Looking for some fun reading?

The 2019 Hugo awards finalists have been announced. Tragically, neither Vox Day nor Brad Torgerson nor Castalia House are anywhere on the list. Did I say “tragically”? I meant “hilariously”. I guess the gate-crashing Puppies made their last sad yelp in what, 2016? Instead, we’ve got a lot of books and stories that were chosen because people enjoyed them, rather than being forced on everyone by a lot of wanna-be Nazis. Instead, we get this:

The list is dominated by women, with 5/6 women finalists in Novel, Novella, Novelette, AND Short Story, and 4/6 in Best Series. That’s amazing and proves what all we Rioters already know—women rock at writing SFF. We always have, and we always will. And in these five categories, nine nominations go to authors of color, a decent amount, though SFF awards in general still need more diversity.

They’re good stories! I was skimming through the list, and had to stop and read “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat”, just because of the title. Raptors are great, but there is, however, a shortage of cephalopods and spiders. Perhaps next year diversity will be extended to other phyla.

Something I noticed about the category of best long-form dramatic presentation…

  • Annihilation, directed and written for the screen by Alex Garland, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer (Paramount Pictures/Skydance)
  • Avengers: Infinity War, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Studios)
  • Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, directed by Ryan Coogler (Marvel Studios)
  • A Quiet Place, screenplay by Scott Beck, John Krasinski and Bryan Woods, directed by John Krasinski (Platinum Dunes / Sunday Night)
  • Sorry to Bother You, written and directed by Boots Riley (Annapurna Pictures)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (Sony)

“Infinity War” is the weakest of the nominated works, and it still made buttloads of money (I favor Into the Spider-Verse or Sorry to Bother You myself). The amazing thing is how many high quality, and critically acclaimed, SF movies are being made nowadays. Fifteen-year old me is finally getting his day in the sun.

Now if only I had time to read all that…and you know, excellent authors keep pumping out new stuff for this coming year, too.


  1. says

    Another development likely to annoy the reactionaries has been the nomination of the fanfiction site An Archive of Our Own (AO3) in the “other” category at the Hugos. Although I’m not a reader of fanfiction myself, I am a Web developer IRL and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the AO3 team, which includes a lot of woman devs, and the feature set they have developed for the site which seems to be an example of great user interface design. This Twitter thread discusses some of the issues surrounding the nominating including the inevitable backlash from the douchebag brogrammer parts of the net downplaying the achievement. It’s a fact that Open Source development is not open to women or minorities, the usual claims of “meritocracy” to the contrary– studies have shown that contributors with female-sounding nyms have a harder time getting their patches accepted; and the harassment of those advocating for Codes of Conduct on projects is nothing short of scandalous.

  2. gromflake says

    I was watching Netflix’s Love, Death and Robots the other day and realised how far behind it is compared with written sci-fi right now. It does seem that sci-fi is really now beginning to amplify and enjoy voices that wouldn’t traditionally be heard, and that’s a wonderful thing.

    By the way, if you want spiders, have you tried Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky? You may have to hold your nose at aspects of the biology bits, but the spidey society stuff is very good.

  3. specialffrog says

    Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti trilogy is really good. Glad to see book three on the list.

  4. ridana says

    Something I noticed about the category of best long-form dramatic presentation…

    Huh. I thought you were going to say that what you noticed was not a single woman director, writer or source author in the whole list.

  5. Jazzlet says

    PZ thank you for linking to The Tale f the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters and the Prince Who Was Made f Meat, I enjoyed it.

  6. says

    Infinity War will likely win but it is fundamentally a bad film.

    I am also sad to see the hot garbage that is A Quiet Place nominated. Pro-tip: don’t make a big deal out of hiring a Deaf actress and how the production team learned ASL if you can’t be bothered to film the ASL properly. It was virtually impossible follow the ASL in that film.

  7. says

    I’ve read Tchaikovsky — it was entertaining. The evolution accelerant was kind of absurd, but at least it had lots of spiders in a leading role.