Monday, February 23, 2015

A Draft Hugo Ballot

This still needs a lot of work, or - as much work as I can do in the next two weeks, but this is where I'm at with my ballot for the Hugo Awards.  A star represents works that are a near lock to make my final ballot.  Anything else is a very inconsistent mark that means something specific to me for that category, but isn't quite enough to be put into words.

*City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett
*Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie
*The Mirror Empire, by Kameron Hurley
*The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison
Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
The Eternal Sky Trilogy, by Elizabeth Bear

This is it for the novels, I won't be getting to anything else new before the nomination period closes.  I have thoughts as to what my fifth slot will be, and it is very conflicted between excellent novels and reward a great achievement in the Eternal Sky trilogy (which is more than a worthy nominee - and much more so than The Wheel of Time was last year, I think in terms of raw quality)

*“The Mothers of Voorhisville”, by Mary Rickert (
*“Grand Jete”, by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean)
Yesterday’s Kin, by Nancy Kress
Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome, by John Scalzi

I have three more novellas on my Nook right now, plus another I have copied over to a word doc - so if I am very productive, this category could look very different if I get through Daryl Gregory, Kat Howard, Ken Liu, and Lawrence Shoen.  Two of those will be read for the Nebula Awards, but if I get them fast enough I can consider them for the Hugos.

“A Fire in the Heavens”, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Shadows Beneath)

I need to do work.

Short Story
-*”The Color of Paradox”, by A. M. Dellamonica (
--“Mrs Sorensen and the Sasquatch”, by Kelly Barnhill (
--“A Cup of Salt Tears”, by Isabel  Yap (
--“As Good as New”, by Charlie Jane Anders (
-“Spores”, by Seanan McGuire (The End is Nigh)

Last year was not a strong year for reading short fiction (for me), so I'm very behind.  I've used Some of the Best of as a resource just to get ideas for what to consider, though Kelly Barnhill's story has been on my list all year and she's still holding on.  The trouble is, if I push to read more novelettes, I'm going to miss out on more short stories and my time is quite limited right now.  So - if there are any strong recommendations for something I just have to read now, I'll take it. 

Graphic Story
*Saga, Vol 3
*Locke and Key: Alpha and Omega

Related Work
*Rocket Talk Podcast
What Makes This Book So Great, by Jo Walton

There is an argument to be had regarding whether or not Rocket Talk is a Fancast or a Related Work. On the one hand, it is published on, a professional publication - and I expect that Landon is compensated for each episode in the same way that all contributors to are compensated.  On the other hand, I believe that does not pay for the production of Rocket Talk.  I think, and this is obvious based on what category I'm commenting on, that Rocket Talk is a professional podcast and is much more suited to be a Related Work.  I love Rocket Talk, it is the one podcast I actually listen to on a semi-regular basis.  But it's association with eliminates it from being a fancast. 

Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
*Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
Mockingjay: Part I
X-Men: Days of Future Past
How to Train Your Dragon 2

Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Editor, Short Form
William Schafer
Ann VanderMeer

Editor, Long Form

Professional Artist
-John Picacio
-Julie Dillon
Stephan Martiniere
Magali Villeneuve
Milan Jaram
Joey Hi-Fi

Fan Artist
*Elizabeth Leggett (she has professional work, but I love the fan work)
Wenqing Yan


*Chaos Horizon
A Dribble of Ink
Lady Business
SF Mistressworks
The Wertzone

Chaos Horizon is easily my favorite blog / fanzine this year.  I love the analysis Kempner is doing in trying to figure out, based on past history, what works are likely to garner nominations for the Hugo and Nebula Awards. 

Fan Writer
*Brandon Kempner
*Renay Williams
Justin Landon
Abigail Nussbaum
Adam Whitehead
Niall Alexander
Paul Weimer
Liz Bourke

See above.  Also, Renay at Lady Business (and on Twitter) has been making me think this year, so I'd love to see her recognized.

No Nominations

John W. Campbell Award
*Wesley Chu
*Helene Wecker
*Brian McClellan
Henry Lien


Aidan Moher said...

Lots of tough choices left, Joe. Some great books, stories and writers will inevitably be left off the ballot, which just speaks to how strong and diverse the SFF world is these days.

Thanks for the nod. :)

Brandon Kempner said...

I clicked over from twitter to see if I could learn more about the Hugos, and it was a great surprise to see myself listed for consideration. Thanks! I'm glad someone else enjoys Chaos Horizon!

I wonder, though, if Chaos Horizon were to get nominated for a Hugo . . . would the universe implode?

Joe said...

At the very least, it would be intensely recursive. But, probably. We'd be in a pocket universe somewhere.

Unfortunately, I'm only representative of myself, which is why I've been consistently disappointed by Elizabeth Bear not receiving Best Novel nominations nearly every year (and there is a chance I'm going to disappoint myself and leave her off my ballot, which seldom happens).

Ted Cross said...

Thank you for having Stephan Martiniere on the Pro Artist list. If you haven't seen his covers for Shield and Crocus and The Immortality Game from 2014, I hope you'll take a look at them. I think the Shield and Crocus one especially is just jaw-dropping.

Joe said...

Martiniere has been doing great work for years. I think i first noticed him on the cover for Brandon Sanderson's Elantris back in 2005.