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The 2018 John W. Campbell Award finalists

Based on the works included with the Hugo Voter Packet.

6) Rivers Solomon, having read their novel: An Unkindness of Ghosts. Second paragraph of third chapter:
She returned there now, desperate for the sanctuary of her private garden and laboratory. She spun the handwheel and opened the hatch, eyes closed reverently. Pungent florals scented the air.
Really surprised by how much other people loved this book. I thought the world-building was completely implausible, a generation starship where a corrupt hereditary oligarchy rules an enslaved underclass, but there are only two medical experts, one of whom is routinely brutalised by the security forces. I could see what the author was allegorising (the antebellum American South), but the political structure didn't work for me, and I also didn't really understand the means or motivation of the protagonist.

5) Jeannette Ng, having read the extract from her novel Under the Pendulum Sun. Second paragraph of third chapter:
The rich scent of hare and juniper stew drew my attention back to the meal itself, reminding me how hungry I was. It was still steaming and the copper jug that held it was almost scalding to touch. A heap of breaded asparagus fenced in lightly charred mushrooms. Half a loaf of crusty bread sat in a basket. I sniffed at a small jug to discover it was full of blood, presumably hare, to go with the stew. Usually, though, it was stirred in before serving rather than after.
An interesting parallel history - what if Victorians had discovered a gateway to a fairyland, and sent missionaries? First few chapters are an interesting setup, though it seems a bit narrow in scope - how come only English missionaries are interested in exploring? Loses points for consistently misquoting John 1:1.

4) Sarah Kuhn, having read her novel Heroine Complex. Second paragraph of third chapter:
Yes, fine, I’ll admit it: My first thought upon entering the gym was not very assistant-y.
San Francisco in the near future after a demonic incursion has inflicted super powers on many of the younger human denizens. Light stuff about the girl-buddy relationship between two of them, and their entourage. Light stuff with sequels.

3) Katherine Arden, having read her novel The Bear and the Nightingale. Second paragraph of third chapter:
The wind dropped at dawn. In the silence, Marina breathed out once, gently, and died.
A good, detailed, serious retelling of the Russian folktale Морозко, with a certain amount of throat-clearing before we get to the good bits, which are good.

2) Rebecca Roanhorse, having read her short story “Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™,” also on the final ballot.

1) Vina Jie-Min Prasad, having read her short story “Fandom for Robots,” and novelette “A Series of Steaks,” on the final ballots in both cases (see my votes here and here).

2018 Hugos: Novel | Novella | Novelette | Short Story | Related Work | Graphic Story | Dramatic Long | Dramatic Short | Professional Artist & Fan Artist | Series | Young Adult | Campbell Award
1943 Retro Hugos: Novel | Novella | Novelette | Short Story | Dramatic Short | Fan Artist



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