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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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?