This year I filled out my first nomination ballot for the Hugo awards. As an SFF fan who also reads a lot of other genres, and isn’t 100% focused on reading and reviewing new SFF releases, I found myself hit with nominator panic – what the hell had I already read that was eligible and what the hell could I cram in that was eligible before nominations closed?
I found determining eligibility difficult – not because a work’s publication or release date wasn’t clearly marked somewhere
but because there were a lot of fly leafs to open up hopefully, a lot of DVD covers to scan only to see the wrong date appear, and a lot of separate ‘Coming In 2013’ or ‘Best of 2012’ lists to hunt down on the internet in order to work out what could go on my nominations list. My house contains a lot of books and DVDs. My local library contains even more. I take in a lot of media over the course of a year that might fall into one of the Hugo categories throughout the year and (foolishly) I hadn't noted which year any of that media was initially released in.
I also couldn’t find one easy way to work out which media that I hadn’t got to yet, perhaps media I hadn’t even heard about yet, might be eligible for Hugos so that I could do a last dash media cram before nominations closed. Although I probably talked about wanting to read a lot of books when they were new out that doesn’t mean I always went straight off to read them (hahahaha) or that, as nominations drew ever closer, I remembered that their release date made them eligible for Hugos
So, I thought that this year I would get ahead in at least a couple of categories. I've gathered together some useful lists about 2013 SFF media to help me create a smarter, more informed nominations ballot next year. And I'm going to share them all with you just in case
you also found yourself bashing in search terms and trying to weed through recommendation lists five days before this year's Hugo nominations closed. Please tell me I'm not the only unprepared fan out there!
First, I’ve searched the internet and gathered together as many lists as I can find of SFF books (largely novels) that have been published or are going to be published in 2013:Booksio9 - All the essential science fiction books coming in 2013Sleeping with Monsters - Anticipating the first half
and the second half of 2013The Book Smugglers reflect on 2013 so farLocus - 2013 releases up to May 2013
and June - Dec 2013SF Signal's monthly round ups of forthcoming books for 2013My Bookish Ways - July 2013 New Releases: SF/F/HorrorTor - British Genre Fiction Hitlist
That’s a lot of books! Allow yourself a brief moment of excitement before you keel over under the weight of the volume.
I also wanted to drop links to all the major SFF publisher’s 2013 catalogues. I did find some of these catalogues but unfortunately the list I’ve included below is by no means exhaustive or complete. SFF publishers I am not a patient woman and sometimes it’s hard to find your output broken down by year. If you publish SFF and have a list of 2013 books somewhere on your site please help me out and drop a link to it in the comments section:Books by publisherOrbit
*MasqueStrange ChemistryAngry RobotPyr
* Bonus Orbit - Autumn 2013
Now, we come to lists for a couple of categories that mean a lot to me – long and short form drama. I love TV. I love film. There is more SFF in those mediums than Dr Who and Peter Jackson flicks:TVio9 - The Ultimate Guide to this Summer's Science Fiction and Fantasy TV io9 - The Ultimate Guide to this Fall's Science Fiction and Fantasy TV Scifi Chick - New SFF TV shows This Fall Filmio9 - 77 Science Fiction and Fantasy movies to watch out for in 2013What Culture - 44 unmissable Sci-fi & Fantasy Movies Still to Come in 2013Movieweb - Sci-fi 2013
What I’d love to see is more personal recommendation lists of SFF media from 2013; lists by bloggers who are excited about new releases, especially if those lists include lots of media created by, or featuring, women. I basically want to know what you'd put on your own version of io9's Scifi That Could Change Your Life
rec list for 2013. If you’ve created a list like that then please feel free to leave a link in the comments and I’ll drool over its contents before adding it into the post. This year, with your help, I will go into the Hugos as prepared as I can be without bankrupting myself. And maybe I'll take a few of you along for the ride?