2020 Stabby Award Nominees

Reddit’s r/Fantasy group has chosen the nominees for the Best of /r/Fantasy 2020 — the Stabby Awards.

The group has over 1.2 million members, although last year just 903 votes were cast.

Voting continues until January 4. The winners will be announced January 6.

There are many categories – the lists of nominees follow the jump.

Update: The r/Fantasy mods asked that File 770 remind everyone —

Rules surrounding vote brigading:

You are welcome and encouraged to share this voting thread, but links directly to the Google Form or shares of the voting thread that specifically ask folks to vote for you will be considering attempts to brigade. Share information about the Stabby Awards as a whole. Even if you’re not the original creator/nominee, but are sharing in support of someone, the same rules will apply. Don’t get your favorite creator disqualified by not following the rules. As in previous years, the moderator team reserves the right to determine winners in the event of hinky business.

Best Novel of 2020

  • A Deadly Education, Naomi Novik
  • A Time of Courage, John Gwynne
  • Age of Empyre, Michael J. Sullivan
  • Battleground, Jim Butcher
  • Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Call of the Bone Ships, R.J. Barker
  • Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir
  • Kings of Heaven, Richard Nell
  • Mexican Gothic, Sylvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Network Effect, Martha Wells
  • Peace Talks, Jim Butcher
  • Piranesi, Susanna Clarke
  • Shorefall, Robert Jackson Bennett
  • The Brightest Shadow, Sarah Lin
  • The Burning God, R.F. Kuang
  • The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin
  • The Empire of Gold, S.A. Chakraborty
  • The Fires of Vengeance, Evan Winter
  • The Girl and the Stars, Mark Lawrence
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea, T.J. Klune
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V.E. Schwab
  • The Midnight Bargain, C.L. Polk
  • The Once and Future Witches, Alix E. Harrow
  • The Only Good Indians, Stephen Graham Jones
  • The Relentless Moon, Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Space Between Worlds, Micaiah Johnson
  • The Torch That Ignites the Stars, Andrew Rowe
  • The Trouble With Peace, Joe Abercrombie
  • The Tyrant Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson
  • The Unspoken Name, A.K. Larkwood
  • The Vanished Birds, Simon Jimenez
  • Unconquerable Sun, Kate Elliott

Best Self-Published/Independent Novel of 2020

  • A Ghostly Request, Krista D. Ball
  • Black Stone Heart, Michael R. Fletcher
  • Children, Bjørn Larssen
  • Fragment of Divinity, Jamey Sultan
  • Half a Soul, Olivia Atwater
  • Heart of Stone, Johannes T. Evans
  • Kings of Heaven, Richard Nell
  • Night Shift Dragons, Rachel Aaron
  • Of Honey and Wildfires, Sarah Chorn
  • The Brightest Shadow, Sarah Lin
  • The Lost City of Ithos, John Bierce
  • The Torch That Ignites the Stars, Andrew Rowe
  • War of Gods, Dyrk Ashton

Best Debut Novel of 2020

  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, Roseanne A. Brown
  • Docile, K.M. Szpara
  • Fragment of Divinity, Jamey Sultan
  • Legendborn, Tracy Deonn
  • Nophek Gloss, Essa Hansen
  • Raybearer, Jordan Ifueko
  • The Space Between Worlds, Michaiah Johnson
  • The Unspoken Name, A.K. Larkwood
  • The Vanished Birds, Simon Jimenez

Best Novella of 2020

  • Blood Tally, Brian McClellan
  • Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire
  • Drowned Country, Emily Tesh
  • Finna, Nino Cipri
  • In the Shadows of Men, Robert Jackson Bennett
  • Princess Floralinda and the Forty Flight Tower, Tamsyn Muir
  • Prosper’s Demon, K.J. Parker
  • Ring Shout, P. Djeli Clark
  • Sweet Harmony, Claire North
  • Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune, Nghi Vo
  • The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, Zen Cho
  • The Seventh Perfection, Daniel Polansky
  • Upright Women Wanted, Sarah Gailey

Best Short Fiction of 2020

Best Serialized Fiction of 2020

Best Anthology/Collection/Periodical of 2020

  • A Phoenix First Must Burn, ed. Patrice Caldwell
  • Best of British Fantasy 2019, ed. Jared Shurin
  • FIYAH Literary Magazine, Executive Ed. DaVaun Sanders
  • Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, ed. Jonathan Strahan
  • Silk & Steel: A Queer Speculative Adventure Anthology, ed. Janine A. Southard
  • The Book of Dragons, ed. Jonathan Strahan
  • The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, Ken Liu
  • Where the Wild Ladies Are, Aoko Matsuda

Best Artwork of 2020

Black Stone Heart, Felix Ortiz

Damnation, Seb McKinnon

Doom! Jazzy Kandra

Dragon Ketubah, Aaron Hodges and Noam Sienna

Enchanted Evening, Seb McKinnon

KUSHIEL’S AVATAR I by Tran Nguyen

naah dude, chill, i don’t wanna fight. just sat down to rest for a lil bit, Tomislav Jagnjic

Nightshade Harvester, Hugh Pindur

Pailiah, Magali Villeneuve

Red and Blue Entwined, Christy Duprey

Remnant of a Blessing, Randy Vargas

Rhythm of War, Michael Whelan

ROE, Satine Zillah

The Oathpact Ends, Micah Epstein

The Trouble With Peace, Tomás Almeida

Under the Whispering Door, Red Nose Studio

VALKYRIE HARBINGER, Tran Nguyen

Best Artist of 2020

Best Fantasy Site of 2020

Best Game (Any Format) of 2020

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Destiny 2: Beyond Light
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Hades
  • The Last of Us Part II

Best TV Series/Movie of 2020

  • Dark
  • Devs
  • Doom Patrol
  • His Dark Materials
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts
  • Lovecraft Country
  • Onward
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
  • Tenet
  • The Boys
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor
  • The Expanse
  • The Good Place
  • The Magicians
  • The Mandalorian
  • The Old Guard
  • Umbrella Academy
  • What We Do In the Shadows

Best Audio Original Fiction of 2020

Best Audio Original Nonfiction of 2020

Best Narrator of 2020

  • Emily Woo Zeller
  • James Marsters
  • Jeffrey Kafer
  • Julia Whelan
  • Kate Reading
  • Kevin R. Free
  • Michael Kramer
  • Moira Quirk
  • Nick Podehl
  • Robin Miles
  • Steve West
  • Steven Pacey
  • Travis Baldree

Best Virtual Convention of 2020

  • Augur Con
  • CoNZealand Fringe
  • FIYAH Con
  • Jordan Con
  • QuaranCon
  • ReCONvene
  • Sirens at Home
  • WorldCon

Best Related Work of 2020

Best r/Fantasy Contributor: Professional

  • /u/ashearmstrong
  • /u/BryceOConnor
  • /u/CTPhipps
  • /u/DjangoWexler
  • /u/GeneralBattuta
  • /u/JannyWurts
  • /u/JohnBierce
  • /u/KristaDBall
  • /u/RAYMONDSTELMO
  • /u/salaris

Best r/Fantasy Contributor: Community Member (Overall Redditor)

  • /u/Anconab
  • /u/barb4ry1
  • /u/HeLiBeB
  • /u/leftoverbrine
  • /u/LOLtohru
  • /u/RevolutionaryCommand
  • /u/SeiShonagon
  • /u/ski2read
  • /u/tarvolon
  • /u/Ungoliant1234
  • /u/VictorySpeaks

Best r/Fantasy Essay in 2020

Best r/Fantasy Review in 2020

Best r/Fantasy Original Post in 2020 (Anything Not an Essay or Review)

Best r/Fantasy Original Comment in 2020 (Anything Not an Essay or Review)

17 thoughts on “2020 Stabby Award Nominees

  1. Dang. I’ve read/watched very few of the nominees.

    On the upside, the genre is apparently a healthy source of new material!

    The includes of ConZealand Fringe but not ConZealand would appear to lend some modest support to the criticism of Fringe for semi-counterprogramming against the official con.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men. John Stuart Mill

  2. Bonnie McDaniel says Good heavens. And we think we’ve got a lot of Hugo nominees to wade through.

    I’m not sure how they put you together their nomination lists but what I will say is they’re way, way too long. Now I did find stuff there to check out, so there is that too.

    Now playing: Robert Plant’s cover of “Darkness, Darkness”

  3. Bonnie McDaniel: Good heavens. And we think we’ve got a lot of Hugo nominees to wade through.

    At least one of the art nominees is a 2021 work. And the artist links go to general websites for those artists, not to 2020 works. 😐

  4. JJ notes At least one of the art nominees is a 2021 work. And the artist links go to general websites for those artists, not to 2020 works. ?

    Though we may not be quite perfect, I think that we as a body do the matter of organising genre prizes better than anyone else.

    Now playing: Pete Townsend ’s “Exquisitely Boredl”

  5. I like the idea of having a category for best comment. It sounds odd at first — until you start reading them and realizing how much work went into most of them, etc.

    Also, I’m having fun reading the nominated comments. They remind me that I should hang out on that group more often. (It will be less depressing than reading AITA posts.) And maybe I should even post stuff!

    When I have more time, I’ll read the reviews and essays. And … books!

  6. I’ve read 10 of the novel nominees so far, and I’m in the middle of an 11th.

    Of the ones I’ve read, I’d consider two… maaaaaaybe three… worthy of Hugo long-listing (The Vanished Birds, The Once and Future Witches, maaaaaybe Black Sun), and three worthy of pop-sff novel awards (the Dresdens and Network Effect). But, of course, there’s still a bunch I haven’t read yet!

  7. @GiantPanda

    Indeed. TYVM.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose. – Margaret Atwood

  8. I’ve read Piranesi and Mexican Gothic. Both are good, but of the two, Piranesi would be my choice.

  9. Hey Mike! One of the r/Fantasy mods here! Thanks so much for this excellent write-up! This was wonderful to see, and we’re so incredibly chuffed with the Stabby Award’s reception this year.

    We do have a quick request. Would it be possible to update this article to include our rules surrounding voting and nomination announcements? We’ve had major issues in the past with vote brigading, and these are the steps we’ve taken to address it. For folks unfamiliar with Reddit, it’s been confusing that we do not allow people to explicitly ask for votes from their fans or on behalf of creators.

    Thanks again! We’ve been so excited to see all the squee surrounding the Stabbies this year.

    r/Fantasy Mod Team

    Rules surrounding vote brigading:

    You are welcome and encouraged to share this voting thread, but links directly to the Google Form or shares of the voting thread that specifically ask folks to vote for you will be considering attempts to brigade. Share information about the Stabby Awards as a whole. Even if you’re not the original creator/nominee, but are sharing in support of someone, the same rules will apply. Don’t get your favorite creator disqualified by not following the rules. As in previous years, the moderator team reserves the right to determine winners in the event of hinky business.

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