RogerBW's Blog

2019 Hugo Awards 08 July 2019

This is my ballot for the 2019 Hugo awards. I've talked about some of it already; see the "Hugo 2019" tag.


  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
  • Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga/Corsair)
  • Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)
  • The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)


  • Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells
  • The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard
  • The Black God’s Drums, by P. Djèlí Clark
  • Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire
  • Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson


  • “When We Were Starless,” by Simone Heller
  • “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” by Zen Cho
  • “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections,” by Tina Connolly
  • “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth,” by Daryl Gregory
  • “The Thing About Ghost Stories,” by Naomi Kritzer
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bolander

Short Story:

  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix E. Harrow
  • “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,” by P. Djèlí Clark
  • “STET,” by Sarah Gailey
  • “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society,” by T. Kingfisher
  • “The Court Magician,” by Sarah Pinsker
  • “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat,” by Brooke Bolander

Best Series

  • Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
  • The Universe of Xuya, by Aliette de Bodard (most recently Subterranean Press)
  • Machineries of Empire, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • The Centenal Cycle, by Malka Older ( Publishing)
  • The October Daye Series, by Seanan McGuire (most recently DAW)
  • The Laundry Files, by Charles Stross (most recently Orbit/Tor and publishing)

Laundry lost me around book three and has got much worse recently; and I find Seanan unreadable at novel length. I haven't read the Older, and I probably should because I hear good things about her work. But Wayfarers is stunningly good, and I've loved all of de Bodard's stories in this setting (not at all in her other settings) even if they sometimes come over as a bit too obvious.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • The Good Place: "Janet(s)," written by Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan, directed by Morgan Sackett (NBC)
  • The Good Place: "Jeremy Bearimy," written by Megan Amram, directed by Trent O'Donnell (NBC)
  • Doctor Who: "Demons of the Punjab," written by Vinay Patel, directed by Jamie Childs (BBC)
  • Dirty Computer, written by Janelle Monáe and Chuck Lightning, directed by Andrew Donoho and Chuck Lightning (Wondaland Arts Society / Bad Boy Records / Atlantic Records)
  • The Expanse: "Abaddon's Gate," written by Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by Simon Cellan Jones (Penguin in a Parka / Alcon Entertainment)
  • No Award
  • Doctor Who: "Rosa," written by Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall, directed by Mark Tonderai (BBC)

Yet again I'm going to point up the silliness of allowing multiple episodes of the same series to be nominated, when many people will vote for a series title rather than an individual episode. This is particularly true for a series like The Good Place where the entire season forms a single coherent plot.

But I still don't need 42 minutes of being told that Racism Is Bad. And I don't think anyone benefits from such an un-nuanced presentation; any child of an age to be watching Doctor Who is also going to school, so by the time they see "Rosa" they have already been preached at about racism by Terribly Earnest People in the exact same style as that episode manages. No nuance, just Nasty Racists and Perfect Black People, which is so obviously not like the real world that it's not surprising it doesn't convince them.

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