Hooray! The moment I’ve all been waiting for!
I’ve just cast my votes for the 2021 Hugo Awards . . .
It’s been almost exactly eight months since I got rather silly and excited about the 2021 Hugo Awards creeping into view upon the horizon and began reading a random list of books I thought might be eligible for the award. In that time, I nominated my favs and then later the finalists were announced (and I had thoughts). After that, I began feverishly reading and reviewing as many as I could.
I only made it through 18 contenders, in a variety of different categories, but I’m still going to count the exercise as a success, as I was slightly more ‘in the know’ than I had been when the finalists were announced. Also, I think I made a few friends on the internet pursuing this endeavor so that’s always nice.
For this post however, I think I’ll just say which one I selected as the top pick in each category. You can read all my reviews about the others if you want to later. Here . . . we . . . go!
For this one, I chose Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse! I think this was the surprise of the century for me considering I did not really enjoy Trail Lightning, but for me this book was just excellent fantasy. Network Effect by Martha Wells, and Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir were my second, and then third choices. Sadly I never got around to reading the other contenders which is pretty agrivating because The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin has been staring at me from my bookshelf since last November, but alas somehow these others got ahead of it. This is a category that I WILL end up reading the rest of because I don’t think there were any bad choices here. Definitely still looking forward to this!
Anywho, moving on . . .
For me, Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi was the clear winner. Finna by Nino Cipri was a close second. I wish I had the chance to listen to Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey a second time so I could have reviewed it in light of the others, but alas . . . no time.
I literally only had 20 minutes left in Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo but a kerfuffle with my Libby app sent it on to the next person waiting and it says I won’t get it back for another eight weeks. I think I mostly got the gist of it though and am happy with how I ranked it.
The others I hope to be able to finish sometime soon.
I ended up not voting in this category as I read exactly zero of the works involved. Well maybe 0.5 works if you count the few pages I got into Attack Helicopter. Anyway, will try harder next time.
Best Short Story
“Open House on Haunted Hill” by John Wiswell was the pick for me here, followed by “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson (which I apparently didn’t review! Oops), and then “Little Free Library” by Naomi Kritzer.
Hoping to be able to finish this category as well since they’re short. We’ll see later if I made a mistake hahah.
This was another big category for me although I don’t think it was going to be very difficult to tell which title I picked. The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty was by far my favorite, followed by The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, and then Lady Astronaut Universe by Mary Robinette Kowal.
Best Related Work
Looks like I didn’t vote in this category.
Best Graphic Story or Comic
Or this one . . .
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
I didn’t do any reviews for this category, but I had still seen a few of the contestants. I believe my opinions stayed mostly the same. First place for Palm Springs, second went to Soul and I did finally watch Tenet and could not really make heads or tails of it so . . . it got third. I didn’t get a chance to watch the others for which I’m eternally sad.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Didn’t vote in this category. Almost no way I could have done enough watching to understand how the episodes worked with the larger series and judge which was most effective. It would have just been me rating my fav shows which didn’t seem in the spirit of the awards.
Best Editor, Short Form
I want Neil Clarke to get one of these! That is all.
Best Editor, Long Form
Beneath Ceaseless Skies is the only one of these I read with any consistency so I voted that one number one. Uncanny Magazine has definitely been everywhere though so I won’t be surprised at all if it takes the rocket. Strange horizons always seems to be in the game so I voted it third. The others I’m not really familiar with but will certainly be changing that fact as quickly as possible.
Best Professional Artist
Didn’t vote in this category. Sorry artists. You’re work is amazing, but I just don’t know who you are
Also didn’t vote in this one.
I voted for Unofficial Hugo Book Club Blog on this one which was crazy cause I’m pretty sure I hadn’t even heard of them until after they were nominated. Even the nomination didn’t get me following them but randomly I saw a post of theirs on twitter and it was over from there. They’re great!
Nerds of a Feather I think I’ve read before so I gave them second place. Everyone else I’ll need to pursue later on.
Didn’t vote in this category either.
Best Fan Writer
Nor This one . . .
Best Fan Artist
Nor this one either . . .
Best Video Game
I was soooooo excited about this category, but after all the time we had to try different things, I never ended up playing any of the titles. I made it through most of The Last of Us part 1, but didn’t feel good about voting for part 2 based on the first game. Anyway, I’ll get there someday.
Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book
Ayyyy! Finally another category I actually have something to say in. I was kind of surprised that I blitzed through so many of these titles because I don’t normally read YA, but these were all excellent books.
I ended up choosing Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko. This was a tight race with Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. And Legendborn by Tracy Deonn was also great but I enjoyed the others more. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik had soo much going for it but unfortunately made some pretty big blunders. Still looking forward to Last Graduate though.
Astounding Award for Best New Writer
Phew! We’ve made it to the last category. For this, my choice was Micaiah Johnson for The Space Between Worlds, followed closely by Simon Jimenez’s The Vanished Birds. I really can’t wait to see what these two authors put out next.
Emily Tesh brought up a strong third place for Silver in the Wood. I’m excited the sequel seems to already be out.
Unfortunately I didn’t really get to the others (except Jenn Lyons who I just could quite get into).
So . . . I guess that’s it!
Woah. I can’t believe I’m finally here. I’ve voted in a Hugo Awards . . .
Of course this certainly isn’t the end. There’s still the WorldCon itself in which the eventual winners will be announced. I’m sure I’ll have thoughts about that.
And then also there’s still a pretty long list of books, stories and media that I did not get a chance to consume. I’ll probably keep updating my Links to Hugo Award Finalists I’ve Reviewed page as I go, and may even update it to include multiple years as I’m sure I’ve previously, and will likely review some more for different years. We’ll see.
So what are your thoughts? Did I pick well? Have you voted yet? What did you vote for? Let’s get hype!
Super curious to know what tweet it was that caught your attention for the Unofficial Hugo Book Club Blog…
Ahh shoot. I’m not sure. Maybe some of the Hugo statistic ones? Y’all spooked me once by doing one of those “What X happened the week of your birthday” things and then were like so now that we have all this PII from people we’ll never use it but be careful and social media isn’t your friend (good PSA there). I definitely remember y’all also did one that was like “the worst quiz in the world” which was fun but indeed very difficult. And a good 007 thread I think too.
I guess it was a combo of tweets haha.
(And thanks for stopping by!)
You really can’t vote or say who you’ll vote for unless you read all of the nominees.
Ehh. I did the best I could.