2021 Hugo Winners

The winners of the 2021 Hugo Awards, the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, and the Astounding Award for Best New Writer were presented on December 18 during a ceremony at DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention.

Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tor.com)

I was a little surprised by this since it’s the fifth work in a series. On second thought, the earlier novellas have been winners too, and I can see this having the broadest appeal amongst the finalists. Everyone loves Murderbot! I ranked it fourth, but I’m still really happy for this win. It was a very strong category this year. I ranked my own nominee The City We Became first, and it placed second.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune, Nghi Vo (Tor.com)

This was one of my nominees, and my top choice in the final vote!

Two Truths and a Lie, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com)

This was a fantastically creepy story and my second choice here. My first choice and one of my own nominees was The Inaccessibility of Heaven which placed second.

“Metal Like Blood in the Dark”, T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine, September/October 2020)

This ended up fifth on my ballot although I did like the science fictional twist on Hansel and Gretel. I was still pleased by this win and happy to learn more about slime mold! (This was Kingfisher’s second win for the night. She is known for entertaining acceptance speeches and did not disappoint!) Again my first choice, Little Free Library, placed second.

The Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells (Tor.com)

Here’s where I fully expected Murderbot to prevail! It was one of my nominees, and I ranked it second. I was hoping this might be October Daye’s year, but it placed third.

Beowulf: A New Translation, Maria Dahvana Headley (FSG)

I never would have thought to nominate this, but it easily became my top choice as an impressive work of scholarship and artistry. I was stunned to find that I was quite in sync with other Hugo voters in this category this year. My first through third and fifth choices were the same, only flipping fourth and sixth places.

Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, written by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy, illustrated by John Jennings (Harry N. Abrams)

This was one of my own nominees although I ended up ranking it fourth. I’ve really enjoyed these adaptations of Butler’s books. My first choice and another of my nominees, Invisible Kingdom Vol. 2, placed sixth. At least it made it on the ballot, unlike the first volume last year.

The Old Guard, written by Greg Rucka, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Netflix / Skydance Media)

This was my second choice, and it’s got me interested in checking out the comic it’s based on. Again my top choice, Tenet, finished sixth.

The Good Place: Whenever You’re Ready, written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group)

I liked this show, and this series finale was sweet and funny. But I still don’t get the appeal of it over many other excellent shows. It was my fourth choice. My top spot went to my own nominee The Expanse: Gaugamela which placed second.


Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow was my top pick and one of my own nominees. I’m not normally a big fan of horror or dark fantasy, but when I see her name as editor, I know I can trust that I’ll probably really like it anyway. For example, the Best Novelette winner!


Diana M. Pho

I ranked Diana Pho sixth, but all of the finalists here are excellent. In a bit of symmetry, my first choice and nominee, Nivia Evans, placed sixth.


Rovina Cai

Rovina Cai was my top choice. Many of the books I loved last year were made all the better by her art. Unbelievably, I forgot about this when nominating, but thankfully others took up my slack and she won.

FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, publisher Troy L. Wiggins, executive editor DaVaun Sanders, managing editor Eboni Dunbar, poetry editor Brandon O’Brien, reviews and social media Brent Lambert, art director L. D. Lewis, and the FIYAH Team.

Somehow I ended up ranking FIYAH sixth. I guess it just goes to show how strong this category was this year. My top pick and one of my nominees was Uncanny which came in second, but I was still pleased to see FIYAH break their streak.

nerds of a feather, flock together, ed. Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, The G, and Vance Kotrla

I’ve been nominating and voting for them for a few years now. I’m extremely pleased to see them win in their fifth time as finalists.

The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe, Jonathan Strahan, producer

This win has been an even longer time coming in their eighth time as finalists. I really enjoyed the “10 minutes with …” episodes they started doing early in the pandemic lockdown. I ranked them fifth, but only because I’m a fan of BookTube and podcasts with transcripts. My nominee and first choice was Rachel’s Kalanadi channel which placed sixth. At least another BookTuber made it up from the longlist and onto the ballot this year!


Elsa Sjunneson

Elsa Sjunneson is an excellent writer, and this was her third time as a finalist. I ranked her fifth as I have some qualms about her work stretching the definition of fan writer. My first choice and nominee, Cora Buhlert, placed second.


Sara Felix

Sara Felix creates beautiful 2D and 3D art, and this was also her third time as a finalist. She was one of my nominees, but strangely I ended up ranking her sixth in the final vote. I guess in this case, my idea of fan art veers away from other Hugo voters. My first choice and another of my nominees, Iain J. Clark, placed fourth.


Hades (Publisher and Developer: Supergiant Games)

I didn’t participate in either nominating or voting in this category as video games have started giving me too much motion sickness in recent years. I was pleased to see this get a trial though and pleasantly surprised at how most of the game developers provided evaluation material for the Hugo Voters Packet. It will be interesting to see if this category moves forward.

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll Productions)

I had every expectation of this winning. I enjoyed it a lot although I ranked it fourth after my own nominees. I also loved the first of what turned out to be two speeches from Kingfisher that night about slime mold! My top choice and one of those nominees was Deadly Education which placed second.


Emily Tesh (2nd year of eligibility)

Emily Tesh was one of my nominees, but I ended up ranking her third. This was her second nomination and final year of eligibility so I was pleased to see her win. I was also happy to see the reappearance of the tiara and scepter which go with this award. Although she had someone else accept on her behalf so I hope she does eventually receive them. My top choice was Micaiah Johnson who placed second. This is her first year of eligibility so perhaps she will have another shot at it next year.

All in all a lovely ceremony with pleasing results! Astonishingly five of my top picks took home the prize and eight more finished second! How did your favorites do?

2020 Nebula Winners

The winners of the 55th Annual SFWA Nebula Awards were reveal last night in a virtual ceremony.

Best Novel

  • Marque of Caine by Charles E. Gannon, published by Baen
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, published by Redhook
  • A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, published by Tor
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, published by Del Rey
  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, published by Tor.com
  • Winner: A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker, published by Berkley

Best Novella

  • “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom” by Ted Chiang, published by Knopf
  • “The Haunting of Tram Car 015” by P. Djèlí Clark, published by Tor.com
  • Winner: “This Is How You Lose the Time War” by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, published by Gallery and Saga Press
  • “Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water” by Vylar Kaftan, published by Tor.com
  • “The Deep” by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes, published by Gallery and Saga Press
  • “Catfish Lullaby” by A C Wise, published by Broken Eye Books

Best Novelette

  • “A Strange Uncertain Light” by G. V. Anderson, published by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • “For He Can Creep” by Siobhan Carroll, published by Tor.com
  • “His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light” by Mimi Mondal, published by Tor.com
  • “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” by Sarah Pinsker, published by Uncanny
  • Winner: “Carpe Glitter” by Cat Rambo, published by Meerkat Shorts, LLC
  • “The Archronology of Love” by Caroline M. Yoachim, published by Lightspeed Magazine

Best Short Story

  • Winner: “Give the Family My Love” by A. T. Greenblatt, published by Clarkesworld
  • “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power” by Karen Osborne, published by Uncanny
  • “And Now His Lordship Is Laughing” by Shiv Ramdas, published by Strange Horizons
  • “Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island” by Nibedita Sen, published by Nightmare Magazine
  • “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde, published by Uncanny
  • “How the Trick Is Done” by A C Wise, published by Uncanny

Ray Bradbury Nebula Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

  • Captain Marvel written by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Marvel Studios)
  • The Mandalorian: “The Child” written by Jon Favreau (Disney+)
  • Winner: Good Omens: “Hard Times” written by Neil Gaiman (Amazon Studios and BBC Studios)
  • Watchmen: “A God Walks into Abar” written by Jeff Jensen and Damon Lindelof (HBO)
  • Avengers: Endgame written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Marvel Studios)
  • Russian Doll: “The Way Out” written by Allison Silverman and Leslye Headland (Netflix)

Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

  • Cog by Greg van Eekhout, published by HarperCollins
  • Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez, published by Rick Riordan Presents
  • Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer, published by Tor Teen
  • Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee, published by Rick Riordan Presents
  • Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions by Henry Lien, published by Henry Holt
  • Winner: Riverland by Fran Wilde, published by Harry N. Abrams

Best Game Writing

  • Outer Wilds by Kelsey Beachum, published by Mobius Digital
  • Winner: The Outer Worlds by Leonard Boyarsky, Kate Dollarhyde, Paul Kirsch, Chris L’Etoile, Daniel McPhee, Carrie Patel, Nitai Poddar, Marc Soskin, and Megan Starks, published by Obsidian Entertainment
  • The Magician’s Workshop by Kate Heartfield, published by Choice of Games
  • Disco Elysium by Robert Kurvitz, published by ZA/UM
  • Fate Accessibility Toolkit by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, published by Evil Hat Productions

I will not be at all surprised to see repeat winners at the Hugos for novella, dramatic presentation, and YA fiction.  It’s nice to see things that aren’t on the Hugo ballot win in other categories.  Have you read, watched, or played any of the winners here?