Hugo Time: Let’s Get Nominating

Do I have a problem with how the Hugos are conducted? Yup. Do I still think they’re important? Yup. Is it intellectually dishonest of me to hold both of these positions simultaneously? Double-yup. When has being wrong stopped me before? I’m pretty sure Liz Bourke has coined the phrase, “Justin Landon is wrong on the internet.” Why stop now?

Best Novel: I’m going to keep this one quick, I wrote about my favorite novels of the year extensively here.

  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  • The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar
  • American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh

The fifth position on my ballot will probably stay blank. Elizabeth Bear’s Shattered Pillars and Mark Lawrence’s Emperor of Thorns are both good enough to warrant nomination, but are so inexorably linked to their previous volumes that I struggle to call them best of the year. It’s a personal choice in nominating.

I don’t read much short fiction and what I do is almost entirely original to anthologies as opposed to the short fiction magazines. Nevertheless, among what I read this year I find the following very worthy of nomination.

Best Novella:

  • “The Sound of Broken Absolutes” by Peter Orullian (Unfettered)

Best Novellette: 

  • “Game of Chance” by Carrie Vaughn (Unfettered)
  • “Prima” by Bradley P. Beaulieu (Lest Our Passage Be Forgotten & Other Stories)
  • “Ashen Light” by Archie Black (The Lowest Heaven)

Best Short Story:

  • “We’ll Always Be Here” by S. L. Grey (The Lowest Heaven)
  • “Exorcist” by Max Brooks (G.I. Joe: Tales From The Cobra Wars)
  • “Help Fund My Robot Army!!!” by Keffy R. M. Kehrli (Lightspeed)
  • “Golden Apple” by Sophia McDougall (The Lowest Heaven)

Best Related Work:


  • Speculative Fiction 2012 ed. by Justin Landon and Jared Shurin

Yes, I’m going to nominate myself for something. Except I played the smallest role in it.

Last spring Jared Shurin and I edited a volume of the best on-line writing from 2012. It included essays, reviews, critiques, and commentary about the literature, the community at large, and what it meant to participate in both in 2012. It is, without question, the guidebook for “fan” conversations. And we hope future volumes will do the same.

Here are two other things that will be on my nomination ballot for Best Related Work:

Best Graphic Work: No recommendations.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): No recommendations.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Doctor Who): No recommendations.

Best Editor (Long Form):

  • Devi Pillai (Orbit US)

As you can see, I only put down one name. I could write for a while on this one. Suffice to say I remain dubious that this category should exist given the enormous difficulty of defining it. Jared Shurin is nominating Tim Holman, for example. Holman edited Ancillary Justice, Love Minus Eighty, American Elsewhere, etc. Of course, some of those authors were carried over from DongWon Song, who left Orbit for Zola Books in 2012. Now, Holman is gone too. How to handle that? How do we award editorial credit to the Orbit shop?

Look at Tor and the same questions emerge. Who actually edited what and what did they do for the manuscript other than buy it? Hell if I know. I’m only going to put one name down this year in category because I think Pillai deserves credit for steering the editorial ship at Orbit for a while now. Consider it a half-decade achievement award. Whatever.

Best Editor (Short Form):

  • Jared Shurin (Really feel like Jurassic London is putting out some of the most well thought out anthologies.)
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden (or Liz Gorinky, or Ellen Datlow, or Ann VanderMeer, in other words the people at
  • John Joseph Adams (rampant Catsploitation!!)

Best Professional Artist:

  • Joey Hi-Fi (1, 2, 3)
  • Victo Ngai (1, 2, 3)
  • Richard Anderson (1, 2, 3)
  • John Harris (1, 2, 3)
  • Wesley Allsbrook (1, 2, 3)

Best Semiprozine: No comments really. I like what Strange Horizons does for the community.

Best Fanzine: Whatever that means.

I would also be eligible here, I guess. Although I don’t really think of my blog as a Fanzine because it’s 95% me. I don’t share space here much.

Best Fan Cast:

Every other SF&F podcast I listen to only when I’m interested. The three above get a listen pretty much every episode.

Best Fan Writer:

Here’s who I don’t think should be a fan writer — people who only write reviews. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really stoked about the work their doing, but reviewing is such a tiny slice of what I think being a Fan Writer is all about. To me, it’s about providing commentary and context about the community and how it relates to the literature (or other media). It’s everything.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer:

Always a complicated award. Who the fuck is eligible, right? Here’s my five.

  • Wesley Chu (Lives of Tao, Deaths of Tao)
  • Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise)
  • E.J. Swift (Osiris)
  • Brian McClellan (Promise of Blood)
  • Benjanun Sriduangkaew (gobs of short fiction)

There we have it. What about you?

Written by justin


Justin is the Overlord of Staffer’s Book Review. When he’s not writing things of dubious value to the world, he’s at the gym or being a dad. You can follow him on a multitude of social media, which is strongly suggested lest you miss out on vital information that could someday save your life.