2016 Hugo Finalist Review Roundup


By JJ: Some of the Filers indicated that a roundup of Hugo Finalist review links would be helpful. So I tried to select both positive and negative reviews, from a wide selection of reviewers, which were substantive and actually provided analysis of and commentary on the story, rather than merely summarizing the plot.

I had a difficult time finding substantive individual reviews for the Novelettes and Short Stories which were originally published as part of an anthology. However, there are numerous whole-category posts which contain reviews of these.

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 single-story reviews.


Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit / Thorndike Press)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit / Hachette UK)

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow / The Borough Press)

The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Penguin Books)


Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency)

Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon Publishing)

Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)

The Builders by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com Publishing)

Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)


“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb 2015)

“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)

“Obits” by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)

“Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)

“What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)

Short Story

“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)

“Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)

 “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)

“Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)

“If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris (voxday, Jun 2015)

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29 thoughts on “2016 Hugo Finalist Review Roundup

  1. Thanks for doing this, JJ. Early days yet but there are clearly runners and riders in each category.

    NB that my novella roundup is here – the link posted is incorrect.

  2. Thanks for the correction, Nicholas. I did my best to proof everything, but as you can imagine, after sourcing 165 reviews, I was pretty much cross-eyed. Mike will hopefully get that link corrected.

    As far as “early days”… voting closes in 3 weeks! So not much time left at all!

  3. Is it worth noting that I too am reading and reviewing as I go, over on my LJ? Probably not, but I shall note it anyway, as I am nothing if not an outrageous flaming egotist.

  4. Thanks so much for doing this, JJ. Now that I’ve finished the fiction portion of my ballot, it’s really interesting to get a concentrated dose of the opinions of others.

  5. James Davis Nicoll: The roundup now includes links to five of your reviews — thanks for pointing them out!

  6. Thanks for providing those links, James! I was trying to check all the reviewers I knew about, but after reading about 500 reviews, I just got to the point where I couldn’t do any more. 🙂

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  9. Steve Wright: Is it worth noting that I too am reading and reviewing as I go, over on my LJ? Probably not, but I shall note it anyway, as I am nothing if not an outrageous flaming egotist.

    Thanks for pointing those out, Steve! I’ve had Mike add the short fiction reviews (I think that the novels are pretty well covered at this point).

    I’m also going to have Mike add your Retro Reviews, but I’m going to try to gather a few others as well first.

  10. JJ – thanks for that! And, more seriously, thank you for the whole thing – I can imagine how much work it’s been, and it’s a genuinely useful resource for all of us.

  11. Thank you so much for this! I’ll be checking reviews of categories that I’ve already settled the nomination order for; it’ll be nice to see other people’s opinions after my own have been fixed.

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  13. More reviews have been added from Rich Horton, Lisa J. Goldstein, and Steve Wright.

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