The 2017 Hugo Award Nominees were announced earlier this month, and there’s lots of great stuff on the ballot this year. Over at his website Strange at Ecbatan, Rich Horton has a look at the results, and compares them to his predictions. Here’s his thoughts on the nominees for Best Novel.
I think this shortlist looks very impressive indeed. I had already read All the Birds in the Sky and Too Like the Lightning before my previous article, and I had suggested that I’d nominate All the Birds in the Sky (which I did). I also praised Too Like the Lightning… Since then I’ve gotten to Ninefox Gambit, and I very enthusiastically support its nomination. (I’m working on a review post about it.) Ninefox Gambit is complicated Military SF, which sort of teaches you how to read it as you go along. It’s got a fierce moral core, which is slowly revealed, and it opens up beautifully at the end, so that I don’t think the second book in the trilogy will be a “middle book.” And – this novel is reasonably speaking complete in itself.
I haven’t read the other three. But everything I’ve seen about A Closed and Common Orbit suggests I’ll like it – and also suggests that I really need to get to Chambers’ previous novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. The other two novels are sequels to the past two Hugo winners, and I have no reason to doubt their quality as well. This is probably the Best Best Novel shortlist in at least 5 years.
And, hey, three first novels! Is that the first time that’s ever happened?