Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.
This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.
I can never remember the definition of semipro and probably mess up on my nominating ballot every year, but I refuse to learn. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews - Great selection, great covers, a strong contender.
Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, edited by P. Alexander - This seems okay, but not really for me. No disrespect on quality here, my tastes just aren't this.
GigaNotoSaurus, edited by Rashida J. Smith - Interesting, but not at the top of the pack.
Strange Horizons, edited by Niall Harrison, Catherine Krahe, Vajra Chandrasekera, Vanessa Rose Phin, Li Chua, Aishwarya Subramanian, Tim Moore, Anaea Lay, and the Strange Horizons staff - I donate to this one, and am a huge fan of their work. This is a strong publication, but I don't think it will get the first slot on my ballot this particular year.
Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky - Great selection, great covers, a strong contender.
The Book Smugglers, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James - I've read reviews on their blog, but never picked up one of the almanacs. I am blown away by the quality of this entry. I expected it would be good, but goddamn. This is edging out the competition just barely.
To sum up, Booksmugglers are at the top of my ballot. Uncanny and Ceaseless Skies are edging out Strange Horizons, but are all top notch in my opinion. The other two just don't seem as strong, but everything in this category has merit.