Where To Find The 2020 Hugo Award Finalists For Free Online

By JJ: CoNZealand has announced the 2020 Hugo Award Finalists. Since the Hugo Voter’s packet will take awhile to arrive, if you’d like to get a head start on your reading, you can use this handy guide to find material which is available for free online. Where available in their entirety, works are linked (most of the Novelettes and Short Stories are free, as are the Pro and Fan Artist images, and many of the Semiprozines and Fanzines).

If not available for free, an Amazon link is provided. If a free excerpt is available online, it has been linked.

If I’ve missed an excerpt, or a link doesn’t work, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll get it fixed.

Fair notice: All Amazon links are referrer URLs which benefit fan site Worlds Without End.

2020 HUGO AWARD FINALISTS

Novel

Novella

Novelette

Short Story

Best Series

Best Related Work

Best Graphic Story or Comic

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Best Editor, Short Form

Best Editor, Long Form

Best Professional Artist

Best Semiprozine

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor Scott H. Andrews
  • Escape Pod, editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya, assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney, audio producers Adam Pracht and Summer Brooks, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart
  • Fireside Magazine, editor Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson, copyeditor Chelle Parker, social coordinator Meg Frank, publisher & art director Pablo Defendini, founding editor Brian White
  • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, executive editor Troy L. Wiggins, editors Eboni Dunbar, Brent Lambert, L.D. Lewis, Danny Lore, Brandon O’Brien and Kaleb Russell
  • Strange Horizons, edited by Vanessa Rose Phin, Catherine Krahe, AJ Odasso, Dan Hartland, Joyce Chng, Dante Luiz, and the Strange Horizons Staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, nonfiction/managing editor Michi Trota, managing editor Chimedum Ohaegbu, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Special Issue editors Katharine Duckett, Nicolette Barischoff, and Lisa M. Bradley

Best Fanzine

Best Fancast

Best Fan Writer

Best Fan Artist

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

Astounding Award for Best New Writer

* [2nd year of eligibility]

46 thoughts on “Where To Find The 2020 Hugo Award Finalists For Free Online

  1. There’s a Kameron Hurley short story called “The Light Brigade” in an anthology which can be downloaded here in EPUB or MOBI formats – it’s an EFF donation page, but they let you download the anthology without making a donation.

    Not sure how it relates to the novel – maybe an early version that was expanded into the novel? – but a cursory glance indicates it’s not the same text as in the B&N except.

    EDIT: Also here in HTML form.

  2. @John S. / ErsatzCulture: I skimmed through that story briefly and it reads as an extremely compressed version of the novel, from beginning to end, with a lot of novel-specific beats omitted.

  3. From the Acknowledgments of The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley:

    Tremendous thanks to my agent, Hannah Bowman, who suggested extending my short story “The Light Brigade” into a novel.

  4. Thanks for the links, JJ. The novels and novellas seem a bit pricey online, though, so for my reviews I’m off to the library.

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  6. Thanks, JJ!

    The work in my Etsy shop includes a lot of 2020 work and what’s unsold from the 2019 work, which isn’t all that much.

    If you’d like to see a retrospective of 2019’s work with photographs (all of which have alt text for those who find it useful), there is a Twitter thread with upward of 190 pieces (so far; it’s not finished yet) from 2019. 90% of them are sold, and thus not visible anywhere else online at this point.

    It’s the deep dive, really, and I do hope to make a tl;dr version with a dozen pieces once folks on Twitter can help me decide which twelve.

    Here’s the Tweet thread: https://twitter.com/LionessElise/status/1245880798265278466

  7. Worth also noting that “The Archronology of Love” is available as audio, though it looks like it’s dropped off the podcast’s RSS feed. Download and add to your device if you’re that way inclined. Link is on the story page above.
    The Uncanny Magazine stories may also be available on their podcast, but I find the Uncanny podcast so damned annoying that I can’t be entirely sure. “A Catalog of Storms” definitely is.

  8. A few of the novels & novellas finalists are available on Scribd (ebook and audio), which is currently offering free reading for 30 days during the lockdown. This is different from their usual trial periods because you don’t need to register for a subscription using your credit card details and then remember to cancel it, it’s just full on free: https://www.scribd.com/readfree

    If I recall correctly, at least Gideon, Light Brigade, The City in the Middle of the Night, Tram Car 015 and In An Absent Dream are on there for me (UK region) and there might be more available for the US market.

    Also a good chunk of Mooncakes is available as a webcomic on Tumblr – don’t know how different it is from the published version but I can give you an idea: https://mooncakescomic.tumblr.com/post/130986680250

  9. Claire Rousseau: A few of the novels & novellas finalists are available on Scribd (ebook and audio)… Gideon, Light Brigade, The City in the Middle of the Night, Tram Car 015 and In An Absent Dream

    I find it extremely difficult to believe that Macmillan would permit their copyrighted works to be hosted on the Scribd platform and read for free. Are those pirated works?

  10. @JJ —

    I find it extremely difficult to believe that Macmillan would permit their copyrighted works to be hosted on the Scribd platform and read for free. Are those pirated works?

    It’s not difficult to believe — it’s just like when Amazon or Audible oftens free trials or free books. Scribd is a subscription service; when they offer free subscriptions, they aren’t stiffing the publishers, they’re covering the costs with the publishers.

    Scribd is like the paid subscription libraries of old, only in ebook and audio format instead of physical books.

  11. Contrarius: It’s not difficult to believe — it’s just like when Amazon or Audible oftens free trials or free books. Scribd is a subscription service; when they offer free subscriptions, they aren’t stiffing the publishers, they’re covering the costs with the publishers.

    Let me rephrase: given that Macmillan is the publisher who was denying libraries the ability to purchase their e-books in the first 6 months of their release, I find it extremely difficult to believe that Macmillan has authorized Scribd to offer their books in this way, in the same way I could not see them allowing the Kindle Unlimited service to offer their books in this way.

    Isn’t Scribd a website where anyone can upload books and offer them, legally or not?

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  13. @JJ —

    Let me rephrase: given that Macmillan is the publisher who was denying libraries the ability to purchase their e-books in the first 6 months of their release, I find it extremely difficult to believe that Macmillan has authorized Scribd to offer their books in this way,

    IIRC, it’s Macmillan who pulled their books from Scribd some months ago. In any case, some publisher did, and I think it was Macmillan.

    in the same way I could not see them allowing the Kindle Unlimited service to offer their books in this way.

    You’re looking at this the wrong way. First, with KU it’s the authors who make the decision to go on KU, not Amazon; second, you’re still assuming that when Scribd offers free subscriptions, the publishers are getting stiffed. I doubt the publishers care one whit how many free subscriptions Scribd hands out, as long as those publishers are still getting their contracts with Scribd fulfilled.

    Isn’t Scribd a website where anyone can upload books and offer them, legally or not?

    Scribd is a big messy thing that has “documents” — that’s where any shenanigans would go on, and I’m not familiar with it — as well as commercial ebooks and audiobooks. The commercial ebooks and audios are where the paid subscriptions come in; I think it’s still true that the “document” area can be accessed without any subscription, paid or otherwise. Scribd has changed a lot in recent years, and I never paid much attention to the non-subscription, free part.

  14. In DC at least, the digital parts of the public library are still available (ebooks and eaudiobooks). I’ve currently got In an Absent Dream, After Atlas and The Winter of the Witch on my kindle.

    I’m on the wait list/digital holds for 6 others. I’ll probably get to most of them in time, except for Middlegame, as I’m #36 in the queue for that one.

  15. P.S. —

    I’ve just confirmed that, in audio, Scribd has three of the nominated novels (not McGuire, Martine, or Harrow), and all of the vellas except for the Chiang. I haven’t checked the ebooks yet.

  16. Woah, way to assume that I would be using & recommending a pirate site – I obviously did due diligence on Scribd before I started using it, let alone recommending it to other people. They work with publishers, presumably purchasing lending licenses for electronic works similarly to a library. They’ve got four of the big five listed as partners on their about page, including Macmillan – looks like it’s PRH they’re not working with.

    As to why Macmillan would work with them, I don’t know. But like I said, I’m in the UK, where Pan Macmillan never had that library policy in the first place so perhaps they’re working with Scribd separate from the US branch? Or maybe the US branch works with Scribd because the library ban was a purely ideological decision about not wanting people reading their stuff free of charge, which wouldn’t be the case on a subscription-based service.

  17. In my experience, ‘documents’ on Scribd now have to be paid for as well (modulo free trials and stuff). This puzzles me, as many of these documents were originally put there with the deliberate intention that they be free to all, and at least in some cases the people who did this were the owners and had the right to do it, but that’s what seems to be happening.

  18. Andrew M: In my experience, ‘documents’ on Scribd now have to be paid for as well (modulo free trials and stuff). This puzzles me, as many of these documents were originally put there with the deliberate intention that they be free to all, and at least in some cases the people who did this were the owners and had the right to do it

    Interesting. I’ve just had a look at the website, and it appears that they went “legit” at some point (possibly in response to a copyright lawsuit, and/or someone’s recognition that legal monetization might be possible). My recollection of the site was based on having been drawn there by a Google result, and the document to which it linked was clearly a pirated copy of a work under copyright. The site itself was very basic at the time. I’ve never been back since, because screw pirates. A stroll through the Wayback Machine indicates that it changed to something more professional around 2015 (I wouldn’t have said it was that long ago since I visited, but hey, time flies).

    But yes, there were also documents on Scribd which had been uploaded by their owners to provide free access to others, and those now appear to be monetized. It would be interesting to know whether their owners are getting any of the subscription money based on how many reads they get.

  19. Thank you, JJ. For posting who edited what and the word lengths in the Best Editor Short Fiction category.

  20. @JJ: Wow, thanks for all your work in pulling this together! 😀

    @John S / ErsatzCulture: I originally listened to the short story (button near top right of the Lightspeed page). I liked it enough that I got the novel in audiobook, too. 🙂

  21. “Never Yawn Under a Banyan Tree” by Nibedita Sen was originally published in the August 2017 issue of Anathema (not considered a pro sale at that point, I assume).

    There’s also:
    Pigeons“, Fireside (Aug 2018)

    Sphexa, Start Dinosaur“, reprinted at Cast of Wonders 384 in Dec 2019, originally published at Robot Dinosaur Fiction! (Aug 2018)

    The Fireside piece and the two Nightmare stories (linked in the post above) should count as professional publication in the qualifying period, but I’m not sure about the other two. Do reprints to pro venues count? Or just originals?

  22. Laura: Do reprints to pro venues count? Or just originals?

    For Campbell purposes, I would presume that a reprint from a non-pro venue to a pro venue within the author’s eligibility period is also eligible (even though reprints are usually purchased at a lower rate).

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