS is a much better book. This looks like an anti-puppy slate :-)


message 22: by Ian (RebelGeek) (new)

Ian (RebelGeek) Seal (rebel-geek) | 548 comments Iain wrote: "Ian wrote: "The only category I have strong feelings about is:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
I think Avengers: Infinity War should win. I haven't seen "Sorry to Bother You" or Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse" yet."

Spiderman is so much better than Avengers... If you like Marvel movies it is must see viewing...."


Iainception!
I'm planning to rent it from Redbox this weekend.


message 23: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8315 comments Iain wrote: "Ian wrote: "The only category I have strong feelings about is:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
I think Avengers: Infinity War should win. I haven't seen "Sorry to Bother You..."

Spiderman is so much better than Avengers... If you like Marvel movies it is must see viewing."


Yes.

Black Panther, terrific. Infinity War, awesome. Ant-Man & Wasp, great fun. Incredibles 2, decent. Deadpool 2, pretty good. Spider-verse? SPECTACULAR.

In a year that had an embarrassment of riches in both superhero films and animated movies, Spider-verse is by far the stand-out.


message 24: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 121 comments I'm planning to read all of the novel recommendations before the winner is announced. Luckily there is a lot of cross-over with Nebula nominations (I'm also doing that), and with books I've already read. I've got until August, so I should make it.


message 25: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2299 comments A Goodreads list of the finalists so you can see what you've read...

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...


message 26: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 121 comments Finished them all!

Contrary to Rick above, I really enjoyed Record of a Spaceborn Few. It was not at all what I expected after the first two books in the series, but I found it to be excellent. That or Spinning Silver were my two favorites.

The other 4 (Space Opera, The Calculating Stars, Revenant Gun, Trail of Lightning) were also really good, and I wouldn't be disappointed if any of them won.

Anyone else?


message 27: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2783 comments Geoff - I'm curious why you liked Record. It didn't work for me because there was no story at all. It was nothing but scenes in the life of the characters but I had no sense of why I was being asked to read it or care about them.

In the first book we know Rosemary is hiding a secret and we are told that the ship she's on is going on a year long voyage to a region where no one has been to yet. Along the way we meet characters and things happen and then the voyage ends. There are triumphs and losses and growth propelled by what happens.

The second book has two plots, one the AI who finds itself in a humanoid form... which it's not designed for and two the story of how a girl escapes servitude and grows.

Record starts with a bang (literally) and then... nothing. There's no plot, no cohesive story (at least to about 60% where I DNFed it). She uses the stock "here are several characters, let's tell their stories" but there's not an indication of why THESE characters's stories are being told, why we should care or how they relate. It's n utterly plotless book, again to the point where I read.


message 28: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1322 comments I too loved Record of a Spaceborn Few. I hope it wins because it did have a plot, only you had to think about it. Each character had the question"how to I fit in this universe." yes it was a slow burn , but it was a lovely slow burn.


message 29: by Melanie (last edited May 08, 2019 04:15AM) (new)

Melanie | 74 comments Record of a Spaceborn Few is a slice-of-life piece of fiction. It is more about examining humanity as opposed to contending against a traditional antagonist.

I see how it is not everyone's cup-of-tea, but I personally loved it. It made me feel things when I read it. It is a rare fictional utopia with a through line that evaluates the themes migration and home, and to me it was beautiful.


message 30: by Seth (new)

Seth | 316 comments I agree with Stephen and Melanie on this one. It's wasn't for everyone (no book is), but no one would accuse a literary book that is about human relationships and finding a place in the world to be plot-less. These are things novelists have been exploring since the form began, and it was fun to see it in an interesting sci-fi setting.


message 31: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Melanie wrote: "Record of a Spaceborn Few is a slice-of-life piece of fiction. It is more about examining humanity as opposed to contending against a traditional antagonist.

I see how it is not e..."


Totally agree. I loved the book. It was a nice respite from the usual doom-and-gloom, heroes against the world narratives.


message 32: by Rick (last edited May 08, 2019 10:18AM) (new)

Rick | 2783 comments Seth wrote: "no one would accuse a literary book that is about human relationships and finding a place in the world to be plot-less. ..."


well... I would. This might be a core difference between us... I dislike literary books whose main premise is "Protagonist sets off to discover themselves" in some way.

Usually there's some arc where a person discovers something about themselves. Both of her previous books had this (and both really covered the same ground if you think about it - Rosemary discovering herself in the first book, Pepper and the AI in the second). What weakens Record for me is that there's nothing like an arc for any of the several characters in the first 50-60%. They're just doing things where, again in the first 2 books, things happens that moved the characters from point a to point b. This feels like they're wandering around.

Fully agree that Chambers' books are a breath of fresh air in an SF landscape all to easily dominated by dystopian, post apocalyptic fiction and I like her writing. This one just gave me no reason to keep turning the pages.

PS: A question for you all... At the start, disaster happens. I expected that to be the thing that drove the rest of the book - how the characters reacted to it and its aftermath. However, at least to the point where I stopped, it seems to have had a minimal effect on the world as if people shrugged it off and just went on with their lives.

This felt like a Chekov's gun thing - you showed me the gun but so far it's not gone off. Does it come back up in the last third or so?


message 33: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 121 comments Rick wrote: "Geoff - I'm curious why you liked Record. It didn't work for me because there was no story at all. It was nothing but scenes in the life of the characters but I had no sense of why I was being aske..."

I totally get where you are coming from: "No story" is a little strong, but story/plot definitely wasn't the point.

I liked it because I found the characters and situations to be compelling. A quiet reflection on their lives set in an interesting sci-fi universe. Like you, I kept waiting for the, "OK, now we need to do the foo to save the bar or we're all doomed!" But it never came, and I found that surprising and novel. I can understand going the other way and being frustrated with the action never getting going.


message 34: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1322 comments Gee Rick, do not read it. You did not like it, no big deal. If you quit 75% in, the last 25% will not change that. I loved it from the jump. My hope she wins Best series is the way the 3 books are set up to examine Friendships and the need for them. That is enough for me.


message 35: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2783 comments Stephen - this is a discussion. We're discussing. If that bothers you don't read it. See how that sounds? :)

Seriously, if differing opinions bother you, I don't know what to tell you but a discussion board might not be your milieu.

Geoff - it wasn't so much that I was expecting or even wanting the "now we need to do the foo to save the bar or we're all doomed" bit but unlike the previous two books, this seemed to meander back and forth and I kept wondering why we were being asked to read about these people at this time.

I think the weakness (again TO ME... ) was the bouncing between unrelated characters. We did this a bit in the second book, bouncing between (view spoiler) and working through Lovie's issues with being confined to humanoid form but those both had a clear arc. This... doesn't and I think it's that I miss such an arc even in characters studies.

I think I'm more bothered by my dislike for this book precisely because I really liked her first two. Oh well.


message 36: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1322 comments Right. It is a discussion. But the "Tell me " stuff, I just told you if you did not like the first 75%, quit. It was an answer to your discussion point.


message 37: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8315 comments Rick wrote: "Record starts with a bang (literally) and then... nothing. There's no plot, no cohesive story (at least to about 60% where I DNFed it)."

Well, you didn’t finish, so you didn’t see how she tied it all together. The plot is analogous to a murder mystery, where there is an inciting incident and then investigators piece together what happened. Interwoven with that are the personal stories of the people affected by it to varying degrees.

It’s not *exactly* like a murder mystery in that it’s not a case of whodunnit, but in tone and feel I would liken it to The Big Chill combined with the structure of an Agatha Christie novel.


message 38: by Melanie (last edited May 08, 2019 04:50PM) (new)

Melanie | 74 comments Rick,
I get where you’re coming from. It is WAY different from her other books. But the first two books were very different from each other too. She’s quite versatile.

You sound like you’re genuinely curious, so here’s the answer to your question. The explosion was the catalyst for each character’s existential crisis. I forget their names because it’s been a while. The young man who moved to the ship was inspired by seeing his people gather in solidarity for the victims. The sorting woman became overwhelmed by too much work load, which ultimately led to her move. [trying to be spoiler free]. Likewise the mortician began questioning her purpose in life because the traditions were altered due to the scope of the tragedy. Etc.

There’s other books on this list. I wish you luck with them.

Everyone Else,
Chill...it’s just books and it’s okay if you love/ hate something and someone else disagrees with you.


message 39: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Melanie wrote: "Chill...it’s just books and it’s okay if you love/ hate something and someone else disagrees with you.."

But when you hate my book, you attack me!!! My entire identity is this book! HOW WILL I COPE?!?!?!?!?!

(please note excessive sarcasm).


message 40: by Troy (new)

Troy | 85 comments I put Space Opera in my DNF list last week. Maybe I'll finish it later. I'll finish Spinning Silver this week and start on #2 in The Machineries of Empire series so I can go on to Revenant Gun. That will leave Trail for me to finish all of them. First time ever:) So far my favorite is TCS.


message 41: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1322 comments I did finish my Hugo vote. My wish to win, Spiderman into the Spiderverse, The Expanse, Saga, and Becky Chambers. Everything else that wins will be fine with me. No Puppies for the first year, No moving the No Award into a numbered spot. Just a solid year.


message 42: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2783 comments Melanie - I suppose that makes sense. I might just need to read it in a different mood, too. Or maybe the book just isn't for me - when I see multiple characters viewpoints I assume we're being asked to read about these several people vs some other several people for a reason and that wasn't apparent at the point where I stopped.


message 43: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 121 comments Troy wrote: "I put Space Opera in my DNF list last week. Maybe I'll finish it later. I'll finish Spinning Silver this week and start on #2 in The Machineries of Empire series so I can go on to Revenant Gun. Tha..."

Congratulations! I liked Space Opera fine, but it would seem a little weird for it to win a Hugo when Douglas Adams never did. No knock on the author; she acknowledges the influence in the back section, and she does a great job of writing in his style. But not as good as the original. :-)


message 44: by Robert (new)

Robert Lee (harlock415) | 256 comments I finished Record of a Spaceborn Few and thought it was fine. But in the end it did not leave me with any sort of feeling. But I think I will start now with either Space Opera or Spinning Silver


message 45: by Ian (new)

Ian | 7 comments I wonder if it would be worth trying to organise a fan meetup in Dublin around the Hugos. I'm sure there must be a few fans around.


message 46: by Robert (new)

Robert Lee (harlock415) | 256 comments Ian wrote: "I wonder if it would be worth trying to organise a fan meetup in Dublin around the Hugos. I'm sure there must be a few fans around."

I do believe Tom and Veronica will be attending Dublin.

I finished Spinning Silver and really loved it. It can be a little confusing for brief moments as Novik uses several POV first-person characters to tell her story. But it is still great. Even though it is not related to Uprooted, it still takes its inspiration from Eastern European fairy tales and folklore.


message 47: by Knerd (new)

Knerd | 1 comments It would b great to have a fan meet up in Dublin. I’m sure there’ll b lots of us there!


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