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The Best of the Year: Hugo Award Winners

The Best of the Year: Hugo Award Winners

The Hugo Awards are one of the biggest events in science fiction and fantasy. While there was a bit of controversy this year, the fact remains that some truly amazing individuals who took home the coveted award. Let’s talk about these amazing individuals, their work, and what makes them so awesome!

Best Novel

The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)

Cixin Liu is a well-loved science fiction writer in China, but this is one of the first time American readers have been able to engage in his books, and they loved it. Why? This book is crazy imaginative, and a beautiful story. In the midst of China’s Cultural revolution, the military sends a group into space to establish contact with aliens. When the aliens the group contacts decides to invade earth to save their dying species, the earth must decide to surrender to the alien beings or fight to survive. The book is a crazy ride. Grab yourself a copy of the book, and check out Ken Liu’s website to see some of his other work!

Best Novelette

“The Day the World Turned Upside Down”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lia Belt translator (Lightspeed, 04-2014)

This story is crazy, and focuses on the life of Tony, when his world figuratively turns upside down after his girlfriend, Sophie, dumps him–promising to retrieve her pet goldfish the next day–and then the world literally turns upside down. Understandably, the sudden reversal of gravity causes several deaths and injuries, but Tony and the goldfish survive. Tony then searches to find Sophie and see if they can’t reconcile in a world literally turned on its head. This story is imaginative and poignant, and it has a fun, almost dream-like feel throughout the story. You can check out the story in Lightspeed Magazine, and you can follow Thomas on Twitter and on his website.

Best Graphic Story

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, (Marvel Comics)

If you haven’t had a chance to read G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel yet, let this reminder that it won a Hugo this year be the final push to get you to grab a copy. In this iteration of Ms. Marvel, the hero is played by Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager turned superhero. Kamala is relatable, she’s kind, she’s brave, and apart from her superpowers, she’s portrayed as a regular teenager in how she acts, speaks, and dresses. You can’t help but be inspired as you watch her go from awkward teen to an amazing (though still a bit awkward) superhero. Like I said, if you haven’t read Ms. Marvel yet get yourself a copy, and be sure to follow G. Willow Wilson on Twitter and on her website. 

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Guardians of the Galaxy, written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, directed by James Gunn (Marvel Studios, Moving Picture Company)

Much like Ms. Marvel, this movie got a TON of press and a huge fan reaction, so it’s no surprise this movie won. Guardians blew fans out of the water, and won the hearts of comic book fans, MCU fans, and non comic book fans alike (though, to be fair, it’s super hard to hate anything with Andy Dwyer Chris Pratt in it). If you haven’t, be sure to get yourself a copy of the movie (and any other merch your heart desires), and follow the film on Twitter to get the latest info about what’s next for the Guardians franchise.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

Orphan Black: “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”, ” written by Graeme Manson, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions, Space/BBC America)

Yeah, Clone Club! Orphan Black has proved to be a stellar show for its past three seasons, but the Hugo Award-winning episode was the show’s season 2 finale when we got our first look at the male clones from Project CASTOR, Sarah escapes from Rachel’s clutches by using the old pen-in-the-eye trick, and all of the clones get together (with Felix, obviously) to have a bit of a clone sisterhood bonding dance party. The episode is poignant, sweet, and keeps you on the edge of your seat–basically like the whole show does. Learn more about the show on its website, and follow Orphan Black on Twitter!

Best Professional Artist

Julie Dillon

Dillon’s work in science fiction and fantasy art easily won her the Hugo this year. If you haven’t checked out her work, head to her website. Her work is intricate, breathtaking, and always gorgeous. She brings so much imagination and creativity into everything she does, that it’s no wonder she was recognized as this year’s best professional artist. Her work has been featured by all sorts of names you’ll recognize like Tor Books, Wizards of the Coast, Penguin Books, and Fantasy Flight Games (just to name a few). If you want to keep up with Julie, follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Best Semiprozine

Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant

If you’ve never heart of Lightspeed before, allow me to introduce you to one of the coolest magazines for sci-fi and fantasy fans. Lightspeed features science fiction and fantasy stories (like the Hugo Award-winning story “The Day the World Turned Upside Down”). They cover all ranges of topics, and features a wide array of authors. Even better, you can read the mag for free online on their website, but if you do want to subscribe you can unlock cool stuff like the eBook version with a few bits of subscriber-exclusive content. Be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook!

Best Fanzine

Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Colin Harris, Alissa McKersie, and Helen J. Montgomery

Journey Planet is a fanzine dedicated to science fiction and fantasy that covers just about anything you could imagine in the space. From editorials to fiction pieces, this team brings you whatever your heart could possibly desire in the world of geekery. For instance, their 25th issue talked about Nanowrimo, while the issue prior to that talked about Richard III–like I said, they cover it all. You can check out the magazine on their website, where you can read the mag for free!

Best Fancast

Galactic Suburbia Podcast, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)

Led by intrepid hosts Alisa, Tansy, and Alex who are an indie publisher/engineer, fantasy author/mom, and reviewer/teacher respectively, you can expect anything from book talk to feminist history, to cyberpunk chat, to conventions, Australian speculative fiction, and more. They cover SO MUCH in their podcast, and they manage to do it in a fun, interesting, and engaging manner. You can check them out on Podbean, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Best Fan Writer

Laura J. Mixon

Mixon is a science fiction writer and environmental engineer. She’s written a lot in the cyberpunk movement, and she writes a lot about technology’s impact on personal identity. Mixon has written novels as well as several poignant non-fiction essays. If you want to engage with her, you can follow Mixon on Twitter, website, or the website of her pen name, M.J. Locke (the name she’s used to write many of her fiction titles).

Best Fan Artist

Elizabeth Leggett

Elizabeth Leggett is a breathtaking science fiction and fantasy artist. Her work is imaginative, intricate, and stunningly beautiful. Each one of her pieces is incredibly unique from the last, and she’s able to create diverse and detailed worlds in each picture. It’s no surprise she was this year’s Hugo winner, as you can’t help but be captivated by her work. If you want to learn more about her and connect, you can head to her website and follow her on Twitter.

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Wesley Chu

This award is given to the best new writer in science fiction or fantasy. This year’s winner is Wesley Chu who has written books like The Lives of Tao and Time Salvager (you might also know him as the gentleman sharing a hot tub with his partner and a mariachi band in an Orbitz commercial). Regardless of his hot tubbing activities, Chu is a masterful writer, and the world he created in the sci-fi, time-travelling Time Salvager series is amazing. Check him out on his website or follow him on Twitter.


Feature Image credit: Disney/Marvel

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