2020 Hugo Award Finalists

I keep seeing reviews of HUGO nominated stories pop up allover, so I decided to finally have a look at this year‘s finalists for myself.

The complete list of the finalists for 2020 is here. I do not plan to read all of them, but I might have a look at some of the shorter works.

Here is what I have read so far:

Best Novel

A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, #1)
by Arkady Martine

Rating: 5 out of 5.

It was easily one of my favourite novels of last year. You can call me ThirtyOne Adaptation!

My review is here.

Best Novelette

Emergency Skin
by N.K. Jemisin (Goodreads Author),  Jason Isaacs (Narrator)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Entertaining. Subversive. Amusing. My first Jemisin. Maybe not my last. Hard to put down. The unusual POV was well done and increased my fun through coming up with the missing part of the conversation.

I listened to the audio. Jason Isaac did a great job with the narration. But I expected no less from him.

Best Series

The Expanse, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I read all full novels of this series. Or rather, I listened to the excellent audio narration of all of them. I read some of the shorts/novellas as well, but I miss a few of those. If you like space opera, military SF, Star Trek and good adventure yarns, this might be for you. The TV adaptation is also very good. My personal preference and recommendation: Read the books first.

You can find my reviews for all of them here. You should start reading the series with this one:

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)
by James S.A. Corey

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Another Best Series finalist is this one:

Luna: New Moon (Luna, #1)
by Ian McDonald

This first book of the series has been sitting on my TBR shelf since 2018. I suppose it‘s time that I actually read it!

Best Graphic Story or Comic

Monstress, Vol. 4: The Chosen
by Marjorie M. Liu (Goodreads Author),  Sana Takeda (Illustrator) 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My review is here, however I strongly recommend that you start at the beginning, with Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening.

So, that is what I have read so far of this year‘s Hugo Finalists. As mentioned, I might have a go at the short stories and novelettes/novellas, I‘ll see!

Which of the Hugo finalists was your favourite so far?

Blast from the past, I missed posting this review… Expanding!

Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, #7)
by James S.A. Corey

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In the first chapter we jump into the future of our known timeline, which is at first confusing. And our favourite heroes are quite a bit older, too. Which is a shocker. I felt as if I had missed a book.

The rest of the book almost follows the usual set-up. Some new characters are introduced and play a central role. Some old favourites show up as well. The dynamics between our beloved Rocinante crew have changed and are a little unsettling at times. 

The look at Singh‘s character and what makes him tick is quite good. He is so naive and so clueless about his own inhumanity. Or rather his inability to comprehend others and the situation he is in.

Despite that I struggled to finish the book. I really had to make myself listen to the last 4 or 5 hours. And I did it at double the normal speed, just to get it over with. The story did not do it for me.

3 stars because I pretty much loved all the other books of the series and managed to get through it without major skimming. Just.