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About the Hugo Awards

One of Science Fiction's Biggest Annual Awards

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The history of the Hugo Awards goes back to 1953, when they were known simply as the "Science Fiction Achievement Awards". They have been awarded annually at WorldCon since 1955 and were eventually renamed the Hugo Awards in honor of Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the noteworthy science fiction magazine Amazing Stories.

Today, works are eligible for a Hugo Award if they were published in English in the previous year. The categories for awards may vary from year to year to reflect the changing world of science fiction media and entertainment; for instance, current categories include everything from "Best Short Story" to "Best Fancast". Nominations - and final winners - are chosen by attending members of the WorldCon every year making it a true reflection of the science fiction community's tastes and trends.

For more information on the history, rules and current nominees for the Hugo Awards, please visit the following links:

* The Hugo Awards Official Website
* Hugo Awards - Wikipedia

The 2013 Hugo Award Nominees

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Best Novel Nominations

1. "2312" by Kim Stanley Robinson

The latest novel by a master of terraforming and world-building

Kim Stanley Robinson's work has regularly been honored with some of science fiction's highest awards, and his previous Mars trilogy is considered a classic of the genre. Often tackling themes of ecology, terraforming and social justice, here Robinson brings us a future where Earth is ravaged by climate change and mankind has spread to throughout our solar system. Asteroids are regularly captured and turned into hollowed-out "terraria" that serve for transportation as well as futuristic "arks" filled with animals. Even Mercury is populated with a movable city on an incredible track, to keep it constantly on the dark side of the too-close sun.

The story follows Swan Er Hong - a one-time terrarium designer who is grieving the unexpected death of her step-grandmother and mentor, Alex. Alex left a message for Swan to deliver to a friend on Io, and her journey opens up a plot of political intrigue, mystery, romance and futuristic science.

2312

by Kim Stanley Robinson

Robinson is definitely a "hard scifi" writer, one who knows his scientific details and delights in creating well thought-out and plausible futuristic settings. For those who love that kind of SF writing, you are likely in for a treat with this novel. However, others have criticized it (and Robinson in general) as being weak on actual plot and character development. So whether this novel will be your "cup of tea" depends on what you look for when reading SF literature.

Classic Titles by Kim Stanley Robinson

Explore other works by this master of the genre

If you enjoy 2013 then you will want to read some of the other great works by this author.

2. "Blackout" by Mira Grant

The third book in one of the most popular zombie series today

Zombies are super-hot these days, and writers are always looking for new ways to explore the topic of the dead rising back to life. The Newsflesh Trilogy supposes a world where, in the year 2014, tremendous scientific breakthroughs have lead to horrible, unexpected side-effects. Two man-made viruses, designed to cure the common cold and cancer respectively, have combined to create a "supervirus" that ends up turning people (and any mammal over a certain size) into a zombie after death.

When the "zombie apocalypse" first took place in this universe, traditional media was found to be far less efficient than new media (such as blogging) in getting information out there - hence "The Rising" of the importance of bloggers as "real" journalists. Humanity and society continues to survive after the arrival of the zombies in a world where politics, intrigue and conspiracies never seem to change. This series of books, following several bloggers on a presidential campaign trail and then immersed in a huge governmental conspiracy, manages to combine classic zombie horror with biting (pun intended) industrial/political commentary.

Blackout (The Newsflesh Trilogy)

by Mira Grant

The third - and final - book in the Newsflesh series. Obviously you'll want to read the first two books in the series first if you haven't already. If you are a fan of the zombie genre in general, then this is surely a book series you'll want to read, if you haven't already!

More Books and Collections by Mira Grant

Other titles set in the Newsflesh universe

Mira Grant is actually the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire, who has written a number of other science fiction titles outside of the zombie genre. However, if zombies are what you love, you'll want to get the complete Newsflesh trilogy, as well as some of the other novellas and short story collections she has published set in the same timeline and universe.

3. "Captain Vorpatril's Alliance" by Lois McMaster Bujold

The latest entry in the beloved Vorkosigan Saga

The Vorkosigan Saga is a science fiction series which has been going strong for over twenty-five years, and won many dedicated fans during that time. It has already won four Hugo Awards in the past, so it is no surprise that this latest addition to the series would be nominated as well.

What makes the series so popular? Lois McMaster Bujold manages to combine many different styles and genres of writing in the series: military adventure, black comedy, romance, intrigue, and even mystery-style "whodunits". Media ethics play a huge part of the ongoing storyline in a universe where bioengineering, cloning and genetic manipulation can change and affect how humanity views itself both on a personal as well as universal scale. Fans have fallen in love with this series for its rich tapestry of characters and their on-going sagas, the details of the "world building" and science behind this extraordinary future vision, and the way Bujold approaches issues from sexuality to politics in such a captivating matter.

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

Like "Blackout" above, is another book which may not be the best place to jump in to a series, if you have not read any of the previous books before. It focuses on the character of Ivan Vorpatril, cousin to Miles Vorkosigan (one of the primary protagonists in the series).

Ivan typically prefers to avoid the political intrigue and adventures that Miles always seems to get wrapped up in. But here, his weakness for the ladies puts him in a dangerous situation, and he may need to give up his to-date bachelorhood in order to save himself! It is a lighthearted entry in the Vorkosigan Saga, one that fans have praised as "enjoyable" and "witty", and one of the more "well-written" in the saga overall.

Exploring the Vorkosigan Saga

Where to begin? Ask the author.

In a 2011 blog post, Lois McMaster Bujold shares her views on what order the books in the Saga should be read - since the publication order does not necessarily match their internal chronological order. Some of the books she recommends to begin with are linked below:

4. "Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas" by John Scalzi

Taking a lighthearted look at a well-known Trekkie cliche

All good Star Trek fans know the running cliche: in the original series, ensigns (who wore "red shirts") were often introduced in an episode only to be killed for dramatic effect during an "away mission" to explore new worlds. In this novel, Scalzi lampoons this common narrative device (and others from well-known scifi media) into an actual "Narrative" for the universe of his story - and what happens to one particular ensign who decides to challenge it?

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

by John Scalzi

This satirical read is likely to appeal to readers well-versed in their Star Trek lore, and who enjoy a good laugh and "meta"-fiction critique. Reviews have been somewhat mixed, however, as not everyone felt that the idea was explored as well - or even as humorously - as it could have been.

Scalzi is the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and has previously won the Hugo Award for Best Fanwriter in 2008, largely due to his popular blog, "Whatever".

"Red Shirt": The Theme Song

Written and performed by Jonathan Coulton

That's right, it's a song inspired by the novel itself! You can read the story about how the song came about at "Journey to Planet JoCo".
New original song by Jonathan Coulton - "Redshirt"
by tordotcom | video info

517 ratings | 43,366 views

Jonathan Coulton reveals a brand new song, "Redshirt," inspired by the John Scalzi novel of the same name. You can read about the origin of the song on Journey to Planet JoCo, where John Scalzi interview Jonathan Coulton about all his greatest science fiction songs: http://www.tor.com/features/series/journey-to-planet-joco Redshirts by John Scalzi hits shelves on June 5. http://us.macmillan.com/redshirts/JohnScalzi Jonathan Coulton's new album "Artificial Heart" is available now! http://www.jonathancoulton.com/wiki/Artificial_Heart_%28album%29

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5. "Throne of the Crescent Moon" by Saladin Ahmed

Book One of The Crescent Moon Kingdoms Series

Are you looking for a different spin on the typical "sword and sorcery" fantasy novel? Then look no further than Saladin Ahmed's debut novel "Throne of the Crescent Moon". This book has delighted many readers with its unique setting and cast of characters - one that reviewers have described as "refreshingly non-white, non-Western European" as so often dominates fantasy novels and series today.

The book follows the adventures of Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, one of the last of the real "ghul hunters" in the great city of Dhamsawaat. Ghuls are zombie-like creatures summoned by sorcerers to do their bidding, and ghuls more powerful than Adoulla has ever seen before have reportedly been at fault for slaughtering entire villages. At 60, Adoulla wishes to retire so he can finally marry the woman he's loved for decades, but he knows he must go on one last mission first - and these powerful new ghuls may just be the beginning of a supernatural coup that could place Dhamsawaat and the entire Crescent Moon Kingdom in peril of an ancient evil.

Throne of the Crescent Moon (Crescent Moon Kingdoms)

by Saladin Ahmed

Saladin Ahmed, an Arab-American author from Detroit, brings a fresh voice to the fantasy genre with this critically-praised work. It was also a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Novel as well as a Hugo Nominee.

Ahmed has been praised for his unique and memorable characters, from the world-weary Adoulla to his young apprentice, the holy warrior Raseed bas Raseed. You can read the first chapter of Throne of the Crescent Moon at the author's website, and get a taste of the magical world he's created there.

Saladin Ahmed Interview about "Throne of the Crescent Moon"

The author answers viewer questions about his debut novel

Saladin Ahmed Bonus interview - Sword & Laser Episode 2
by geekandsundry | video info

193 ratings | 10,706 views

Join our Goodreads forum! http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/4170.The_Sword_and_Laser Subscribe to Geek and Sundry: http://full.sc/GTVYfM CLICK "SHOW MORE" FOR DESCRIPTION & MORE INFO We ask author Saladin Ahmed more viewer questions. Plus he describes his new book and how he became a DM for Joe Abercrombie We want your feedback! Join our community at http://geekandsundry.com/community Email: feedback@swordandlaser.com

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Have you read any of these Hugo Nominated titles yet?

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My pick for the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel would be:

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