Annual Hugo Reading Bonanza Times Two

Last Saturday, the finalists for this year’s Hugo Awards were announced, along with the companion Retro Hugo Award finalists. So I get double the fun again this year, like I had two years ago. I already have read, borrowed or will son buy or borrow the finalists for the current awards. Finding the reading material for the Retro Hugos can often be challenging. To that end, I’ve requested five anthologies via interlibrary loans and have already placed on hold and borrowed two anthologies and two novels containing works originally published in 1942. My thanks to Auxiliary Memory‘s fantastic research in his post just one day after the announcement “Where to Read the 1943 Retro Hugo Short Fiction Nominees?

The biggest shock came when I retrieved my holds from the Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch earlier this week. Two of the 1942 novels had arrived and I wished I brought a tote or backpack to help carry them. I really don’t mind reading tomes – epic fantasy is my bread and butter – but I’ve switched to ebooks which are infinitely less heavy physically speaking. When I went to the Holds shelf I groaned to see that Islandia by Wright was at least two inches thick and over a thousand pages long. Good thing I decided to start early on my Hugo finalist reading!

Don’t be alarmed by the size of the Adventures in Time and Space edition – I only have to read the following five selections for the 1943 Retro Hugos:

  • “Nerves”
  • “Asylum”
  • “The Twonky”
  •  “The Weapon Shop”
  • “The Star Mouse”

In the category of ‘Which One Doesn’t Belong Here’ (think Sesame Street) I’ve included a finalist in the Best Novel category for the 2018 Hugo Wards because it’s the only one, thus far, that I don’t plan to read as an ebook.  I need something to occupy my time for ninety minutes a day five days a week besides weaving through traffic.

This year I’m tackling the short fiction first for both years.  I can usually read a short story over lunch and a novelette, if available in audio, in one commute.  In the days and weeks ahead, I’ll post for each category, combining both the 2018 Hugo and 1942 Retro Hugo finalists into one post, as a way for me to keep track of how well I liked them and how I might vote later this summer.  One of my widgets in the right-hand pane tracks my GoodReads status updates (which auto-publish to my Twitter feed @mossjon), so you can see my progress through both sets of finalists in near real time.

My ability to post here at my blog is limited so my apologies if I seem to disappear for a week or two.  Never fear, I will return to plague you with more inanity!

Of the books, novellas, novelettes and short stories I’ve already read (this week, this month and last year), two shining lights blaze above the rest:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
(available for free from ebook club until April 10th)


The Martian Obelisk by Linda Nagata
(originally free and remaining so at the web site)