Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Hugo 2017: Best Novel Thoughts

This year, I’ve made a solid effort to read as much eligible work as possible for the Hugo nominations period. I read short fiction on a monthly basis, and you can see all the stories I most enjoyed by clicking “short fiction” in my word cloud.  Novels, I started reading feverishly at the beginning of 2017, guiding my reading by my own interests and by which novels seem to be recommended most commonly on best-of-2016 lists.  

I’m going to put up a few posts this month, to point out some work that I think deserves consideration in the fiction and dramatic presentation categories.  Today, I will talk about novels.  Out of the 2016 novels I have read, there are a number that I would consider award-worthy.  There are also certainly many award-worthy novels that I haven’t had time to read. The following is not a slate, but just a reminder of some excellent novels from 2016.

Favorite 2016 novels that I have read (but not yet reviewed here)

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin: Jemisin won the Hugo Award for Best Novel last year with the first book of this series, and the second is really just as amazing.  I think this is a strong contender for the award, and may be hurt only by the fact that it is the second in a series.

The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu: This is also the second book in a series, following The Grace of Kings.  I liked the first novel, but the series seems to be getting even better as it goes along.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders: This one is a debut novel, and an excellent one.  The story follows the friendship between a witch and a scientist, as the world falls apart around them.

Good books I’m still reading now  

I’m currently reading Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit and Mishell Baker’s Borderline.  Both are entertaining so far, and Lee’s novel in particular is impressively weird.  So far, I would recommend these, but I haven’t quite finished them yet.

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