The 2014 SF/F Fans Award Recommendation Thread

The Nebula Award nomination period ends on February 15, and the Hugo/Campbell Award nomination period is well underway (it lasts until March 31), and several other awards are in their consideration periods as well. Which makes right now an excellent time for fans of the science fiction and fantasy genre to make their recommendations for books, stories, art, movies and TV shows, fanzines and podcasts to nominate for this year’s slate of awards.

And so, here’s have a thread to make those recommendations. I’ve done this for a few years now, and every year it offers up recommendations worth considering when the time comes to make one’s own award nominations.

What and how should you recommend? Here are the thread rules:

1. Please make sure that what you’re suggesting, work or person, is actually eligible for awards consideration this year. Generally speaking that means the work was published (or otherwise produced) in the last calendar year (i.e., 2013); for the Campbell, it means someone who has been professionally published in the SF/F field in the last two years (2012, 2013). If you’re not sure what you’re suggesting is eligible, please check. Otherwise you’re wasting your time and the time of everyone reading the thread for recommendations.

Also, it’s helpful if, when making a suggestion, you identify the category the work would be eligible for; so if you were going to suggest a novel, writing “Best Novel: [name of work, author of work]” up front would be awesome. This is especially useful in short fiction categories, where there are short stories, novelettes and novellas.

With regard to the Hugos, here’s a list of current categories (The Campbell Award for Best New Writer is not noted there but is present on the Hugo nomination form). However, this thread is not just for Nebulas and Hugos. Feel free to recommend for other awards as well. I would particularly note this year Detcon1 (this year’s NASFiC) is promoting an award for Young Adult/Middle Grade SF/F books, and that SFWA also has a YA award called the Norton. So YA/MG recommendations would be useful here as well.

2. If the work you’re suggesting is (legally) readable online, feel free to provide a link, but note that too many links in one post (usually three or more) might send your post into the moderation queue, from whence I will have to free it in order for it to show up. If this happens, don’t panic, I’ll be going through the moderation queue frequently today to let posts out.

3. Only suggest the work of others. Self-suggestions will be deleted from the thread. If you want to suggest something you created, use the creators thread instead. This should not dissuade writers and creators from recommend other people’s work, of course. Please do!

4. Don’t suggest my work, please. I’ve already posted here about what of mine is eligible; this thread is for everything else.

5. The comment thread is only for making recommendations, not for commentary on the suggestions others are making or anything else. Extraneous, not-on-topic posts will be snipped out of the thread.

There you have it.

And now: What do you recommend for science fiction and fantasy awards this year? Please share. The more people know what’s out there, the better the overall field of nominees has the potential to be. Thank you!

47 thoughts on “The 2014 SF/F Fans Award Recommendation Thread

  1. Reminder:

    Thread is for recommendations only. All other chatter will be snipped out.

    Please read the thread rules! I will be snipping out anything that does not adhere to the thread rules.

    Thank you!

  2. As computer and video games are eligible for the Best Dramatic presentation category, I’d like to recommend Bioshock Infinite for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. The world of the game is incredibly well built, with interesting characters, especially Booker and Elizabeth. The narrative is also very well put together, and I really like how the game handles Time Travel.

    I’d also like to nominate Little Witch Academia for Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form. It’s an incredibly well done animated short by Studio Trigger, which is available for legal streaming at Crunchyroll.com (http://www.crunchyroll.com/little-witch-academia).

  3. I loved Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s just barely long enough to be considered for a Nebula best novel award, but if I had to choose I think I’d actually nominate the comic book series Locke and Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, which last issue was released in December. (I believe its length (37 issues – 6 graphic novels) qualifies it for a best novel Nebula.) Locke and Key has top notch writing, expert pacing, a great story, and gorgeous art on every page.

  4. As a huge fan of the Wheel of Time series I would like to suggest the entirety of the series. Brandon Sanderson has talked about it on his blog
    here: http://brandonsanderson.com/regarding-awards/ Also, Leigh Bardgo who has done the re-read over at tor.com for years talks about it here:
    http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/01/the-wheel-of-time-hugo-award-robert-jordan.

    It would be great to see his work recognized as a whole for how influential it’s been over the years. Those two make a better argument for it than I ever could.

  5. Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie – probably the most mind blowing novel of the last year, and already – deservedly – on several award shortlist. If you like military SF, I can strongly recommend giving it a try.

    Best Novel: Digital Divide by K.B. Spangler – self-published, but don’t let that deter you. Highly compelling near-future cyber-thriller with interesting world building and strong (and diverse) characters. Set in the same universe as the free web comic A Girl And Her Fed (http://www.agirlandherfed.com/).

  6. Best Novel: River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay. I know opinions were pretty sharply split on that one, but I found it a gorgeous look into the making of legends.

  7. I’d nominate The Last President by John Barnes for a Hugo or Nebula best novel. I loved the whole series, which I discovered here through the big Idea post he did (thanks Mr. Scalzi for offering that, I learn about so many authors I’d never hear about otherwise!)

  8. For best novel, I’m going to be nominating *Ancillary Justice* by Ann Leckie. It’s probably a sure thing for Hugo nomination, but of course that requires people to nominate it. ;)

    I’m not sure there are enough economic nerds to give Charles Stross a Hugo for his *Neptune’s Brood*, but I will be nominating it. It’s a good mix of fun action & financial derring-do. In general I really enjoy how in the all-robot Freyaverse it can explore some of the more interesting parts of the Singularity fiction, such as reproducing by forking yourself, body swapping etc without having to get too mixed up with a completely crazy post-Singularity civilization.

    Scalzi, you have me confused this year. I so enjoyed the *Human Division* serial. It’s my favorite of the entire *Old Man’s War* series by a lot. But I read it as a serial, so I would feel odd nominating it as a novel. I’ll have to go back and pick some of my favorite stories for nominating as short stories. Probably would be good to find some that stand alone so that people can enjoy them in the nomination packets.

  9. Best Novel (2013): A Bloom in the North (MCA Hogarth). Exclusively non-humans, politics, relationships. (End of a trilogy, oh well. Pretty much stuck the landing, though.)

    Best Professional Artist: Julie Dillon (Cover: http://crossedgenres.com/blog/cover-reveal-cg-magazine-anthology-ancient-discovery-by-julie-dillon/ )
    …OR…
    Best Professional Artist: Sarah Cloutier (A sampling of her work here: http://scloutier.tumblr.com/post/68824974774/hello-i-just-finished-up-two-big-commissions –one is a 2013 cover, if that’s needed for eligibility this year.)

    Best Novella (2013): Nine Goblins by Ursula Vernon writing as T. Kingfisher. (It’s got a lovely Pratchett feel, without being a Pratchett clone.) I’m not “outing” her; she’s pretty open about it. It’s just this one is not really for the age-range that Dragonbreath books are.

  10. For best novella, I’d like to recommend “Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law and Order Special Victims Unit” by Carmen Machado. It’s a speculative story that uses the framework of being about a television show to explore issues of cultural reception of narratives of violence and abuse. It’s also fascinatingly structured to read like indulging an all-night Netflix binge, adding to the story’s interrogation of audience complicity.

    http://theamericanreader.com/especially-heinous-272-views-of-law-order-svu/

  11. If you want (mostly) Doctor Who-related suggestions, you’ve come to the right comment!

    Best Fancast–Also eligible for the Parsec Awards “Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific)” this summer)
    Doctor Who: Radio Free Skaro
    Doctor Who: The Memory Cheats
    Reality Bomb
    Doctor Who: The Writers Room
    Doctor Who: The Pharos Project Podcast

    Fan Writer
    LM Myles
    Deb Stanish
    Tansy Rayner Roberts
    Kyle Anderson
    Foz Meadows

    Best Novel
    Blood of Dragons (Rain Wild Chronicles #4) by Robin Hobb

    Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form
    Orphan Black (Season 1)

    Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form
    The Day of the Doctor (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary)
    Hide (Doctor Who)

    Best Short Story
    Victimless Crimes by Charlie Jane Anders

    Best Semiprozine
    Apex Magazine

    Best Related Work
    Queers Dig Time Lords

    Best Professional Editor Short Form
    Lynne M. Thomas
    Michael Thomas

  12. Best Novel: Hild, by Nicola Griffith, a fascinating portrait of the early years of the woman who is to become Saint Hilda of Widby. Now she is the seer for the overking of the Anglisc in 7th century Britain. I am only a little over halfway through it but so far it is one of the best novels I have ever read in any genre. With captivating fully-developed characters, political intrigue, war, and complex personal interrelationships, a land and its inhabitants come alive on the page.

  13. My main recommendation for Best Novel is Paul Cornell’s London Falling. It is a very good combination of Urban Fantasy with police procedural. While released in the UK in late 2012, it was released in the US in 2013, making it eligible for the Hugo Award (but not the Nebula).

  14. For Best Novel, of works which haven’t already been mentioned: Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, about literary science fiction about a woman who was raised with a chimpanzee, and Creature of Dreams by Maya Lassiter, a Southern-inflected urban fantasy about a woman whose dream world has bled into her waking one.

  15. For Best Novel, I’ll be nominating The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson, Which I’ll also be nominating for the Detcon1 YA Award. It’s basically the only thing I read from the past year that *really* blew me away – original, thoughtful, intense, with characters I really cared about.

    For Best Artist, I’ll be nominating Julie Dillon, for her cover of Greenwitch in The Dark is Rising Sequence hardcovers (June 2013, Simon & Schuster), the cover of Clarksworld #80 (May 2013) and the cover of Clarksworld #83 (August, 2013).

    And for Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form, I’m considering one of Janelle Monáe’s music videos. Probably Dance Apocalyptic

  16. Short Story: “Radio Free Future” by J. Steven York (in Fiction River magazine)
    http://www.yorkwriters.com/

    (The instant I finished it, I said “I must nominate this for a Hugo!” If you like OGH, you’ll like this one.)

    Dramatic Presentation (Short): “Letter to the Editor” by David D. Levine
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkOuPyILWx0

    Novelette: “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (tor.com)
    http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/the-lady-astronaut-of-mars

    Novel: another vote for “Hild” by Nicola Griffith.

  17. BEST NOVEL:
    Black Sun Light My Way by Jo Spurrier
    Lexicon by Max Barry

    BEST FAN WRITER
    Evie Kendal‘s ‘Serialisation of paranormal romance: a comparative analysis‘ http://www.darkmatterzine.com/serialisation-of-paranormal-romance/

    James Kennedy’s SF reviews:
    The Disestablishment of Paradise http://www.darkmatterzine.com/the-disestablishment-of-paradise-by-phillip-mann-a-review/
    Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages (he even created a diagram!) http://www.darkmatterzine.com/life-liberty-and-the-pursuit-of-sausages/
    2312 http://www.darkmatterzine.com/2312-review/
    Adam Robots http://www.darkmatterzine.com/adam-robots-adam-roberts/

  18. “Locke and Key,” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, has been a phenomenal series from page one. It’s beautiful, magical, and it’ll break your heart over and over. Its final issue was published Dec. 18th, so this is the year the entire series can nominated for “Best Graphic Story.”

  19. Lissa Price is eligible for the Campbell award this year (it’s her second year of eligibility). I thoroughly enjoyed Starters, released in 2012, and just plowed my way through its sequel, Enders, which was just released in January. Here is a link to her GoodReads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4902564.Lissa_Price?from_search=true

    These books are fast-paced, post-apocalyptic YA in all the best senses of those categories. I’ve read, and taught, a lot of post-apocalyptic SF and I’ve enjoyed this series as much as nearly any other.

  20. The entire wheel of time series is elligible to be nominated as a group for the Hugo since none of the books have been nominated. There is precedence for this.

    Guy Gavriel Kay was the keynote speaker at the Hugos the year that Robert Jordan died. Here is his speech: http://www.brightweavings.com/ggkswords/wfc2007.htm

    There are enough fans in the WoT universe that the last 10 WoT books could have won hugos if we decided to buy them. We didn’t. This is different. The entire series deserves atleast a nomination as one piece. George RR Martin credited Robert Jordan with launching his series. He inspired Brandon Sanderson and others. Many fantasy today would not have been published if it wasn’t for Robert Jordan.

    Hariet Rigney(Jordans widow and editor), has never been nominated either. She edited the entire series, found a new author after RJ died, and finished the series. She also edited Enders Game and Card dedicated the book to her. She has also edited other NY Times bestselling authors. She has yet to be nominated. She deserves a nomination as well.

  21. As I woefully missed getting my Loncon 3 membership in time to do any nominating, I LOVE this!

    Best Related Work: The Science Fiction Reboot: Canon, Innovation and Fandom by Heather Urbanski

    Campbell Award: Lissa Price (I see she’s already noted here. Yay!)

    I’m also loving this idea of seeing WoT nominated and Harriet McDougal Rigney recognized for editing.

    And how about…

    Norton Award: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson!

  22. There are a lot of indie writers out there who are damned good, but don’t get the power boost publicity wise of traditional publishing.

    One of these happens to be my favorite read of last year: a novel by Francesca Forrest, called PEN PAL.

    It’s liminal fantasy, about marginalized people, with beautifully rendered characters: it starts with a message in a bottle, and ends with a volcano eruption amid a revolution.

  23. For Campbell Award, I’d like to recommend Helene Wecker, whose excellent first novel, The Golem and the Ginni, came out last year (first year of eligibility), and Sofia Samatar, who has published some outstanding fiction and poetry and whose first novel, A Stranger in Olondria, has garnered a lot of praise (2nd year of eligibility.)

    For Fan Writer I feel the Hugos have been ignoring Abigail Nussbaum (Asking the Wrong Questions: http://wrongquestions.blogspot.co.il/ ) for way too long.

  24. Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie and Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi (both eligible for first/debut novel as well)

    Best Novella: Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente

    Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Mama Directed by Andrea Muschietti and Gravity Directed by Alfonso Cuaron

    Best Fan Writer: Natalie Luhrs (Radish Reviews)

  25. Sneaking in a few days late…

    I’d like to recommend “Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok” for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). Composed by Ada Palmer and performed by Sassafrass, “Sundown” is a song cycle inspired by the Norse legends of the birth of the world, the conflict between Odin and Loki, the murder of Baldur and the coming of Ragnarok. A two-hour version of the song cycle was performed (to a full ballroom and standing ovations) last year at Balticon and again at LoneStarCon.

    Details, soundclips, and pictures at http://www.sassafrassmusic.com/.

  26. Belated recommendations, copy pasted from my post of awards recommendation on my blog.

    Short stories:

    -“Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Clarkesworld December 2013. A woman comes back from the dead to deal with her former spouse. Awesome world building, crunchy thoughts on history and the manipulation of public and private record, and tantalising hints of a larger gender fluid society. I’m jealous.

    -”Of Alternate Adventures and Memory” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Clarkesworld December 2013. The son of a former metal woman returns to the city of her birth, and must decide what to do with his inheritance. I was surprised this was a short story, because reading it I thought this was much longer: there’s so much packed into–thoughts on difference, on memory, on what is worth preserving. And as always, gorgeous prose.

    -“The Knight of Chains, The Deuce of Stars” by Yoon Ha Lee. OK, so it’s always hard to pick a favourite Yoon Ha Lee story, but this was the one that most blew me away this year. I had the privilege of writing the introduction to the short story collection Conservation of Shadows, and regret that this wasn’t included in it. In a tower that holds all the games in the world, a woman who was once admiral in an unwinnable war comes to defy the Guardian for the ultimate game… Gorgeous prose, sharp observations and great ideas.

    Novelettes:

    -“The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” by Ken Liu, Lightspeed Magazine, August 2013. Pretty sure Ken will be on the ballot without my signal boosting, but I really liked this story of an Ancient Chinese litigation master, his relation with the legendary Monkey King, and the suppression and preservation of historical record.

    -Boat in Shadows, Crossing by Tori Truslow, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2013. You know that feeling you get when you read a fantasy book? That crunchy feeling that it’s a real place that happens to look nothing like our world? Truslow nails it from the get go. That it’s a story about gender and gender fluidity–and festivals, and gods–only makes it more appealing.

    Novels:

    -The Bone Flower Throne, by T.L. Morganfield, Panverse Publishing. T.L. Morganfield brilliantly brings to life Ancient Mexico in Toltec times, in a brilliant retelling of the myth of Quetzalcoatl that focuses on his sister. This reads like Mists of Avalon in Ancient Mexico: I love the focus on women and on what they have to do to survive, and the characters are very strongly drawn (TW for incest though–hardly avoidable as it’s in the original myth…).

    Campbell Award:
    Benjanun Sriduangkaew. She’s burst all over the SFF scene this year, with stories in BCS, Clarkesworld and various anthologies, and I really think she deserves a Campbell nomination. Her universes are intricate looks at gender fluidity and gender roles; her prose makes me ultra jealous; and I’m so looking forward to the day when she releases a longer work (I understand there’s a space opera novella in the works, so maybe I don’t have to wait quite so long!). Stories of hers worth reading: I already mentioned “Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade”, but if fantasy is more your thing, her “The Crows Her Dragon’s Gate” was absolutely awesome. And her “The Bees Her Heart, the Hives Her Belly” (not available online at the moment, you’ll have to buy Clorkwork Phoenix 4) was a reviewer favourite this year.

  27. This is super belated – sorry, all.

    For best Novel, I would nominate “The Aggadeh Chronicles: Book 1 – Nobody” by William Richards. All though it’s his inaugural novel, his writing gripped me from the first page. He illustrates a fascinating political and physical world and then fills it with multifaceted characters and fresh approaches to familiar legendary beasts. By far one of my favorite and most memorable reads from last year.

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