#WyrdAndWonder 2021 | My #HugoAwards reading challenge

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Wyrd & Wonder is a month-long celebration of the fantastic hosted by imyril, Lisa and Jorie. Get involved here!

In 2019 I read the Hugo Awards shortlists for Best Short Story and Best Novelette for the very first time, and I had so much fun with it that I did it again in 2020 and now I’m doing it again! This year, though, I’m also going to be challenging myself to read the shortlist for the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book.

So, without further ado, let’s look at this year’s shortlists! The majority of novelettes and short stories are available to read online for free and I’ve linked them below if you’d like to read them yourself.

Best Short Story

An interesting selection! I’m excited to read more T. Kingfisher whose previously shortlisted short story, “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society“, is one of my favourites. I’ve actually already read “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” and, to be honest, I’m a little disappointed Sharon Hsu’s story from that same issue of Uncanny, “And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands“, didn’t make the shortlist because I adored it, and I found it the most impactful story in that issue.

That aside I’m still looking forward to reading this shortlist, I love discovering new short fiction through the Hugo Awards, but I’m not sure if I’ll get to “A Guide for Working Breeds” unless I can find a copy of Made to Order in my library, as it’s not the kind of book I’m that interested in owning a copy of!

Best Novelette

I’m interested to see what I think of this selection, too! I’m not 100% sure if I’ll read “The Pill”—I need to decide if I’m interested enough in Meg Elison’s entire story collection to pick a copy up—and I’ve also not got along with Aliette de Bodard and Sarah Pinsker’s work in the past, but I really enjoy novelettes and I’m excited to give these a go.

The other story it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to read is “Helicopter Story” which I didn’t realise until I went looking for it ended up being pulled, at the request of the author, after it received an awful lot of backlash. From what I can gather, it’s a sci-fi story that was originally titled “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter”, and thus shared its name with a transphobic meme, and the drama that ensued ultimately led to Isabel Fall having to out herself as a trans woman. The whole thing sounds like a mess and, as a cis woman who hasn’t read the story, I can’t comment on how it reads or on Fall’s intentions, but I think we can safely say a trans woman wasn’t aiming to be transphobic.

You can find out more through this statement from Clarkesworld and these articles in The Atlantic and The Verge.

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

This year the YA shortlist is a shortlist I’m actually interested in reading in its entirety! I’ve already read Cemetery Boys, and can’t say I’m surprised to see it on the shortlist, and I have copies of all of the others, apart from Elatsoe, on my kindle. Legendborn and Raybearer are already on my Wyrd & Wonder TBR and I’ve heard such good things about both of them, and I’m looking forward to giving A Deadly Education and A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking a go after enjoying both authors’ adult novels. I do really want to read Elatsoe, but it’s one I’m hoping I’ll be able to get from the library because it’s still rather expensive.

Are you planning to read any of the stories nominated for a Hugo this year?

19 thoughts on “#WyrdAndWonder 2021 | My #HugoAwards reading challenge

  1. acquadimore says:

    I probably won’t be able to read all of this year’s award nominees due to lack of time but I really want to know what you think of them – award shortlists are usually a great way to discover new authors, I want to know which ones are worth reading the most.
    I hope you find some new favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Thanks Acqua! I’m hoping to set aside some time this weekend to read them all, because I decided to give myself the extra task of reading the entire issues that the Uncanny stories were published in. Why make things easier for myself? I hope you manage to read a few of them and that you enjoy them!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rabeeah says:

    I read the shortlist for Best Novel last year and like you, I realised it was a great idea. Such a good way to remind me why I love SF, and I’m planning to do the same this year too!

    I’ve read Legendborn and Deadly Education from that YA list and loved them both, so I will definitely need to check out the rest I think!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tammy says:

    I’ve heard amazing things about Legendborn, but A Deadly Education was a DNF for me😝 But lots of readers loved it. Sounds like you have lots of good reading coming up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stephanie - Bookfever says:

    Cemetery Boys is on my list. I have it on my Kindle, I just have to get around to reading it. Which is a whole different issue. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dianthaa says:

    I’m planning on reading these too! I only need to read Elatsoe and Dead Education from the Lodestar list, the others have all been great, Legenborn is my favorite of them. We’re doing a Hugo readalong over on r/fantasy starting this month, we’ll be discussing short stories on thr 3rd and novelettes on the 10th if you want to drop by

    Liked by 1 person

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