As the Hugo nomination period draws to a close, here are the items that will appear on my final ballot. If you’re unfamiliar with any of the items, I highly encourage you to check them out. 2014 was a wonderful year for genre fiction and art.

Note: If a category doesn’t appear or is incomplete, it’s because I either a) did not make any nominations, or b) will be undecided on some of the final inclusions until the final hour.

Best Novel

  • City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

    Even as I was startled by its twisted depth, I adored every moment I spent with City of Stairs. Colonialism lies at City of Stairs‘ centre, and RJB handles it with equal parts boldness and delicacy. The ruined beauty of Bulikov and its fallen gods haunted me long after I turned the final page.

  • Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

    Review — Will Ancillary Sword be able to recapture its predecessor’s lightning-in-a-bottle success? Probably not, but it’s one of the year’s best novels and, due to its more focused storyline, smoother narrative, and introspective thematic elements, I actually liked it better than Ancillary Justice. No sophmore slump for Leckie.

  • The Eternal Sky Trilogy by Elizabeth Bear

    Review — Calling on the Wheel of Time rule, I’m including Bear’s trilogy here as a bit of a self-indulgence and pie-in-the-sky dream scenario. The Eternal Sky trilogy — Range of Ghosts, Shattered Pillars, and Steles of the Sky — is a fascinating epic fantasy that eschews the tired medieval tropes the genre is known for and replaces with a vivid world based on the Turkish-Mongolian khanates of 13th century Asia.

  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

    In a modern fantasy landscape that is littered with the broken corpses left in Grimdark’s wake, Katherine Addison (a pseudonym for Sarah Monette) is a shining light, a beacon of nostalgia and hope on the horizon.

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

    Review — A quiet, riveting post-apocalyptic tale that succeeds because Mandel avoids playing prophet of the apocalypse and shifts focus to the intense personal relationships of the novel’s various protagonists. Beautiful.

Best Related Work

  • Rocket Talk, hosted by Justin Landon

    Landon’s podcast for has become the defacto standard for all science fiction and fantasy podcasts to measure up against. Because of’s professional status, Rocket Talk is ineligible for nomination in the Best Fancast category, but competes handily with the other nominees in this category.


    The big, bad genre site that is slowly subsuming all of the blogosphere’s best writers. It’s impossible to ignore the contribution that this behemoth (which is ineligible for Semi-Prozine) makes to SFF.

  • Speculative Fiction 2013, edited by Ana Grilo & Thea James

    This follow-up to 2014 Hugo nominee Speculative Fiction 2012 is ripe with interesting conversation about science fiction and fantasy. It continues to be an important archive of online SFF fandom. (Note: I have an essay in this collection.)

  • Tropes vs. Women in Video Games: Women as Background Decorations by Anita Sarkeesian

    Sarkeesian’s video series ignited discussion about the portrayal of women in video games and is one of the most important and riveting social events of 2014.

  • Shadows Beneath by Dan Wells, Howard Taylor, Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal

    This wonderful volume is a writing class disguised as a short fiction anthology. Each story is presented alongside extensive editorial notes, transcripts of brainstorming sessions, the first draft, and so much more. A clever idea, wonderfully executed.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Game of Thrones: Season Four
  • The Legend of Korra: Season Three

Best Professional Editor (Short Form)

  • Neil Clarke, for Clarkesworld
  • William Schaefer, for Subterranean Press/Magazine
  • Rose Fox, for Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History
  • Daniel José Older, for Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History
  • Christie Yant, for Women Destroy Science Fiction<

Best Professional Editor (Long Form

  • Devi Pillai, for Orbit Books
  • Anne Perry, for Hodder & Stoughton

Best Semiprozine

Best Fanzine

Best Fancast

  • Speculate!, hosted by Bradley P. Beaulieu & Gregory A. Wilson
  • Sword & Laser, hosted by Veronica Belmont & Tom Merritt

Best Fan Writer

(Note: Good lord, this was a tough category to narrow down this year!)

Best Fan Artist

What made your ballot? What did I miss on mine?

  • Cat March 8, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Personally I liked _Lock In_ better than _Station Eleven_ but otherwise my best novel list is the same as yours. For best related work I put down “Beyond Binary Gender In SF” by Alex Dally McFarlane, in part for the conversation it started and in part for its own sweet self. I also nominated “Tropes Vs Women: Women as Background Decoration” by Antia Sarkeesian and “Invisible” edited by Jim Hines (about representation in SF.) I have a couple of open slots but haven’t nominated anything in that category that is mostly fiction, because I thought the rules said that collections of fiction stories didn’t count, and I thought “Women Destroy Science Fiction,” much as I love it, wasn’t eligible. It hadn’t occurred to me that I could nominate; I’ll have to bear that in mind.

    Did you nominate any shorter-form fiction? I am still looking for novellas, and I’ll have to make up my mind pretty soon.

  • Aidan Moher March 9, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    It’s been brought to my attention that Women Destroy Science Fiction and Long Hidden are both ineligible for “Best Related Work”. So, I’ve replaced them and moved their editors into the “Best Editor (Short Form)” category.

  • Matt March 9, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I’d really like to see The Wertzone get nominated. Adam writes some of the best/nerdiest reviews out there.

  • Kallen (@ GeekyLibrary) March 11, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Having never filled out a hugo nomination ballot before, I definitely struggled with some of the categories. I didn’t nominate Station Eleven because the beautiful hardback I bought is still sadly sitting on top of my to-be read pile. Totally agree with Goblin Emperor though. That book took me by surprise in its complexity.

  • Kate April 9, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I’m so happy to see City of Stairs getting some love. While Goblin Emperor is my pick for best novel, City of Stairs really surprised me and I’m very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

  • Paul (@princejvstin) April 9, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Full Fathom Five, Max Gladstone
    Marakand: The Leopard and The Lady KV Johansen

  • Bibliotropic April 10, 2015 at 1:44 am

    I’ve read only one novel on your Head-Hugo list, but all the others are books I want to read, so that’s something!

  • Blank Slate - Invizable Ink May 30, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    […] that they’re hardly the first folks to campaign for the Hugos, or even publish lists of recommended offerings. In response to these facts, many puppy-opponents have quibbled over what constitutes a […]

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