As the year comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to curl up with the best science fiction and fantasy reading recommendations that you may have missed over 2019. Below are a selection of the American winners of the Hugo and Nebula, awards, along with links to learn more or buy the book.
2019 Hugo Winners
Best Novel: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
Best Novella: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
The second book in the Murderbot Diaries series, and the second to earn Wells a Hugo, Artificial Condition continues the story of the Murderbot. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART, Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue to try to learn more about its past. If you just can’t get enough, all four books in the series are already out.
Best Short Story: “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)
Available to read for free on the Apex Magazine website, “A Witch’s Guide to Escape” is well worth the few minutes it will take to read. Or the half hour to read it over and over. Told from the unique perspective of a librarian who is more than she seems, it follows a young boy looking for escape in the world of books.
Read the story at Apex Magazine
Best Series: Wayfarers by Becky Chambers
If you’re looking for a science fiction reading recommendation that will take you on a slightly longer journey, look no further. Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.
2018 Nebula Award Winners
Best Novelette: “The Only Harmless Great Thing” by Brooke Bolander
The Only Harmless Great Thing is a heart-wrenching alternative history by Brooke Bolander that imagines an intersection between the Radium Girls and noble, sentient elephants. This novelette represents Bolander’s first Nebula win, though she’s been nominated multiple times before.
Best Short Story: “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by P. Djèlí Clark, (Fireside Magazine)
Also available online through Fireside Magazine, Clark’s story is a great way to while away the time until midnight on the 31st. This story turns the folktale of the American founding father on its head by instead focusing on the lives of his slaves.
Read “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” at Fireside Magazine