Discussion · Fantasy · Sci-fi · TBR & Goals

BooktubeSFF Awards: Shortlist Opinions

If you haven’t heard of the BooktubeSFF awards, here’s the goodreads group.
Since I’m mainly a SFF reader (adult and YA, but not middle grade at the moment), I have opinions.


Shortlist

Best Short Work:
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire – read
All Systems Red by Martha Wells – read
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor – read

I’m glad the agender murderbot novella All Systems Red made it there, because it’s a subversive hidden gem, but I don’t love this list. Both Binti: Home and Down Among the Sticks and Bones were in my list of least favorite novellas of 2017. Considering that last year gave us A Song for Quiet and the Tensorate series, this is disappointing.

Who will win: probably Down Among the Sticks and Bones, because it’s the most hyped one and everyone but me loves it.

Best Science Fiction Novel
Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee – read
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer – read
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi – read
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel – not interested

This is both a very good and disappointing list. I’ve read three of these, and they’re great, “top 20 of 2017” great. But why is Sylvain Neuvel there? The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley and The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden deserved to be there far more than him, but no, we get three cis white men out of four authors instead.

Who will win: probably Borne by Jeff VanderMeer, because everyone loves it. I mean, this biopunk apocalypse book is really good, but Raven Stratagem is better and I hope it wins. It probably won’t because it’s too weird.

Best YA
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor – read
Windwitch by Susan Dennard – read
Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab – read

2017 wasn’t a good year for YA SFF – mostly because there was no Leigh Bardugo novel, let’s be real (no, Wonder Woman doesn’t count) – but this isn’t a bad selection. At least there’s no elf porn Sarah J. Maas this time.

Who will win: I think (and hope) it will be Strange the Dreamer. Windwitch wasn’t terrible but it had far too many PoVs and messy worldbuilding; Our Dark Duet was as entertaining as it was flawed.

Best Graphic Work
Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda – maybe
Everyone’s a aliebn when your a aliebn too by Jomny Sun – not interested
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris – not interested
Paper Girls, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson – not interested

I haven’t read any of these. Graphic novels aren’t really my thing, but I really liked Monstress Vol. 1 (gay Asian matriarchy!) so I will continue the series if it gets translated. I’m not interested in the other ones.

Who will win: I’m not familiar with these so I can’t be sure but I think there’s a good chance Monstress Vol. 2 will win.

Best Fantasy Novel
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin – want to read
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – read
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence – read
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – read

A really good selection! Mostly women, mostly good books, but Schwab shouldn’t be there because A Conjuring of Light was a bad conclusion. Red Sister and The Bear and the Nightingale were some of my favorite books of 2017, I hope one of them wins. I still have to read The Stone Sky because I haven’t even started The Fifth Season, it’s too intimidating.

Who will win: probably The Stone Sky, and every time this series wins a new award I get more intimidated by the hype.

Best Debut Novel
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – read
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames – maybe
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty – want to read

A good list, but could have been better. The Tiger’s Daughter or The Prey of Gods deserved to be there. I need to read The City of Brass, it’s on my TBR, and I loved The Bear and the Nightingale but I hope it doesn’t win two awards. I had never heard of Kings of the Wyld before, and I’m not going to read it unless I hear it’s amazing and people I trust love it.

Who will win: probably The Bear and the Nightingale, it’s more likely to win here than in the best fantasy category.

Best Middle Grade
Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi – not interested
Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan – not interested
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – not interested
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken – want to read

I’m not really a middle grade reader so I’m not familiar with these, but I want to read The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding because I read a preview and liked it. I may change my mind and decide to read Whichwood or Nevermoor but I’m sure I won’t read the Rick Riordan one because I hate his writing style.

Who will win: no idea! Maybe Whichwood?


So: not a bad shortlist, and I’d need to read five books (Prosper Redding, City of Brass, Fifth Season + Obelisk Gate + Stone Sky) to be on track with the ones I’m interested in at the end of the awards.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to but I’ll try.


What do you think of the Booktube SFF shortlist? Do you have any predictions?

One thought on “BooktubeSFF Awards: Shortlist Opinions

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