Hugo Awards 2020 Finalists

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, announced the finalists for the 2020 Hugo Awards today.

As previously reported, CoNZealand received Hugo Awards nominations from 1,584 members.

The webcast announcing the finalists is available for viewing on the CoNZealand YouTube channel.

RELATED: Where To Find The 2020 Hugo Award Finalists For Free Online


Best Novel

  • The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir ( Publishing)
  • The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK)
  • A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK)
  • Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire ( Publishing)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)

Best Novella

  • “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador))
  • The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga Press/Gallery)
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing)
  • In an Absent Dream, by Seanan McGuire ( Publishing)
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books)
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton)

Best Novelette

  • “The Archronology of Love”, by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, April 2019)
  • “Away With the Wolves”, by Sarah Gailey (Uncanny Magazine: Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Special Issue, September/October 2019)
  • “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye”, by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny Magazine, July-August 2019)
  • Emergency Skin, by N.K. Jemisin (Forward Collection (Amazon))
  • “For He Can Creep”, by Siobhan Carroll (, 10 July 2019)
  • “Omphalos”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador))

Best Short Story

  • “And Now His Lordship Is Laughing”, by Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons, 9 September 2019)
  • “As the Last I May Know”, by S.L. Huang (, 23 October 2019)
  • “Blood Is Another Word for Hunger”, by Rivers Solomon (, 24 July 2019)
  • “A Catalog of Storms”, by Fran Wilde (Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2019)
  • “Do Not Look Back, My Lion”, by Alix E. Harrow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2019)
  • “Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island”, by Nibedita Sen (Nightmare Magazine, May 2019)

Best Series

  • The Expanse, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)
  • Luna, by Ian McDonald (Tor; Gollancz)
  • Planetfall series, by Emma Newman (Ace; Gollancz)
  • Winternight Trilogy, by Katherine Arden (Del Rey; Del Rey UK)
  • The Wormwood Trilogy, by Tade Thompson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Best Related Work

  • Becoming Superman: My Journey from Poverty to Hollywood, by J. Michael Straczynski (Harper Voyager US)
  • Joanna Russ, by Gwyneth Jones (University of Illinois Press (Modern Masters of Science Fiction))
  • The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, by Mallory O’Meara (Hanover Square)
  • The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein, by Farah Mendlesohn (Unbound)
  • “2019 John W. Campbell Award Acceptance Speech”, by Jeannette Ng
  • Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, produced and directed by Arwen Curry

Best Graphic Story or Comic

  • Die, Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker, by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)
  • LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, colours by James Devlin (Berger Books; Dark Horse)
  • Monstress, Volume 4: The Chosen, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Mooncakes, by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker, letters by Joamette Gil (Oni Press; Lion Forge)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 6, written by Brian K. Vaughan, drawn by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image)
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 9: “Okay”, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Avengers: Endgame, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Studios)
  • Captain Marvel, screenplay by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios/Animal Logic (Australia))
  • Good Omens, written by Neil Gaiman, directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios/Narrativia/The Blank Corporation)
  • Russian Doll (Season One), created by Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler, directed by Leslye Headland, Jamie Babbit and Natasha Lyonne (3 Arts Entertainment/Jax Media/Netflix/Paper Kite Productions/Universal Television)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, screenplay by Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams, directed by J.J. Abrams (Walt Disney Pictures/Lucasfilm/Bad Robot)
  • Us, written and directed by Jordan Peele (Monkeypaw Productions/Universal Pictures)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • The Good Place: “The Answer”, written by Daniel Schofield, directed by Valeria Migliassi Collins (Fremulon/3 Arts Entertainment/Universal Television)
  • The Expanse: “Cibola Burn”, written by Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by Breck Eisner (Amazon Prime Video)
  • Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar”, written by Jeff Jensen and Damon Lindelof, directed by Nicole Kassell (HBO)
  • The Mandalorian: “Redemption”, written by Jon Favreau, directed by Taika Waititi (Disney+)
  • Doctor Who: “Resolution”, written by Chris Chibnall, directed by Wayne Yip (BBC)
  • Watchmen: “This Extraordinary Being”, written by Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, directed by Stephen Williams (HBO)

Best Editor, Short Form

  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • C.C. Finlay
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Brit Hvide
  • Diana M. Pho
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

  • Tommy Arnold
  • Rovina Cai
  • Galen Dara
  • John Picacio
  • Yuko Shimizu
  • Alyssa Winans

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, 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

Best Fanzine

  • The Book Smugglers, editors Ana Grilo and Thea James
  • Galactic Journey, founder Gideon Marcus, editor Janice Marcus, senior writers Rosemary Benton, Lorelei Marcus and Victoria Silverwolf
  • Journey Planet, editors James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Alissa McKersie, Ann Gry, Chuck Serface, John Coxon and Steven H Silver
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, editors Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, Vance Kotrla, and The G
  • Quick Sip Reviews, editor Charles Payseur
  • The Rec Center, editors Elizabeth Minkel and Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Best Fancast

  • Be The Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
  • Claire Rousseau’s YouTube channel, produced & presented by Claire Rousseau
  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts, producer Andrew Finch
  • Our Opinions Are Correct, presented by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Skiffy and Fanty Show, presented by Jen Zink and Shaun Duke

Best Fan Writer

  • Cora Buhlert
  • James Davis Nicoll
  • Alasdair Stuart
  • Bogi Takács
  • Paul Weimer
  • Adam Whitehead

Best Fan Artist

  • Iain Clark
  • Sara Felix
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Meg Frank
  • Ariela Housman
  • Elise Matthesen

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book (not a Hugo)

  • Catfishing on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
  • Deeplight, by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)
  • Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee (Disney/Hyperion)
  • Minor Mage, by T. Kingfisher (Argyll)
  • Riverland, by Fran Wilde (Amulet)
  • The Wicked King, by Holly Black (Little, Brown; Hot Key)

Astounding Award for Best New Writer, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo)

  • Sam Hawke (2nd year of eligibility)
  • R.F. Kuang (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Jenn Lyons (1st year of eligibility)
  • Nibedita Sen (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Tasha Suri (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Emily Tesh (1st year of eligibility)

95 thoughts on “Hugo Awards 2020 Finalists

  1. So clipping. shows up in the Hugos again but in an entirely different and non-musical category (Best Novella–The Deep). Now that’s surprising!

  2. What Eric said.

    Also, how many books has McGuire written? It’s amazing.

  3. Congratulations to all the finalists and the creators of the finalists that are things and not people! 🙂 Counting people/things on my “if I had more slots” list, I got 20-21 finalists. Collect the whole set!

    Best Series: Planetfall! 😀 Also, apparently Tade is pronounced “tah-day” (or that was a pronounce-o); now I know I’ve been (blush) thinking it wrong in my head all this time.

    Best Graphic Story: All traditional comics, so none of my nominations, which were all web comics. Psniff. I’ve never heard of a few of these; yay, some new comics to (hopefully) explore.

    Best Pro Artist: Tommy Arnold! 😀 I also nominted Dara and Picacio, but I’m especially happy to see Tommy Arnold be a finalist since not only do I love his art and not only did I nominate him, but it’s his first time as a finalist.

    Best Fanzine: nerds of a feather! 😀 I haven’t heard of “The Rec Center”; yay, something new to explore.

    Best Fan Writer: @CORA! @PAUL! @JAMES! ::flails a happy dance:: Congratulations! 😀 (This feels like burying the lede, doesn’t it.)

    Astounding Best New Writer: I’ve heard of all except Nibedita Sen; yay, someone new-to-me to read.

    Lodestar Best YA Book: @Red Wombat! 😀 Also, the finalist list is quite the powerhouse of authors.

  4. Wow, another fantastic ballot and reading list prompt. 🙂 Congrats to everyone on it!

  5. Congrats to the finalists. The novel category sounds like this will be a fun year. I’ve heard good things about almost all of them.

    And Die made it in the graphic novel category! Woot!!

    Aside from the fancasting category, I see many more authors/creators that weren’t repeating (or nearly so) as finalists. A good trend.

    I was guilty of judging capitalism by its operations and socialism by its hopes and aspirations; capitalism by its works and socialism by its literature. – Sidney Hook (1987). “Out of step: an unquiet life in the 20th century”

  6. No surprises one the novel list, so no new books to read. Four novels I didn’t read on the Lodestar list, though.

  7. I’ve learned that the YouTube channel was the only one working, which is where I’d planned to watch anyway.

    YouTube did a running count of viewers. The highest number I saw was 797, twenty-three minutes into the broadcast. (Fashionably late?) I was among the first 30 or so to log in and got to see lots of people saying hello in the sidebar — there was a high degree of overlap between early arrivers and the 2020 nominees, I’d say!

  8. Congratulations to all the finalists, especially the fan writers! A strong ballot this year.

    Series is going to be kind of brutal to read until/unless libraries re-open here but I’m extremely happy that it’s not just a list of series that have shown up on the Novel ballot (although I am a little grumpy about having to vote on Expanse before reading the ending). A good list, from what I’ve read of it and have heard, and a good argument for the category.

    /starts poking his library’s ebook lending options

  9. Seriously bummed that Alliance/Union didn’t make the Best Series list. But other than that, excellent batch. Congrats to all the nominees!

  10. Pingback: Where To Find The 2020 Hugo Award Finalists For Free Online | File 770

  11. I bet Neil Gaiman has realized it was worth all the arguing about fucking budgets! 🙂

    (There is absolutely no question this show deserved it. Whether it deserved to win I was reserving for whether the Hugo voters could pull out an obscure good movie.)

  12. Best Series is really, really tempting to try to get to this year but not to spend any money on.

  13. So sticking to the book-type finalists, as that’s the only thing I know anything about (except to congratulate our very own fan writers):

    Novel: a nice selection, though there are a couple of things I would have liked to be there that aren’t – especially The Raven Tower.

    Novella: yes, this one is a bit predictable, isn’t it? I said a while ago that I diodn’t feel able to make any predictions for this year, but I was forgetting Novella. Is the McGuire a Wayward Children story?

    Series: another nice selection. It seems to be doing its job of honouring things where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, rather than just duplicating the novel line-up, as some, including me at times, feared. (Actually, there seem to be a striking number of stand-alone novels in Best Novel this year, and the ones that aren’t are first in series.) Only one series of infinite length, InCryptid, and the books there are fairly self-contained; though The Expanse is rather unmanageably large. I don’t know Wormwood at all: what is it like?

    Lodestar: an impressive lineup, returning to the form of its first year, and reflecting the breadth of the field. I was rather afraid we would just get the sequels to last year’s finalists; in fact we get only one of them (not the one I would have chosen, but never mind). A bit surprised that The Secret Commonwealth isn’t there. Also, congrats Wombat!

    Astounding: I have never heard of any of these authors except Kuang. Any advice on them?

  14. Pingback: Cora is a Hugo Finalist! | Cora Buhlert

  15. @Andrew M: Yes, In an Absent Dream is the fourth Wayward Children novella.

    I agree that the category was fairly predictable but I am not sure there are any obviously standout misses given that I don’t think enough Hugo nominators read the free Asimov’s PDFs we get for their reader’s poll.

    JJ’s post on where to read the finalists free online has some guidance regarding the Astounding finalists’ works.

  16. I’m very glad to see that Middlegame made it. I’m not normally a big McGuire fan, and yes, I do think she’s had waaay too many nominations, but that book really floated my boat.

    Also very glad to see Expanse, Planetfall, and Wormwood in series. Those are all series I’ve been meaning to finish, and now I’ll be sure to get it done. Also very happy for Winternight, of course, which is fantabulous. 🙂

    Oh, PS — As it happened, I was listening to Omphalos just as I tuned in to the announcements, so seeing it on the list gave me a chuckle!

  17. @Andrew—

    I don’t know Wormwood at all: what is it like?

    I’ve only read the first so far. It’s sf, mysterious huge alien thingie that a big African city is built around, and the particles it releases both heal and allow some individuals to become telepathic — actually one of the best sfnal explanations for telepathy that I’ve ever seen. I recommend reading this rather than listening — although the narrator was very good, I found his accent so distracting that it was hard for me to concentrate on the story.

  18. I’m really thrilled about this ballot and not just because I’m on it.

    Congrats to Paul, James, Wombat and any other finalists who hang around here.

  19. @Andrew again —

    Astounding: I have never heard of any of these authors except Kuang. Any advice on them?

    Same Hawke wrote City of Lies, which I thought was okay but no outstanding. Tasha Suri wrote Empire of Sand, which is exciting and chock full of teen angst and fraught teen romance. Jenn Lyons I haven’t read yet, but her debut The Ruin of Kings has been hyped out the wazoo. We Shall See!

  20. What an excellent lineup!

    I’m bummed; I’d intended to watch the livestream and I completely forgot about it until it was too late. But my happiness at the excellence of the nominees more than makes up for my disappointment in myself.

  21. Congratulations to ALL of the nominees, especially Sarah Felix and Meg Frank!

    And Although I was personally disappointed that HBO’S Chernobyl, the full season of Watchmen and the second season of Star Trek: Discovery were not nominated, I was quite pleased that pivotal episodes of Watchmen and The Mandalorian were and I hope they give The Good Place a run for their money.

  22. I nominated The Wicked and the Divine as a whole series. Really a nomination for volume 9 is the equivalent of that, because vol. 9 so does not stand on its own.

  23. I just downloaded Overdrive so I could get some of the books from the library!

    Hooray and Congratulations to all of the finalists! I’m looking forward to reading and making difficult decisions!

  24. Mike, I put the wrong name on my other comment. Can you just delete it? Thank you.

    Well, I went right to my library’s website and put as many things as I could on hold. Hopefully it will reopen at the end of this month (that’s as long as my state’s stay-at-home order lasts). Does anyone have any idea when voting closes?

  25. Chris M. Barkley on April 7, 2020 at 4:37 pm said:

    Congratulations to ALL of the nominees, especially Sarah Felix and Meg Frank!

    And Although I was personally disappointed that HBO’S Chernobyl, the full season of Watchmen and the second season of Star Trek: Discovery were not nominated, I was quite pleased that pivotal episodes of Watchmen and The Mandalorian were and I hope they give The Good Place a run for their money.

    Good point – but there’s so much good stuff to choose from!

  26. Congrats to all the finalists! It’s a really good ballot this year. Series is going to be hard to read but I’ve got a good head start on most of the other categores.

    Missing The Raven Tower but happy to see Catfishing on CatNet!

  27. Gratz to all the finalists, and an extra special extra gratz for Filer Finalists! (Filenalists?)

    I enjoyed the youtube stream, it was lovely seeing everyone so excited throughout.

  28. Congrats to all! Especially to Cora, who has been reviewing for the Retro Hugos. The novels and novellas seem a bit pricey online, so for my reviews, I’m off to the library.

  29. @Contrarius–

    Jenn Lyons I haven’t read yet, but her debut The Ruin of Kings has been hyped out the wazoo.

    Jenn Lyons is your typical doorstopper fantasy series, but very good for what it is, IMHO.

  30. @Contrarius

    Tasha Suri also has Realm of Ash – the second in her Ambha series – out in the UK.

    Generally I didn’t get much on the final ballot from my nominations, but I got some.

  31. Huge congratulations to all the finalists! What a ballot!
    And especially to the many Filers on the list 😀

    I’m delighted to see Ten Thousand Doors here; Harrow’s debut has been phenomenal (and she has some very cool things lined up next…)

    And I’m especially pleased to finally see C.C. Finlay on the ballot for Fantasy & Science Fiction! I’ve been rooting for F&SF even since I started following the Hugos; this has been long awaited. I am very curious to see what they wind up putting in the voters’ packet. They’ve had some fantastic stories in 2019. But representing a whole magazine is a tough proposition, and I know Gordon Van Gelder is deeply skeptical of free fiction for pretty much any purpose.

    Congrats to all; looking forward to this!

  32. Also congratulation from me, exspecially to the nomines reading this. Will be an interesting year voting. (Thanks to Cora and Jo Van Ekeren for their help)

    Funny think: One of the catogorys I thought I was skipping was Best Dramatic Long Form, before realising I have seen everything nominated execpt Russian Doll. It also had the think I was most sure that it would be on the ballot in it. (Good Omens)

  33. @Standback, thanks for that story link; looks like Nibedita Sen is a writer to watch.

    Oh, and thank you to everyone who nominated Catfishing on the Catnet; I didn’t nominate it only because I bought it in January or February and mistakenly thought it was a 2020 book. So I’m grateful that others made up for my mistake.

  34. What a lovely ballot! I’ve entered them all in my working spreadsheet, which also serves to cross-check against my nominees. I always figure that if too many of my nominees make the short-list, then I’m getting too many of my reading recommendations from the hive-mind, whereas if none of mine make it, then maybe I need to listen to other people more. Not a judgment, just a metric.

    In the categories where I filled all my nomination slots, at least one of my nominees short-listed in 8 of 9 categories. In the categories where I only partially filled my slots, at least one of mine short-listed in 5 of 7 categories (but with a higher proportion including more than one of my nominees, interestingly enough). Obviously in the three categories where I didn’t feel able to nominated, none made it! My highest overlap was in the fancast category, which is probably a combination of being an avid fancast listener and the relatively smaller size of the well-known field. Though “well-known” is relative. Last year, several of the fancast nominees were shows I’d never heard of before they made the list, and there’s at least one in that category this year.

  35. @4jkb4ia: Gaiman already has a handful of Hugos, and he doesn’t seem to be much connected to the genre sub-world (we’re 18 years past “F**k, I won a Hugo!”); if he wasn’t already happy with the result of all that tsuris, I doubt a Hugo nomination would make a difference. Not that I disagree with the nomination — I put it the F770 Hugo-recs page and I can already see at least two nominees (out of three I’ve seen) I’d put it ahead of — but I wouldn’t assume it matters as much to him now.

    @Contrarius: I didn’t like McGuire’s zombie books, but when she got multiple nominations for shorter fiction in one year, I put all of them well above No Award. (Don’t remember from this distance whether I put any of them on top.) Given her productivity, I disagree that she’s gotten too many nominations.

  36. @Chip —

    Given her productivity, I disagree that she’s gotten too many nominations.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. To me, she usually feels like the writing equivalent of the old days when Doctor Who repeatedly swamped the Dramatic Presentation category. Sure, both Doctor Who and McGuire were good products and had lots of eligible entries on offer, but IMHO their repeated presence on the shortlists is (was) more a product of a group of rabid fans than a reflection of the actual merits of the nominated works and/or appeal across all of fandom.

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