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.
Best Related Work excludes fiction, but can be anything related to the genre or fandom. Some years it overlaps Best Fan Writer, but not this year. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.
The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley (Tor Books) - I nominated this. It's solid. Per my review, it's empowering and interesting. Having a book of nonfiction, avidly feminist essays come out from a major publisher is also a pretty big deal.
The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher (Blue Rider Press) - I am currently listening to this audiobook, read by Fisher. The voting packet only includes an excerpt, but I happened to have the audiobook. Is it possible to separate this book from Fisher's death? It's interesting and at times quite funny and disturbing, but biography feels less relevant to today than topical essays.
Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg, by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Fairwood) - I didn't love this, but I'm not the target market.
The View From the Cheap Seats, by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow / Harper Collins) - I definitely prefer his fiction. This also fails to really have a cohesive theme. It's just stuff Gaiman wrote, so very little of it feels relevant to genre at all.
The Women of Harry Potter posts, by Sarah Gailey (Tor.com) - Hello relevance I've been looking for. These are quite good. You can read them all here.
Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer) - This feels a bit more focused on genre than Gaiman's book, possibly because Le Guin lives on the same Earth most of us do.
In summary, the top of my ballot will be either Hurley or Gailey. Followed by Le Guin, Fisher, then Gaiman, and finally Silverberg.