Thursday, February 02, 2006

Potential Hugo Award nominees for the Best Novel

The Locus Recommended Reading List (see previous post for our commments) is a good springboard for thinking about Hugo nominations. We recently put together our list of the Top 20 contenders to be nominated for the Best Novel Hugo Award:

**Lois McMaster Bujold, The Hallowed Hunt
Octavia Butler, Fledgling
Jeffrey Ford, The Girl in the Glass
**Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys
Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
Ian R. MacLeod, The House of Storms
Ken MacLeod, Learning the World
**George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows
David Marusek, Counting Heads
Richard Morgan, Woken Furies
Alastair Reynolds, Century Rain
Kim Stanley Robinson, Fifty Degrees Below
Justina Robson, Natural History
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Karl Schroeder, Lady of Mazes
**Dan Simmons, Olympos
Charles Stross, Accelerando
Charles Stross, The Hidden Family
Steph Swainston, The Year of Our War
**Robert Charles Wilson, Spin

Bear in mind, these are not our twenty favorite books, but rather the twenty we think have the best chance of being nominated. The asterisks mark our best guesses of which five books will actually be nominated. Note that Terry Pratchett's Thud! would be a contender as well, except that Pratchett will likely decline the nomination if he receives it, as he did last year.

Three of these books (Century Rain, Natural History, and The Year of Our War) were on last year's Locus Recommended List, but remain Hugo-eligible because they were first published in the U.S. in 2005. All of the others are on this year's Locus list with two exceptions, Woken Furies and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The Locus staff apparently dislikes Richard Morgan -- his first book Altered Carbon was listed as a recommended first novel, but none of his subsequent three novels has been on the Locus list -- and this year, the staff seemed to want to show disdain for popular opinion by omitting J.K. Rowling and Christopher Paolini. We have no problem with excluding Paolini's Eldest, but how do you leave Harry Potter off the list?

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