Goodreads Choice Awards 2019 Opening Round Voting

Voting has begun in the first round of the Goodreads Choice Awards: The Best Books 2019 and will continue through November 10.

There are 20 categories overall. Here is what Goodreads recommended in the primary categories of genre interest – Best Fantasy, Best Science Fiction, and Best Horror.

There also are some genre works in the Best Graphic Novels and Comics, Best Young Adult Fiction, Best Young Adult Fantasy, Best Middle Grade & Children’s categories.

In the opening round, write-ins are also allowed and the top five write-in votes in each of the categories become official nominees.

Note: Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments has been placed in the Fiction category.

14 thoughts on “Goodreads Choice Awards 2019 Opening Round Voting

  1. There are some strange categorization choices there. Middlegame is very profoundly horror. And I would think that The Deep is very soundly in the fantasy category, as is The Winter of the Witch in the YA category. And I would have expected to see Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower on the list.

    It’s also a bit strange to see a collection here; has this award ever had an SFF collection in the mix before?.

  2. I always think it’s odd how early they schedule these. There’s a slew of November titles, and a few December ones, that haven’t come out yet. I’m a bit annoyed to be voting before the release of Catfishing on Catnet, The Queen of Nothing, or Floodtide, and when there hasn’t been enough time to read just-released titles like In the Dream House.

    Anyway, my votes were —

    Fiction: Spring, by Ali Smith (write in)

    Fantasy: The Winter of the Witch, by Katherine Arden. Tough call, but I decided I rated it slightly higher then A Little Hatred and By Demons Possessed, and Gideon the Ninth was in another category anyway.

    Science Fiction: This is How You Lose the Time War, by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar. By far the most difficult category for me, and I effectively flipped a coin between this and A Memory Called Empire, with Gideon the Ninth trailing behind them by a nose.

    Horror: The Twisted Ones, by T. Kingfisher

    Nonfiction: No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference, by Greta Thunberg (write in)

    Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Wicked King, by Holly Black. Wayward Son and Robbergirl were also within striking distance, but The Wicked King may be my favorite YA of the year thus far.

    Middle-Grade and Children’s: Tunnel of Bones, by Victoria Schwab. Pretty much flipped a coin between this and Galloglass.

    There are a couple of other categories I’d read books in, but didn’t like any of the ones I’d read enough to vote for any of them.

    I was surprised to find I’d read almost no graphic novels this year. Also by how strong the science fiction titles rated for me overall — I’m usually a bit more of a fantasy buff.

  3. Well, that’s a whole lot of stuff I mostly haven’t read. OTOH, I have read 8 of the books on the sf and f lists, so I guess I’m not entirely worthless. 😉 And I’ve got several more of them on Mt. TBR, so maybe I’ll get around to them eventually …. long after the Goodreads voting is over!

    Of those I’ve read —

    Gods of Jade and Shadow is interesting, but too YA for my tastes and not outstanding in general.

    Kingdom of Copper is good, but I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as book 1, City of Brass, and as a second book it’s got a voting handicap.

    The Winter of the Witch is very good, but not standalone, and it’s book 3 — so, again, handicapped.

    Gideon the Ninth is pretty much a blast, but not exactly full of deep meaning.

    A Memory Called Empire is very good, on my Hugo long list for sure.

    This is How You Lose the Time War is stunning, but it’s a novella (I think? anybody got a word count?) and a sort of art piece — it exists more for the effect than the story. Not sure it’s what Goodreads voters are after. Definitely on my Hugo vella list, though.

    One Word Kill has a good take on time travel and intelligent writing, as one would expect from Lawrence. It didn’t really strike me as an award winner, but I may rethink that.

    To Be Taught, If Fortunate hit my Chambers sweet spot. Her novel-length stories often end up boring me, but this one was just the right length to keep me interested. Yes, a decision made at the end is jarring, but we can also call it thought-provoking. But, again, a novella.

  4. Oh, I meant to say —

    @Kyra —

    Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Wicked King, by Holly Black.

    I’m glad you liked this. I really liked The Cruel Prince, and I’ve been looking forward to the followup. I still think the titles are stupid, though.

  5. If there’s a book you’ve liked better than the “nominees”, you can add it! I do that regularly, ’cause I haven’t read many of the nominees. I wonder how they come up with them when some of them have only just come out. It’s ridiculous.

    One of the ones I really liked was The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow.

  6. And I checked, and yes, the publication date eligibility requirements literally mean that there exist eligible books which will not be published until after the first round of voting is already over:

    Books published in the United States in English … between November 16, 2018, and November 15, 2019, are eligible for the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards.

    Voting Schedule
    Opening Round Nov. 5 – 10

  7. @Kyra —

    There’s no word count requirement under the rules, though.

    Yeah, I’m just thinking that GR users are less likely to vote for vellas — which may not be true. And I myself would also be less likely to place a vella above a full novel.

  8. I wonder what the word count of the 2017 Fantasy winner, the Fantastic Beasts screenplay, was? Obviously not representative of anything more than being Harry Potter, but….

  9. My votes:

    Best Science Fiction: The Light Brigade, Kameron Hurley (write-in)

    Horror: The Twisted Ones, T. Kingfisher (I haven’t quite finished this yet, but dayum.)

    Best Debut Novel: The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (This actually qualified in two categories, Best Debut and Best Fantasy. Hopefully that will bode well for its chances.)

    Best Science & Technology: The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, David Wallace-Wells. (This was just recommended for Best Related Work, which I confess I hadn’t thought of. I would think it’d definitely be an edge case to qualify, though.)

    Best Fantasy: This one was hard, as I rated three of these books at five stars. I finally flipped a mental coin and went with The Dragon Republic, R.F. Kuang.

  10. I did a couple of write-ins:

    For Science Fiction, THE LIGHT BRIGADE, Kameron Hurley.

    And in Horror, TRAPPED IN THE R.A.W. by Kate Boyes. (Since the book is premised on an alien invasion, technically science fiction. But that SFnal premise is so lightly filled in and left ambiguous that the book feels very much more in the horror line than traditional SF.)

  11. One question, hopefully someone here knows the answer. What is the point of voting for a book on the shortlist in this opening round given once it’s finished all we will be doing is adding the top 5 write-ins to the already nominated books?

    The only way it would matter is if they totalled all the votes across each of the rounds to determine a winner but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere where that’s confirmed on the site

  12. @Ed

    I do believe that they total the votes across all 3 rounds, although you’re absolutely right that they don’t make it very clear. Write-ins have to be very lucky to survive the semifinal round.

    Novellas appear to have been creeping in over the last couple of years, e.g. some Murderbot and Binti over the last couple of years, and I rather like that they’re not making any distinction, seeing as there’s no chance GR will make a separate category for them.

    @Kyra re eligibility dates – I think it was a couple of years ago that we were marvelling at how well a Brandon Sanderson book was doing despite not being officially released yet….

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