My Nebula And Hugo Award Reading Challenge

Off The TBR Nebula And Hugo Award Reading Challenge

By now most you have probably seen that both the Nebula and Hugo award finalists have been announced. In theory these are the best books and stories in SFF for the previous year. I say “in theory” because as we all know awards, like book reviews, are chosen using subjective criteria by those who vote on them. They also pretty much ignore self-published works. There are always books I love each year that are left out of the list of finalists, and sometimes the story that wins isn’t the one I would have chosen. Some also argue there is a certain kind of book that gets nominated. That’s all open to debate. What is true however is that the finalists and the winners are not chosen by a small panel of people. According to the Hugo website for instance 1,584 people submitted 27,033 nominations for the 2020 awards. So the odds are good that the finalists are deserving of their place in the list.

For those who don’t know, The Nebula Awards are chosen by members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and the Hugo Awards are chosen by members of the previous and current Worldcon and open to anyone who pays for a conference membership.

The last few years I’ve wanted to make an effort to read the finalists for both awards but unsurprisingly that hasn’t really happened. This year I’m gonna try to change that. If It doesn’t happen that’s fine, I’ve got a lot on my plate, books I’ve committed to reading, and there isn’t a lot of time between now and when the awards happen. I’m also hoping to read the #SPFBO finalists which will also take some time. My goal here will be to read as many of the Nebula and Hugo finalists as I can in three categories, Best Novel, Best Novella, and Best Short Story. I know I won’t be able to read all of them so I’m going to start with books/stories I already own, then move on to books/stories that are on both lists. I may try to tackle the short story lists first because 1) they are short, and 2) they are relatively easy to pick up electronically. If I have to finish the list after the awards are given out that’s fine too.

You can find the list of nominees for each of the awards in the links below:

Nebula Award Nominees

Hugo Award Nominees

As I mentioned above I’m going to try to read ALL of the short stories. I think I can manage that. So far I’ve only read “Do Not Look Back My Lion” by Alix E. Harrow. The books are another question. I’ve already read the following:

The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. DjèlÍ Clark
The Light Brigade,
by Kameron Hurley
The Ten Thousand Doors of January,
by Alix E. Harrow

The only one of the above that I’ve reviewed is The Ten Thousand Doors of January. I hope to review The Haunting of Tram Car 015 next. I’ll include links to all the reviews once they are done at the bottom of this post.

I own the following and will try to get to them next (apart from other commitments):

The Deep, by Rivers Solomon Et al.
A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine

After The Deep, and A Memory Called Empire If I stick with my decision to read the books that are on both lists I’ll be tackling these:

Exhalation, by Ted Chiang (for “Anxiety Is The Dizziness of Freedom”)
This Is How You Lose The Time War, by Amal El-Hohtar and Max Gladstone
Gideon The Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir

Note: The Novella “Anxiety Is The Dizziness of Freedom” is found in the collection of stories in the book Exhalation, and was apparently not published on its own.

After reading the above we’ll see what happens. I also reserve the right to read another book/story that is only on one or the other of the lists prior to reading one that is on both.

From this point forward as I review one of the finalists I’ll add a link to the review below and try to update this post as I do. I’ll also update which book or story is my current favorite in the category. If you decide to take up this challenge let me know. If you’ve only read one or a few of these which was your favorite?

My Finalist Reviews

Best Novel Finalists
Both Nebula and Hugo Awards
The Ten Thousand Doors of January **

Hugo Award Only
The Light Brigade

Best Novella Finalists
Both Nebula and Hugo Awards
“The Haunting of Tram Car 015” (not yet reviewed) **

Best Short Story Finalists

Both Nebula and Hugo Awards
“A Catalog of Storms”

Hugo Award Only
“Do Not Look Back My Lion” (not yet reviewed) *

Asterisks indicate my current favorite for the category as follows:

* Favorite in category and only nominated for this award (a single award fav will not be indicated if my fav is nominated for both awards.)
** Favorite in category and nominated for both awards

22 thoughts on “My Nebula And Hugo Award Reading Challenge

  1. I’ve never done this before but I have made it an effort to try to read the nominees this year and I’m having lot of fun. I’m just tracking on twitter for now but your post idea is great… Maybe I’ll do a post too after I finish reading all that I want to 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

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      • Glad to hear that you like it. It’s the complete opposite for me, as I couldn’t bear it and DNFed it halfway through. Would rather have seen the Clark, Chang, or Solomon novella as winner.


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