Thoughtful Thursday: The Nebula and Hugo Awards: You choose the winners!

(MEGA-GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter with a US address will get a copy of each of the nominated books — that’s right, eight volumes!)

Yes, it’s award season again. With the Prometheus Awards short list announced and the Arthur C. Clarke Awards already chosen, the Nebulas and the Hugos are coming up rapidly. The Nebulas will be awarded at the Nebula Weekend in Chicago, Illinois, June 4-7. The Hugo awards will be announced on August 22, at Sasquan, in Spokane, Washington.

The Hugos made the news this year with articles in venues as diverse as Slate, the UK Guardian, and even The New York Times. Sadly, the notoriety was not for the exciting works that were short-listed but for the use of bloc-voting to promote a slate of works. In spite of the success of the slate among the categories of shorter works, the nominees for Best Novel don’t seem to have been affected by the bloc-voting.

What’s on the lists? As usual, there is some overlap.


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Who do you think will win? Will it be the strong sequel to the book that swept the awards last year, or the exquisite second-world fantasy? Can a strong entry in a long-running urban fantasy series win a Hugo? Or will the long-awaited hard SF novel from China be the breakout winner?

Is it a year for space opera, exciting military science fiction or eerie, can’t-trust-your-own-senses doings on our own planet?

Who do you want to win? Which books do you think are the best, and deserving of the award, and why? Tell us below.

And now, about that exciting give-away opportunity. The publishers have provided one copy of each of the nominated books*. (This means we have one copy even if the book is nominated for both awards.) One commenter with a US address will win the entire set of eight books.

Let the debate begin!

*Special thanks to Sarah Skolaut, Jim Butcher’s assistant, for some above-and-beyond help.

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Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town. You can read her blog at, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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  1. I haven’t decided whether to vote for Three Body Problem or Goblin Emperor yet. Goblin Emperor was so delightful to read but you gotta respect the ambition of the Tree Body Problem.

  2. Matt Sullivan /

    I’ve always wanted to get into Jim Butcher, and I’ve heard a lot of really good things about ancillary sword. Lots of great nominations this go around!

  3. I haven’t read enough to have a terribly objective opinion, but I am a HUGE fan of the Dresden Files; it would be beyond awesome to see it get some ‘official’ award love. And while I haven’t read The Three Body Problem yet, I love the fact that a translated work is on the lists – an unfortunate rarity.

  4. Definitely, Ancillary Sword is my choice.

  5. Moises Weintraub /

    I hope Jim Butcher gets a little love, as keeping a character as powerful as Harry Dresden relatable, while giving him worthy foes and worthier allies for as long as he has can’t be easy. I just hope the apocalyptic trilogy is very far away.

  6. The only one I’ve read on the list is Annihilation, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. I’d love to crack the covers on the rest, especially Ancillary Sword. I like me a good space opera.

  7. J.H. "Jack" Lawrence /

    I honestly can’t say I’ve read all of these books, but they definitely have been added to my “to read” list. I have read “Skin Games” by Jim Butcher though, and I really hope he wins the Hugo award!

  8. CTGT /

    Read both Annihilation and Three-body, enjoyed them both. I’ve been voting in the Hugo’s for several years and was very disappointed with the slate this year.

  9. I’ve only read Skin Game, but I’d love to give them all a try! I’ve heard good things…

  10. Kayla /

    I actually haven’t read any of these yet, but they’re all on my TBR list. I’ve wanted to read the Goblin Emperor for a while. I like court intrigue stories, and love the whole exile-to-ruler trope. I’ve also just recently started the Dresden Files and am loving it so far (on the second book now!)

  11. Liav /

    The Goblin Emperor or Skin Games, hmm…

  12. Rachel /

    I really love Jim Butcher, so I hope he wins.

  13. Liat vd /

    I didn’t read all of these books…
    I didn’t read Ancillary Sword yet, and I thought that Justice was impressive, but not a very enjoyable read for me. I also felt the same way about The Three Body Problem. I can’t really guess who’s going to win, but I liked The Goblin Emperor the best.

  14. I could see a four-way tie in the Hugo’s. Sorry, the Anderson is not up with the others. All are worthy but have flaws.
    I would not vote for the popular ‘Skin Game’ simply because it is the 15th work in a closely connected series. Nominate the work as a whole or it have it knock me over. Skin Game left my socks on, although good if a bit predictable.
    ‘The Three-Body Problem’ was interesting and different but not as enjoyable or well-constructed as hyped.
    So that leaves either the beginning of a Fantasy Series with the Goblin, an oppressed minority, becoming the young Emperor in a time of changes in a steampunk Elvish Kingdom.
    Or the second volume of a Far Future Space Opera Series involving clones and AI and a language and society that doesn’t have gender.
    Either are good choices and I go back and forth. Which was more fun? Which makes me go “you have to read this book” to my friends and book group. I had more people recommend ‘The Goblin Emperor’ to me although Butcher, Leckie and Liu have also had recommendations.
    So right now by a nose I go with Katherine Addison. The Happy Puppies, Kittens, Lemmings, and cute mammals choice.
    I still have time to switch, I sometimes have.

    • I’ve wondered that about the Butcher nomination from the beginning. Book 15? And a standard, if fairly fun, Book 15 at that? A lot of people love his work though, and that might make the difference.

  15. Margo Hurwicz /

    I wanted to update my previous comment. The familiar you (thee, thou & -st verb forms) in The Goblin Emperor has stopped bothering me. Although I’m not a great fan of obvious info dumps, I wish there’d been a little more explanation. The first person formal “we” never bothered us, inexplicably :)
    I do like this book so far (75% done).

    • It’s interesting to me, Margo, because no one has mentioned a problem with the “formal first person — we.”

      The human mind is a funny thing.

  16. Margo Hurwicz /

    Maybe the so-called “royal we” has made the “first person formal” familiar to us? It took me a while to figure out that it wasn’t only Maia -and perhaps other members of his family – who used it.

  17. relu /

    I would go with The Three-Body Problem on this one.

  18. Carmen Laura /

    Annihilation, for sure!

  19. Update: Annihilation won the Nebula for Best Novel.

  20. Moises Weintraub, you are our grand winner! In addition to the entire set of nominees, you will be getting a copy of FIRE WITH FIRE, the prequel to TRAIL BY FIRE, courtesy of Baen Publishing.

    If you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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