by Doctor Science
I really dropped the ball on Hugo nominations this year. Or, to be fair to myself, the time and energy I had expected to spend on the Hugos turned out to be needed for historic levels of political action (and anxiety). Nominations will close on 2017-03-18 06:59 UTC (at 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time on 17 March).
Snow Goddess Stella gave me time to make up this list, but I then got Mr Dr Science's cold and my brain is now 20% mucous by volume, so I'm not going to do as much of a write-up as I'd hoped of my nominees for Novel, Best Dramatic Long Form, and Best Series. For all, I used the Hugo eligibility Google Doc to jog my memory.
Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee
The Summer Dragon, by Todd Lockwood. Lockwood is a first-rate artist, but this is his first published novel. Of course, he did the cover and the interior illustrations. There are a LOT of similarities to Marie Brennan's "Lady Trent" series, for which Lockwood also does the covers and illustrations, but in a good way: they're both exploring the "sort-of-SFnal dragons" space pioneered by Anne McAffrey. I love this stuff.
Lockwood's heroine isn't an outsider who finds out about dragons, she's someone brought up to raise and understand dragons who is finding out about the world. It doesn't seem to be marketed as YA, though it could be (AFAICT). There are violent battles of various sorts, but no sexual violence (though the danger is discussed), and the aftermath of every battle involves dealing with mental/emotional trauma in a way I found unusually realistic. I confess that Lockwood is a better writer than I expected: he includes more descriptive details than most, though I could have used even more (because I love that sort of thing when Tolkien does it and it's rarely imitated).
It's a long book that I read at a breakneck pace, and finished with a bounce and a wish for the next in the series. Warning: though Lockwood hasn't said anything that I can see, I expect the series to be at least 4 volumes, one per season. I'll be there!
Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer. My review
Lovecraft Country, by Matt Ruff. My review.
Rosewater, by Tade Thompson. Set in a future Nigeria, there's an extra layer of distance (for me) because the characters keep referring to places, history, and food for which I have no clear mental picture. The protagonist keeps saying that he's not a hero, and he really isn't. It's an alien-invasion story, a telepathy story, a noir-ish detective-ish story that my currently-addled brain is having a hard time describing. But it's the best thing I read this year that didn't really have a hopeful ending--I'm at the point where fictional dystopias are unacceptable.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
For this category, I listed all the ones on the spreadsheet that I actually saw -- about 8 -- and whittled it down to 5. I haven't seen enough BDP Short Form to nominate.
- Hidden Figures
- Kubo and the Two Strings
- Rogue One
Every Worldcon gets to add one "Special" category. This year's is Best Series:
A multi-volume science fiction or fantasy story, unified by elements such as plot, characters, setting, and presentation, which has appeared in at least three (3) volumes consisting of a total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the calendar year 2016, at least one of which was published in 2016.This category takes a lot of strain off my "Best Novel" decisions.
The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone. 2016 book: Four Roads Cross
Temeraire by Naomi Novik. 2016: League of Dragons
The Expanse by James S. A. Corey. 2016: Babylon’s Ashes
The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. 2016: In the Labyrinth of Drakes
Thessaly by Jo Walton. 2016: Necessity
Now I'll go look at Artists.