Best Series Hugo: Eligible Series from 2017

By JJ: To assist Hugo nominators, listed below are the series believed to be eligible as of this writing for the 2018 Best Series Hugo next year *†.

Each series name is followed by the main author name(s) and the 2017-published work.

Feel free to add missing series and the name of the 2017-eligible work in the comments, and I will get them included in the main post.

I just ask that suggesters (1) first do a Find on author surname on this page, to check whether the series is already on the list, and (2) then make an effort to verify that a series does indeed have 3 volumes, that it has a 2017-published work, and that it has likely met the 240,000 word threshold; last year I spent a considerable amount of time trying to verify suggested series, only to discover that they had fewer than 3 volumes, or nothing published in the current year, or weren’t anything close to 240,000 words (e.g., children’s books). Self-published works may or may not be added to the list at my discretion.

Note that the 2017 Hugo Administrator ruled that nominations for a series and one of its subseries will not be combined. Therefore, when nominating a subseries work, think carefully under which series name it should be nominated. If the subseries does not yet meet the 3-volume, 240,000 threshold, then the main series name should be nominated. If the subseries does meet that threshold, then the subseries name should probably be nominated. This will ensure that another subseries in the same universe, or the main series itself, would still be eligible next year if this subseries is a finalist this year.

Note also that the 2017 Best Series Finalists were not technically finalists for the newly-established Hugo; they were finalists for a special one-time Hugo of the same name given by Worldcon 75. However, it is possible – perhaps even probable – that the Hugo Administrator may choose to rule them ineligible in 2018 according to the rules for the category, so bear that in mind when making your nominations.

  • 1632 by Eric Flint and a cast of thousands, 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught, 1636: Mission to the Mughals
  • Alex Verus by Benedict Jacka, Bound
  • Aliens by Alan Dean Foster, Alien Covenant and Alien Covenant Origins
  • Ancillaryverse by Ann Leckie, Provenance
  • Anno Dracula by Kim Newman, One Thousand Monsters
  • Aspect-Emperor by R. Scott Bakker, The Unholy Consult
  • Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley, “The Crossroads at Jannah”, “Godspeaker”, “Paint It Red” (short stories on Patreon)
  • Ben Gold by Rajan Khanna, Raining Fire
  • Birthright / Dead Enders by Mike Resnick, The Castle in Cassiopeia
  • Bobiverse by Dennis E. Taylor, All These Worlds
  • Bone Street Rumba by Daniel José Older, Battle Hill Bolero
  • Bone Universe by Fran Wilde, Horizon
  • Books of the Realms by Peter F Hamilton, A Voyage Through Air
  • Broken Earth by N. K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky
  • Bryant & May by Christopher Fowler, Wild Chamber
  • Burned Man by Peter McLean, Damnation
  • Cainsville by Kelley Armstrong, Rituals
  • Cassandra Palmer by Karen Chance, Ride the Storm
  • Celaena / Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, Tower of Dawn
  • Central Corps by Elizabeth Bonesteel, Breach of Containment
  • Change by S.M Stirling, The Sea Peoples
  • Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neil, Blade Bound
  • Children Trilogy by Ben Peek, The Eternal Kingdom
  • Chronicles of Lucifer Jones by Mike Resnick, Voyages
  • Chronicles of St. Mary’s by Jodi Taylor, And the Rest is History and The Long and the Short of It
  • Clan Chronicles / Reunification by Julie E. Czerneda, To Guard Against the Dark
  • Confederation / Peacekeeper by Tanya Huff, A Peace Divided
  • Corporation Wars by Ken MacLeod, Emergence
  • Cosmere / Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer
  • Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, Buried Heart
  • Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, A Court of Wings and Ruin
  • *Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone, The Ruin of Angels (possibly ineligible due to being a finalist in 2017)
  • Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab, A Conjuring of Light
  • DarkHaven by A. F. E. Smith, Windsinger
  • Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt, Darkship Revenge
  • Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett, The Core
  • Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson, Devil’s Due
  • Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán, The Dinosaur Prince
  • Dire Earth by Jason M. Hough, Injection Burn and Escape Velocity
  • Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Miracles
  • Diviners by Libba Bray, Before the Devil Breaks You
  • Diving Universe by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, The Runabout (novella)
  • Dominion of the Fallen by Aliette de Bodard, The House of Binding Thorns, “Children of Thorns, Children of Water” (novelette) (2 novels and 1 novelette totalling more than 240,000 words)
  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, The End of Oz
  • Electric Empire by Viola Carr, The Dastardly Miss Lizzie
  • Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep, Snared
  • Empire of Storms by Jon Skovron, Blood and Tempest
  • Enderverse by Orson Scott Card, Children of the Fleet
  • Eternal Sky / Lotus Kingdoms by Elizabeth Bear, The Stone in the Skull
  • *Expanse by James S.A. Corey, Persepolis Rising (possibly ineligible due to being a finalist in 2017)
  • Fever by Karen Marie Morning, Feversong
  • Fitz and the Fool by Robin Hobb, Assassin’s Fate
  • Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh, Convergence
  • Frontlines by Marko Kloos, Fields of Fire
  • Generations Trilogy by Scott Sigler, Alone
  • Glass Thorns by Melanie Rawn, Playing to the Gods
  • Golgotha by R.S. Belcher, The Queen of Swords
  • Great Library by Rachel Caine, Ash and Quill
  • Greatcoats by Sebastien de Castell, Tyrant’s Throne
  • Green Rider by Kristen Britain, Firebrand
  • Grudgebearer Trilogy by J. F. Lewis, Worldshaker
  • Harmony Black by Craig Schaefer, Glass Predator
  • Heartstrikers by Rachel Aaron, A Dragon of a Different Color
  • Hesperian Trilogy by Alan Smale, Eagle and Empire
  • Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews, Wildfire
  • His Dark Materials / Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, La Belle Sauvage
  • Hot War by Harry Turtledove, Armistice
  • Hunter by Mercedes Lackey, Apex
  • Imager Portfolio by L. E. Modesitt Jr., Assassin’s Price
  • In Death by J.D. Robb, Echoes in Death and Secrets in Death
  • Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White, The Skill of Our Hands (check word count)
  • InCryptid by Seanan McGuire, Magic for Nothing
  • Indranan War by K. B. Wagers, Beyond The Empire
  • Infernal Devices by K. W. Jeter, Grim Expectations
  • Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, The Lost Plot
  • Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, Staked
  • Ixia / Sitia by Maria V. Snyder, Dawn Study
  • James Asher by Barbara Hambly, Pale Guardian
  • Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter, Cold Reign
  • Jill Kismet by Lilith Saintcrow, “Kiss” (short story)
  • Joe Ledger by Jonathan Maberry, Dogs of War
  • John Cleaver by Dan Wells, Nothing Left to Lose
  • Jurisdiction by Susan R. Matthews, Blood Enemies
  • Keeper of Tales by Ronlyn Domingue, The Plague Diaries
  • Keiko by Mike Brooks, Dark Sky, Dark Deeds
  • Kencyrath by P.C. Hodgell, The Gates of Tagmeth
  • Kitty Katt by Gini Koch, Alien Education
  • Kitty Norville by Carrie Vaughn, “Dead Men in Central City” and “Bellum Romanum” (short stories)
  • Kylara Vatta / Vatta’s Peace by Elizabeth Moon, Cold Welcome (must be nominated under Kylara Vatta, because the Vatta’s Peace subseries does not yet qualify based on wordcount)
  • Lady Trent by Marie Brennan, Within the Sanctuary of Wings
  • Langdon St. Ives by James P. Blaylock, River’s Edge
  • Laundry Files by Charles Stross, The Delirium Brief
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes by Yoshiki Tanaka and translated by Tyran Grillo, Vol. 4: Stratagem and Vol. 5: Mobilization
  • Liaden Universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, The Gathering Edge
  • Lightless by C. A. Higgins, Radiate
  • Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud, The Empty Grave
  • Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Beren and Lúthien
  • Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry), Vanguard
  • Machine Dynasties by Madeline Ashby, reV
  • Magisterium by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, The Silver Mask
  • Maradaine by Marshall Ryan Maresca, The Holver Alley Crew
  • Mass Effect by Jason M. Hough and K. C. Alexander (Karina Cooper), Nexus Uprising
  • Merchant Princes by Charles Stross, Empire Games
  • Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, Silence Fallen
  • Memory, Sorrow & Thorn by Tad Williams, The Heart of What Was Lost
  • Millennium’s Rule by Trudi Canavan, Successor’s Promise
  • Miriam Black by Chuck Wendig, Thunderbird
  • Monster Hunter by Larry Correia, Monster Hunter Siege
  • *October Daye by Seanan McGuire, The Brightest Fell (possibly ineligible due to being a finalist in 2017)
  • Olympus Bound by Jordanna Max Brodsky, Winter of the Gods and Olympus Bound
  • One Second After by William R. Forstchen, The Final Day
  • Others by Anne Bishop, Etched in Bone
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Seven Stones to Stand or Fall (collection)
  • Oversight Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher, The Remnant
  • Owl by Kristi Charish, Owl and the Electric Samurai
  • Perry Rhodan by a cast of billions, Terminus
  • Pip and Flinx by Alan Dean Foster, Strange Music
  • Plague Times by Louise Welsh, No Dominion
  • Polity by Neal Asher, Infinity Engine
  • Powder Mage / Gods of Blood and Powder by Brian McClellan, Sins of Empire (must be nominated under Powder Mage, because the Gods of Blood and Powder subseries does not yet qualify based on wordcount)
  • Prospero’s War by Jaye Wells, Fire Water
  • Queen of the Dead by Michelle Sagara West, Grave
  • Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, Thick as Thieves
  • Rachel Morgan / The Hollows by Kim Harrison, The Turn
  • Raksura by Martha Wells, The Harbors of the Sun
  • Reckoners by Doranna Durgin, Reckoner Redeemed
  • Recluce by L. E. Modesitt Jr., The Mongrel Mage and Recluce Tales (collection)
  • Recoletta by Carrie Patel, The Song of the Dead
  • *Rivers of London / Peter Grant by Ben Aaronovitch, The Furthest Station (novella) (possibly ineligible due to being a finalist in 2017)
  • Roads to Moscow by David Wingrove, The Master of Time
  • Roboteer by Alex Lamb, Exodus
  • Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, The Kill Society
  • Scorched Continent by Megan E. O’Keefe, Inherit the Flame
  • Secret Histories by Simon R. Green, Moonbreaker
  • Seraphim by David Dalglish, Shadow Born
  • Shadow by Lila Bowen, Malice of Crows
  • Shadow Ops by Myke Cole, Siege Line
  • Shannara by Terry Brooks, The Black Elfstone
  • Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, Tool of War
  • Silence by D. Nolan Clark, Forbidden Suns
  • Sin du Jour by Matt Wallace, Idle Ingredients and Greedy Pigs and Gluttony Bay (novellas) (series contains 6 novellas and 1 novelette, and may or may not meet the word count requirement)
  • Skolian Empire / Major Bhaajan by Catherine Asaro, The Bronze Skies (must be nominated under Skolian Empire, because the Major Bhaajan subseries does not yet qualify based on wordcount)
  • Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, The Sons of the Dragon (novella)
  • Song of Shattered Sands by Bradley P. Beaulieu, With Blood Upon the Sand
  • Souls of Fire by Keri Arthur, Ashes Reborn
  • Spellcrackers.com by Suzanne McLeod, The Hidden Rune of Iron
  • Split Worlds by Emma Newman, All Good Things
  • Star Carrier by Ian Douglas, Dark Mind
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: by David R. George III, The Long Mirage; by Una McCormack, Enigma Tales
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation by Christopher L. Bennett, Patterns of Interference
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation by Dayton Ward, Headlong Flight and Hearts and Minds
  • Star Trek: The Original Series by Christopher L. Bennett, The Face of the Unknown
  • Star Trek: Section 31 by David Mack, Control
  • Star Wars by Beth Revis, Rogue One: Rebel Rising; by Christie Golden, Inferno Squad
  • Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Delilah S. Dawson, Phasma; by Claudia Gray, Leia, Princess of Alderaan; by Ken Liu, The Legends of Luke Skywalker
  • Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, Thrawn
  • Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig, Empire’s End
  • Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind, Death’s Mistress
  • Tales of the 22nd Century by Charles E. Gannon, Caine’s Mutiny
  • Task Force Ombra by Weston Ochse, Grunt Hero
  • Tau Ceti Agenda by Travis S. Taylor, Kill Before Dying
  • *Temeraire by Naomi Novik, Golden Age and Other Stories (collection of Temeraire stories) (possibly ineligible due to being a finalist in 2017)
  • Terra Ignota by Ada Palmer, The Will to Battle
  • Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron, The Fall of Dragons
  • Transcendental Machine by James E. Gunn, Transformation
  • Tufa by Alex Bledsoe, Gather Her Round
  • Twenty-Sided Sorceress by Annie Bellett, Dungeon Crawl
  • Vagrant by Peter Newman, The Seven
  • Vlad Taltos by Steven Brust, Vallista
  • Wars of Light and Shadow by Janny Wurts, Destiny’s Conflict
  • White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland, White Trash Zombie Unchained
  • Wild Cards by George R.R. Martin and a cast of thousands, “The Atonement Tango” by Stephen Leigh (novelette) and “When the Devil Drives” by Melinda Snodgrass (novelette)
  • Wode by  J. Tullos Hennig, Summerwode
  • World of the Five Gods / Penric and Desdemona by Lois McMaster Bujold, Mira’s Last Dance and Penric’s Fox (novellas)
  • Worldbreaker Saga by Kameron Hurley, The Broken Heavens
  • Xanth by Piers Anthony, Ghost Writer in the Sky
  • Xeelee Sequence by Stephen Baxter, Xeelee: Vengeance
  • Xuya Universe by Aliette de Bodard, “First Presentation” (short story) (series consists of 24 short fiction works, including 2 novellas; author has verifed that it meets the word count)
  • Yelena Zaltana by Maria V. Snyder, Dawn Study
  • Young Wizards by Diane Duane, Interim Errantry: On Ordeal (collection)

* no warranties are made about series eligibility (or lack thereof) based on word count

† no warranties are made about the presumed quality (or lack thereof) of listed series

Updated 9/9/2017: 13 entries added. // 9/14/2017: Additions and corrections.

2017 Hugo Award Winners

The winners of the 2017 Hugo Awards and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer were announced by Worldcon 75 on August 11.

Best Novel

  • The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)

Best Novella

  • Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com publishing)

Best Novelette

  • The Tomato Thief”, by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)

Best Short Story

  • Seasons of Glass and Iron”, by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)

Best Related Work

  • Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)

Best Graphic Story

  • Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

  • Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

  • The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes”, written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)

Best Editor – Short Form

  • Ellen Datlow

Best Editor – Long Form

  • Liz Gorinsky

Best Professional Artist

  • Julie Dillon

Best Semiprozine

  • Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky

Best Fanzine

  • Lady Business, edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan

Best Fancast

  • Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman

Best Fan Writer

  • Abigail Nussbaum

Best Fan Artist

  • Elizabeth Leggett

Best Series

  • The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Ada Palmer (1st year of eligibility)

HUGO BASE. Designed by Eeva Jokinen. Photo by Cheryl Morgan.

Also presented during the Hugo Ceremony:

Big Heart Award

Carolina Gomez Lagerlöf

First Fandom Hall of Fame Award

Les and Es Cole

First Fandom Posthumous Hall of Fame

Jim Harmon

Sam Moskowitz Archive Award

Jon Swartz

Seiun Awards

Best Translated Long Story

  • United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas / tr. Naoya Nakahara (Hayakawa Publishing, Inc.)

Best Tranlated Short Story

(2 winners)

  • “Backward, Turn Backward” by James Tiptree, Jr. / tr. Kazuko Onoda (Hayakawa Publishing, Inc.)

and

  • “Simulacrum” by Ken Liu / tr. Furusawa Yoshimichi (Hayakawa Publishing, Inc.)

Atorox Award

atorox

Atorox Award

  • “The Temple of Heavenly Tears” by Maiju Ihalainen

The Atorox Award goes to the best Finnish sf short story published in the previous year.

Atorox the robot appeared in a series of stories by Aarne Haapakoski (1904–1961), one of the first sf writers in Finland.

Livestream Hugo Ceremony on YouTube

Catch it here — at 19:30 EEST time (9:30 PDT).

The Hugo Awards Ceremony is the absolutely unmissable event at Worldcon 75! Come join Toastmistress Karen Lord and presenters from around the world to be the first to hear who has won the most prestigious awards in science fiction!

Update: Livestream not working. But realtime transcription of what people are saying is here — https://121captions.1capapp.com/event/hugoawards

 

Upending the Hugos:  New Awards Categories That Should Have Been Added A Long Time Ago

Sub Title:  Not all of these are meant to be entirely humorous

Sub-Sub Title:  Read the Sub Title any way you want

By Steve Davidson: A recent proposal to amend some of the Hugo Award categories got me thinking.  If we’re going to amend the categories to really reflect the way things are, should we not also use the opportunity to include categories that should have been among the awards but never have been?

I think so.  I think it’s high time that we use the awards to represent everything in the field, not just the narrow band of categories we’ve been living with since the 80s.  Therefore, some proposals:

New Fan Awards

Best Off-the-Rails Panel

Best Inappropriate Convention-Based Political Protest

Best Munchies at a Con Suite (Note:  It would probably be best to split this into two categories, one for NA-based cons and one for non-NA-based cons)

Most Humorous Comment at WSFS Business Meeting

Best Anonymous User Name (Note:  Legal name must be provided to collect the award)

Best Fan-Based Facebook Group (Note: Groups created for the sole purpose of being nominated for this category shall be ineligible)

Other Categories

Best Book Delivery Service:  Books don’t get to the bookstore by themselves, they have lots of help along the way.  Perhaps THE most unsung portion of that chain is the truck driver who manhandles those cartons onto a dolly, down the ramp and drops them off in the bowels of the store.  Without “Jerry” or “Hanna” or “Manuel”, you’d have nothing to peruse.  Note:  Nominations for this category may not be generic – UPS, FEDEX & USPS will be ignored.

Best Blurb – Science Fiction/Best Blurb – Fantasy.  What makes you crack that cover?  Why it’s the blurbs, of course.  This category seeks to identify the single best book come-on in each of two categories.  This is the only Hugo writing category for which the author’s name is completely unnecessary, which should make nominations a breeze.

Best Autographer: Use this category to get even over all of those long lines and bathroom denials.

Best Related Hugo Awards Political Screed:  We can expect the puppies to dominate this category – legitimately – for quite some time.

Best Genre Meme/Best Genre Emoji/Best Genre Tweet:  A mess of internet era categories that will no doubt become separate over time.  We recommend allowing up to 100 Finalists – they’ll still be easy to get through.

Best Negative Review by Someone Who Has Obviously Not Read the Work:  (Notes:  voting on this award should be administrated so that the Finalist receiving the least number of votes wins.)

Best Recycled Cover Art and/or Most Egregious White Washed Cover. (Note: In the former category, a work qualifies if no less than 50.0001% of a cover has been re-used at least twice.  In the latter, blue, green, purple and orange are also considered to be “white”.)

Best Statistical Analysis of a Problem Facing Genre (Note:  Numbers need not be accurate for the entry to be eligible.)

Best Problem Facing Genre: (Note:  Arguing over arguing is not an acceptable nominee.)

Best Name for Science Fiction.  Note, this category shall always have the same Finalists listed – Science Fiction, Sci Fi, SF, Skiffy, Scientifiction, StF, Speculative Fiction; Following the final vote, all WSFS publications shall make amendments as appropriate (up to and including changing the name of the organization, that shall go into effect for the following year.)

Best Definition for Science Fiction. Note: The winning definition will be utilized the following year for placement of works in the various fiction categories.

Please feel free to add your own, because our final recommendation is:

Best Ridiculous Amendment to the Hugo Awards Categories.  Note:  I’m hoping to be nominated for this one.

Barkley — So Glad You (Didn’t) Ask: A Column of Unsolicited Opinions — #10

By Chris M. Barkley and Vince Docherty

Some VERY Modest Proposals for The Hugo Awards

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” — Sydney J. Harris

Chris Barkley: Change is hard. It’s hard for those who perceive it as a threat to a well-established order of normalcy and for those who seek to improve on an existing situation.

Two years ago, Vincent Docherty, a former Hugo Awards administrator and a former Worldcon Chair, approached me with a new proposal, which was then followed by several more ideas, that I found that I agreed would strengthen the Hugo Awards for the foreseeable future.

I know that by presenting these ideas, I know I will be involving myself with a very tough and potentially divisive argument with the more conservative elements of the literary branch of sf fandom. While I am delighted to be asked by my co-author, Vincent Docherty, to undertake this endeavor, I also recognize that these proposed changes will be viewed with unadulterated glee by some and absolute revulsion by others. And the prevalence of multiple outlets of social media will have its advocates and detractors at war with each other within hours of the publication of this article.

Some will say that I am doing this just to be a disruptor and a gadfly. I can only say that everything that I have done regarding the Hugo Awards I have done to ensure that they remain fair, equitable, engaging, exciting and most importantly, relevant.

The changes the Hugo Award categories have undergone since 2003 have led to higher numbers of fans participating in the voting process and an ever-growing acceptance and recognition from the public at large. But, as well off as the Hugo awards are now, there’s always room for improvement. Which brings us to our proposals.

Vincent Docherty: The Hugo Awards have grown considerably in visibility and in participation over the last decade. In my view that’s been mostly positive, although there have been big bumps in the road.

We have tried to adapt the Hugo categories and rules to the changes occurring to the genre, particularly the shift to online works and participation.”

However, a number of issues have arisen, in my view:

Where the categories don’t fully reflect the breadth of work begin done, either because there is so much more work (eg. fiction, very short BDP), or changes have occurred such that categories become confused (arc-story, rather than episodic television series).

And where the category definitions are no longer fit-for-purpose, or are difficult for nominators and administrators to use, is resulting in works appearing on the ballot in categories which cause significant disagreement (eg. Related Work and the Fan and Semi-Pro categories).”

Given the number of changes to the rules currently being enacted and the general resistance to adding new categories, I expect that these proposals will need time to be considered and worked.

However, we believe the time is right to raise them now. I think there is both sufficient need and specific enough possible solutions to propose changes to the Novel, Related Work and BDP categories.

Proposal One: A Reorganization of the Best Novel Category

The Current Amendment

3.3.1: Best Novel. A science fiction or fantasy story of forty thousand (40,000) words or more

Replace with:

3.3.1: Best Science Fiction Novel. A science fiction story of forty thousand (40,000) words or more.

And

3.3.2: Best Fantasy Novel. A fantasy story of forty thousand (40,000) words or more.

VINCE DOCHERTY: The Best Novel is by far the category with the highest participation by nominators and voters every year, at a time of great strength in genre publishing. By splitting the category in a simple way, the Worldcon community can recognise more works.

The most useful comparison of what we are trying to accomplish is the Locus Awards, which divide the Novel nominees into the following categories:

  • Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
  • Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
  • Locus Award for Best Horror Novel
  • Locus Award for Best First Novel
  • Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book

Analysis:

  • Under the current WSFS rules, the John W. Campbell Award For Best New Writer is probably sufficient to cover first time writers, and/or risks duplicating works.
  • There is also an emerging YA award, which could potentially become a Hugo category in the future. (Or not, depending on what happens at the Helsinki Business Meeting.)
  • The nominators and voters of the Hugo Awards have predominantly nominated sf and fantasy works rather than horror. (We therefore offer the conjecture that if nominators want to nominate a work of horror, it can be done as a work of  fantasy.)
  • Definition of the boundaries between fantastic genres are notoriously difficult, nevertheless, almost all genre novels are published with a clear category (perhaps not surprising as the genres are largely publishing-derived).

Rule 3.2.6 refers to the fiction categories by name and will need minor adjustment.

(Suggestion: Borrow simplifying text from 3.2.5 ‘story categories’.)

Rule 3.2.8 relating to fiction category boundaries remains unchanged.

Chris Barkley: Both Vince and I believe this move is probably long past overdue. Other awards, most notably the Locus, Sunburst (since 2008), Seiun and the newly-formed Dragon Awards have no problem at all with nominating or administering multiple novel award categories.

We also feel that on the whole, Hugo Award nominators have proven to be very adaptable to adjusting to new categories and rule changes over the past decade to produce (Rabid and Sad Puppy interferences aside) some very strong ballot nominees.

Here are some examples of how this category change might look like by using the existing long lists of nominees from 2010 through 2016 (with the deliberate redaction of the recent nominees advocated by the Sad/Rabid Puppy movement).

2010 

SF

  • The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • The City & The City, by China Mieville
  • WWW: Wake, by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest
  • Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America, by Robert Charles Wilson

Fantasy

  • Palimpsest, by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett
  • Finch, by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Lifelode, by Jo Walton
  • The Price of Spring, by Daniel Abraham

2011

SF

  • Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis
  • The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
  • Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks
  • Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Fantasy

  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
  • Feed by Mira Grant
  • Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Kraken by China Mieville
  • Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

2012

SF

  • Embassytown by China Mieville
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
  • The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Rule 34 by Charles Stross
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge

Fantasy

  • Among Others by Jo Walton
  • A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
  • Deadline by Mira Grant
  • The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemison
  • Mechanique by Genevieve Valentine

2013

SF

  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi
  • 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey
  • Existence by David Brin

Fantasy

  • Blackout by Mira Grant
  • Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
  • Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia
  • The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
  • Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

2014

SF

  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  • Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross
  • The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
  • London Falling by Paul Cornell
  • Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey

Fantasy

  • The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
  • Parasite by Mira Grant
  • A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
  • The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker
  • The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

2015

SF

  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
  • The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin
  • Lock In by John Scalzi
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • My Real Children by Jo Walton

Fantasy

  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
  • City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
  • Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone (speculative choice to replace Skin Game by Jim Butcher)

2016

SF

  • Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
  • Aurora Kim by Stanley Robinson
  • Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
  • The Just City by Jo Walton
  • The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

Fantasy

  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
  • The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
  • Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Proposal Two: A Reorganization of the Best Related Category

The Current Amendment

3.3.5: Best Related Work. Any work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year, and which is either non-fiction or, if fictional, is noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text, and which is not eligible in any other category.

Replace with

3.3.5: Best Non-Fiction Book. Any book or work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year, and which is clearly non-fiction or has a basis in fact with the intent to be educational and/or informational in nature and which is not eligible in any other category.

And

3.3.6: Best Art Book. Any art book or related volumes of works in the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year.

VINCE DOCHERTY: This category has changed significantly over the years.  Created in 1980 as ‘Best Non-Fiction Book’ it was changed to ‘Best Related Book’ in 1999 and became the current ‘Best Related Work’ in 2010.

A review of the finalists in the category up to 2010 shows that almost all of them were either non-fiction books (including biographical and academic books) or art books of various types.

The well-intended change in 2011 from Book to Work (which I supported!) was a response to the rapid rise of e-books, web-sites and blogs, alongside test categories such as best website.

However this change, changes to other categories and clarifications to the rules to make clear that it is the content, not the container that is important in an e-world, caused uncertainty for nominators, and the complex eligibility interactions for administrators resulted in works such as podcasts, music recordings and blogs appearing on the ballot, alongside a much reduced number of non-fiction work and almost no art-related works. In many cases these new types of work could have been placed in a different category such as BDP or Fancast or Fan writer, and in several cases in fact they appeared in both.

Data supporting a new approach:

  • A review of the top 15 works nominated each year shows that significant numbers of non-fiction and art books are still being judged Hugo-worthy by many nominators.
  • Looking again at the Locus Award, (and the Locus annual recommendations list), one can see two strong and stable categories; Best Non-fiction Book and Best Art Book.
  • The definition of content in the Hugo rules now explicitly makes clear that electronic forms of text are equivalent to print. The word ‘book’ can therefore be used to describe a unit of published work in either electronic or printed form.

We also believe there is a need to better promote art in the Hugo Awards, reflecting the significance art has to the genre.

Chris Barkley: Speaking personally, I think it would be nice to see more artistic works being honored with Hugo Awards.

Proposal Three; A Reorganization of the Best Dramatic Presentation Category

The Current Amendments

:3.3.7: Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. Any theatrical feature or other production, with a complete running time of more than 90 minutes, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year.

And

3.3.8: Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Any television program or other production, with a complete running time of 90 minutes or less, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year.

We suggest the creation of four BDP categories:

3.3.7: Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Any theatrical feature or other production, with a complete running time of more than 90 minutes, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year. (Intent: Mainly for theatrical films, theater presentations and audio books, etc.)

3.3.8: Best Dramatic Presentation, Episodic Form.

Any television program or other production, with a complete running time of between 30 and 90 minutes, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year. No more than two episodes of any one series may be finalists in this category. (Intent: Stand alone television episodes or other media.)

3.3.9: Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.

Any production, with a complete running time of less than 30 minutes, in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year. No more than two episodes of any one show may be finalists in this category. (Intent: Mainly current internet/youtube type works, or cartoon/serials, typically less than 30 minutes.)

3.3.10: Best Dramatic Presentation, Series.

Any episodic series or other dramatic production, with more than four episodes of sixty minutes or more, or a running time of 240 minutes or more in any medium of dramatized science fiction, fantasy or related subjects that has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year.

(Intent: Streaming series, mini-series or episodic television shows are eligible, the key point being that the intent of the amendment is to honor programs comprising a single story-arc presented over a number of episodes, rather than separate episodes in an anthology series, which would be eligible in BDP-Episodic.)

Current Rule 3.2.10 relating to BDP category boundaries remains unchanged. Also, Current Rule 3.2.9: No work shall appear in more than one category on the final Award ballot.

VINCE DOCHERTY: After fifteen years, we both thought that is was time to overhaul and reorganize the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo category.

The basic principles the Hugos use for works are measurability (word count, minutes) and discrete units of content, rather than the container. In practice the story-arc has been used as the main determinant of ‘discrete/single work’ by both voters and administrators, with length then used to determine which category to use. Hence story-arc based (mini)series and pairs/trios of episodes have appeared on the ballot in both short and long form. Stand-alone episodes and movies have always been treated as single works, and the case where movies are part of a series seems not to be an issue, in a similar way to novels in a series – they generally are separated by years and are marketed as discrete works.

We have seen a huge increase in the number of genre series in recent years especially with services such as Hulu, Netflix and HBO. A quick analysis gives a count of 80 such series in English in the last year or so (see below). This presents us with an opportunity to honor a series through the nomination process.

Here is a long list of recent and/or current television and streaming (mini-)series:

  1. 11.22.63
  2. 12 Monkeys
  3. 3%
  4. A Series of Unfortunate Events
  5. American Horror Story
  6. Ascension
  7. Black Mirror
  8. Black Sails
  9. Class
  10. Colony
  11. Containment
  12. Continuum
  13. Crazyhead
  14. Dark Matter
  15. DC: Arrow
  16. DC: Gotham
  17. DC: Legends of Tomorrow
  18. DC: Supergirl
  19. DC: The Flash
  20. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
  21. Doctor Who
  22. Emerald City
  23. Frequency
  24. From Dusk Till Dawn
  25. Game of Thrones
  26. Glitch
  27. Grimm
  28. Helix
  29. Heroes Reborn
  30. Hunters
  31. Humans
  32. iBoy
  33. iZombie
  34. Killjoys
  35. Limitless
  36. Lucifer
  37. Marvel: Agent Carter
  38. Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  39. Marvel: Jessica Jones
  40. Marvel: Legion
  41. Marvel: Luke Cage
  42. Marvel: Daredevil
  43. Mr. Robot
  44. Once Upon a Time
  45. Orphan Black
  46. Outcast
  47. Outlander
  48. Penny Dreadful
  49. Powers
  50. Preacher
  51. Second Chance
  52. Sense8
  53. Shadowhunters
  54. Sleepy Hollow
  55. SS-GB
  56. Star Wars Rebels
  57. Stranger Things
  58. Supernatural
  59. Teen Wolf
  60. The 100
  61. The Aliens
  62. The Expanse
  63. The Leftovers
  64. The Magicians
  65. The Man in the High Castle
  66. The OA
  67. The Returned
  68. The Shannara Chronicles
  69. The Strain
  70. The Vampire Diaries
  71. The Walking Dead
  72. The X-Files
  73. Thunderbirds Are Go
  74. Travelers
  75. Twin Peaks
  76. Under the Dome
  77. Van Helsing
  78. Westworld
  79. Z Nation
  80. Taboo

VINCE DOCHERTY: The logic of series here is possibly different from yours, in that I distinguish a series which is a single story arc from one that is essentially a collection or anthology of separate episodes.

Chris Barkley: Indeed it does; as an American, I am more used to thinking that a nominee in this category should not be just a single story arc within a series, but to judge and nominate the series episodes as a whole entity. In fact, the BDP Hugo were awarded to an entire seasons of The Twilight Zone on three occasions in the early 1960’s.

VINCE DOCHERTY: It seems to me that this is the key request being asked by lots of voters – how to be able to nominate a single episode which is clearly outstanding, from a series which overall is outstanding but where it’s hard to single-out one episode.

Chris Barkley: Which I totally agree with. But, inversely, we don’t want Hugo voters using the BDP Series to nominate entire seasons of shows like Black Mirror, which is an anthology series of unconnected, one-off episodes.

VINCE DOCHERTY: There are problems with any categorization of course. The choice of lengths, which is already an issue (unless we choose to soften them to a guideline) remains. Also where a series comprises a series of arcs – Doctor Who, for instance, has had cases of pair/trios of episodes nominated as single works. I imagine that could be dealt with by categorizing them as longer single works, but not the whole. Another possible issue is dealing with nominations of episodes from a series which is also nominated as a whole (this occurs now as well).

Chris Barkley:  I imagine that Rule 3.2.9. might be applied by the Hugo Administrators or that the works may be removed or disqualified altogether, solely at their discretion as per the WSFS Constitution, if several arcs from the same show were nominated. But who knows? A better solution may come through the debate process and further arbitration of the amendments.

Both Vince and I thank you for your time and attention.

One Week Left To Vote On Hugos

The 2017 Hugo voting period ends a week from today, July 15 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Worldcon 75 members got an email from Hugo Administrator Nicholas Whyte today telling them that time is of the essence, and urging them to avoid a last-minute rush to the polls:

Remember that your online ballots may be updated at any time. We encourage our members not to wait until the last minute to file their Hugo ballots. The servers could become overloaded and cause difficulty getting all your rankings saved before the ballot deadline closes.

Whyte also announced a correction to the John W. Campbell Ballot – one that does not change any of the finalists:

When the final ballot for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer was first announced, Sarah Gailey was incorrectly listed as being in her first year of eligibility. In fact she is in her second year of eligibility.

New writers have a two-year window of eligibility for the award, so this is actually Gailey’s last year for consideration.

2017 Hugo Voter’s Packet Offers Interactive Games

Max Gladstone and Choice of Games have teamed up with the 2017 Hugo Awards to offer voters the unique opportunity to play two interactive adventure games based on the Best Series Finalist The Craft Sequence.

Voters can follow their personalized Hugo voting link to sign in, read the instructions, then enter their name at the bottom of the page. The page will then load their voting ballot and the links to the Hugo Voters Packet for each category; go to the Best Series section of the ballot and click on the “Get Steam Token for The Craft Sequence games” link. This will submit a request to Choice of Games, who will send a token to the voter which can be used to access the full games for free via the Steam platform (this is a free software download; see the linked page for system hardware and OS requirements).

The first 2 chapters of both of these interactive games are available to play online for free at the Choice of Games website:

Worldcon 75 members can request a new e-mail with their personalized link by going to members.worldcon.fi and entering the e-mail address used on their Worldcon 75 registration.

2017 Hugo Finalist Review Roundup

Curated by JJ: Since last year’s Hugo Finalist review roundups seem to have been appreciated by, and useful to, Filers, I’ve done another round for this year. This is intended to provide Filers with a way of stimulating and clarifying their own personal responses to the finalist works, as an aid to Hugo voting. One possible methodology is to read or view a work, then read the reviews for it, to see if that provokes additional lines of thought or an altered perspective on a work. Another is to read or view all the works in the category, rank them, and then read the reviews and see whether the additional perspectives prompt a re-thinking of the ranking.

I’ve tried to select a good balance of positive and negative reviews, from a wide selection of reviewers, which were substantive and actually provided analysis of, and commentary on, the work, rather than merely summarizing the plot. The goal here is to provide a representative summary in a manageable, readable form for Filers, not a complete listing of every review done for every work. So if you posted a review but it’s not listed here, please do not feel slighted: for every 1 review I chose to include, I read 2 or 3 more which I did not include.

You are welcome to post a comment with a link to your review, or to a review by someone else which you think is especially incisive, but whether any links will be added (or not) to the main post will be at my discretion. Wine, lemon tarts, masseuses, and superfluous Commonwealth “R”s forwarded to my home address may or may not sway my judgment on that.*

Be Aware that many of these Reviews contain Spoilers!!! Don’t click on them if you don’t want to be Spoiled!

Each category begins with links to articles that review all the nominees collectively, and follows with links to reviews of individual works.

If you wish to read the works, but are not a Worldcon 75 member, you can find links to the full text, or excerpts, of some of these works in the Where to Find the 2017 Hugo Finalists For Free Online post. If you are a Worldcon 75 member, most of the works can be downloaded from the packet links on the Hugo voting page.

If you find any incorrect links, please mention it in a comment, and I’ll get it fixed.

Overall

Novel

All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders

A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers

Death’s End, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu

Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee

The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin

Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer

Novella

The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, by Kij Johnson

Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire

Penric and the Shaman, by Lois McMaster Bujold

A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson

This Census-Taker, by China Miéville

Novelette

“Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex”, by Stix Hiscock

“The Art of Space Travel”, by Nina Allan

“The Jewel and Her Lapidary”, by Fran Wilde

“The Tomato Thief”, by Ursula Vernon

“Touring with the Alien”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman

“You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, by Alyssa Wong

Short Story

“The City Born Great”, by N. K. Jemisin

“A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers”, by Alyssa Wong

“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”, by Brooke Bolander

“Seasons of Glass and Iron”, by Amal El-Mohtar

“That Game We Played During the War”, by Carrie Vaughn

“An Unimaginable Light”, by John C. Wright

Related Work

The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley

The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher

Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg, by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

The Women of Harry Potter posts, by Sarah Gailey

Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, by Ursula K. Le Guin

The View From the Cheap Seats, by Neil Gaiman

Graphic Story

Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze

Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda

Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa

Paper Girls, Volume 1, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher

Saga, Volume 6, illustrated by Fiona Staples, written by Brian K. Vaughan, lettered by Fonografiks

The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man, written by Tom King, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve

Deadpool, screenplay by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, directed by Tim Miller

Ghostbusters, screenplay by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, directed by Paul

Hidden Figures, screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, directed by Theodore Melfi

Rogue One, screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, directed by Gareth Edwards

Stranger Things, Season One, created by the Duffer Brothers

Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

Black Mirror: “San Junipero”, written by Charlie Brooker, directed by Owen Harris

Doctor Who: “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”, written by Steven Moffat, directed by Ed Bazalgette

The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes”, written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough

Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Miguel Sapochnik

Game of Thrones: “The Door”, written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Jack Bender

Splendor & Misery [album], by clipping. (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)

* I’m just joking, Camestros. No quantity of superfluous “R”s would persuade me to post Timothy’s review of Rogue One. Or his review of Ghostbusters.