It’s the Booktube SFF Awards season again! I didn’t get to participate as a blogger or vlogger last year but this year I’m jumping in! The first of the Babbles – post/video topics that are spread out over the course of the season is to talk about our nominations.
I was planning on having a video to accompany this but low and behold all my footage was hella blurry! So discouraging. So for first babble we just have a blog post.
I’m going to go way out of order, starting with the categories I had either no *gasp* or very few possibilities for. Middle Grade – the newest category, and Young Adult. I was quite shamed in fact to see my lack of reading in the Middle Grade field for the past year. I love MG books, but according to my Goodreads it seems like I only read two in 2016. Both were 2016 releases, but I wouldn’t necessary nominate them. I’m pretty disappointed in that, but it also means I’m super excited to see what nominees come up so I can dive back into the age bracket. A similar situation arose with my Young Adult reading. I burned myself out fast on YA books in 2014 and 2015. I got super tired of seeing a lot of the same tropes and stories, and (let’s be honest here) the recycled romance. Then to make matters even worse came the return of the Abusive romantic trope and I was out. I can guess what might make the list, and I’m more than willing to give it a shot for this. I know there are gems in the bracket, I was just so burnt out I couldn’t bring myself to try them. This will hopefully be my push back in.
Now onto a bracket that was just as small as far as pickings for me, but I did have some solid choices. I don’t read too many graphic novels. I used to be a huge comic fan, I had subscriptions at my local store and kept up with the news and industry. Of particular love for me was DC Comics. Then came a huge rewrite of the entire line, my favorite character was trashed with no return in sight and I was left with a terrible taste in my mouth. Since then the news I’ve read coming out of the comics industry hasn’t been too… hope inspiring, especially for the two powerhouses though Marvel is making strides. Instead I stick to the independent and smaller imprints. For me I nominated One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabela Greenberg, and Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu. There are a few others like Rat Queens (which I have mixed feelings on due to creator choices), Lumberjanes, Descenders, and the ever so famous Saga. It came down to how the comics stood out to me. One Hundred Nights had an art style that was in no way traditionally beautiful but impactful, and the story resonated with me. Meanwhile Monstress had all the hallmarks of the epic fantasy that I loved as a kid with artwork to make you drool.
For best novel I had a bit of a hard time choosing. I diversified my reading in 2016 so a lot of what I read wasn’t necessary fantasy or sci-fi, or honestly I couldn’t afford to get a lot of the new releases and my library didn’t carry them. I did however read the amazing Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (is anyone surprised here? anyone?) and since it was on the Locus list for reading and I adored it as well HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. I don’t know if HEX technically makes the cut as Horror but I took a shot on it and really recommend trying it. I’ve gushed enough about Ninefox to make most people ill so I’ll
leave it be. I also can see which ones might get nominated for this and frankly I’d read almost anything for this. (Disclaimer here: I will not read Captive Prince. Tried it – Hated it with the fire of a thousand suns – Will not read again – Honestly not up for discussion)
Best short work was the hardest category for me to pick. I’ve been reading a lot of short SFF in the past year. At work it’s perfect for me, coming in bite sized portions I can blaze through between projects and help my brain defrag (get it? I work in IT?) after the madness of that environment. I wound up picking You Will Drown If You Stay Here by Alyssa Wong and The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavelle. This is a category I’m pretty worried about in general. I love the SFF community but they tend to fixate on people and books. I hope this category has some great variety in it. As much as I loved Every Heart and I love Brandon Sanderson I want there to be some recognition for other lesser seen authors and works. Alyssa Wong does absolutely stunning short works of Fantasy/Horror, my favorite short fiction writer, period. You Will Drown I think slipped past a lot of people as it was a late in the year release. She also has an amazing Tor short story, A Fistful of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers that could also be nominated. The Ballad of Black Tom was just… I need to reread that one honestly. It was so incredible, so incredible. It barely skates in with 149 pages for the 150 page limit but I so hope it gets pulled in.
So I think that’s it. Longer than I expected honestly! And if you’re interested in following the Booktube SFF Awards as they are open to everyone on every platform please check them out HERE and nominates are as of this time still open! They close on Valentines Day so get in there and nominate your best reads.