Reading the Hugo Finalists for 2017

For the next two months (plus a week or so), I’ll be reading the following, except where indicated (as in I’ve already read the item or have no plan to do so).  I will keep updating this post as I finish reading these finalists.

Best Novel

2078 ballots cast for 652 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 156 to 480.

  • All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books) – Read 01/15/2017; liked it 
  • A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US) – Read 10/29/2016; loved it
  • Death’s End, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus) – Probably won’t be able to read this one because I haven’t read the second one in the series. 
  • Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books) – Read 5/19/2017; liked it 
  • The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books) – Read 11/23/2016; liked it
  • Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer (Tor Books) – Might not have time to read this one but it’s in the Current Month queue

Best Novella
1410 ballots cast for 187 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 167 to 511.

  • The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle ( publishing) – Read 03/29/2017, liked it
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, by Kij Johnson ( publishing) – Read 06/04/2017, liked it
  • Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire ( publishing) – Read 12/3/2016; liked it
  • Penric and the Shaman, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency) – in Current Month queue
  • A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson ( publishing) – in Current Month queue
  • This Census-Taker, by China Miéville (Del Rey / Picador) – Read 5/23/2017; completely unsure of whether I liked it or not

Best Novelette
1097 ballots cast for 295 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 74 to 268.

  • Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex, by Stix Hiscock (self-published) – not planning on reading this selection for obvious reasons
  • “The Art of Space Travel”, by Nina Allan (, July 2016) – Read 5/6/2017; liked it
  •  The Jewel and Her Lapidary, by Fran Wilde (, May 2016) – Read 5/10/2017; liked it
  • “The Tomato Thief”, by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016) – in Current Month queue
  • “Touring with the Alien”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016) – Read 5/24/2017; liked it
  • “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, by Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine, May 2016) – Read 5/6/2017; liked it

Best Short Story ♥
1275 ballots cast for 830 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 87 to 182.

  • “The City Born Great”, by N. K. Jemisin (, September 2016) – Read 5/25/2017; liked it
  • “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers”, by Alyssa Wong (, March 2016) – Read 5/20/2017; liked it
  • “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”, by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine, November 2016) – Read 5/20/2016; loved it
  • “Seasons of Glass and Iron”, by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press) – Read 5/20/2016; loved it
  • “That Game We Played During the War”, by Carrie Vaughn (, March 2016) – Read 5/20/2016; loved it
  • “An Unimaginable Light”, by John C. Wright (God, Robot, Castalia House) – Read 5/20/2017; meh

♥ — I have a three-way tie for top spot in this category.  Or rather, “That Game We Played During the War” will probably get the top spot, but the second spot is a tie for me between “Our Talons” and “Seasons of Glass and Iron.” 

Best Related Work
1122 ballots cast for 344 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 88 to 424.

    • The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley (Tor Books) – Read 3/28/2017; liked it
    • The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher (Blue Rider Press) – Read 5/5/2017; meh
    • Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg, by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Fairwood) – Read 5/28/2017; loved it
    • The View From the Cheap Seats, by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow / Harper Collins) – in Current Month queue
    • The Women of Harry Potter posts, by Sarah Gailey ( – Available online at 5/23/2017; liked it
    • Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer) – in Current Month queue

New this year and as a test or trial, is the Best Series category.  And the finalists are:

Best Series
1393 votes for 290 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 129 to 325.

  • The Craft Sequence, by Max Gladstone (Tor Books) – I’ve read the first book and own all the other books in the series. 
  • The Expanse, by James S.A. Corey (Orbit US / Orbit UK) – I’ve read the first book of this series, watched both seasons of the Syfy show.  Have next three books and one novella to read this month.
  • The October Daye Books, by Seanan McGuire (DAW / Corsair) – I’ve never heard of this series or read any of its books. 
  • The Peter Grant / Rivers of London series, by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz / Del Rey / DAW / Subterranean) – I’ve never heard of this series or read any of its books. 
  • The Temeraire series, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Harper Voyager UK) – I’ve only read the first book in the series, even though I think I own all the paperbacks.
  • The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen) – I’ve read all of these and can vote with a free conscience for this one. 

The deadline for voting is Saturday 15 July 2017 at 11:59pm Pacific Daylight Time (2:59 am Eastern Daylight Time, 07:59 British Summer Time, 09:59 in Finland, all on 16 July).  The 75th Worldcon, hosted in Helsinki this year, will announce the winners for the various Hugo Awards on August 11th.

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