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Hugo Award Nominees: The 2014 Edition

It’s that time of year again – awards season! While the Hugo Awards aren’t without their (significant) issues, we’re still happy and proud to be able to nominate and vote for the biggest SFF annual fan awards.

The Hugo Award

The Hugo Awards are among the most prestigious under the SFF umbrella, and each year the winners are announced at the World Science Fiction Convention (aka WorldCon) – this year, the party is in London (LonCon 3).

If you can’t afford to go to the Con, it’s worth noting that any SFF fan can sign up for a supporting membership ($40/£25) which gives you the right to nominate and vote for the Hugos – this year’s deadline is Monday, March 31 at 11:59 pm PDT (Tuesday, April 1 at 7:59 am BST – UK time). IMPORTANT NOTE: you’d need to get your membership by January 31 at 11:59 pm PST (February 1 at 7:59 am GMT – UK time) to secure your nominating rights for this year.

For more information on how to become a member, check out the LonCon 3 site, the official Hugo Awards website, or our primer from last year.

Today, we reveal our tentative, early picks! NOTE: We haven’t read everything (in particular, there’s a shocking lack of short stories, novellas, and novellettes in our 2013 repertoire) and we are completely open to suggestions.

Without further ado, we give you our picks for (certain categories on) the 2013 ballot!


Thea’s Picks

Best Novel

Ancillary Justice The Different Girl

Best Novella, Novelette & Short Story

The Too-Clever Fox

I confess I haven’t read ANYTHING in 2013 that qualifies, but I do have these originals on my list of to be reads. Any recommendations? (I’m trying to make my way through this list but obviously need other sources to make an informed decision!)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

Catching Fire You're Next

  • Catching Fire
  • Gravity
  • Pacific Rim
  • Europa Report
  • You’re Next

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

Orphan Black

  • Any episode of Orphan Black, but if I had to pick one I guess “Effects of External Conditions”
  • “The Red Wedding,” Game of Thrones
  • “The Day of the Doctor,” Doctor Who (50th Anniversary Special)
  • “Isolation,” The Walking Dead
  • “Fearful Pranks Ensue” or “Burn, Witch, Burn!” American Horror Story: Coven

Best Graphic Story

Saints Saga 2

Best Semiprozine


Honestly, I’m always confused when it comes to what defines a semiprozine versus a fanzine versus…anything else. But I know for a fact that I love Strange Horizons, and they deserve all the love.

Best Fanzine

OH MY GOODNESS THIS IS HARD. There are so many awesome blogs – I mean, “fanzines” – out there, and I certainly don’t read as many as I should. Here are the major players who explicitly comment on the state of SFF plus showcase a good mix of reviews and other original essay content – I think they all must be on the ballot this year:

Best Fancast

Confession: I don’t really listen to podcasts. The two that I have listened to (that are relevant for the Hugo Award) are pretty good, though.

Best Fan Writer

Best Pro Artist

Saga (vol 15) Cover

John W Campbell Award

Earth Girl In the After


Ana’s Picks

Best Novel

All Our Pretty Songs Sorrow's Knot (final)

I really, really loved The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman but I am not sure I want to nominate it. I am undecided on my last spot torn between Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi and Inheritance by Malinda Lo.

Best Short Story/Novella/Novellette

WELP! I’ve read only a handful of stories that qualify for these categories and I am not entirely sure where they fit in.

I QUITE like for my lists:

Novella: “The Eye With Which The Universe Beholds Itself” by Ian Sales

Short Stories (?):

Flawless” by Frances Hardinge (in Twisted Winter
Blackberry Blue” by Jamila Gavin (in the collection Blackberry Blue)

Obviously, I need to investigate further. Lady Business are collecting suggestions in a handy Hugo Media Spreadsheet so I will be checking them out.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)


  • Iron Man 3
  • Gravity
  • Pacific Rim
  • Thor 2

I am saving the last spot as I still need to watch Catching Fire.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)


  • Orphan Black (need to decide which episode)
  • “The Day of the Doctor,” Doctor Who – Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary episode.
  • The Legend of Korra – Beginnings Parts 1 and 2

Best Graphic Story

Saints Avatar The Search

  • Boxers/Saints by Gene Luen Yang
  • Avatar The Last Airbender’s The Search – Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Studio Gurihiru
  • Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Best Semiprozine


Echoing Thea’s vote and reasoning here:

Best Fanzine

OK, so, I have four in my MUST include list. These are must-reads for me, with a really cool range of reviews, essays, guest posts and fan discussions:

Best Fan Writer

These writers all blow my mind away with their thoughtful posts, essays and contribution to the SFF community. Abigail Nussbaum is my Reviewer Idol.

I also think Renay (Lady Business, Strange Horizons) deserves consideration here – she is carving her way into being one of the most important voices in SFF these days.

Best Related Work

Feminist Frequency

Best Pro Artist, Best Editor and Best Fancast

I don’t feel I know enough to actually nominate for these categories (although I REALLY like Thea’s choices).

John W Campbell Award

Stranger in Olondria Two Serpents Rise

  • Max Gladstone (for Two Serpents Rise)
  • Sofia Samatar (for A Stranger in Olondria not a book for me, but recognize the beauty of the writing)
  • Sarah McCarry (for All Our Pretty Songs)


On The Book Smugglers’ Eligibility

We guess this is where we should mention that The Book Smugglers is eligible in the category of Best Fanzine. In 2013, on top of our usual reviews, guest posts and annual Smugglivus event, we debuted two new features of which we are incredibly proud: SFF in Conversation and Old School Wednesdays.

Thanks for considering us!


Over to you! Suggestions and comments are most welcome.

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  • Niall
    January 28, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Interesting lists! Re: Orphan Black: I’m with Ana and Jodie and will be putting the whole season in BDP: Long Form rather than short.

  • Ana
    January 28, 2014 at 9:53 am

    That’s a good idea and an awesome fit for my Long Form list. Will ponder.

  • Aliette de Bodard
    January 28, 2014 at 9:56 am

    He, nice list! I so have to read Ancillary Justice and A Stranger in Olondria, everyone’s been raving about those… And I also loved “The Water that Falls on You from Nowhere”, very well done.

    For the Campbell, my vote goes to Benjanun Sriduangkaew–she’s been publishing short fiction only, but I love her prose, and her exploration of gender and gender roles. The latest story she had in Clarkesworld was just beyond awesome

  • Shaun Duke
    January 28, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I am stunned and honored that you would consider my blog for best fanzine, and equally so for thinking of The Skiffy and Fanty Show for fancast. Thank you so much!

    Also: some nifty reads here :). I haven’t put together my ballot yet, but I have time. Pretty sure Leckie’s book will be on there. I suspect that one will be on the final ballot without much surprise. Deservedly so.

  • Ana
    January 28, 2014 at 10:33 am

    @Aliette de Bodard – Thank you, I will def check that out.

    @Shaun Duke – I really want that book to win. SO MUCH.

  • Justin
    January 28, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I’m mentioned far too often in this, but very appreciative.

    Ancillary Justice is going to win. MAKE IT SO.

  • Aidan Moher, editor of A Dribble of Ink
    January 28, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Holy crap. Thanks, Smugglers, for the support of both A Dribble of Ink and Kameron’s amazing essay.

    Also, I need to read Saga.

  • Paige
    January 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Thea, for short stories, you can’t go wrong checking out Ursula Vernon’s “The Sea-Witch Sets the Record Straight”.

    Also, it’s not Hugo-eligible, because it won two years ago, but her graphic novel Digger is also amazeballs.

  • Thea
    January 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    @Paige – Thank you! Added to the reading list. In fact, I think I might just go on a short story/novella/novelette binge and review a bunch of those for later this week. Hmm…

  • Michael Mullin
    January 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Wow – great list. Thanks. Awards season always does manage to sneak up on us! And thanks Paige for “Sea Witch” rec. Didn’t know about that one. (How does one get on this ballot?)

  • Margot Harris
    January 28, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I am totally addicted to stories and books written by Sharon Lee and her husband, Steve Miller. They have several items eligible for Hugo awards this year: Novel: Necessity’s Child, Trade Secret
    Novelette: Eleutherios, Moon’s Honor
    Short Story: Out of True. Warning: the Liaden Universe which is the setting for many of their works, will grab you and find its way into your bags to head home with you. Some samples are free at Baen. Full disclosure: I have no connection with the authors save being a captivated reader.

  • stfg
    January 28, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Two novellas that I would like to recommend are Greer Gilman’s Cry Murder! In a Small Voice and Catherynne Valente’s Six-Gun Snow White.

  • Kevin Standlee
    January 28, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Regarding Semiprozine and Fanzine: While the technical rules are eye-watering, the general intent is that Fanzines are done solely as an amateur activity (note that “amateur” means “for the love of doing it” not “sloppy or slapdash”) while Semiprozines are done partially as a business, but not so fully as to be a professional magazine like Analog or such. If you’re making some money or if some people are being paid, but it’s not really enough to be considered professional, then you’re semi-pro.

  • Beth Bernobich
    January 29, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Oh my, thank you for the mention!

    It’s been a great year for SF and Fantasy, in my opinion. Ancillary Justice rocks. Ascension is on my towering electronic TBR pile, along with Hellisen’s House of Sand and Secrets. Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker trilogy came to a splendid conclusion. And Griffith’s Hild was rich and complex and utterly absorbing.

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