Not the way I wanted to start out this blog, but this weekend was full of lovely distractions and my poor ADD brain couldn’t handle it! So please take this picture of my sweet Cinder as an apology.
Instead of finishing a book from my TBR pile, I ended up adding a few. The first being “To All the Boys I Loved Before” by Jenny Han. You may have heard of it as the movie adaptation dropped on Netflix last Friday to thunderous applause. I don’t have a lot of high school YA romance in my TBR, but the movie was so sweet that TATBILB and it’s sequels were instantly added. First, it has one of my FAVORITE romance tropes of all time – Fake Relationships. I get fluffy couple scenes, mutual pining, and slow burn ALL IN ONE! And ugh, this movie executed it so sweetly I fear that I might need dental work in the near future. Second, everyone needs a Peter K. in their life. I don’t care if you prefer men or not, single or not, everyone deserves a person who drives across town for you to buy that one smoothie you love just because they care. Not because they want something from you, or it’s an obligation, just because they want to see you smile.
After watching To All the Boys I Loved Before twice (Once on my own, once with my mom because I knew she’d love it), I indulged my geeky side by scouring Twitter for news about the Hugo Awards. If you don’t know, the Hugos are a literary award given to the best SciFi/Fantasy books of the year and are awarded during WorldCon. I typically pull a lot of my TBR from the nominees and winners of each year, and this year I had a lot of favorites in the race.
A lot of favorites.
Some of them won, some of them didn’t, but all of them are amazing. It was a big year for diverse writers and stories. Here are my highlights:
N.K. Jemisin wins historic 3rd Best Novel Award
I’ve loved Jemisin since I found her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, in 2011, just a few months before the third book in the Inheritance Trilogy was published. Beautifully crafted and revolutionary in it’s handling of culture in high fantasy, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is a book I constantly recommend. And it looks like Jemisin has just gotten better. I’ve had The Fifth Season in my TBR pile since it was announced, but never seemed to get around to it, even after Jemisin won Best Novel for it in 2016, making her the first African American writer to win that category. Then she did it again in 2017 with the sequel for The Obelisk Gate, and (making history again) won this year with The Stone Sky. So not only is this amazing writer the first African American to win Best Novel, she’s also the first person ever to win it THREE TIMES IN A ROW! I stand by what I said when I first read her books, N.K. Jemisin is the future of SFF.
Murderbot Wins Tough Novella Category
This was the category that I could not pick a favorite in because every single one was amazing. The only novella in this category that I’ve actually read was Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire because I got it as an ARC at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books the year before last (and McGuire is who I want to be when I grow up), but all of the rest have a place in my TBR lineup. But as the winner of this year’s Novella Category, All Systems Red by Martha Wells has risen to the top of the pile.
Upcoming Indigenous Writer Walks Away with Two Awards
Another writer who I recently added to my TBR pile, Rebecca Roanhorse won both the Hugo for Best Short Story and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer! Her debut, Trail of Lighting, is one that I am ecstatic to read. Native American folklore mixed with a Mad Max-ishPost-Apocalyptic setting? Sign me up! Scifi, in particular, needs more voices telling the future, and that an Ohkay Owingeh /Black woman won two awards this year tells little baby writers like me that our voices will be heard. You go, Roanhorse!
To find the rest of the winners and nominees for the 2018 Hugos, read more here.
If you want to add a few books to your TBR pile, check out the links below to some of my favorite indie bookstores:
To All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han: The Ripped Bodice
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin: Borderlands Books
The Broken Earth Trilogy (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky): Mysterious Galaxy
Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™ by Rebecca Roanhorse in Apex, August 2017