Hugo Recommendations

It is that time of year again. Thankfully the Chengdu committee seem to have managed to get voting open. They have also made the necessary step of establishing rules for word counts in Chinese. I very much hope to see some Chinese works on the ballot.

Of course I can’t read any of the Chinese languages, so what I vote for will be entirely works in English. I won’t have a full ballot because I just don’t have the time to read as much as I used to. But there are books, and people, I’d like to recommend.


Going by what I have read thus far, these are the books that are currently most likely to be on my ballot.

  • The Spear Cuts through Water – Simon Jimenez
  • The Moonday Letters – Emmi Itäranta
  • A Half-Built Garden – Ruthanna Emrys
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau – Sylvia Moreno-Garcia
  • All the Seas of the World – Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Wrath Goddess Sing – Maya Deane

However, based on what others have said, these books from my TBR pile may make it onto the ballot if I get them read in time.

  • Beyond the Burn Line – Paul McAuley
  • When Women Were Dragons – Kelly Barnhill
  • The Embroidered Book – Kate Heartfield
  • Babel – RF Kuang
  • The Mountain in the Sea – Ray Nayler
  • The World We Make – NK Jemisin


Some Hugo rules neepery is required here. Fond as I am of the lovely folks at Locus, I sometimes find their categorisations unhelpful. Locus takes a very literal view of word length rules. Thus, if a book has 40,001 words, they will insist that it is a novel, even if it feels like a novella to everyone else. The WSFS Constitution states:

“The Worldcon Committee may relocate a story into a more appropriate category if it feels that it is necessary, provided that the length of the story is within twenty percent (20%) of the new category limits.”

And the thing that is likely to prompt them to do this is you, the voters, indicating that you want it done on the basis of where you place your nominations.

This year both Spear and The Bruising of Qilwa have been catageorised as novels by Locus. I have an electronic copy of Spear and by my count it is well within the limits to be counted as a novella. Nicola confirmed that. Naseem Jamnia has been describing Qilwa as a novella in eligibility posts. Obviously it is up to you how you vote, but here’s what’s currently in with a chance of being on my ballot.

  • Ogres – Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Spear – Nicola Griffith
  • The Bruising of Qilwa – Naseem Jamnia
  • Into the Riverlands – Nghi Vo
  • A Prayer for the Crown-Shy – Becky Chambers
  • Rosebud – Paul Cornell


The processes whereby people converge on individual episodes of TV series to vote for in BDP: Short are a mystery to me. What I do know is that there has been some excellent TV this year, and movies have been a bit meh. So here’s a list of series that I would like to see rewarded in one way or another.

  • Dragon Age: Absolution
  • Sandman: Season 1
  • Star Trek Strange New Worlds: Season 1
  • Ms Marvel
  • Doctor Who: Redacted
  • Star Trek Lower Decks: Season 3

Other Categories

I’ve read very few comics in the past yearm but Liam Sharpe’s StarHenge will be on my ballot. I’ll also be nominating Liam for Professional Artist.

On the subject of art, I would love to see Ben Baldwin get some international recognition. The covers that he produces for me are superb.

I was delighted to see Cora Buhlert win a Hugo last year, but now it is time to spread the love. Alasdair Stuart and Paul Weimer are both overdue rockets.

My Eligibility

As usual, I am eligible in Fan Writer, and Salon Futura is eligibile in Fanzine.