Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My 2016 Hugo Awards Longlist Recommendations

After somewhat of an exhausting year of awards, especially with everything that went down with the Hugo Awards in 2015, it's time to restart that entire cycle this year. But, here at Adventures in Reading, we're going to do things just a little bit differently. In past years I would piece together my ballot over a series of posts beginning in late January.

That's not going to happen this year.  Even though I have never viewed how I worked out my nomination ballot as anything other than doing my thinking in public with little expectation of having an audience or influencing anyone beyond maybe a potential "hey, this is awesome, you should read this and think about it" - because that's all that a recommendation list really is - I'm not going to do it this time.  Not like I have in the past where I would end up with my final ballot posted before the nomination period closed.

With all of the shenanigans regarding groups putting together slates to directly influence what gets on the final ballot, what I'm going to do instead is post a growing long list of stuff I thought was awesome in 2015. This list will likely grow and change as I continue to discover stuff published in 2015 that I likewise think is awesome.

I'm listing everything alphabetically either by title or author, so don't view anything listed at the top of a category as being my ranked order. It's not.

It is also worth nothing that several individuals are already recusing themselves from this year's Hugo Awards. I will still list them as part of my long list recommendations (and may even nominate them anyway), but these individuals have publicly stated they will not accept a Hugo Award nomination. I will note this as they appear on my list.

Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear (Tor) 
Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho (Ace)
The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard (Roc)
The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson (Tor) 
Black Wolves, by Kate Elliott (Orbit)
Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott (Little, Brown)
Fool’s Quest, by Robin Hobb (Del Rey)
Empire Ascendant, by Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot)
The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie (Orbit) 
Signal to Noise, by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia (Solaris)
Planetfall, by Emma Newman (Roc)
Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
The End of All Things, by John Scalzi (Tor)  (will not accept a nomination)
Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)

The Witches of Lychford, by Paul Cornell (Tor.com Publishing)
“Ur”, by Stephen King (Bazaar of Bad Dreams)*
Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)
Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing) 
The Builders, by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com Publishing)
Sunset Mantle, by Alter S. Reiss (Tor.com Publishing)
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)
*King notes that "Ur" is "considerably revised" from its original 2009 publication on Amazon.com

And the Balance in Blood”, by Elizabeth Bear (Uncanny Magazine, Issue 7, November 2015) 
“The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”, by Elizabeth Bear (Old Venus) 
“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss”, by David Brin (Old Venus) 
“Obits”, by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)
"Another Word for World", by Ann Leckie (Future Visions)
Our Lady of the Open Road”, by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, June 2015)

Short Story
In Libres”, by Elizabeth Bear (Uncanny Magazine, Issue 4, May 2015)
"Elephants and Corpses”, by Kameron Hurley (Tor.com, May 13, 2015)
The Light Brigade”, by Kameron Hurley (Lightspeed, November 2015) – published on Patreon 2015 “Cat Pictures Please”, by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
Points of Origin”, by Marissa Lingen (Tor.com, November 4, 2015)
"Hello, Hello", by Seanan McGuire (Future Visions)
Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams”, by Sunny Moraine (Cyborgology, June 2, 2015)
Tear Tracks”, by Malka Older (Tor.com, October 21, 2015)
The Merger”, by Sunil Patel (The Book Smugglers, June 23, 2015)
Oral Argument”, by Kim Stanley Robinson (Tor.com, December 7, 2015)

Graphic Story
Bitch Planet: Extraordinary Machine (Vol 1), by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Lazarus: Conclave (Vol 3), by Greg Rucka
Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy (Vol 1), by Noelle Stevenson*
Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max (Vol 2), by Noelle Stevenson
Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson*
Rat Queens: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth (Vol 2), by Kurtis S. Wiebe
Saga, Volume 5, by Brian K. Vaughan.
The Sculptor, by Scott McCloud
Stand Still. Stay Silent: Book One, by Minna Sundberg
*The first collection of Lumberjanes was published in 2015, but the issues were all from 2014. I am unsure of its eligibility. The collected edition of Nimona was also published in 2015, but the webcomic is from 2012. Is it eligible?

Related Work
A History of Epic Fantasy, by Adam Whitehead
Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History, by Michael Klastorin
Prune – iOS game from Joel McDonald
Rocket Talk Podcast
Speculative Fiction 2014, by Renay Williams and Shaun Duke (editors)*
The Wheel of Time Companion
You’re Never Weird on the Internet, by Felicia Day
*I have an essay in the Speculative Fiction 2014 anthology

Dramatic Presentation, Long Form 
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Dramatic Presentation, Short Form 
Game of Thrones: “Hardhome”

Editor, Short Form
John Joseph Adams (Lightspeed, Nightmare, everything)
Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld)*
Lee Harris (Tor.com Publishing)
Jonathan Strahan (Meeting Infinity)
Lynne M. Thomas (Uncanny)
Michael Damien Thomas (Uncanny)
Sean Wallace (Clarkesworld)
*Sean Wallace suggests recognizing Neil Clarke rather than himself

Editor, Long Form 
Anne Lesley Groell (Uprooted, Fool's Quest - US)
Jane Johnson (Fool's Quest - UK, Liar's Key, Half a World)
Beth Meacham (Karen Memory)
Bella Pagan (Sorcerer to the Crown)
Marco Palmieri (Traitor Baru Cormorant)
Jessica Wade (House of Shattered Wings)

Professional Artist 
Richard Anderson (Empire Ascendant)
Daniel Dociu (Nemesis Games)
Shan Jiang (Illustrated Man in the High Castle)
Stephan Martiniere (The Dark Forest, Dragondrums)
Victor Mosquera (Luna: New Moon)
David Palumbo (Binti)
Cynthia Sheppard (Karen Memory)
Sam Weber (Illustrated Dune)
Stephen Youll (Navigators of Dune)

Fan Artist 
Ariel / Orisoni
Megan Lara
Gabriel Picolo
Sarah Webb

Uncanny Magazine

Chaos Horizon (will not accept a nomination)
File 770
Lady Business
Nerds of a feather, flock together*
SF Mistressworks
*I am a contributor to Nerds of a Feather

Fan Writer 
Rob Bedford
Brandon Kempner (will not accept a nomination)
Abigail Nussbaum
Paul Weimer
Adam Whitehead
Renay Williams*
*Renay is the co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2014, which contains one of my essays

Cabbages and Kings
Fan Girl Happy Hour*
*One half of FGHH is Renay, co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2014

John W. Campbell Award
Lou Anders
Becky Chambers 
Malka Older
Kelly Robson 
Andy Weir
Alyssa Wong 
Isabel Yap


Sean Wallace said...

I'd rather if Neil Clarke got the nod for best short form editor than me, with the work he has done with Clarkesworld. He's been consistently on the ballot in previous years. I honestly don't need the nomination.

Joe said...

Fair enough. It's hard to tell (from the outside) how the roles break out in editing / selecting stories and since Clarkesworld continues to kick ass year after year (2015 included) - I just went with the listing on the masthead.

Cat Rambo said...

Yay for the Megan Lara mention! Love her stuff.

Sheila Williams said...

Have you read the novellas published in Asimov's this year?

Sheila Williams said...

I should correct that to Have you read the novellas published in Asimov's in 2015?

Joe said...

Sheila: I have not. I don't have an Asimov's subscription (though I will say that the website looks awesome right now, I hadn't been by in a while), so my novella reading is pretty heavily slanted to Tor's stuff since I was able to get print editions from my library or read stuff online for free.

Sheila Williams said...

There were a lot of excellent ones. Seeking out Greg Egan's "The Four Thousand, The Eight Hundred," Eugene Fischer's "The New Mother," Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "Inhuman Garbage," and Nick Wolven's "On the Night of the Robo-Bulls and Zombie Dancers" would be well worth your time. If the authors allow it, I will post the top five Readers' Award vote getters on our website next month. There's a good chance I won't be able to post the Egan, but tracking down the December issue, which is filled with other good stories, including an incredible short story by M. Bennardo--"We Jump Down Into the Dark"--would be be a rewarding use of time and money.

Joe said...

Thank you for the recommendations. I'll keep an eye out for those.

Kendall said...

Nice to see your list, even if different from last year. I understand why you're changing how you do it, though I'm not sure it's needed, but of course that's your call. And regardless, thanks for posting this (and with some links).

I'm curious, post-nomination-cut-off, will you be posting who you actually nominated? (I'm not trying to push you to do it or not do it, but as a reader of your blog, I admit to being curious. ;-) )

Re. your Graphic Story questions, the Hugo Awards web site has a wealth of information. According to this info on the categories (emphasis in original):

"Works such as TV series, comics and sometimes even whole novels are sometimes published in multiple parts making up a complete story arc. The individual elements of such a story arc are always eligible for their year of publication. However, voters may want to nominate a complete story arc. In such cases it is the publication date of the final installment of the series that counts for eligibility purposes."

(I tried to use blockquote but, oddly, Blogger doesn't allow it.)

The last sentence seems to clearly indicate IMHO (based on what you wrote about when things were published) that Lumberjanes Vo. 1 and Nimona are not eligible, since their last issues weren't published in 2015. A collection in a later year doesn't count as a new work; only the original publication date matters.

Some folks nominated Nimona last year, BTW. It didn't make the finalists, so eligibility no doubt wasn't checked (why waste time checking non-finalists).

Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor am I even remotely likely to ever be a Hugo Administrator. ;-)

Thanks again!

Kendall said...

Whoops, it ignored my 'strong' tag; I should've used 'b' I guess. Anyway, my "emphasis in original referred to the fact that the Hugo Awards web site used 'strong' around the word "final" in the last sentence. I.e.:

"In such cases it is the publication date of the final installment of the series that counts for eligibility purposes." (using 'b' which Blogger says is going to work...)

Joe said...

I would tend to agree with you on Lumberjanes Vol 1 and Nimona. Actually, I think you can also argue that Nimona wasn't eligible last year either (unless she added stuff).

But, if most people don't realize that Lumberjanes had the final issue collected in 2014 (and it's not something I usually check either) - it could get missed and nominated and I honestly think there's a chance the committee would miss it, too.