Sci Fi Friday: My 2021 Hugo Predictions

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a true Sci Fi Friday post, and after seeing a blog post (I cannot remember who) asking if folks gravitated towards awards winners or not, I thought that I really don’t, but I have been doing a damn good job guessing what’s going to be on the Hugos.

However, while I mention my predictions in my reviews (like: this is gonna be on the Hugos/Nebulas, trust me friends), I have never compiled these into a crystal ball-like prediction.

Of course, this basically is like—every book I’ve read could be on the list, so let’s predict them all!

Of course, this is just for fun, and based on the books on my (very small) radar, from what I’ve read.

My Predictions

* means I read it, ☺ is my predicted winner

Best Novel

  • The City We Became by NK Jemisin* ☺
  • The Last Emperox by John Scalzi*
  • Network Effect by Martha Wells*
  • The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson *
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow *
  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse * ☺

I was absolutely convinced that The City We Became was gonna be the winner after I read it, and then I read Black Sun and you’ve got my bet. It’s going to be one of these two. If it’s Paolini’s instead, I’m going to be pissed.

I wasn’t a massive fan of either The Space Between Worlds or The Once and Future Witches, but I can see them making it.

The ones I haven’t read that might be up there are Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini, and maaaaaybe The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez.

Long Shot Nominations

  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Kuhn (loved it, but it might be a touch too fluffy and not literary enough for them)
  • The Seep by Chana Porter (absolutely brilliant, very literary, but very divided reviews)
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (horror, but maybe?)
  • Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee (perhaps not literary enough)
  • Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (this was…literary, and a brilliant mess)

Best Novella

  • Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi * ☺
  • Ring Shout by P Djèlí Clark * ☺
  • Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey*
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo *
  • Finna by Nino Cipri*
  • The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho*
  • Burning Roses by SL Huang*

Yes, there are seven instead of six. I cannot whittle them down. While I have a big feeling that Riot Baby will win (could be Ring Shout though), I would love to see The Empress of Salt and Fortune take it.

For Reference, Last Year’s Predictions

Bold means I predicted it would make the list, * means I read it, ♕ was the actual winner, ☺ is my predicted winner

Best Novel

  • A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK) ♕ *
  • Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing) *
  • The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK) *
  • The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan) *
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK) *

Best Novella

  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books) *
  • In an Absent Dream, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton) ☺ *
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, by Ted Chiang (Exhalation (Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf; Picador))
  • The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga Press/Gallery) *

One thought on “Sci Fi Friday: My 2021 Hugo Predictions

  1. These were mine:

    Mexican Gothic; Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    Harrow the Ninth; Tamsyn Muir
    Black Sun; Rebecca Roanhorse
    The City We Became; N.K. Jemisin
    The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue; V.E. Schwab


    Three of these are ridiculously literary. Mexican Gothic reminds me a lot of Jane Eyre to be honest. Coming of age story with plenty of physiognomy to consider. Magic. 😉

    Harrow the Ninth just amazes me, passage after passage. Tamsyn Muir can write… a lot. So much inversion too. It’s like the story goes inside out.

    Schwab uses a 300-year-old character to reflect on the briefness of life, about love and history, about revenge… so much going on in that book.

    The other two are the same ones you have chosen as your favorites. I should have nominated Between the Earth and Sky as best series too, but five slots were not enough. 😉 And, yes, The City We Became is a great story with powerful characters and articulates New York, speaks with its choir of voices.

    Anyway, thank you for posting and sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

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