Monday, January 30, 2023

2023 Nerds of a Feather Hugo Awards Recommended Reading, Part 1: Fiction Categories

One of our favorite jokes is that the Hugo Award season is eternal. No sooner have the awards been presented that we start thinking about who to consider for the following year's awards and then start building our lists and predictions and nominations and the cycle begins anew. This year is going to be a longer cycle than usual with the Worldcon in Chengdu taking place in October (though, perhaps not quite as long as the ceremony two years ago, which occurred in December).

As such, welcome to our presentation of the Nerds of a Feather 2023 Hugo Award Recommendation List. Today we will look at the Fiction categories of Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Series, and the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult.

As always, this is not - nor does it intend to be - a comprehensive survey of the field. Some stories that are undoubtedly "award worthy" are absent for the simple reason that we haven't read them yet. Additionally, our flock collectively read less in some categories than others, so shorter lists shouldn't be taken as an absence of quality in the category as a whole - we simply haven't experienced as much, as a team, in those areas. Thus we encourage you to think of this as a list of candidates to consider and discover, alongside others you may be already familiar with and other recommendation sources.

Also, while we've done what we can to ensure the recommendations are eligible in their respective categories, it is possible we've made a couple of errors. If you spot something on the list that isn't eligible in a particular category, please let us know and we'll correct it.

Nerds of a Feather 2023 Recommendation List Series:


(Editor's Note: At the time of compiling this list, the HarperCollins Union strike is still ongoing, and Nerds of a Feather is respecting the picket line by holding all reviews of HarperCollins titles. As this list doesn't constitute a review, we have chosen to include HarperCollins titles in recognition of the authors and the publishing teams who brought these fantastic works to readers - but we urge readers to familiarise themselves with the HarperCollins Union fight for a fair contract.)

Abdullah, Chelsea. The Stardust Thief [Orbit]
Addison, Katherine. The Grief of Stones [Tor (US)/Solaris (UK)]
Barnhill, Kelly. When Women Were Dragons [Doubleday (US)/ Hot Key Books (UK)]
Blake, Olivie. The Atlas Six [Tor] - Note: originally self-published in 2020, may not be eligible depending on the substance of revisions
Broaddus, Maurice. Sweep of Stars [Tor]
Buchanan, Andi C. Sanctuary [Robot Dinosaur Press]
Cooney, C.S.E. Saint Death's Daughter [Solaris]
de Bodard, Aliette. The Red Scholar’s Wake [Gollancz (UK)/ JABberwocky Literary Agency (US)]
Dawson, Juno. Her Majesty’s Royal Coven [Penguin Books (US)/Harper Voyager (UK)]
Dean, Sunyi. The Book Eaters [Tor (US)/Harper Voyager (UK)]
Deane, Maya. Wrath Goddess Sing [William Morrow]
Emrys, Ruthanna. A Half Built Garden [Tordotcom]
Felker-Martin, Gretchen. Manhunt [Nightfire]
Gailey, Sarah. Just Like Home [Tor (US)/Hodder & Staughton (UK)]
Gladstone, Max. Last Exit [Tor (US)/ Titan (UK)]
Griffith, Nicola. Spear [Tordotcom]
Hoffman, P.S. The Last Human [Self-Published]
James, Marlon. Moon Witch, Spider King [Riverhead (US)/Hamish Hamilton (UK)]
Jemisin, N.K. The World We Make [Orbit]
Jimenez, Simon. The Spear Cuts Through Water [Del Rey]
Kingfisher, T. Nettle and Bone [Tor (US)/Titan (UK)
Kowal, Mary Robinette. The Spare Man [Tor (US)/Solaris (UK)]
Kuang, R.F. Babel [HarperVoyager]
Lemberg, R.B. The Unbalancing [Tachyon]
Maxwell, Everina. Ocean's Echo [Tor (US)/Orbit (UK)]

Meadows, Foz. A Strange and Stubborn Endurance [Tor]
McGuire, Seanan. Seasonal Fears [Tordotcom]
Moreno-Garcia, Silvia. The Daughter of Doctor Moreau [Del Rey (US)/Jo Fletcher Books (UK)]
Mueller, Sara A. The Bone Orchard [Tor]
Muir, Tamsyn. Nona the Ninth [Tordotcom]
Nagamatsu, Sequoia. How High We Go in the Dark [William Morrow (US)/Bloomsbury (UK)]
Nagata, Linda. Needle [Mythic Island Press]
Onyebuchi, Tochi. Goliath [Tordotcom]
Powell, Gareth. Stars and Bones [Titan]
Roanhorse, Rebecca. Fevered Star [Saga Press (US)/Solaris (UK)]
Robin, Emery. The Stars Undying [Orbit]
Scalzi, John. The Kaiju Preservation Society [Tor]
St. John Mandel, Emily. Sea of Tranquility [Knopf (US)/Picador (UK)]
Shepard, Peng. The Cartographers [William Morrow (US)/Orion (UK)]
Suri, Tasha. The Oleander Sword [Orbit]
Tan, Sue Lynn. Daughter of the Moon Goddess [HarperVoyager]
Vo, Nghi. Siren Queen [Tordotcom]
Yang, Neon. The Genesis of Misery [Tor] 
Wade, Juliette. Inheritors of Power [DAW]
Yanagihara, Hanya. To Paradise [Doubleday (US)/Picador (UK)


Barrett, Bendi. Empire of the Feast [Neon Hemlock]
Bergslien, Emily & Kat Weaver. Uncommon Charm [Neon Hemlock]
Chambers, Becky. A Prayer for the Crown Shy [Tordotcom Publishing]
Coelho, Mario. Unto the Godless What Little Remains [Solaris]
Elliot, Kate. Servant Mage [Tordotcom Publishing]
Ganguly, Gigi. One Arm Shorter Than the Other [Atthis Arts]
Grist, Rihannon A. The Queen of the High Fields [Luna Press Publishing]
Jamnia, Naseem. The Bruising of Qilwa [Tachyon]
Jimenez, Tiffany. The Moment you Remember, you Forget [Luna Press Publishing]
Lee, Fonda. The Jade Setter of Janloon [Subterranean Press]
Miller, Sam J. Kid Wolf and Kraken Boy [Solaris]
Monae, Janelle & Danny Lore. "Nevermind" [The Memory Librarian and other stories of Dirty Computer]
Polk, C.L. Even Though I Knew the End [Tordotcom Publishing]
Rather, Lina. Sisters of the Forsaken Stars [Tordotcom Publishing]
Roanhorse, Rebecca. Tread of Angels [Saga Press (US)/Solaris (UK)]
Robson, Eddie. Drunk on All Your Strange New Worlds [Tordotcom Publishing]
Robson, Kelly. High Times in the Low Parliament [Tordotcom Publishing]
Sanford, Jason. "Blood Grains Scream in Memories" [Beneath Ceaseless Skies 349]
Swirsky. Rachel. January Fifteenth [Tordotcom Publishing]
Tacchi, Francesca. Let The Mountains Be My Grave [Neon Hemlock]
Thompson, Tade. The Legacy of Molly Southbourne [Tordotcom Publishing]
Tolmie, Sarah. All The Horses of Iceland [Tordotcom Publishing]
Vo, Nghi. Into the Riverlands [Tordotcom Publishing]


Hsyu, J.C. "Optimist Cleaver's Last Transmission" [The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November/December 2022]
Jones, Stephen Graham. The Backbone of the World [Amazon Original Stories]
Maxfield, Mary. "Mother Hunger" [Strange Horizons, September 2022]
Melcer, M.V. Patterns in Stone and Stars [Giganotosaurus]
Monae, Janelle & Sheree Renee Thomas. "Timebox Altar(ed)" [The Memory Librarian and Other Stories of Dirty Computer]
Monae, Janelle & Yohanca Delgado. "Save Changes" [The Memory Librarian and Other Stories of Dirty Computer]
Pang, Y.M. The Mountains my Bones, the Rivers my Blood" [Beneath Ceaseless Skies 366]
Tanzer, Molly. "Les Chiméres: An Ode" [The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Sept/Oct 2022]
Tsamaase, Tlotlo. "Peeling Time (Deluxe Edition)" [Africa Risen]
Willrich, Chris. "On Magog's Pond" [Beneath Ceaseless Skies 367]

Short Story

Anderton, Joanne "Three on a Match" [The Art of Broken Things]
Baker, Celeste Rita. "Me and Seed Sheself" [Khoreo 2.1]
Bennardo, M. "A Prayer to St. Jude" [Noir Fire, The Future Fire 61]
Berman, Mary. "Cassandra Takes the Plunge" [Shoreline of Infinity 32]
Castroianni, Eleanna. "Our Heartstrings Howl the Moon" [Strange Horizons, December 2022]
Cervantes, J.C. "Eterno" [Reclaim the Stars]
Dickey, Dominique. "Slow Communication" [Fantasy Magazine Issue 76]
Diene, Mame Bougouma and Woppa Diallo. "A Soul of Small Places" [Africa Risen]
Drnovšek Zorko, Filip Hajdar. “For Whom the Psychopomp Calls”[Clarkesworld, Jan 2022]
Drnovšek Zorko, Filip Hajdar.  “Intimacies” [Strange Horizons, Feb 2022]
Forna, Victor. "Parebul of the Mother, Asked in Moonlight" [Fantasy Magazine 86]
Helms, Amanda. "The Blooms of Sorrow" [FIYAH Issue 24]
Hugenbach, Brian. "The Princess, NP" [Escape Pod 856]
Ijasan, Adelehin. "From Earth to Io, with love". [FIYAH Issue 21]
Jiang, Ai. "Give me English" [The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May/June 2022]
Kim, Isabel J. "Christopher Mills, Return to Sender" [Fantasy Magazine Issue 77]
Kusano, Iori. “can i offer you a nice egg in this trying time”[Uncanny Magazine Issue 49]
Liddle, Loki. "Snake of Light" [This All Come Back Now]
Lin, Su-Yee. "The Pigeon-Keeper's Daughter" [Strange Horizons, March 2022]
Machado, Carmen Maria. Bloody Summer [Amazon Original Stories]
Miller, Sam J. "Iconophobe." [The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2022]
Mills, Samantha. "Rabbit Test" [Uncanny Magazine Issue 49]
Moreno, Nina. "Magical Offerings" [Reclaim the Stars]
Ogundiran, Tobi. "The Lady of the Yellow-Painted Library" [Africa Risen]
Ortega, Claribel A. "Killing El Chivo" [Reclaim the Stars]
Villar, Gnesis. "Girl Eats Girl" [FIYAH Issue 24]

Series (With Qualifying Volume)

Addison, Katherine. The Goblin Emperor (The Grief of Stones)
Bennett, Robert Jackson. The Founders Trilogy (Locklands)
Edwards, K.D. The Tarot Sequence (The Hourglass Throne)
Flint, Eric and co-authors. 1632 Series (1637: The Transylvanian Decision)
Kuhn, Sarah. Heroine Complex (Holiday Heroine)
Lewis, Linden A. The First Sister Trilogy (The Last Hero)
Liu, Ken. The Dandelion Dynasty (Speaking Bones)
Maresca, Marshall Ryan. The Maradaine Saga (The Quarrygate Gambit)
McGuire, Seanan. Incryptid (Spelunking Through Hell)
McGuire, Seanan. October Daye (Be the Serpent)
Mohamed, Premee. Beneath the Rising  (The Void Ascendant)
Muir, Tamsyn. The Locked Tomb (Nona the Ninth)
Nagata, Linda. Inverted Frontier (Needle)
Novik, Naomi. The Scholomance (The Golden Enclaves)
Okorafor, Nnedi. The Nsibidi Scripts (Akata Woman)
Tchaikovsky, Adrian. Children of Time Trilogy (Children of Memory)
Wade, Juliette. The Broken Trust (Inheritors of Power)
Yong, Jin, tr. Anna Holmwood, Gigi Chang and Shelly Bryant. The Legend of the Condor Heroes (A Heart Divided)

Young Adult (Lodestar)

(Note: Daughter of the Moon Goddess, by Sue Lynn Tan, was originally listed in this category but has been moved to the best novel list, as it is not a Young Adult book. All of the titles below are novels and are also eligible in the Best Novel category.)

Anders, Charlie Jane. Dreams Bigger than Heartbreak [Tor Teen (US)/Titan (UK)]
Barker, Kathryn. Waking Romeo [Flatiron]
Clarke, H.A. The Scratch Daughters [Erewhon]
Dennard, Susan. The Luminaries [Daphne Press [UK]/Tor Teen (US)]
Deonn, Tracy. Bloodmarked [Simon and Schuster]
Hardinge, Frances. Unraveller [Pan Macmillan]
Hartman, Rachel. In The Serpent's Wake [Random House]
Ibañez, Isabel. Together We Burn [Wednesday Books (US)/Titan (UK)]
Ireland, Justine. Rust in the Root [Balzer + Bray]
Lee, Yoon Ha. Tiger Honor [Rick Riordan Presents]
Lin, Judi I. A Magic Steeped in Poison [Feiwel and Friends]
Okorafor, Nnedi. Akata Woman [Viking Books for Young Readers]
Older, Daniel José. Ballad & Dagger [Rick Riordan Presents]