The 2019 Hugo Award Finalists

Here they are! I have a ton of friends in here, and I’m thrilled for them all. I hope I will see them in Dublin this August!

Best Novel

  • The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
  • Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)
  • Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)
  • Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Best Novella

  • Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells ( Publishing)
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire ( Publishing)
  • Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor ( Publishing)
  • The Black God’s Drums, by P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing)
  • Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson ( Publishing)
  • The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press / JABberwocky Literary Agency)

Best Novelette

  • “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” by Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 29 November 2018)
  • “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections,” by Tina Connolly (, 11 July 2018)
  • “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth,” by Daryl Gregory (, 19 September 2018)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bolander ( Publishing)
  • “The Thing About Ghost Stories,” by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny Magazine 25, November- December 2018)
  • “When We Were Starless,” by Simone Heller (Clarkesworld 145, October 2018)

Best Short Story

  • “The Court Magician,” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, January 2018)
  • “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society,” by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine 25, November-December 2018)
  • “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” by P. Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine, February 2018)
  • “STET,” by Sarah Gailey (Fireside Magazine, October 2018)
  • “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat,” by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine 23, July-August 2018)
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)

Best Series

  • The Centenal Cycle, by Malka Older ( Publishing)
  • The Laundry Files, by Charles Stross (most recently Publishing/Orbit)
  • Machineries of Empire, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • The October Daye Series, by Seanan McGuire (most recently DAW)
  • The Universe of Xuya, by Aliette de Bodard (most recently Subterranean Press)
  • Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)

Best Related Work

  • Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
  • Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, by Alec Nevala-Lee (Dey Street Books)
  • The Hobbit Duology (documentary in three parts), written and edited by Lindsay Ellis and Angelina Meehan (YouTube)
  • An Informal History of the Hugos: A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards, 1953- 2000, by Jo Walton (Tor)
  • The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76 (Julia Rios, Libia Brenda, Pablo Defendini, John Picacio)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing, by Ursula K. Le Guin with David Naimon (Tin House Books)

Best Graphic Story

  • Abbott, written by Saladin Ahmed, art by Sami Kivelä, colours by Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios)
  • Black Panther: Long Live the King, written by Nnedi Okorafor and Aaron Covington, art by André Lima Araújo, Mario Del Pennino and Tana Ford (Marvel)
  • Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
  • On a Sunbeam, by Tillie Walden (First Second)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 4, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image Comics)
  • Saga, Volume 9, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • 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)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • The Expanse: “Abaddon’s Gate,” written by Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by Simon Cellan Jones (Penguin in a Parka / Alcon Entertainment)
  • Doctor Who: “Demons of the Punjab,” written by Vinay Patel, directed by Jamie Childs (BBC)
  • Dirty Computer, written by Janelle Monáe, directed by Andrew Donoho and Chuck Lightning (Wondaland Arts Society / Bad Boy Records / Atlantic Records)
  • The Good Place: “Janet(s),” written by Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan, directed by Morgan Sackett (NBC)
  • The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy,” written by Megan Amram, directed by Trent O’Donnell (NBC)
  • Doctor Who: “Rosa,” written by Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall, directed by Mark Tonderai (BBC)

Best Professional Editor, Short Form

  • Neil Clarke
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Lee Harris
  • Julia Rios
  • Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
  • E. Catherine Tobler

Best Professional Editor, Long Form

  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Anne Lesley Groell
  • Beth Meacham
  • Diana Pho
  • Gillian Redfearn
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

  • Galen Dara
  • Jaime Jones
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Yuko Shimizu
  • Charles Vess

Best Semiprozine

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
  • Fireside Magazine, edited by Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, social coordinator Meg Frank, special features editor Tanya DePass, founding editor Brian White, publisher and art director Pablo Defendini
  • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, executive editors Troy L. Wiggins and DaVaun Sanders, editors L.D. Lewis, Brandon O’Brien, Kaleb Russell, Danny Lore, and Brent Lambert
  • Shimmer, publisher Beth Wodzinski, senior editor E. Catherine Tobler
  • Strange Horizons, edited by Jane Crowley, Kate Dollarhyde, Vanessa Rose Phin, Vajra Chandrasekera, Romie Stott, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons Staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, publishers/editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor Michi Trota, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien

Best Fanzine

  • Galactic Journey, founder Gideon Marcus, editor Janice Marcus
  • Journey Planet, edited by Team Journey Planet
  • Lady Business, editors Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay & Susan
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, editors Joe Sherry, Vance Kotrla and The G
  • Quick Sip Reviews, editor Charles Payseur
  • Rocket Stack Rank, editors Greg Hullender and Eric Wong

Best Fancast

  • Be the Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Fangirl Happy Hour, hosted by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
  • Galactic Suburbia, hosted by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
  • Our Opinions Are Correct, hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Skiffy and Fanty Show, produced by Jen Zink and Shaun Duke, hosted by the Skiffy and Fanty Crew

Best Fan Writer

  • Foz Meadows
  • James Davis Nicoll
  • Charles Payseur
  • Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
  • Alasdair Stuart
  • Bogi Takács

Best Fan Artist

  • Sara Felix
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Meg Frank
  • Ariela Housman
  • Likhain (Mia Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth

Best Art Book

  • The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin (Saga Press /Gollancz)
  • Daydreamer’s Journey: The Art of Julie Dillon, by Julie Dillon (self-published)
  • Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History, by Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, Sam Witwer (Ten Speed Press)
  • Spectrum 25: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, ed. John Fleskes (Flesk Publications)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – The Art of the Movie, by Ramin Zahed (Titan Books)
  • Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, ed. Catherine McIlwaine (Bodleian Library)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Katherine Arden (2nd year of eligibility)
  • S.A. Chakraborty (2nd year of eligibility)
  • R.F. Kuang (1st year of eligibility)
  • Jeannette Ng (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Vina Jie-Min Prasad (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Rivers Solomon (2nd year of eligibility)

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

  • The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform / Gollancz)
  • Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt / Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black (Little, Brown / Hot Key Books)
  • Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
  • The Invasion, by Peadar O’Guilin (David Fickling Books / Scholastic)
  • Tess of the Road, by Rachel Hartman (Random House / Penguin Teen)

33 Comments on “The 2019 Hugo Award Finalists”

  1. Hey, looks like this Worldcon took your suggestion from way back when to release the finalists not on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter! Do you think this might be a more permanent change?

    Also excited to catch up on several of the nominees!

  2. Thanks! Now to add all those I haven’t read (most!?!) to my Want To Read list.

  3. Janelle Monae and Lindsay Ellis are now both Hugo nominees and that’s pretty damn great.

    (Really, the Dramatic Presentations and Related Work categories are killer this year; that’s a lot of good stuff.)

  4. ZOMG that best dramatic long form slate! Just brutal. Have fun, Hugo voters!

  5. Apropos of very little, save that she did win an award or two, Vonda McIntyre just died. :(

  6. So very many wonderful names! I’m particularly excited for SPACE OPERA, but congratulations to all! What a wonderful time… and enjoy Ireland!!!

  7. Wow, surprised “Incredibles 2” didn’t make the cut but happy “Sorry To Bother You” did.

    Also happy the “Doctor Who” episodes “Rosa” and “Demons of the Punjab” made it. Not only were they two of the strongest episodes from Jodie Whittaker’s first season as The Doctor, but their nominations are a rebuke to the jerks who hated having to acknowledge the history of non-white people.

  8. As a white male, I feel thoroughly under-represented by these nominees. If I hadn’t been over-represented in the Hugos for the first 45 years or so of my life, that might bother me. As it is, I’ll just take it as an opportunity to learn about and enjoy the works of talented authors that may have previously escaped my notice.

    I am quite pleased, as well, to see Sorry to Bother You nominated. That was an extraordinary film that deserves the attention.

  9. I noticed the lack of nominees from the traditional magazines—Analog, Asimov’s, etc. I thought it a bit sad that the media that fed my love for the genre when I was growing up and not able to find much in local libraries has moved into the backwater of the genre.

  10. I’m sure these are all very good stories – I can certainly vouch for those I have read, anyway – but in aggregate, it seems to me that Hugos are becoming extremely insular and utterly dominated by a very specific monoculture, literary/political approach, and set of preoccupations. (I mean, even moreso than before.) I would really like to see the nominators branch out a little bit, into authors and types of stories that are a little bit different.

    Again, no shade meant against the individual nominees, who I’m sure are all excellent. But on the whole, this shortlist does not strike me as very dynamic.

  11. I’m sure someone checked, but is the wonderful Binti: The Night Masquerade really under 40k words? It is 195 pages by the ebook pagination[page 9-203].

  12. I would have a tough time making a top choice in several categories here, most notably Dramatic Presentation – Long Form and Best Series. In each case, I think my third choice is pretty good in its own right, to say nothing of whatever I ranked above them.

  13. SOOOO happy to see The Calculating Stars among the novel finalists! It has been a long, long time since I last read a book cover-to-cover at a sitting to see how the story wound up, and then immediately went back to the first page and read it again more slowly just to enjoy the superlative writing. That is a well-deserved nomination!

  14. Wow, this year’s listings are so good. It’s going to be so hard to decide! I’m especially amazed that Ao3 got a nomination as it’s so often ignored ’cause it’s “just” fanfiction. And I loved Trail of Lightning, still waiting impatiently for the next book. ^^

  15. They gave up a year or two ago. Looking at the novel list, you can really see it. I doubt they would approve of a single one.

  16. Of the novels, I have read three – Novik, Valente, and Kowal – and less of the other categories. All three novels were quite excellent and I’d not begrudge any of them the win. My personal favorite was Novik’s fairy tale, which (not coincidentally) I also think represents the most significant stylistic and thematic departure.

  17. Five women and an Asian dude nominated for Best Novel. I can hear the Puppy heads exploding from here, with a backing track of their pitiful wails that “we just don’t caaaaaare….”

    Awesome. I’m heading off to add these to the ever expanding TBR pile.

  18. Martha Wells’ Murderbot series is some of the best scifi writing in years. Love it all! I’m just about guaranteeing she wins for best novella with Artificial Condition.

  19. I’ve read/watched and enjoyed lots of these. Voting this year is gonna be tough…

  20. I’m sure these are all very good stories – I can certainly vouch for those I have read, anyway – but in aggregate, it seems to me that Hugos are becoming extremely insular and utterly dominated by a very specific monoculture, literary/political approach, and set of preoccupations. (I mean, even moreso than before.)

    This would have been just as pertinent in the 1970s and 1980s as now.

  21. A wonderful list !! Love it that women, writing under female names, are getting recognition today.

    So many well known authors of the early days of SF were women using pseudonyms to work. A Shame.

  22. Though, damn, the Dramatic Long Form is pretty packed.There are AT LEAST three that I’d have no qualm winning.

  23. So many great things on there! I’m just tickled about Ao3’s nomination, though. It’s about time they got this kind of recognition for the massive amount of work they’ve put in and the service it provides.

  24. There are some brutally tough calls here–multiple categories just choked with superb things.

  25. ‘m a bit puzzled in that the Ha Lee and Chambers books are each #3 of a series. Isn’t it hard to judge volume 3 without the context of v1 and v2? But if you do judge them in their contexts, won’t they have an advantage (of depth of characterization and setting) over a one-off? At least the Roanhorse is #1 of a series…

  26. @Owns 9 Fedoras

    The third book in the Chambers series has only a few connections to books 1 and 2, beyond the general background. For instance, a relative of one of the characters is in book 1.

  27. There have been a lot of “Book X of the series” on the shortlist before. Some have even won. In most of those cases, though, the books have worked as standalone stories, despite being part of a series. Some obvious examples with multiple instances include novels in the Vorkosigan Saga (Louis McMaster Bujold) and the Alliance/Union series (CJ Cherryh).

    The earliest one I know of was 1966’s Skylark DuQuense by EE “Doc” Smith, which was the fourth book in that series.

  28. “Style of comment” note: In the little classic “The Elements of Style,” by Strunk and White, which of course is for traditional media rather than social media or blog comments, they advise spelling out abbreviations in full the first time an abbreviation is used. (Or explaining it in brackets) Their reasoning is that even if an abbreviation is super-obvious there are new babies being born every day who don’t know it yet.

    To put it another way: Out of the literally thousands of Scalzi readers, there are bound to be a few who don’t know what A03 means. Which I won’t explain (sorry) because neither do I.

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