2019 Hugo Awards: Final Ballot

The voting deadline for this year’s Hugo Awards was last week, so I figured I’d post my final ballot. It’s mostly fiction awards, with a couple others thrown in for good measure, including some of the 1944 retro Hugo categories.

Best Novel

  1. Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik [My Review]
  2. Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee [My Review]
  3. Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse [My Review]
  4. Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers [My Review]
  5. Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente [My Review]
  6. The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal [My Review]

This is a modest year for the Hugo novels. I enjoyed my top two ranked entries, but neither were as good as other offerings from the same authors in the past few years. The next two are fine, but I’m not sure they quite hit the “best of the year” levels required by an award. And the bottom two really just didn’t work for me, even if they’ve got some redeeming qualities overall (no need to deploy No Award here). Of course, I’m the worst, so I haven’t read a ton of other stuff from 2018 that would qualify, and while I really enjoyed, for example, Scalzi’s The Consuming Fire, I don’t think it reaches Hugo levels either.

Best Novella and Novelette

I skipped both categories this year, mostly just because I ran out of time and would rather spend my time reading Stephenson’s new novel (which starts great, but appears to be trailing off…) than Shawshanking my way through these categories. Of what I read, I did enjoy The Murderbot Diaries stuff (looking forward to the upcoming novel) and The Tea Master and the Detective, so make of that what you will.

Best Short Story

  1. A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow
  2. The Court Magician” by Sarah Pinsker
  3. The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” by T. Kingfisher
  4. The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by Brooke Bolander
  5. STET” by Sarah Gailey
  6. The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by P. Djèlí Clark

See My Reviews for more info. A mixed bag, as per usual for short stories, but I really enjoyed the first two ranked stories here. In an unlikely turn of events, I feel like both of those stories are frontrunners for the actual award as well, so obviously this will end up with one of the stories I didn’t love.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  2. Sorry to Bother You
  3. Annihilation
  4. Black Panther
  5. Avengers: Infinity War
  6. A Quiet Place

As per usual, this award gets filled up with the most mainstream stuff, but a couple of smaller things snuck their way onto the list, which is good enough, I guess. Of course, my number one is pretty mainstream, but it’s so great.

1944 Retro Hugos: Best Novelette

  1. “Mimsy Were the Borogoves,” by Lewis Padgett (C.L. Moore & Henry Kuttner) (Astounding Science-Fiction, February 1943)
  2. “The Halfling,” by Leigh Brackett (Astonishing Stories, February 1943)
  3. “Citadel of Lost Ships,” by Leigh Brackett (Planet Stories, March 1943)
  4. “The Proud Robot,” by Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner) (Astounding Science-Fiction, February 1943)
  5. “Symbiotica,” by Eric Frank Russell (Astounding Science-Fiction, October 1943)
  6. “Thieves’ House,” by Fritz Leiber, Jr (Unknown Worlds, February 1943)

Not much to say here, I really enjoy the first two stories, the rest are a bit mixed.

1944 Retro Hugos: Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  1. Heaven Can Wait
  2. Phantom of the Opera
  3. Cabin in the Sky
  4. A Guy Named Joe
  5. Münchhausen
  6. No Award

No Award deployed because the 1943 Batman is hot garbage. Heaven Can Wait is the pretty clear winner here though, and it’s not especially close.

1944 Retro Hugos: Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  1. I Walked with a Zombie
  2. Super-Rabbit
  3. The Seventh Victim
  4. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
  5. Der Fuehrer’s Face
  6. No Award

No Award deployed because The Ape Man is awful. It’s funny that all the Val Lewton/RKO and Universal Horror movies are technically Short Form (because they’re all 70-75 minutes or so), but here we are. The Looney Tunes stuff is great too.

So that just about does it for the Hugos this year. The ceremony is in a few weeks, so stay tuned to see who actually wins…

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