Award Eligibility for the Current Year

Twenty sixteen! Neighbors. Probably the less said about that at this point, the better.

But now that we’re all safely ensconced in a postapocalyptic Billy Joel song, let me take a moment to talk about awards. You still have a few days to register for Helsinki Worldcon and nominate for the Hugo Awards! Here’s my eligible work for this year, and I’d be honored if you’d consider nominating.

Short Fiction

Big Thrull and the Askin’ Man, Uncanny Magazine – Troll folk hero vs. foreign businessman attempting to warp Trollish social norms for his own game. (Soon to be translated into Polish!)

The Iron Man, Grimm Future Anthology – A boy tries to reach manhood without being turned into a weapon.

Giants in the Sky, The Starlit Wood anthology – Jack in the Beanstalk x Space Elevators x Bastard Operator from Hell x Peridot


Any episode of Bookburners or The Witch Who Came in from the Cold will do, honestly, but I’m most partial to Bookburners Season 2, Episode 13, “The End of the Day.”


The big one!

Four Roads Cross fills in the last timeline hole in the Craft Sequence, and is a hell of a story if I do say so myself.

Best Series

Emergency edit

There’s an even *bigger* one!

This year, nominations are open for a Best Series Hugo—a Hugo to be awarded to the best series published last year, no book of which has ever won a Hugo before. Since this is the first year, there are a lot of series to catch up on, not to mention fantastic newcomers like The Grace of Kings, but I think the Craft Sequence is pretty fantastic, and I hope you agree.

What I’m Nominating

I need to give a lot more thought to this. I loved most of the stories from Starlit Wood. Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky and Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning were both fantastic; it’s hard for me to evaluate how TLtL stands alone, apart from Seven Surrenders (which I’ve also read, hah), but it’s also on my short list. Did Infomocracy come out last year, too? Also amazing. Frankly, I have a lot of catching up to do—last year was a blur for me, and I read for pleasure far more than to stay current.

I feel mildly sorry for whoever else is nominated for Best Dramatic-Long Form against the Thunderdome matchup of Hidden Figures and The Arrival, but I’m not too sorry, because all those people make Hollywood money and never show up to collect their awards anyway.

Oh, and I expect my Best Dramatic-Short Form this year will be a list of five Steven Universe episodes again. (Though I have some catchup viewing coming in TV, too.)

What are you nominating?

3 Responses to “Award Eligibility for the Current Year”

  1. Peter Medeiros

    I’m really excited that they’re doing a “Best Series” this year, but I’ve heard they’re kind of trying it out to see if it works? Any thoughts on that? I LOVE the Craft Sequence, and I hope it wins! But I’ve heard some grumbles that entries for Best Novel are often part of a series anyhow, so some folks are saying the Best Series award is…redundant? Any thoughts on this? Is this implicit encouragement to award the Best Novel to stand alone titles? And is that a good thing? I dunno, I have mixed feelings. (I don’t have mixed feelings about who I want to win, just to be clear. Four Roads Cross was dope.)

    • max

      Hi Peter! And thanks for your support! My sense is that they are trying it out; if it works well, then the board can make it a permanent award. If there’s only going to be the one, all the more reason for me to push for it.

      I do think the existence of a Best Series award will improve the awards on the whole. Best Novel has, in the past, tended to be a mix of standalones and series novels—but, discounting slate-driven nominations, AFAICT series-related Best Novel nominees in the last five years have either been first novels in a series, or series in which *every* installment has been nominated. (Or by authors named George RR Martin or Robert Jordan.) I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a logrolling effect—people who love a trilogy will nominate all volumes, because they nominated the first one, and “this one was just as good, right?” Where a “Best Series” Hugo, properly set up, would shift those nominees over to “Best Series,” opening more slots for standalones and for the first novels in new series.

      But I haven’t spent much time with the data, so that’s just guesswork! Part of the reason they’re doing a trial run, I suppose.

      • Peter Medeiros

        Thanks for replying, Max! I think that makes a lot of sense with the “logrolling” that you talked about, and would be a DEFINITE improvement to the awards. Either way, looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

        (Also, just noteworthy that this isn’t really an award that could be given out in any other medium / genre? I mean, there are “movie series” but there’s not a ton of them…What would it be, James Bond vs the Marvel MCU? TV is all series…and there’s only a few musicians who are ambitious/pretentious enough to push multiple albums as part of a cohesive series… Basically, I think this alone is good reason to keep “Best Series” — it highlights something that only books really achieve, and that spec fic seems to achieve especially well.)


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