Who will be the winner of the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novel? We’ve reviewed
all five 4 and 1/14 of the nominees for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and heres a reflection back on them. Today is the first day of WorldCon and tonight, the winner of the 1939 Retro-Hugo for Best Novel will be announced. On Sunday, the Hugo Awards ceremony commences and will be streamed live online.
With a record number of participants voting, it’ll be exciting to see the winners revealed. We’ve been following the nominees since we live-tweeted the announcement as part of our Norwescon 37 coverage.
Based on the GeekyLibrary reviews, here are my rankings of the nominees, based on a mixture of prediction, desire, and the opinions of other geekylibrary reviewers.
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
No matter how much I enjoyed the epic fantasy adventure that was The Eye of the World, I will always feel bitter about the nomination of a 14 book series for a best novel award. This is obviously not a novel, but 14 novels.Although the same loophole led to the nomination and subsequent deserving win of the two-part “Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis, this is obviously an abuse.
Kudos to the dedicated fans of the series — I understand that they wanted to give credit/honor to a bestselling epic, but there are many amazing novels that can stand alone on there merits. If there needs to be a hugo award for best (completed) series, so be it. Until then, A Hugo Award winner in the Best Novel category should never be a series of 14 books.
Despite our policy of reading the series in completion and not post reviews of books read out of order, I took the stance that nominating a 14 book series is ridiculous, and so is trying to fit reading 14 books and posting 14 reviews, what with our busy editorial schedule. You can argue that the first book doesn’t represent the glory or why the series was nominated, but whatever. Last place for Wheel of Time.
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia
Author Larry Correia is arguably better known for his Monster Hunter series than the Grimnoir Chronicles, and was promoting the most recent Monster Hunter book when GeekyLibrary met him at a Powell’s author event.
Regardless, Reviewer Taylor very much enjoyed the unique setting of Hard Magic, the first book, which mixed gritty detective noir with urban fantasy. However, by the time the sequel Spellbound and the nominated Warbound came along, some of the magic had gone out of the series (pardon the pun).
Despite a stellar start to the series, Warbound seems to be more of a lackluster finish than an award winner.
Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross
Warning: Blatent personal opinion. Billed as a space opera, Neptune’s Brood seems a likely win for the Hugo Award and I wouldn’t be too surprised if it won. Our reviewer, Tony, gave it 5 stars and the first book, Saturn’s Children, was quite popular.
Personally, I disliked Saturn’s Children. Neptune’s Brood is set in the same universe, although it is a standalone novel. My personal bias overcomes the fact that it is our highest rated nominee (and the fact that I haven’t even read it). Compared to the two remaining Hugo nominees, I’ll have to give this one third place.
Parasite by Mira Grant
The ending of Parasite filled our reviewer, Mark, with righteous indignation. This is the peril of starting compelling books without knowing that they are only the first in a planned series.
I love the idea of Parasite’s storyline, and I’m quite excited to read it. Perhaps with my foreknowledge, I’ll enjoy it a bit more. As for Mark, a book that was slow to start and then ended without fully answering the questions it raised and the plot lines it started was enough to lower it to three stars.
Mira Grant, the pen name of Seanan McGuire, has been nominated quite a number of times for the Hugo Award, including a nomination last year for her book Blackout. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the year she wins.
First Place: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
For a debut novel, Ancillary Justice has gained a ton of momentum this year. It was first called to our attention when it was nominated for a PKD. Although it didn’t win the Philip K. Dick Award for Distinguished Science Fiction (won by Countdown City), it did go on to win the Nebula Award for Best Novel.
Enjoyed by reviewers Taylor and Jason, I would not be surprised in Ancillary Justice takes the prize this weekend at the Hugo Award Ceremony. It will be exciting to watch!