The Winners of the 2019 Hugo Awards


The winners of the 2019 Hugo Awards were announced on August 18th. There are some truly great titles on this list. Let’s get to it.

Best Novel

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal


Best Novella

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells


Best Novelette

“If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again” by Zen Cho

Best Short Story

“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow

Best Series

Wayfarers by Becky Chambers


Best Related Work

Archive of Our Own
Organization for Transformative Works

Best Graphic Story

Monstress, Volume 3 by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Written by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman
Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

The Good Place: “Janet(s)”
Written by Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan
Directed by Morgan Sackett

Best Editor, Short Form

Gardner Dozois

Best Editor, Long Form

Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

Charles Vess

Best Semiprozine

Uncanny Magazine
Publishers/Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
Managing Editor Michi Trota
Podcast Producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky

Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue
Editors-in-Chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien

Best Fanzine

Lady Business
Editors Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan


Best Fancast

Our Opinions Are Correct
Hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders


Best Fan Writer

Foz Meadows

Best Fan Artist

Likhain (Mia Sereno)

Best Art Book

The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition
Written by Ursula K. Le Guin
Illustrated by Charles Vess


Have do you think of these winners? Let me know in the comments!

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2019 Edgar Award Winners Announced


The Edgar Awards are an annual award given to the best mystery books of the year. The lists are put together by Mystery Writers of America.

Here are the 2019 winners. If you’d like a full list of the nominees, click here.

Book synopses are courtesy of the publishers and Goodreads.

Best Novel


Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley

From trailblazing novelist Walter Mosley: a former NYPD cop once imprisoned for a crime he did not commit must solve two cases: that of a man wrongly condemned to die, and his own. 

Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD’s finest investigators, until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault by his enemies within the NYPD, a charge which lands him in solitary at Rikers Island.

A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. Broken by the brutality he suffered and committed in equal measure while behind bars, his work and his daughter are the only light in his solitary life. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid to frame him those years ago, King realizes that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of–and why.

Running in parallel with King’s own quest for justice is the case of a Black radical journalist accused of killing two on-duty police officers who had been abusing their badges to traffic in drugs and women within the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

Joined by Melquarth Frost, a brilliant sociopath, our hero must beat dirty cops and dirtier bankers, craven lawyers, and above all keep his daughter far from the underworld in which he works. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: King’s client’s, and King’s own.

Best First Novel


Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin

Rice Moore is just beginning to think his troubles are behind him. He’s found a job protecting a remote forest preserve in Virginian Appalachia where his main responsibilities include tracking wildlife and refurbishing cabins. It’s hard work, and totally solitary—perfect to hide away from the Mexican drug cartels he betrayed back in Arizona. But when Rice finds the carcass of a bear killed on the grounds, the quiet solitude he’s so desperately sought is suddenly at risk.

More bears are killed on the preserve and Rice’s obsession with catching the poachers escalates, leading to hostile altercations with the locals and attention from both the law and Rice’s employers. Partnering with his predecessor, a scientist who hopes to continue her research on the preserve, Rice puts into motion a plan that could expose the poachers but risks revealing his own whereabouts to the dangerous people he was running from in the first place.

James McLaughlin expertly brings the beauty and danger of Appalachia to life. The result is an elemental, slow burn of a novel—one that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.

Best Paperback Original


If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin

Late one night in the quiet Hudson Valley town of Havenkill, a distraught woman stumbles into the police station—and lives are changed forever.

Aimee En, once a darling of the ’80s pop music scene, claims that a teenage boy stole her car, then ran over another young man who’d rushed to help.

As Liam Miller’s life hangs in the balance, the events of that fateful night begin to come into focus. But is everything as it seems?

The case quickly consumes social media, transforming Liam, a local high school football star, into a folk hero, and the suspect, a high school outcast named Wade Reed, into a depraved would-be killer. But is Wade really guilty? And if he isn’t, why won’t he talk?

Told from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints—Wade’s mother Jackie, his younger brother Connor, Aimee En and Pearl Maze, a young police officer with a tragic past, If I Die Tonight is a story of family ties and dark secrets—and the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves.

Best Fact Crime


Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation by Robert W. Fieseler

Buried for decades, the Up Stairs Lounge tragedy has only recently emerged as a catalyzing event of the gay liberation movement. In revelatory detail, Robert W. Fieseler chronicles the tragic event that claimed the lives of thirty-one men and one woman on June 24, 1973, at a New Orleans bar, the largest mass murder of gays until 2016. Relying on unprecedented access to survivors and archives, Fieseler creates an indelible portrait of a closeted, blue-collar gay world that flourished before an arsonist ignited an inferno that destroyed an entire community. The aftermath was no less traumatic—families ashamed to claim loved ones, the Catholic Church refusing proper burial rights, the city impervious to the survivors’ needs—revealing a world of toxic prejudice that thrived well past Stonewall. Yet the impassioned activism that followed proved essential to the emergence of a fledgling gay movement. Tinderbox restores honor to a forgotten generation of civil-rights martyrs.

Best Critical/Biographical


Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger

American crime writing was reborn in the 1920s. After years of dominance by British authors, new American writers—with fresh ideas about the detective and the mystery—appeared on the scene and rose to heights of popularity not witnessed since the success of the Sherlock Holmes tales in America.  

Classic American Crime Writing of the 1920s—including House Without a KeyThe Benson Murder CaseThe Roman Hat MysteryRed Harvest, and Little Caesar—offers some of the very best of that decade’s writing. Earl Derr Biggers wrote about Charlie Chan, a Chinese-American detective, at a time when racism was rampant. S. S. Van Dine invented Philo Vance, an effete, rich amateur psychologist who flourished while America danced and the stock market rose. The quintessential American detective Ellery Queen leapt onto the stage, to remain popular for fifty years. Dashiell Hammett brings readers another mystery narrated by the Continental Op. W. R. Burnett, created the indelible character of Rico, the first gangster antihero.

Each of the five novels included is presented in its original published form, with extensive historical and cultural annotations and illustrations added by Edgar-winning editor Leslie S. Klinger, allowing the reader to experience the story to its fullest. Klinger’s detailed foreword gives an overview of the history of American crime writing from its beginnings in the early years of America to the twentieth century. This gorgeously illustrated volume includes over 100 color and black and white images as well as an introduction by the eminent mystery publisher Otto Penzler.

Best Short Story

English 398: Fiction Worksop by Art Taylor, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

Best Juvenile


Otherwood by Pete Hautman

What happened in the woods that day? Pete Hautman’s riveting middle-grade novel touches on secrets and mysteries — and the power of connections with family and friends.

“Hatred combined with lies and secrets can break the world.” Grandpa Zach used to say that before he died, but Stuey never really knew what he meant. It was kind of like how he used to talk about quantum physics or how he used to say ghosts haunted their overgrown golf course. But then one day, after Stuey and his best friend, Elly Rose, spend countless afternoons in the deadfall in the middle of the woods, something totally unbelievable happens. As Stuey and Elly Rose struggle to come to grips with their lives after that reality-splitting moment, all the things Grandpa Zach used to say start to make a lot more sense. This is a book about memory and loss and the destructive nature of secrets, but also about the way friendship, truth, and perseverance have the ability to knit a torn-apart world back together.

Young Adult


Sadie by Courtney Summers
Read my review of Sadie

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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2019 Hugo Award Finalists

2019 Hugo Award Finalists

The finalists for the 2019 Hugo Awards were announced today at the Dublin 2019 sci-fi convention.

Here are the lists for best novel, novella, and graphic novel, with links to their Goodreads pages. For the full list of award finalists, click here.

Best Novel

Best Novella

Best Graphic Story

  • Abbott written by Saladin Ahmed, art by Sami Kivelä, colours by Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios)
  • Black Panther: Long Live the King written by Nnedi Okorafor and Aaron Covington, art by André Lima Araújo, Mario Del Pennino and Tana Ford (Marvel)
  • Monstress, Volume 3: Haven written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
  • On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden (First Second)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 4 written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image Comics)
  • Saga, Volume 9 written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

The 2019 Man Booker International Longlist

The longlist for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize was released today, and there are some great titles to add to your TBR. Before we get into those books though, I want to point out a few cool things about this year’s list.

First, only two of these novels are from large conglomerate publishing houses; the rest are from independent publishers. I love supporting small publishers and their authors, so I was thrilled to see them represented in the longlist.

Second, over half of the list is made up of female authors – eight in total. It really seems as though women writers are getting equal footing in world literature, so it made me happy to see that they make up the bulk of this list.

Now, let’s get right into the books!

2019 Man Booker International Prize Longlist

Have you read any of these books, or are they on your TBR already? If so, tell me about them in the comments!

A Look at the 35 Over 35 List

For the past five years, the 35 Over 35 list has been examing books written by debut authors 35 years old or older. The collection includes books that are both fiction and non-fiction.

I love that they highlight authors who published in their mid-thirties or beyond. The creators originally started the list as a response to the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 list.

Here are my top five picks from their list, followed by the full list:

The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel


Taking place during the Reagan era, this book takes place in a utopian summer camp and examines idealism and the impact it can have on someone’s life.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival by Kelly Sundberg


This is a memoir where the author examines a loving relationship that afterwards becomes abusive. It’s important to understand how a relationship that started off fine can then become a nightmare for one of the people involved.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds by Rachel Levin


I’m throwing this one in my top five because I spent a decade living in the Appalachian Mountains and much of that time on trails. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I saw people try to approach wild animals for photos or to attempt to feed them. I even saw one woman get out of her car to approach a black bear. If you’re going to be spending any time in the woods without an experienced guide, please read this book and others like it!

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

Summer Cannibals by Melanie Hobson


Set in a mansion on the shores of Lake Ontario, this story follows three sisters facing an imminent tragedy alongside their troublesome pasts.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thrift Books

Self-Portrait with Boy by Rachel Lyon


Rachel Lyon’s debut was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. It’s about a young photographer who accidentally shoots a boy falling to his death. She’s struggling to make ends meet, and such a photo could improve her career, but the boy in the photo is her neighbor’s son. She starts to wonder if it would be ethical to use the photos to advance her career.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

Here’s the full list:

  1. The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel
  2. First Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story by Huda Al-Marashi
  3. The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish by Katya Apekina
  4. White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswawr
  5. Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
  6. A Dirty Word: How a Sex Writer Reclaimed Her Sexuality by Steph Auteri
  7. The Shame of Losing by Sarah Cannon
  8. Kickdown by Rebecca Clarren
  9. Designer You by Sarahlyn Bruck
  10. The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan
  11. Nothing Good Can Come From This: Essays by Kristi Coulter
  12. Bone Willows by James Engelhardt
  13. Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris
  14. Summer Cannibals by Melanie Hobson
  15. An Untidy Life: What I Saw at the Media Revolution by Les Hinton
  16. Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
  17. Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds by Rachel Levin
  18. The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids are Less Disciplined Than Ever – And What to Do About It by Katherine Reynolds Lewis
  19. Amongst the Liberal Elite: The Road Trip Exploring Societal Inequities Solidified by Trump by Elly Lonon and Joan Reilly
  20. Self-Portrait with Boy by Rachel Lyon
  21. One Water by Rob McCue
  22. Big Windows by Lauren Mosely
  23. No Ashes in the Fire by Darnell L. Moore
  24. Burning Down the Haus by Tim Mohr
  25. Letters from a Young Father by Edoardo Ponti
  26. Forbidden by Faith by Negeen Papehn
  27. The Shortest Way Home by Miriam Parker
  28. California Calling: A Self-Interrogation by Natalie Singer
  29. There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia by Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno
  30. Love War Stories by Ivelisse Rodriguez
  31. Revolutionary Threads by Bobby Sullivan
  32. Goodbye, Sweet Girl by Kelly Sundberg
  33. The Wild Birds by Emily Strelow
  34. Tigerbelle by Wyomia Tyus with Elizabeth Terzakis
  35. Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America by Vegas Tenold


2018 National Book Awards Longlist for Young People’s Literature

The National Book Foundation announced their longlist for young people’s literature. There are some obvious names on the list, like Tahereh Mafi, but a few others you may not have heard of yet.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin

We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper

I haven’t read any of these yet, although A Very Large Expanse of Sea and The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge are both on my reading list. Have you guys read any of these? What did you think?