What are those?
So, every year since like 1955 (according to wikipedia), an award is presented at the World Science Fiction Convention for really really “good” science fiction and fantasy writing, whether it be a novel, series, short story or a bunch of other categories. It’s considered one of the top prizes in the field, and usually makes for good reading for anyone interested in the genre. I’ve mentioned these awards in passing when reviewing Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Cameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion, but aside from that, it’s never really affected me much except for maybe providing a reading list when I’m looking for some good books (oops I’m realizing I mentioned Hugos in my Redshirts review also).
How is it decided what’s “good”?
Well people vote on it, of course! If you buy a World Science Fiction Convention ticket this year, or attended last year, or bought a supporting membership, then you can nominate titles for the award and vote!
Why am I excited about this?
Because this year, the convention, is supposed to take place in Washington DC (we’ll see what it’s like with Covid). I figured if I was ever going to get a chance to attend, or vote, or have a reason to care about this award, it was going to be this year. So . . .
I bought a ticket!
But now comes the participating part . . . Oh dear.
There’s a ton of books out there that are probably good, and eligible to win the award, so now I must decide which ones I want to nominate, and once the voting begins, which one I want to vote for. Essentially that means I have a lot of reading ahead of me (for me this is actually exciting!). I’ve trolled the internet for a bunch of Best-of-2020 lists for both Science Fiction and Fantasy, and assembled the list you’ll see below.
I hope to be able to read as many of these as possible before the nomination deadline (March 19th 2021), and choose one to push forward. Then, once the finalists arrive, I’ll have some more time to try and finish whichever books move to that round. This list is pretty long, so I’m starting with the books which are standalone, or the first installment in a series (unless I happen to already be caught up which only happened in two cases . . . I bet you can guess which authors they are).
Anyway, I’ve put check boxes by the books I’ve read so far, and I’ll be posting reviews as I find time to write them. Once a review is posted, I’ll turn the list item into a link to the review. You can either keep coming back here, or just follow the blog. On the 19th I’ll try to post which one I’m going to nominate, and why, and then when the finalists come, I’ll say which one I’m going to vote for. Should be a fun time. Well, at the very least, I’m excited.
Update (4/2/2021): Since some of the works are parts of a series, I’ve started listing some of them in bullets. If I review the previous series books on the blog, I’ll put a link and a check next to them. If they have ** next to them, then they’re the titles eligible this year. Hope this is useful!
Here are the books:
- 2020 Sci-Fi
- The Locked Tomb by Tamsyn Muir
- Gideon the Ninth ✓
- Harrow the Ninth **
- The Last Emperox by John Scalzi
- Agency by William Gibson
- Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots
- The New Wilderness by Diane Cook
- Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebochi
- The book of Koli by M.R. Carey
- The Hidden Girl by Ken Liu
- The end of October by Lawrence Wright
- To Sleep in a sea of stars by Christopher Paolini
- The mother Code by Carole Stivers
- Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis
- Nophek Gloss by Essa Hansen
- The Locked Tomb by Tamsyn Muir
- 2020 fantasy
- The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
- Crescent City by Sarah J Maas
- The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
- Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty
- The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Yo
- The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence
- The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
- Peace Talks by Jim Butcher
- The Poppy War Trilogy by R.F. Kuang
- The Poppy War ✓
- The Dragon Republic
- The Burning God
- Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
- Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender
- Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh ✓