The Hugo nominations came out last week.As is always the case, they are the tabulated nominations from a wide variety of people. And is often the case, they don’t quite fit with the views of an individual voter.
Given that, and given the various parties involved these days, I thought I might list some of what went on my own ballot, if only because it might be of some interest to people as a reading list.
Aurora Kim Stanley Robinson Orbit US; Orbit UK
Europe at Midnight Dave Hutchinson Solaris
Clade James Bradley Allen & Unwin
The Water Knife Paolo Bacigalupi Knopf
Luna: New Moon Ian McDonald Tor; Gollancz
2015 was a strong year for science fiction novels, which made this a hard choice. I also had limited reading time, which means I’m yet to read the latest Anne Leckie and Nora Jemisin books (though they’re at the top of the ‘to read’ pile). I could have listed books by a number of others, including Paul McAuley and Adam Roberts. I also definitely would have listed books by Aliette de Bodard and Naomi Novik, but my personal preference/choice is to only nominate SF for the Hugos. The Novik was a favourite from 2015, though, and I loved Aliette’s book.
Of the books listed, Stan Robinson’s smart, thoughtful, challenging Aurora was my favourite of the year. I wish it had made the Hugo and Nebula ballots -I think it’s the sort of science fiction we need right now – but so be it.
I have just put the last touches to Drowned Worlds: Tales from the Anthropocene and Beyond which is due from Solaris in July. With a spectacular cover from Les Edwards, and a bunch of great stories, I think it’s all come together really well. I’m hoping you’ll like it too.
Here’s the table of contents:
Elves of Antarctica, Paul McAuley
Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit – Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts, Ken Liu
Venice Drowned, Kim Stanley Robinson
Brownsville Station, Christopher Rowe
Who Do You Love?, Kathleen Ann Goonan
Because Change Was the Ocean and We Lived by Her Mercy, Charlie Jane Anders
The Common Tongue, the Present Tense, the Known, Nina Allan
What is, Jeffrey Ford
Destroyed by the Waters, Rachel Swirsky
The New Venusians, Sean Williams
Inselberg, Nalo Hopkinson
Only Ten More Shopping Days Left Till Ragnarök, James Morrow
Last Gods, Sam J. Miller
Drowned, Lavie Tidhar
The Future is Blue, Catherynne M. Valente
I think it’s sharp, pointed, timely and sometimes satirical. I think it’s about who we are when faced with disaster, and not about disaster. I think it makes for good reading. Here’s what the publisher says about it:
Last call for the Gone World…
We live in a time of change. The Anthropocene Age – the time when human-induced climate change radically reshapes the world – is upon us. Sea water is flooding the streets of Florida, island nations are rapidly disappearing beneath the waves, the polar icecaps are a fraction of what they once were, and distant, exotic places like Australia are slowly baking in the sun.
Drowned Worlds asks fifteen of the top science fiction and fantasy writers working today to look to the future, to ask how will we survive? Do we face a period of dramatic transition and then a new technology-influenced golden age, or a long, slow decline? Swim the drowned streets of Boston, see Venice disappear beneath the waves, meet a woman who’s turned herself into a reef, traverse the floating garbage cities of the Pacific, search for the elf stones of Antarctica, or spend time in the new, dark Dust Bowl of the American mid-west. See the future for what it is: challenging, exciting, filled with adventure, and more than a little disturbing.
Whether here on Earth or elsewhere in our universe, Drowned Worlds give us a glimpse of a new future, one filled with romance and adventure, all while the oceans rise…
I think this is a good book. I hope you’ll consider reading it.