2020 Hugos: People Categories

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, has announced the finalists for the 2020 Hugo Awards, the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, and the Astounding Award for Best New Writer.  You can watch a video of the announcement on CoNZealand’s YouTube channel or view the complete list on the Hugo Awards website.  JJ at File 770 has put together a post on Where To Find The 2020 Hugo Award Finalists For Free Online.

This is the third of four posts with my initial thoughts.  I’m dividing the nineteen award categories into written fiction works (novel, novella, novelette, short story, young adult book), other individual works (related work, graphic story, long form dramatic presentation, short form dramatic presentation), people categories (short form editor, long form editor, professional artist, fan writer, fan artist, new writer), and serial categories (series, semiprozine, fanzine, fancast).

Best Editor, Short Form

  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • C.C. Finlay
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

The first three were my own nominees.  I nominated Uncanny in Best Semiprozine rather than nominating the Thomases in this category.  I’m particularly pleased for C.C. Finlay’s first-time appearance here.  I became a regular reader of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction around the time that he took over as editor in 2015, and I’ve been subscribing ever since.

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Brit Hvide
  • Diana M. Pho
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Devi Pillai was my nominee in this category, but I’m glad to see Brit Hvide make her first appearance here.  (I actually nominated her for the Astounding Award this year.)  She is now the editor for many of the authors who previously worked with Devi Pillai after Pillai moved from Orbit to Tor.

Best Professional Artist

  • Tommy Arnold
  • Rovina Cai
  • Galen Dara
  • John Picacio
  • Yuko Shimizu
  • Alyssa Winans

I nominated Alyssa Winans, but I’m also happy for the other two newcomers.  Tommy Arnold has been right on the cusp of making the final ballot a couple times in the past few years.  Rovina Cai was on the longlist last year too.

Best Fan Writer

  • Cora Buhlert
  • James Davis Nicoll
  • Alasdair Stuart
  • Bogi Takács
  • Paul Weimer
  • Adam Whitehead

We also have three new names in this category.  I’m especially thrilled for my own nominee Adam Whitehead.  His blog was one of the first I started following way back when blogs were the cool, new thing.  Although this is both of their first appearances here, Cora Buhlert and Paul Weimer are familiar names I’m pleased to see as well.

Best Fan Artist

  • Iain Clark
  • Sara Felix
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Meg Frank
  • Ariela Housman
  • Elise Matthesen

My nominees were newcomer Iain Clark and returning finalist Ariela Housman.  Jewelry artist Elise Matthesen is the other first-time finalist here while the remaining three are also previous finalists.

Astounding Award for Best New Writer

  • Sam Hawke (2nd year of eligibility)
  • R.F. Kuang (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Jenn Lyons (1st year of eligibility)
  • Nibedita Sen (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Tasha Suri (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Emily Tesh (1st year of eligibility)

R.F. Kuang was my own nominee.  Nibedita Sen is also a finalist for Best Short Story.  The other four authors are on my TBR list.

Who are you excited to see here?  And who are you looking forward to learning more about?

2018 Hugo Awards: Not a Hugos

There are two other non-Hugo awards included on the Hugo Ballot.  They are nominated and voted on by the same people, they are awarded at the Hugo Ceremony, but the recipients don’t take home a shiny rocket trophy.


Appearing for the first time this year is the Award for Best Young Adult Book:

A book published for young adult readers in the field of science fiction or fantasy appearing for the first time during 2017.

Attempts to create a Young Adult Hugo were unsuccessful for many years because it really wasn’t compatible with the other word-count based fiction categories.  Finally, they decided to create a seperate award administered with the Hugos, but not a Hugo itself.  Therefore, becoming a finalist for this award does not prevent a work from being eligible for the Hugo category its word-count would qualify it for.

The name Lodestar is up for ratification at this year’s Business Meeting.  If approved, it would go into effect for 2019.  However, a proposal to name it after Ursula K. Le Guin instead is also going to be brought up at that time.  Online reaction doesn’t look good for this.  But if those in attendance at the Business Meeting do decide to change the name to this or something else altogether, it would undoubtedly cause the award to remain nameless for another year until the new one is ratified.

While I can appreciate the desire to honor Le Guin, I think an award for women writers and/or feminist writing would be more applicable to her legacy.  Also, I feel it is disrespectful to everyone involved in the long and careful process that went into selecting the Lodestar name to suggest a change at this late date.  At the same time, this seems like a rush to name something after her now that she’s no longer with us.

I had several things lined up to read for this category, but just didn’t get to them in time to nominate anything.  I look forward to seeing what does make the finalist list.


The other non-Hugo category is the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer:

A writer whose first work of science fiction or fantasy appeared in a professional publication during 2016 or 2017.

This award is sponsored by Dell Magazines, publisher of Analog, and named in memory of the magazine’s long-time, influential editor.  Originally presented in 1973, one of the finalists who lost to Jerry Pournelle that first year was a young George R. R. Martin.

Again I didn’t get to everything I had planned to look at for this, but I was able to find new writers to nominate from works I’d already read.  There is a page at the Writertopia.org site which maintains a list of eligible writers.  And Rocket Stack Rank also makes note of eligible short fiction writers.  Here are the authors I nominated with at least one of the works which I read by them:


Today’s the day we find out who this year’s finalists are!  Live announcements are taking place at 3 pm EDT (UTC−04:00), and a video announcement will be posted at Worldcon76.org approximately one hour later.