My Reading List for the 2019 Hugo Awards

I’ve a supporting membership for Dublin 2019, which gives me access to this year’s Hugo Awards voter packet (basically a collection of most of the shortlisted works in a mix of e-formats).

The packet came out over the weekend, so here are my musings about what I want to read between now and August (end July being the voting deadline).

Err… it’s ambitious to say the least.

Best Novel

  • Naomi Novik’s SPINNING SILVER is the only one I’ve read so far in this category (in fact, it was one of my favourite reads in 2018).
  • I already have the Becky Chambers but in paperback, so am grateful to get my hands on the e-version which makes it ever-so-slightly more convenient to read.  I think RECORD OF A SPACEBORN FEW is a companion book as opposed to a sequel, so I don’t have to read her other two books (which are both included in the Hugo packet as she also has a nomination for Best Series, and err… I also own but not read).
  • I also already have Yoon Ha Lee’s REVENANT GUN, but haven’t yet read the second book RAVEN STRATEGEM (which is queued up on my Kindle – okay, yes, I do have a TBR problem).  This is definitely a trilogy, so I should really try to finish both.
  • I’m more on the fence for Catherynne M Valente’s SPACE OPERA (tried an excerpt previously and it didn’t work for me), but hey, it is Eurovision this weekend so I may be in the mood for it!
  • Rebecca Roanhorse’s TRAIL OF LIGHTNING has been on my to-buy list for a while, so I’m really pleased the full book’s in the packet.  The only reason I haven’t one-clicked it yet was because I heard it straddles the fantasy-horror boundary and horror isn’t really my thing, but on the other hand, it’s had really good reviews.
  • Mary Robinette Kowal’s THE CALCULATING STARS is provided only in PDF format, which is an utter pain.  I’ve had a go at converting this via Calibre, so we’ll see if it’s worked.  I haven’t bought this one because umm… it sounds stupid but it’s a prequel to her short story “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”, which I loved, and therefore I didn’t really want to read the run-up to the events in the short.  Ha.  I’ve enjoyed her novels previously, so I will try to read this – it’s also recently had a UK release so my library may have a copy.

So that’s four books I’m definitely going to read + possibly the Valente and Kowal, depending on whether I bounce off the former and if I can get a readable version of the latter + the two other Becky Chambers for the Best Series nom.

Best Novella

  • Again, I’ve only read one of the shortlist previously (the Aliette de Bodard).
  • I’ve Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti trilogy in hardback, so will definitely make time to read all three novellas.
  • Martha Wells’s ARTIFICIAL CONDITION is currently retailing for around £7, hence me being delighted to see it in the Hugo packet (I’ve just whizzed through it).
  • I’ve been interested in the P. Djèlí Clark and Kelly Robson novellas for a while, so ditto on being happy to see them included.
  • And I’ve the first of the Seanan McGuire novellas, so I probably should read it before BENEATH A SUGAR SKY?  Loosely-connected though.

Possibly seven more novellas to get through here – all have been highly-rated though, so I suspect I’ll fly through them!

Best Series

  • Okay, the first thing to say is that ALL TWELVE of Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books are in the Hugo packet (via NetGalley so time-limited admittedly, but still!).  The second thing to say is that I own all of them already (you know I adore Toby, right?)… definitely a top contender for my vote.
  • I’ve not heard of Malka Older’s Centenal Cycle books before, but definitely keen to give them a go – all three are included.
  • I’ve eyed the Charles Stross series previously but have never read them – I think four novellas are provided, so will see what they’re like before deciding if I want to get hold of the novels.
  • I’ll be covering the Becky Chambers and Yoon Ha Lee books as part of the Best Novel reads (useful overlap, this!)
  • I think I may have read a few of Aliette de Bodard’s Xuya works before.  I like but don’t love them, so we’ll see.

So really it’s only the Older and Stross works here for me to read, perhaps some of de Bodard’s stories as well.

Lodestar Award (Best YA)

  • Ha, broken record but again, I’ve read only one book in this category (Holly Black’s THE CRUEL PRINCE).  The publisher’s provided an excerpt for the packet, so that’s rather fortunate on my part (also I thought it was rather generic YA fantasy, so not top of my list).
  • Rachel Hartman and Tomi Adeyemi’s books are provided via NetGalley, so yay – I haven’t read either one and want to read both.
  • Dhonielle Clayton’s is marked “To be provided” so perhaps something will follow?
  • Peadar O’Guilin’s duology comes across as more horror to me, I’ll give his books a a go, but they may not really be my thing.

I’ve not really read much YA fantasy recently (or so I think anyway!), will definitely read at least two here.

And as for the other categories

  • I’ve read most of the shortlisted works in the Novelette and Short Story categories already – I just need to have a think!
  • Campbell Award – I’ve read SA Chakraborty, have the first Katherine Arden book, and may read RF Kuang’s THE POPPY WAR (apparently grimdark-ish?).
  • No real thoughts about the rest of the categories, I’ll read through the pieces provided in the packet to decide on my votes.

So that’s me (it may be an SFF-heavy couple of months…) – if you’ve signed up for Dublin 2019 and plan on voting, what are your thoughts?

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4 thoughts on “My Reading List for the 2019 Hugo Awards

  1. I am so tempted by the Hugo package, even though I have way too much to read at the moment! I read A Closed and Common Orbit (book 2 in Becky Chambers’s series) last week, and I adored it. I have read the first one, but apart from one significant spoiler, you could read this independently. Record of a Space Born Few also looks to be a standalone. I’ve not read any of the others in the novel category, but do own the Rebecca Roanhorse one. And yes, great to see Toby Daye up for best series!

    • I’ll start with the first Becky Chambers book then! Was debating whether to start with her books or Yoon Ha Lee’s – I remember liking NINEFOX GAMBIT a lot, but it did require a bit too much thinking at times…
      I’m definitely more interested in this year’s finalists v. last year, though there is a bit of an overlap in terms of names. I bought a supporting membership some time back because I was considering going and wanted a reminder – as it turns out, dates won’t work out for me, but I’m wondering if any of the international attendees will do London appearances.

  2. I can’t believe I’ve missed so many of your recent posts, Li. How many of these books did you get through? I have only read a handful of them. I read the first Becky Chambers book a few years ago and liked it, but it didn’t really wow me so haven’t read any more of them. I really liked Trail of Lightning and didn’t find it particularly in the realm of horror which I don’t like at all. It didn’t scare me. (That’s my criteria for if it’s horror or not!)

    I love the Murderbot series by Martha Wells. And I think I read that she won the the best novella Hugo for her novella? I’m looking forward to the next book in that series.

    I think it’s great you bought the supporting membership for Dublin. Sorry you couldn’t go, but it’s great that you got the package to read so many of the books.

    • I haven’t been blogging that often, Jan! I had a really lazy summer…

      I failed miserably at reading the YA category. I’ve been bouncing off a lot of YA books lately, so it’s probably a reading mood thing.

      Martha Wells was probably my favourite of the novellas, so I’m glad she won! She’s doing a full-length Murderbot novel next, so really looking forward to that.

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