On August 1, 2020, The Hugo Awards were streamed live. Check out the winners below.
Best Novel: A memory called empire / Arkady Martine.
During a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court, Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident–or that Mahit might be next to die. Now Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion–all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret–one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life–or rescue it from annihilation.
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future. Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them.
Best Short Story: “As the Last I May Know” / S.L. Huang
An alternate history short story looking at decisions and consequences, and what it takes to pull the trigger.
Best Series: The Expanse / James S.A. Corey
The Expanse is set in a future in which humanity has colonized much of the Solar System, but does not have interstellar travel. In the asteroid belt and beyond, tensions are rising between Earth’s United Nations, Mars, and the outer planets.
The series initially takes place in the Solar System, using many real locations such as Ceres and Eros in the asteroid belt, several moons of Jupiter, with Ganymede and Europa the most developed, and small science bases as far out as Phoebe around Saturn and Titania around Uranus, as well as well-established domed settlements on Mars and the Moon.
As the series progresses, humanity gains access to thousands of new worlds by use of the ring, an artificially sustained Einstein-Rosen bridge or wormhole, created by a long dead alien race. The ring in our solar system is two AU from the orbit of Uranus, and passing through it leads to a hub of starless space approximately one million kilometers across, with more than 1,300 other rings, each with a star system on the other side. In the center of the hub, which is also referred to as the “slow zone”, an alien space station controls the gates and can also set instantaneous speed limits on objects inside of the hub as a means of defense. — from Wikipedia
Best Related Work: “2019 John W. Campbell Award Acceptance Speech” / Jeannette Ng
Jeannette Ng won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2019 for her book, Under the Pendulum Sun. In her acceptance speech, she called out John W. Campbell’s fascism. This led to the name of the award being changed to The Astounding Award for Best New Writer.
“In an alternate world where aliens have integrated with society, pregnant Nigerian-American doctor Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka has just smuggled an illegal alien plant named Letme Live through LaGuardia International and Interstellar Airport … and that’s not the only thing she’s hiding. She and Letme become part of a community of human and alien immigrants; but as their crusade for equality continues and the birth of her child nears, Future — and her entire world — begins to change”–Provided by publisher.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Good omens [videorecording] / written for television by Neil Gaiman ; directed by Douglas Mackinnon.
In the beginning and eleven years ago, two immortal beings decide that it might not be time to start an Apocalypse. Having followed the wrong boy for years, Aziraphale and Crowley must now try to locate the whereabouts of the real Antichrist. Perhaps the story of Agnes Nutter and her famous prophecies will hold the answer?
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: “The Answer” from The good place. The final season [videorecording] / Universal Television LLC.
Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason are four cosmically bound friends in the fight for their eternity, alongside their former torturer, Michael. Michael, in a fit of panic, had relinquished his role as the Architect to Eleanor, so that she and the gang could help four new residents become better people. Unfortunately, the Bad Place doesn’t exactly make their task easy, and its latest move places Chidi in a dire situation, putting his relationship with Eleanor and the others in jeopardy.
Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book: Catfishing on catnet / [by] Naomi Kritzer.
When outsiders threaten the administrator for the CatNet online community, a sentient AI who loves cat pictures, and a threat from her past catches up to her, Steph and her friends–both online and in real life–must save her.
Astounding Award for Best New Writer: R.F. Kuang
R.F. Kuang’s first novel is The Poppy War. A war orphan rises from her humble beginnings to become a powerful military commander, and perhaps her country’s only hope for survival.