It’s the best time of the year! The Hugo Award finalists have been announced! Over the last couple of years, I’ve truly fallen in love with reading science fiction and fantasy novels. One of my favorite challenges throughout the year is reading the Hugo Award finalists and determining who I believe should win these awards.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to accomplish my own self-proclaimed challenge because my mental health put me behind in my reading. However, that isn’t the case this year and I’m so excited to continue the challenge for 2022.
This year, I plan on reading the books from three specific categories: Best Novel, Best Novella, and the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult.
And as I look at these three categories I notice something I didn’t realize; I’ve already read most of the books! I feel like I’ve finally become a part of the SFF communities because I’m actually reading the books up for an award. So I put together the list I need to read, the books I need to catch up on, and the timeline for when I need to read these by.
Here’s the plan
The Hugo Awards will be hosted by Chicon 8 and the award ceremony takes place the first weekend in September. Over the next four months, I’ll be reading the books I haven’t read yet. Because I’ve read so many over the year, the list is pretty minimal.
However, there’s a few sequels and continuations of series that are nominated this year. Of course, me being me, I need to read everything leading up to it. So while I won’t be reading a ton from the finalist list, I will still be reading a ton.
Here’s the finalists
For Best Novel
- A Desolation Called Peace, by Arkady Martine (Tor)
- The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager / Hodder & Stoughton)
- Light From Uncommon Stars, by Ryka Aoki (Tor / St Martin’s Press)
- A Master of Djinn, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom / Orbit UK)
- Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir (Ballantine / Del Rey)
- She Who Became the Sun, by Shelley Parker-Chan (Tor / Mantle)
From this list, I’ve read four of the six books. I’ve already read and loved Light From Uncommon Stars, A Master of Djinn, Project Hail Mary, and She Who Became the Sun. I’ve linked all my reviews for those books if you’re interested in knowing where my head is at.
I haven’t read A Desolation Called Peace or The Galaxy, and the Ground Within. However, these are two books I’ve been meaning to read for a while, so I feel like I’m killing a few birds with one stone here. I also want to catch up in the Wayfarer series before I read this finale and I want to reread A Memory Called Empire because I read it during the pandemic and I don’t remember anything.
For Best Novella
- Across the Green Grass Fields, by Seanan McGuire (Tordotcom)
- Elder Race, by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tordotcom)
- Fireheart Tiger, by Aliette de Bodard (Tordotcom)
- The Past Is Red, by Catherynne M. Valente (Tordotcom)
- A Psalm for the Wild-Built, by Becky Chambers (Tordotcom)
- A Spindle Splintered, by Alix E. Harrow (Tordotcom)
I’m so glad that I’m caught up on Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series. I actually don’t need to rad that one! But this category is where I’m most delinquent and will read the most books. In fact, I’ll be reading three books from this category: Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Fireheart Tire by Aliette de Bodard, and The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente. I might be secretly rooting for one novella in particular, but I won’t give out which one that is until we get closer to the awards ceremony.
The Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book
- Chaos on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
- Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao (Penguin Teen / Rock the Boat)
- The Last Graduate, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey Books)
- Redemptor, by Jordan Ifueko (Amulet Books / Hot Key Books)
- A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
- Victories Greater Than Death, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Teen / Titan)
This category is not technically a Hugo Award, but I love that they incorporate young adult fiction into it regardless. Similarly to the novel category, I’ll be reading two books from this list. While I should be reading three books, I’m not a fan of a particular author on this list (it’s Naomi Novik) and no matter how many times I try to read her books, i just can’t get into them. So I’ll only be reading Chaos on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer and A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger.
Here’s what I’ll be reading
With every year I do this challenge, I find my reading list growing exponentially to not only read the books I haven’t read yet, but also catch up on the books I need to read before it. Some of these finalists are continuations in a series and me being me, I need to read the books prior to the one nominated. I just need to have all the facts before I can dive into a series. So, without further ado, here’s what I’ll be reading over the next four months before the Hugo Awards:
- Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer
- Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
- Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
- Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
- A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
- The Past is Red by Cathrynne M Valente
- A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine
- Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky
- Chaos on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer
- A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
Now the question is, can I actually do it?