I almost certainly won’t wind up voting on the Hugos this year. The number of people nominating and voting on the awards jumped way up, but that hasn’t markedly improved the quality of the finalists. And it’s clear that a lot of people involved don’t want the make-up of the finalists to change—at least not for the better. And those people are committed to doing whatever it takes to guard their fiefdom, including putting No Award over very fine work.
Voting means an enormous time commitment for works that aren’t special enough to merit the commitment and without the opportunity to have much of an impact on the final results (especially when a large chunk of the voters obviously aren’t bothering to read many works).
But I did buy a supporting membership for this year’s WorldCon, so I am eligible to nominate. I’m not going to go out of my way to try to read anymore works from 2016 before the nomination deadline. And after recently finishing Death’s End, I can’t think of any works off the top of my head that I’m dying to finish anyway, especially anything that has any shot at being a finalist. Although I may add some shorter works if I can get caught back up on Cirsova Magazine and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction before the nomination period closes.
But Hugo Awards notwithstanding, I have read some really great speculative fiction published in 2016 and I’m happy to promote it.
Arkwright by Allen Steele (review here)
CTRL ALT Revolt! by Nick Cole (review here)
The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey (review here)
Death’s End by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (review here)
The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster, Tor.com (review here)
Images of the Goddess by Schuyler Hernstrom, Cirsova no. 2 (review here)
Last of the Sharkspeakers by Brian Trent, May F&SF
The Long Fall Up by William Ledbetter, May F&SF
A Hill of Stars by Misha Burnett, Cirsova no. 1 (review here)
BEST SHORT STORY
The Gift of the Ob-Men by Schuyler Hernstrom, Cirsova no. 1 (review here)
The Quest of Mecha-Harambe by kaijubushi (story here)
DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM
Rogue One (review here)
Stranger Things, season 1
Remembrance of Earth’s Past by Cixin Liu (review of Death’s End here)
The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron (review of The Plague of Swords here)
Malka Older (Infomocracy (review here))