Sunday, April 01, 2018

2018 HUGO Awards: Nominations Announced

The nominations for the 2018 Hugo Awards were announced on Saturday March 31. The picks for Best Novel is the category I really only follow and care about. The nominees are:
Best Novel
  • The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi (Tor)
  • New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
  • Provenance, by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty (Orbit)
  • The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Last year, N.K. Jemisin won this award for the second consecutive year for the second book in her Broken Earth trilogy, The Obelisk Gate. She previously won the award for the first book in the series, The Fifth Season, in 2016. It is very possible that she could win the award for the third book in the series, The Stone Sky, this year.  I think that would mean she would become the first author to have all three books in a trilogy win speculative fiction's most prestigious honor.

Of the other books she is competing with Scalzi, Leckie and Robinson have all won Best Novel Hugo awards before, with Leckie probably being the biggest threat to Jemisin since all three books in her Imperial Radhch series were nominated for Best Novel (although only the first, Ancillary Justice, went on to win the 2014 Hugo award). Provenance is set in the same universe as those books but has not been as universally celebrated as the Ancillary novels. I do intend to read it eventually but haven't felt an urgent need to do so. Lots of people are very high on the work on Yoon Ha Lee but I tried the first book in the series, Ninefox Gambit, and found it almost unreadable. 

I read Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire, and while it is amusing in parts it is nowhere as diverting or enjoyable as his Hugo-award-winning Redshirts, but his work is very popular. The reviews for Robinson's 2140 were similarly not kind, and I don't really intend to read it. I do intend to read Six Wakes, because it is a genre mashup of murder-mystery and science fiction.

The winners will be announced at Worldcon which is being held in San Jose, California August 16-20, 2018.

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