2018 Hugo Finalists: Best Novella

Today I’m looking at the Best Novella finalists.  All six of them were also nominees for the Locus Award, and three of them were Nebula Award finalists.

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey was one of the Nebula Award nominees.  Gailey is a Best Fan Writer finalist this year as well.  Last year they were a finalist for Best Related Work and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire is the prequel to the 2017 Best Novella, Every Heart a Doorway.  McGuire’s InCryptid series is also a finalist this year.  She has a previous nomination for Best Series, two for Best Novelette, and one in Best Related Work.  She’s won two Best Fancast Hugos and was the 2010 winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.  Under her Mira Grant pseudonym, she has four nominations for Best Novel and two more for Best Novella.

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor is the sequel to the 2016 Best Novella, Binti.  Okorafor’s Akata Warrior is a finalist for the WSFS Award for Best Young Adult Book.

“And Then There Were (N-One)” by Sarah Pinsker was also a nominee for the Nebula and the Sturgeon Award.  Pinsker’s “Wind Will Rove” is a finalist for Best Novelette.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells was the winner of the Locus and Nebula awards and a nominee for the Philip K. Dick Award.  Wells’ The Books of the Raskura series is a Hugo finalist this year too.

The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang was a finalist for the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award. It also made the James Tiptree, Jr. Award Honor List.

I nominated the novellas from McGuire, Pinsker, and Wells myself.  I read Binti: Home as well, but it didn’t feel complete enough on its own to nominate.  I enjoyed Down Among the Sticks and Bones even more than its Hugo-winning predecessor.  “And Then There Were (N-One)” was clever and fun.  All Systems Red had excellent characterization and a very exciting plot.

The novellas from Gailey and Yang were both on my TBR list.  River of Teeth had a fun concept but didn’t live up to my expectations.  Yet The Black Tides of Heaven surprised me by exceeded them.

We have two past Best Novella winners, three first-time finalists, and one new to this category.  Here’s how I ranked them on my final ballot:

  1. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  2. The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang
  3. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
  4. “And Then There Were (N-One)” by Sarah Pinsker
  5. River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
  6. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

How many of these have you read?  How would you rank them?

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