Thinking About the 2016 Hugo Awards – Best Novel part 1

I’m going to try to work my way through as many of the categories as possible, but I’m starting with the big one—Best Novel.  I’ve already read a lot of great speculative fiction novels published in 2015, including several that I’m going to hold off on discussing because I have posted reviews yet.  I will see how many more novels I can get to before nominations close, but the only novel I’m left burning to read is The Dark Forest, the sequel to last year’s winner The Three-Body Problem.  Again, instead of listing my nominations I’m dividing works roughly between Hugo-worthy and worth talking about.

Only three more days left to buy a membership to MidAmeriCon II if you want to nominate!

 

FIRST TIER

Zero World by Jason Hough

Zero World cover

Zero World is both a very good scifi novel and a very good spy novel.  Almost perfect, really, and a bit better than Saturn Run (that one hard scifi rather than multiverse).  Review here.

 

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Sorcerer to the Crown cover US

I loved Mary Robinette Kowal’s fantastical take on Jane Austen in her Glamourist Histories.  Those books got better as the series went on.  Cho has exceeded them out of the gate with Sorcerer to the Crown.  Review here.

 

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

Two Years Eight Months cover

A little high-faluting literary work to go with the pulpier fare here, Rushdie’s latest book is beautiful and subversive.  It’s beautiful, breathtaking prose by any standard and Rushdie uses repetition of periods of time and words and ideas better than I have ever seen.  And it’s subversive in the best way, the way good literature should be, Rushdie’s razor sharp tonguing darting back and forth, punching up and slaughtering sacred cows.  Review here.

 

The Dread Wyrm by Miles Cameron

Dread Wyrm cover

Miles Cameron’s Cycle may be the best ongoing fantasy series out there.  It’s always been deeply rooted in historical medieval Europe and suitably bloody, but Cameron outdoes himself in The Dread Wyrm with nonstop action and continued innovative worldbuilding.  Review here.

 

SECOND TIER

Dead Man’s Reach by D.B. Jackson

Jackson’s American Revolution historical fantasy series only got better as it went.  It’s a damn shame Jackson had to retire it.  Review here.

 

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Brad Beaulieu

Twelve Kings is a very promising opening to an epic new Silk Road Fantasy series.  Review here.

 

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

A weird western featuring Bass Reeves?  Hell yes.  Review here.

 

Killing Pretty by Richard Kadrey

Killing Pretty has the same “problem” Skin Game had year.  It’s a book that’s a blast to read but doesn’t stick with you.  Review here.

 

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

A dark fallen angel fantasy full of beautiful, arresting imagery.  Review here.

 

Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein

Reviewing leads me to read the sorts of books I might not otherwise.  Sandford’s thriller about a space race to Saturn between America and China, along with books like Zero World and The Three-Body Problem, have me itching to read more spy fiction and hard scifi.  Review here.

 

PENDING REVIEW

Seveneves

The Grace of Kings

Autumn Republic

Gemini Cell

Joe Steele

The Red Trilogy*

Uprooted

 

WATCHLIST

The Dark Forest

Torchship by Karl K. Gallagher

Time Salvager

A Crown for Cold Silver

Son of the Black Sword

Black Wolves

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About H.P.

Blogs on speculative fiction books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday.
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2 Responses to Thinking About the 2016 Hugo Awards – Best Novel part 1

  1. Pingback: Thinking About the 2016 Hugo Awards – Introduction | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

  2. Pingback: Thinking About the 2016 Hugo Awards – Sundry | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

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