I’ve been ridiculously busy over the past few months (one of those good news/bad news promotions at work), but November is upon us. Break the flannel shirts out! It’s time to begin grinding the gears for the 2017 SFF award season!
The dust is beginning to clear from the wreckage of last year, and 2017 is looking to be interesting and unusual. We’ve got the largest changes to the Hugo ruleset in . . . . well, ever. This is going to force Chaos Horizon to totally overhaul our prediction methodologies. Basically, rule changes create more unknowns, which means I’ll have to simplify my prediction systems.
Aside from N.K. Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate and Connie Willis’s Crosstalk, there aren’t a ton of obvious Hugo/Nebula books out there. Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen by Louis McMaster Bujold feels like it was published years ago, but Bujold has always been a Hugo favorite. Will books like Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky, Ada Palmner’s Too Like the Lightning, or Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit begin to pick up momentum? Will Cixin Liu make a Hugo comeback for Death’s End after The Dark Forest missed last year? Will China Mieville’s The Last Days of New Paris or Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway be classified as novels or novellas? How will the Best Series Hugo mix up the Best Novel category?
There’ll be plenty to analyze here. One of the first things I’m going to do is update the 2016 Awards Meta-List. Just this week, the World Fantasy Award went to the rather obscure Chimes by Anna Smaill. This is a juried award, as per the sfadb, which accounts for some of its interesting winners:
Convention members nominate two entries per category; judges can add three or more nominees per category. The judges select the winners.
The World Fantasy Award marks the end of the 2016 SFF Award Season. By updating the Meta-List, we’ll see where exactly we ended last year, we should give us a nice springboard in the next year.
With that list in place, we’ll begin to take a look at some of the more interesting contenders for 2017. I’ve got my eye on some interesting potential dark horses—it should be a wide open year, and the race is currently anyone’s.