Best Series Hugo: Eligible Series from 2018

By JJ: To assist Hugo nominators, listed below are the series believed to be eligible as of this writing for the 2019 Best Series Hugo next year *†.

Each series name is followed by the main author name(s) and the 2018-published work.

Feel free to add missing series and the name of the 2018-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 2018-published work, and that it has likely met the 240,000 word threshold; in the past I have 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 word count 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.

Updated: The 2019 Hugo Administrators have announced that the 2017 Best Series Finalists, although the result of a one-time category, are subject to the same re-qualification requirements as the 2018 Best Series Finalists; bear that in mind when making your nominations.

Filer discussion of the eligible series can be found in the 2019 Hugo Awards Best Series Discussion post.

* ineligible series are preceded by an asterisk

  • Academy by Jack McDevitt, The Long Sunset
  • Adventures of Arabella Ashby by David D. Levine, Arabella, The Traitor of Mars
  • Age of Darkness by Stephen Aryan, Of Gods and Men (novella)
  • Alex Verus by Benedict Jacka, Marked
  • Aliens by Alex White, The Cold Forge
  • Alpennia by Heather Rose Jones, “Gifts Tell Truth” (novelette)
  • Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs, Burn Bright
  • Amaranthine Spectrum by Tom Toner, The Weight of the World and The Tropic of Eternity
  • Amaryllis by Carrie Vaughn, The Wild Dead (may not meet word count)
  • America Rising by William C. Dietz, Battle Hymn
  • Andrea Cort / Draiken by Adam-Troy Castro, Blurred Lives and A Stab of the Knife (novellas) (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries has insufficient word count)
  • Anuket City (Clocktaur Wars/Swordheart) by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon), The Wonder Engine and Swordheart
  • Apt Universe by Adrian Tchaikovsky, For Love of Distant Shores (collection with 3 new novellas), The Scent of Tears (anthology)
  • Arcadia Project by Mishell Baker, Imposter Syndrome
  • Ars Numina by Ann Aguirre, The Wolf Lord
  • Assiti Shards (1632) by Eric Flint and a cast of thousands: by Paula Goodlett and Eric Flint and Gorg Huff, 1637: The Volga Rules
  • Attack on Titan by Rachel Aaron, Garrison Girl
  • Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley, Apocalypse Nyx (collection)
  • *Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, Binti: The Night Masquerade (ineligible due to insufficient word count)
  • Black Company by Glen Cook, Port Of Shadows
  • Book of the Black Earth by Jon Sprunk, Blade and Bone
  • Blood of Earth by Beth Cato, Roar of Sky
  • Bound Gods by Rachel Dunne, The Shattered Sun
  • Bryant & May by Christopher Fowler, Hall of Mirrors
  • Cainsville by Kelley Armstrong, Rough Justice (novella)
  • Celaena / Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, Kingdom of Ash
  • Centenal Cycle by Malka Older, State Tectonics
  • Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara, Cast in Deception
  • Chronicles of St. Mary’s by Jodi Taylor, An Argumentation of Historians
  • Claw by M. D. Lachlan, The Night Lies Bleeding
  • Cobra / Cobra Rebellion by Timothy Zahn, Cobra Traitor
  • Commonweal by Graydon Saunders, Under One Banner
  • Confederation / Peacekeeper by Tanya Huff, The Privilege of Peace
  • Conqueror’s Trilogy by Kiersten White, Bright We Burn
  • Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, A Court of Frost and Starlight
  • Custard Protocol by Gail Carriger, Competence
  • Daniel Faust by Craig Schaefer, The Neon Boneyard
  • Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle, Witch Creek
  • Dark Gifts by Vic James, Bright Ruin
  • Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett, Barren (novella)
  • Devil’s West by Laura Anne Gilman, Red Waters Rising
  • Diving Universe by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Searching for the Fleet, and novellas The Rescue of the Renegat, Lieutenant Tightass, and Dix
  • Doctor Who: by Russell T. Davies, Rose; by Jenny T Colgan, The Christmas Invasion; by Steven Moffat, The Day of the Doctor; by Paul Cornell, Twice Upon A Time
  • Dorina Basarab, Dhampir by Karen Chance, Shadow’s Bane
  • Draconis Memoria by Anthony Ryan, The Empire of Ashes
  • Dread Empire’s Fall / Praxis by Walter Jon Williams, The Accidental War
  • Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition
  • Echoes of the Fall by Adrian Tchaikovsky, The Hyena and the Hawk
  • Eight Worlds by John Varley, Irontown Blues
  • Elemental Masters by Mercedes Lackey, The Bartered Brides
  • Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, A Reaper at the Gates
  • Ethshar by Lawrence Watt-Evans, Stone Unturned
  • Every Day by David Levithan, Someday
  • Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club by Theodora Goss, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman
  • Firefly by James Lovegrove with Nancy Holder, Big Damn Hero
  • Folk of the Air by Holly Black, The Cruel Prince and The Lost Sisters (novella)
  • Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh, Emergence
  • Forgotten Realms / Drizzt by R. A. Salvatore, Timeless
  • Fractured Europe by Dave Hutchinson, Europe at Dawn
  • Frontlines by Marko Kloos, Points of Impact
  • Gaia Chronicles by Naomi Foyle, Stained Light
  • Gates of the World by K.M. McKinley, The Brass God
  • Gods & Monsters / Rupert Wong by Cassandra Khaw, Food of the Gods and Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth (novella)
  • Godserfs by N.S. Dolkart, A Breach in the Heavens
  • Goredd / Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Tess of the Road
  • Great Library by Rachel Caine, Smoke and Iron
  • Green Rider by Kristen Britain, The Dream Gatherer
  • Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh, Archangel’s Prophecy
  • *Haden Universe by John Scalzi, Head On (ineligible due to insufficient word count, per author’s statement)
  • Hail Bristol / Farian War by K. B. Wagers, There Before the Chaos (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries has insufficient word count and/or volumes)
  • Halcyone Space by L.J. Cohen, A Star in the Void
  • Harry Potter / Fantastic Beasts by J.K. Rowling, The Crimes of Grindelwald (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries has insufficient word count and/or volumes)
  • Heirs of Alexandria by Eric Flint and Dave Freer, All the Plagues of Hell
  • Hell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Deliverance
  • Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn, Heroine’s Journey
  • Honorverse / Manticore Ascendant by David Weber, Uncompromising Honor, Timothy Zahn and Thomas Pope, A Call to Vengeance
  • Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Obsidio
  • Imperials by Melinda Snodgrass, The Hidden World
  • In Death by J.D. Robb, Dark in Death and Leverage in Death
  • *InCryptid by Seanan McGuire, Tricks for Free (ineligible due to being a finalist in 2018 and having insufficient new word count and/or volumes to requalify)
  • Innsmouth Legacy by Ruthanna Emrys, Deep Roots
  • Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, The Mortal Word
  • Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, Scourged
  • Ishmael Jones by Simon R. Green, Murder in the Dark
  • Jake Ross by Ben Bova, Power Failure
  • Jane Hawk by Dean Koontz, The Crooked Staircase
  • Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter, Dark Queen
  • Jerry Cornelius by Michael Moorcock, Pegging the President
  • Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews (Ilona and Gordon Andrews), Magic Triumphs
  • Kitty Katt by Gini Koch, Aliens Abroad
  • Kris Longknife by Mike Shepherd, Commanding
  • Kylara Vatta / Vatta’s Peace by Elizabeth Moon, Into the Fire (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries has insufficient word count and/or volumes)
  • *Lady Astronaut by Mary Robinette Kowal, The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky (ineligible due to insufficient word count at 238,581 words)
  • Lady Helen by Alison Goodman, The Dark Days Deceit
  • Laundry Files by Charles Stross, The Labyrinth Index
  • Legends of the First Empire by Michael J. Sullivan, Age of War
  • *Legion by Brandon Sanderson, Lies of the Beholder (novella) (ineligible due to insufficient word count)
  • Liaden Universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Neogenesis
  • Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fall of Gondolin
  • Machineries of Empire by Yoon Ha Lee, Revenant Gun
  • Magic ex Libris by Jim C. Hines, “Imprinted” (novelette)
  • Majestic-12 / MJ-12 by Michael J. Martinez, Endgame
  • Maradaine / Streets of Mardaine / Maradaine Elite by Marshall Ryan Maresca, Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe and The Way of the Shield (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries have insufficient word counts and/or volumes)
  • Merchant Princes / Empire Games by Charles Stross, Dark State (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries has insufficient word count and/or volumes)
  • Miriam Black by Chuck Wendig, The Raptor & The Wren
  • Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, A Map of Days
  • Monster Hunter International / Monster Hunter Memoirs by Larry Correia and John Ringo, Saints
  • Mortal Engines / Hungry City by Philip Reeve, Night Flights (collection)
  • Motherless Children by Glen Hirshberg, Nothing to Devour
  • *Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol (ineligible due to insufficient word count)
  • Nick Medea by Richard A. Knaak, Black City Dragon
  • Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson, Outbreak
  • Nightside by Simon R. Green, Night Fall (this novel ends both the Nightside and Secret History series)
  • October Daye by Seanan McGuire, Night and Silence and Suffer a Sea-Change (novella)
  • Odyssey One by Evan Currie, Odysseus Ascendant
  • Olympus Bound by Jordanna Max Brodsky, Olympus Bound
  • Others by Anne Bishop, Lake Silence
  • PERN by Anne McCaffrey and Gigi McCaffrey, Dragon’s Code
  • Planetfall by Emma Newman, Before Mars
  • Point / Astreiant by Melissa Scott, Point of Sighs
  • Polity / Rise of the Jain by Neal Asher, The Soldier (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries has insufficient word count and/ or volumes)
  • Powder Mage / Gods of Blood and Powder by Brian McClellan, Wrath of Empire (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries has insufficient word count and/ or volumes)
  • Queens of Renthia by Sarah Beth Durst, Queen of Sorrow
  • Railhead by Philip Reeve, Station Zero
  • Ray Electromatic by Adam Christopher, I Only Killed Him Once
  • Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, Hero at the Fall
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown, Iron Gold
  • Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, Elysium Fire
  • *Rivers of London / Peter Grant by Ben Aaronovitch, Lies Sleeping (ineligible due to being a finalist in 2017 and having insufficient new word count and/or volumes to requalify)
  • Rowankind by Jacey Bedford, Rowankind
  • Saga of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt, Outcasts of Order 
  • Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, Hollywood Dead
  • Secret History by Simon R. Green, Night Fall (this novel ends both the Nightside and Secret History series)
  • Shadow by Lila Bowen (aka Delilah S. Dawson), Treason of Hawks
  • Shadow Campaigns by Django Wexler, The Infernal Battalion
  • Shannara by Terry Brooks, The Skaar Invasion
  • Sin du Jour by Matt Wallace, Taste of Wrath (novellas) (series contains 7 novellas and 1 novelette; author has verifed that it meets the word count)
  • Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, Fire and Blood
  • Song of Shattered Sands by Bradley P. Beaulieu, A Veil of Spears
  • Star Trek: Discovery: by Dayton Ward, Drastic Measures; by James Swallow, Fear Itself
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation by Dayton Ward, Available Light
  • Star Trek: The Original Series by David A. Goodman, The Autobiography of Mr. Spock
  • Star Trek: Prometheus by Bernd Perplies and Christian Humberg, The Root of All Rage and In the Heart of Chaos
  • Star Trek: Voyager by Kirsten Beyer, Architects of Infinity
  • Star Wars: by Jason Fry, The Last Jedi; by Daniel José Older, Last Shot; by E.K. Johnston, Queen’s Shadow; by Rae Carson, Solo: Most Wanted; by Mur Lafferty, Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, Thrawn: Alliances
  • *Starfire ( by Spencer Ellsworth, Memory’s Blade (ineligible due to insufficient word count)
  • Starfire (Baen) by David Weber, Steve White, Shirley Meier, and Charles E. Gannon, Oblivion
  • *Sunflowers by Peter Watts, The Freeze-Frame Revolution (novella) (ineligible due to insufficient word count)
  • Sword of Truth / Nicci Chronicles by Terry Goodkind, Shroud of Eternity and Siege of Stone
  • Tale of the Five by Diane Duane, The Levin-Gad (novella)
  • Tau Ceti Agenda by Travis S. Taylor, Bringers of Hell
  • *Tensorate by JY Yang, The Descent of Monsters (ineligible due to insufficient word count)
  • Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel, Only Human
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, Two Dark Reigns
  • Tortall Universe / Numair Chronicles by Tamora Pierce, Tempests and Slaughter (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries has insufficient word count and/ or volumes)
  • Tufa by Alex Bledsoe, The Fairies of Sadieville
  • Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey, The Hills Have Spies and Choices (anthology)
  • Uglies / Impostors by Scott Westerfeld, Impostors (must be nominated under the main series, as the subseries has insufficient word count and/or volumes)
  • Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice, Blood Communion
  • Verity Fassbinder by Angela Slatter, Restoration
  • *Villains by V.E. Schwab, Vengeful (probably ineligible due to insufficient word count)
  • *Voidwitch Saga by Corey J. White, Static Ruin (ineligible due to insufficient word count)
  • *Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Flowers of Vashnoi (novella)(permanently ineligible due to being the winner of the Series award in 2017)
  • Warhammer 40K / The Horus Heresy by a cast of gazillions, Ruinstorm, Fulgrim, Ferrus Manus, Jaghatai Khan, Wolfsbane, and Slaves to Darkness
  • Wayfarers by Becky Chambers, Record of a Spaceborn Few
  • *Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire, Beneath the Sugar Sky (ineligible due to insufficient word count)
  • Web Shifters by Julie E. Czerneda, Search Image and The Only Thing to Fear (novella)
  • Wild Cards by George R.R. Martin and a cast of thousands, Texas Hold ‘Em; edited by Melinda Snodgrass, Low Chicago (anthology); by Bradley Denton and Caroline Spector, The Flight of Morpho Girl (novella)
  • The Wounded Kingdom by RJ Barker, King of Assassins
  • Xeelee Sequence by Stephen Baxter, Xeelee: Redemption
  • Xuya Universe by Aliette de Bodard, The Tea Master and the Detective (novella) (series consists of 25 short fiction works, including 3 novellas; author has verifed that it meets the word count)
  • Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress, If Tomorrow Comes and Terran Tomorrow
  • Zeros by Scott Westerfied, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti, Nexus

* 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

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154 thoughts on “Best Series Hugo: Eligible Series from 2018

  1. Secret History by Simon R. Green, Night Fall

    Night Fall is actually the last volume in two series, the other one being his Nightside series as it wraps up the tale of those characters as well. Green announced in a blog post not long ago that he’s seriously ill from complications from kidney disease and this was one of the writing projects he wanted to get done.

  2. Villains by V.E. Schwab, Vengeful
    Previous volumes were Warm Up ( short story, 2013) and Vicious (Tor novel, 2014). Not certain about word count.

  3. Adrian Tchaikovsky: Tales of the Apt.
    For love of distant shores (NewCon Press)
    Three volumes, I think it makes the word count, could be combined with Shadows of the Apt, ISFDB calls the combined series “The Apt Universe”.

  4. You’re a star, JJ.

    Greta Helsing only has 2 novels at the moment, and I can’t find mention of any short works that would make the magic 3 for eligibility?

    The afterword to Taste of Wrath, the 7th in the Sin du Jour series, says the series is “250,000 or so” words – so it really is on the borderline for wordcount and likely just over. I hope we get definitive confirmation either way from the author or publisher as I’d like to nominate it.

    Murderbot Diaries, with four novellas due to be released by the end of eligibility, is surely not going to meet wordcount this year. (When we get our Murderbot NOVEL, on the other hand… *oscillates excitedly*)

  5. I think it’s worth clarifying:
    1) The basic requirement is that the seriest must be “appearing in at least three (3) installments consisting in total of at least 240,000 words”.

    2) The requirement for a new appearance is “at least two (2) additional installments consisting in total of at least 240,000 words”, after the previous placing as finalist.

    How much is 240 000 words? Well …
    – Relying on short fiction will not get you far. The line between novelette and novella is 17 500 words, meaning a series of novelettes needs at least 14 installments to qualify.
    – The line between novella and novel is 40 000 words. So a series of only-barely-novels would need 6 books to reach the word count – and 6 new books after a previous appearance.
    – I think 80-100k is a fairly common length for a novel, so most trilogies would qualify. Two mid-length novels and a short story will probably not qualify.
    – A big doorstopper can be over 240k by itself. For example, A Game of Thrones have around 290 000 words according to my googling, and the later books in A Song of Ice and Fire are even longer. But note that in those cases the number of volumes will be a factor.

    With regard to the eligibility of the finalists for the special category-run of Best Series in Helsinki: I wouldn’t spend a nomination counting on the admins in Dublin making a different choice than the San Jose admins.

  6. @Cat Eldridge

    Secret History by Simon R. Green, Night Fall

    Night Fall is actually the last volume in two series, the other one being his Nightside series as it wraps up the tale of those characters as well. Green announced in a blog post not long ago that he’s seriously ill from complications from kidney disease and this was one of the writing projects he wanted to get done.

    Oh, I’m sorry to hear this. He is one of my favourites.

    Finally, here are two series that JJ hasn’t mentioned yet:
    Raymond Electromatic by Adam Christopher (I only killed him once)
    Ars Numina by Ann Aguirre (The Wolf Lord)
    • Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh (Archangel’s Prophecy)
    In Death by J.D. Robb (Dark in Death, Leverage in Death)

    Okay, so only Lurkertype, my Mom and I ever nominate J.D. Robb, but one of these days we’re going to pursuade the rest of you.

  7. This likely would never work, but I think Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars/The Fated Sky can be regarded as one novel. I assume it would be eligible as such in that category?

    (I nominated Scott Westerfeld’s Succession books as a pair a few years ago. But they had been published combined by the SFBC, which made their eligibility clearer.)

    Mary’s books are legitimately a series, when the related short stories are added, by the way. The two novels are probably at least 250,000 words by themselves.

  8. Arifel: I think Matt Wallace’s comment in the book itself should be as definitive as we need for Sin du Jour. Anyways, it’s going on my ballot.

    Side question for wonks: The other fiction categories have a 25% / 5,000 word buffer to place a work into its most appropriate category. Does that exist for Series? As in, if a series gets to 236,400 words – is that close enough because it’s within the lesser of 5,000 words or 20%?

    Or – does that not apply because there is no more appropriate category to move the work and we have a hard floor of 240,000 words?

  9. @Rich Horton

    See this comment on what MRK has said regarding the books:

    In the Q&A, I did bring up the question about how people should look at her two novels when nominating and she would prefer the first book be nominated instead of both as a pair since she intends to write more in the series.

    I do have the books in ebook so I can double-check the word counts for those who are interested. Personally I think I’ll be nominating one of them in novel, both because I think Fated Sky is more a sequel than the second half of the same book, and because I prefer to only nominate finished series.

  10. Properly (but unfortunately) missing: de Bodard’s “Dominion of the Fallen” has enough pieces and words, but ISFDB says the last 2 works released were in 2017. There’s room for more, but her web site doesn’t show anything planned.

    @Joe Sherry: I think your second reading is correct. The actual wording of 3.2.8 starts “The Worldcon Committee may relocate a story into a more appropriate category if it feels that it is necessary”. ISTM that this requires that a work as a whole be already eligible and nominated in another category; a series can’t be in any of the one-piece fiction categories because it’s multiple pieces (3.2.5), and a single novel (however large) can’t be a series (minimum 3 pieces). 3.8.2 says (redacted) that the concom can batch nominations for a single work nominated in multiple categories — but that still doesn’t make a one-piece work into a series. Note that this is a hasty analysis, and IASNAL — so it’s not definitive.

  11. Murderbot and Wayward Children don’t look like having 240 000 each. I am not eve sure if Yoon Ha Lee and Emma Newman are eligible. Those aren’t very long books.

  12. The Commonwealth, Graydon Saunders, Under One Banner. Fourth novel of the series just released.

  13. I think my Magic ex Libris series would be eligible. Imprinted came out in January of this year, and was 15K words. The series as a whole is around 400K.

  14. I am stonkered by the number of series that qualify!

    Can anyone direct me to an explanation of the word count requirements for Best Series? They don’t seem to line up with the requirements for Best Novel. They seem to be much higher per volume.

  15. Re The Lady Astronaut series. Here are all the stories in the continuity per MRK’s site and their word counts as per Word, which may not be totally accurate.

    “We Interrupt This Broadcast” – 2,753
    The Calculating Stars – 116, 623
    The Fated Sky – 101,355
    “The Phobos Experience” – 7,140
    “Amara’s Giraffe” – 301
    “Rockets Red” – 2,370
    “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” – 8,039

    Total – 238,581

    So, that’s agonisingly just below 240,000 words for anyone who wanted to nominate it. That said, I do think that if it isn’t complete it’s better to wait anyway.

  16. @Jerry Kaufman: there are no word-count-per-volume requirements. The initial requirement for nomination is at least three installments and at least 240,000 words. The requirement for a second nomination after a loss is “[…] at least two (2) additional installments consisting in total of at least 240,000 words[…].” That could be two massive novels of 120,000 words each, or it could be twenty novelettes of 12,000 words each. (Or even 2400 stories of 100 words each.) 🙂

    The Hugo Categories page doesn’t seem to have been updated to describe this new category yet, but the details can be found in the WSFS Constitution, which is linked from the top of that page. (I’m not linking to the Constitution directly, because it’s probably about to be updated with the changes from this year’s business meeting.)

  17. For clarification: The full Maradaine Saga would be eligible with Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe and The Way of the Shield this year, but the Streets of Maradaine series alone would not be.

  18. Ruthanna Emrys’ two books Winter Tide and Deep Roots (plus novella The Litany of Earth) might also be eligible. I don’t know if more installments are in the works.
    Yoon has a collection of stories set in the Hexarcate that will come out Very Soon I Fondly Hope.

  19. @Xtifr Thanks for responding. I know there’s no “per volume” word count requirement, but I thought the typical series came out as novels. Based on this assumption, and three installments minimum, the average word count would be 240,000 divided by 3, or 80,000 words average per novel. That’s double the minimum required to be considered eligible in the Best Novel. I realize actual series will be all over the place in terms of installments (novels, novellas, etc,) but I’m still curious as to why the minimum wordage wasn’t just triple the minimum novel length.

  20. This is to some extent a reprise of others’ comments, but putting it all in one place:

    Anticipated Re-eligibility of Best Series Finalists

    The Craft Sequence (2017): The Ruin of Angels (~175K?) was published in 2017. The estimated length is a bit speculative since there’s no audiobook, but if it’s accurate than the series will likely be eligible upon publication of another novel (unknown, so 2021 Hugos?); if not, then after another two novels.

    The Expanse (2017): Tiamat’s Wrath is anticipated in March 2019, and the ninth (and final) novel in the series is anticipated in 2019 or 2020. As previous novels have been in the 150K-160K range, the series will likely be eligible upon the publication of the final book (2020 or 2021 Hugos).

    InCryptid (2018): Tricks for Free (~102K) was published in 2018 and That Ain’t Witchcraft (~112K?) is anticipated in 2019. The series will likely not be eligible until a ninth novel is published (2021 Hugos, probably), although it is possible that short fiction could push it over the line for 2020.

    October Daye (2017): The Brightest Fell (~101K) was published in 2017, and Night and Silence (~112K?) is anticipated in 2018. Additionally, “The Act of Hares”, “In Deepest Consequence”, “Instruments of Darkness”, “Jealous in Honor”, “Live in Brass”, “Shore to Shore”, “These Antique Fables”, and “Write in Water” were published on Seanan McGuire’s Patreon in 2017 and 2018. If these collectively total to 30-40K words, then the series is eligible in 2019; otherwise, it will be eligible in 2020 following the publication of the thirteenth novel.

    Rivers of London (2017): The Furthest Station (~34K) was published in 2017 and Lies Sleeping (90K) is anticipated in 2018. The series will likely be eligible upon publication of the eighth novel (96K) (2020 Hugos), given that the novella The October Man (43K) is also anticipated in 2019.

    The Stormlight Archive (2018): Will likely not be eligible until the fourth and fifth novels are published (mid-2020s Hugos), although any intervening short fiction published would likely trigger eligibility after the fourth novel.

    The Books of the Raksura (2018), The Divine Cities (2018), The Memoirs of Lady Trent (2018), and Temeraire (2017) appear to be complete and have no anticipated re-eligibility.

  21. I think Tolkien might be spinning in his grave at the suggestion that “The Fall of Gondolin” might be considered the latest volume in the Lord of the Rings series…

  22. @Jerry Kaufman

    You really don’t get 40,000 word novels any more. I’d say that 80,000 is probably considered a fairly shortish novel nowadays.

    Triple 40k, i.e 120,000, would probably be achieved in a single volume by any writer who’s a bit prolix, and in two volumes by even the most concise.

    (Several of the novellas have gone over 40k and there’s an argument that the 40k limit is out of date now, but an amendment confirmed this year has given the admins flexibility up to 48k which probably takes the pressure off that particular issue.)

  23. JJ, thanks for this hard work!!

    Here’s Best Series from the end of the Helsinki Business Meeting. We didn’t make any changes to it that would take effect next year so it’s still current.

    3.3.5: Best Series. A multi-installment science fiction or fantasy story, unified by elements such as plot, characters, setting, and presentation, appearing in at least three (3) installments consisting in total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the previous calendar year, at least one (1) installment of which was published in the previous calendar year, and which has not previously won under 3.3.5. Previous losing finalists in the Best Series category shall be eligible only upon the publication of at least two (2) additional installments consisting in total of at least 240,000 words after they qualified for their last appearance on the final ballot and by the close of the previous calendar year.


    Johan P on August 28, 2018 at 4:17 am said:

    With regard to the eligibility of the finalists for the special category-run of Best Series in Helsinki: I wouldn’t spend a nomination counting on the admins in Dublin making a different choice than the San Jose admins.

    Nicholas Whyte said on his blog:

    Best Series

    A second victory for Bujold as the World of the Five Gods beat InCryptid by 864 to 595. InCryptid came second, The Memoirs of Lady Trent third by 18 votes over the Books of the Raksura, which came fourth. The Stormlight Archive took fifth place by 5 votes ahead of the Divine Cities, which came sixth.

    The Broken Earth topped the nominations poll but N.K. Jemisin declined nomination. In addition, The Expanse, The Craft Sequence and the October Daye books came second, fifth and seventh, but were all deemed ineligible due to not having added enough to the series since last year (this was a contentious rules question, but I agree with the approach taken by this year’s Hugo administrators). The Stormlight Archive therefore got onto the final ballot despite finishing tenth in nominations. C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series had more votes than The Stormlight Archive, but needed another 1.64 points to qualify for the final ballot.

  24. I have wordcounts for a few series where people have been wondering about eligibility:

    Machineries of Empire by Yoon Ha Lee, the novels are 98,000, 109,000, & 124,000 plus some short stories, so well over 240k. I understand there’s a collection coming out (woohoo!) but IMO the main trilogy is a complete series and I plan to nominate it.

    Wayfarers by Becky Chambers:130,000, 106,000, & 101,000 so clearly eligible, but I don’t believe it’s complete as yet.

    Planetfall by Emma Newman – I only have After Atlas in ebook but it’s over 109,000 words so I’d expect it to be eligible over 3 books.

    Starfire by Spencer Elsworth – not eligible – 53,332, 63,714, & 56,277 = 173,323

    As noted by Scalzi himself, his Lock In series is well under wordcount at 78,590 and 79,663 for the novels – there’s a short but it won’t take it anywhere near 240,000. If he decides to make it a trilogy he might want to add a couple of those coda thingys he likes to the last one…

    (Again, all counts my own and reliant on Word not being dodgy)

  25. I wish to just note strongly that Series do not have to be complete to be eligible. If individuals want to make that decision, no one can stop you. But it’s peachy keen to nominate something as soon as it qualifies.

  26. Thanks, Goobergunch, for the look at previous finalists.

    @Jerry Kaufman
    I think the Best Series committee felt the 40,000 novel word count was a bit of a relic and came up with this number by looking at recent novels in series. You can see some discussion of it in the committee’s report which is Appendix 3 of the 2016 Business Meeting Minutes available from this page at

    ETA: Thanks, Mark, for more word count checks.

  27. @Ultragotha

    Hopefully I’ve been clear that nominating complete series is simply my personal preference, but if not then I +1 your comment.

  28. My personal preference for series nomination varies. For one where the overall story is split over multiple volumes, I’d wait until the end. For one where the individual books more or less stand alone, when eligible. Not always clear cut, and sometimes the second type morphs into the first (and probably vice versa). But I think it’s good that the category allows for whatever approach nominators want to take.

  29. @Markkitteh

    It’s not that anyone has been stating series must be complete, but reading over several comments I was seeing a kind of tilt toward that implication. I wanted to prop the leaning tower. 😉

  30. @Lis Carey

    @Cora–I’m totally on board with nominating J.D. Robb.

    Then we’re already four. Slowly, but surely we will win converts and get J.D. Robb a Hugo nomination.

  31. Thanks for all of the updates in comments. I will be updating this post on an ongoing basis. This post can be found at any time by clicking on the “2018 Recommended SF/F” permalink at the top of File 770.

    Be aware that the readinglength dot com and wordcounters dot com websites are clickbait sites with wildly inaccurate word counts, whose owners use them as a way to generate income from Amazon referrer URLs.

    Word counts on those sites are based on multiplying page counts or audiobook lengths by fixed guesstimates and frequently bear little resemblance to actual word counts.

    The way I have been checking word counts is to import an e-book into Calibre, convert it to RTF, and then use Microsoft Word to remove blurbs, acknowledgments, author bios, appendices, etc, before checking word count.

  32. L.E. Modesitt’s Recluce series, Outcasts of Order is also eligible. The Divine Cities is complete- Foundryside, hsi newest book is set in a completely different world.

  33. Mark and Laura, thanks for your responses. I agree that 40,000 words is pretty short for a novel. It was common when I started reading SF, but even then it was short compared to non-genre work.

    I read the Appendix you sent me to, Laura, and I have a much better picture of the reasoning for the 240,000 word minimum. My “80,000 word per volume” estimate is right there at the beginning of the report.

    (Increasing the minimum word count for Best Novel seems reasonable, but would the Best Novella maximum word count have to be increased to pick up the slack? Is there a word for fiction that’s 40K to 80K words? I’d be happy to leave this puzzle to someone else.)

  34. I personally don’t read zombie or vampire stories, but isn’t the “Monster Hunter” series eligible? Wasn’t there a recent entry?

  35. Yeah, you wouldn’t want any gaps between the word count categories. While they can move things, you wouldn’t want something that didn’t naturally fall into some category. The amendment Mark mentioned will help take care of the novels just over 40,000 that are still marketed as novellas. (The makers of that amendment also had an example of a book just short of 40k that was marketed as a novel.) I have a feeling there’s probably not much that falls between about 50k and 70k — not that I’ve looked into it at all. As to what to call it — “short novel” works. I think we’ve already exhausted diminutive forms of the word novel with novella and novelette.

  36. Another eligible: “Halcyone Space” by L.J. Cohen (5 volumes, final one 2018.

    If the admins are allowed 10% wiggle room, “Lady Astronaut” would make it.

    Arabella is already on my list. Just waited for the 3rd one to come out.

    Murderbot? Word count will be vital there; do they run 60K each?
    Magic Ex Libris (5 novels and some shorts; the novels are likely done)

    And someday, me, Cora, her mom, and Lis are going to get JD Robb there! And more of us are going to get Liaden Universe on!

    @Anna: I’m not sure if Emrys’ work meets the wordcount yet; if so, it gets my vote.

    pre-orders new Hail Bristol

    The Scott series is Astreiant. (i not l)

    I’m wondering about the “cast of thousands”; although there’s nothing about it in the rules, so far we seem to be going for works by one or two writers. I feel the same way about the unconnected but endless Star Wars/Trek books.

    If it’s works I like, I don’t care if it’s done or not. Obviously “Five Gods” isn’t done, nor are Seanan’s, and especially not “Stormlight” so the electorate as a whole doesn’t care about the finished aspect. And JD Robb goes on forever, at two new novels a year, sometimes an additional novella, and probably will for the rest of Nora’s life. So don’t wait, nominate “In Death” today!

  37. As for word counts, of course the novella would have to be adjusted upward to match any increase in the minimum length for novel. The Ace Doubles were an interesting case — they tended to be thought of as “novels”, but were typically 35K-45K, and could be as short as 23K or so. Nowadays, I’d suggest 50K as a more reasonable novella/novel dividing line.

    I’m surprised that Lady Astronaut doesn’t make 240K — my estimate was
    based on page counts of about 800 for the two books combined, and usually there’s more than 300 words/page. But white space, and end matter … so be it! Anyway, probably better to wait for a more complete series.

    That said, I do think “complete series” are preferable, admitting that that’s hard to define, and that there are some series that really aren’t ever “complete” — they’re just a common setting, and/or characters …

    But, like defining Apollo 13 as SF, that’s something to leave up to the nominators/voters.

  38. Xtifr on August 28, 2018 at 12:10 pm said:

    The Hugo Categories page doesn’t seem to have been updated to describe this new category yet

    We’ve been remiss about this. I do not know when I’ll find the time to rewrite that and update some of the other out of date pages.

    but the details can be found in the WSFS Constitution, which is linked from the top of that page. (I’m not linking to the Constitution directly, because it’s probably about to be updated with the changes from this year’s business meeting.)

    That page is a static link to whatever the most recently-updated rules are, not a deep link to an individual year’s rules. I do not know when the official papers will be updated, but it’s not going to be immediately. It typically takes several weeks to months for the WSFS staff to work up all of the documents and certify a new Constitution. As I write this, it’s the documents as of the end of Helsinki, but the relevant rules were not changed this year and still apply to 2019.

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