by Doctor Science
It's getting down to the wire (again) for Hugo Awards voting, so I'm going to finalize my ballot by writing about it for you. This year I've made things easier on myself by using goodreads to keep track of what I've read and what I thought about it at the time. I can sort a category by the number of Stars I gave each entry, then think about how I divide the ties. The Hugo Awards used ranked-choice voting, so I have to come up with an ordered list for each category, not just a single winner.
5 ☆: Provenance by Ann Leckie|Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee. Provenance is way ahead for me: it's tighter (not the middle part of a trilogy), and Leckie does all kinds of subtle things that I have to think about to really appreciate. Like the way the heroine is, by current standards, fat but doesn't think of herself that way, she's just comparatively "broad". It's also a story about Moral People Winning Without Killing, which is something I realy need this year.
4 ☆: The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi|The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin. Stone Sky is a really high 4 stars; it only didn't get 5 stars because it went in the direction of more magic and less science than I was hoping for. The Collapsing Empire is in the middle to low end of the 4 star range.
3☆: Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty|New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson. NY2140 is a long book that seemed even longer; I remain baffled how so many people I respect think Six Wakes is award-worthy.
2. Raven Stratagem
3. The Stone Sky
4. The Collapsing Empire
5. New York 2140
6. No Award
7. Six Wakes
5 ☆: The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett/The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. Wow, is this a tough one. I nominated both series, I own both complete sets, their final volumes were two of my high points for 2017. I'll give the nod to Lady Trent because it is so completely My Jam: fantasy that turns out to be science fiction, with science that grows open-endedly like real science.
4☆: The Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells
3☆: InCryptid by Seeanan McGuire
unstarred: The Stormlight Archive by Brian Sanderson|The World of the Five Gods by Lois McMaster Bujold. I'm leaving Bujold off my ballot solely because she won last year's inaugural Best Series Award, and I think she gets a time out. I could not finish The Way of Kings. In fact, I could barely start it: I think I baled somewhere between the fourth and fifth prologue. Too many names, too few reasons to care.
1. Lady Trent
2. Divine Cities
4. No Award
Award for Best Young Adult Book (not a Hugo)
5 ☆: Summer in Orcus by Ursula Vernon|In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan. Summer in Orcus is a very *kind* book, while also filling that Pratchett-shaped hole in my heart. I had a wonderful time with In Other Lands, but I can't put it up top whole-heartedly because I know the protagonist is an asshole. But as I've said, if you ever loved Rodney McKay, you'll love Elliot--and I did, and do.
4☆: Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorofor|A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge. Akata Warrior is a very good book, but it is not for me. This is OK, but means it didn't grab me completely, I would have needed more description to give me the illusion that I understood what was going on. Skinful of Shadows, like all Hardinge, is very well-written, but in this case the world-building (why are these things happening? and how?) didn't quite gel for me.
3☆: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. Pullman can still put together gripping scenes, but I didn't quite feel as though the story and world-building were hanging together. And "the 'gyptians" have *not* aged well, oy.
not read: The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller. We all have things we can't read about at length, and anorexia is one of mine.
1. Summer in Orcus
2. In Other Lands
3. Akata Warrior
4. Skinful of Shadows
5. No Award
6. La Belle Sauvage