Tuesday, January 19, 2021

2021 Nerds of a Feather Hugo Awards Recommended Reading, Part 2: Visual Work Categories


Welcome to our continuing presentation of the Nerds of a Feather 2021 Hugo Award Recommendation List (see part 1 here). Today will look at Graphic Story, the two Dramatic Presentation categories, and the new one time Video Game category.  

As before, we here at 'nerds of a feather, flock together' are presenting a collective longlist of potential Hugo nominees that we think are worthy of your consideration. These selections represent the spectrum of tastes, tendencies, and predilections found among our group of 14 writers.

As a reminder, this list should not at all be considered comprehensive. Some outstanding works will not make our longlist for the simple reason that we have not seen, read, or played it. We encourage you to think of this as a list of candidates to consider alongside works which you are already familiar, nothing more and nothing less.  

Nerds of a Feather 2021 Recommendation List Series:

Graphic Story
Gideon Falls, Vol 5: Wicked Worlds by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Dave Stewart
Gunnerkrigg Court, Volume 8: Catalysis by Thomas Siddel.
Invisible Kingdom, Vol 2: Edge of Everything by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward
The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado, DaNi and Tamra Bonvillain
Monstress, Vol 5: War Child by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, by Damian Duffy, Octavia E. Butler and John Jennings
Ghost Spider Vol 1: Dog Days are Over by Seanan McGuire, Takeshi Miyazawa, Rosie Kampe and Ian Herring*
A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir, Nicole Andelfinger and Sonia Liao
Undiscovered Country, Vol 1: Destiny by Scott Snyder, Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli

Dramatic Presentation
Note: we would normally split this list into short and long, reflecting the category boundaries. However, like last year, we felt that there were a number of great TV show seasons which deserve consideration as a whole, although individual episodes for all of these are also eligible in short form. We've therefore split the list into movies and TV, and encourage you to make your own call about standout episodes from the latter.

Bill and Ted Face the Music
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Black is King
Color Out of Space
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky
The Old Guard
Over the Moon
Palm Springs
The Vast of Night

TV Shows
The Good Place: Season 4 (NBC)
Lovecraft Country: Season 1 (HBO)
The Mandalorian: Season 2 (Disney Plus)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Final Arc: Old Friends Not Forgotten / The Phantom Apprentice / Shadowed / Victory and Death (Disney Plus)
Upload: Season 1 (Amazon Prime)

Video Games
Note: Video Game eligibility may be affected depending on whether a game was released in beta/early access and how the Hugo Committee views the release or "publication" of a particular game. We have made our best attempt to recognize games which were either released in 2020 or had significant narrative changes to their 2020 editions, which we believe should make them eligible in the same way works released over multiple years in other categories are eligible in their year of completion.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Civilization 6: New Frontiers Pass
Doom Eternal
Final Fantasy VII: Remake
Fire Emblem Three Houses: Cindered Shadows DLC
In Other Waters
The Last of Us: Part II
LUNA: The Shadow Dust
Ori and the Will of the Wisps

*NOTE: An earlier version of this list mistakenly included Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider (2019) instead of this first volume of the most recent run. While we were fixing that error (sorry!), we realised there are two volumes of the current Ghost Spider run. The first was released in 2020 but compiles issues all released in 2019, and the second second (Ghost Spider Vol 2: Party People, by Seanan McGuire and Ig Guara) was released in 2021 and compiles issues released in 2020. Both raise some questions about eligibility, but on reflection and after informally consulting with a friendly former Hugo administrator, we would like to specifically recommend this first volume for consideration in the 2020 Hugo Awards.