My 2021 Hugo Awards Challenge

It’s that time of year again where the flowers start to bloom on the trees and the Hugo Award nominees are announced. Out of all the bookish awards that exist in the world, the Hugo’s are one of my favorites because of the way they celebrate SFF authors and writing throughout the year.

Last year, I challenged myself to read the books within the novel and novella categories. It was tough especially given the short timeline, but I made it through. It was also a year of bad mental health, so while I did read those books and thoroughly enjoyed every one, I still struggled with reading through the entire list.

This year, I decided to challenge myself with three specific categories; novels, novellas, and the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book. Because I love both adult and YA SFF, I couldn’t resist the books in all three of these categories. Luckily for me, the awards have been postponed to December due to the pandemic, so there’s plenty of time (like the rest of the year) to read them and pick out my favorites.

Of course, I’ll be sharing my picks for the awards once I’ve read all the books. Last year, I didn’t do so well with my picks but this year, I have a feeling I get the process better and want to see if I can at least nail one category.

Here’s the plan: From June 2021 – October 2021, I will be reading all the books I haven’t read yet from each of these categories plus any books I’ll need to read beforehand. Many of the books in this year’s nominees are continuations of series already in progress. As much as I want to be the person who reads a series book out of order, I’m not. I must read all for the context! Thank God for the extended date!

Here’s the books in the categories I’ll reading (from the Hugo Awards website):

I’m actually on top of my reading this year and have read three of the six books on this list. Black Sun, The City We Became, Harrow the Ninth. The books I’ll need to read from the Best Novel category will be: Network Effect by Martha Wells, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, and The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal.

The novella category is my least read category. Out of the books, I’ve only read Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi. I’ll need to read Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire, The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo, Finna by Nino Cipri, Ring Shout by P Djeli Clark, and Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey.

Similar to the novels category, I’ve read half the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book category. I finished Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas and Legendborn by Tracey Deonn. I DNF’d A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik, so I won’t be trying to read that one again. I’m just not a fan of her writing! I’ve tried three books of hers and they never work for me.

That leaves Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko, Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, and A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T Kingfisher

On top of that, I wanted to catch up on the ongoing series that I want to read ahead of the nominated books. While I know this isn’t necessary and these books could probably be read out of order, I’m the type of person that needs to do things in the order they came. So here’s what I’ll need to read beforehand:

  • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
  • Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

It’s a lot of reading, but again there’s a huge lead time and a summer of reading whatever I want. I’m excited to get into these stories, share my thoughts with you, and host my little award show via text later in the year. Will you be reading the Hugo Awards this year?

3 thoughts on “My 2021 Hugo Awards Challenge

  1. I’m also going to be reading the Hugo’s this year! I’ve bought myself a supporting membership so I can vote, and now I have to read all the books 😭


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