On August 1, 2020, members of the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) named the winners of the 2020 Hugo Awards at an online ceremony hosted by George R.R. Martin.
Traditionally, the Hugo Awards, the Astounding Award for Best New Writer (previously called the John W. Campbell Award), and the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book are awarded in-person at Worldcon, which is located in a different city each year. Wellington, New Zealand, was to host this year’s event; however, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the in-person convention, and Worldcon moved online for 2020.
Congratulations to the winners!
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
New ambassador Mahit is sent to the capital of the massive Teixcalaani empire to represent 30,000 hardy souls living in an independent mining station—a dream she never expected to come true. But as Mahit is swallowed by sophisticated Teixcalaani protocols and traditions, she becomes the bone that sticks in the throat—unwilling to accept not only the flimsy story around her predecessor’s untimely death (or murder) but also the empire’s desire to expand. Mahit’s gritty spywork and diplomatic sleight-of-hand in the face of overwhelming power make this space opera a page-turner. Book 2, A Desolation Called Peace, arrives in March 2021.
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Agents Red and Blue fight for different sides in a war that spins up and down the threads of time, and Red and Blue are among the best time agents on the front lines. After Blue leaves a letter for Red at their latest battlefield, a playful correspondence turns into something far bigger. But neither can be sure that the other agent isn’t playing a very long game of subversion and double-cross. Emotionally riveting (and sometimes ravaging), El-Mohtar and Gladstone’s slim tale of love and loyalty despite time and place packs a wallop.
Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin
Jemisin won the Hugo Award for best novel three years in a row, took a break, and has now won it again in 2020 with this delightfully subversive story about an alien visitor to the hostile planet Earth. Happily, Emergency Skin is available as a free download for Prime members and Kindle Unlimited members. And if you’ve already read Emergency Skin, pick up The City We Became, which the Amazon editors named the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of the Year So Far.
LaGuardia by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, and colors by James Devlin
Best graphic story or comic
Well known for her Binti and Akata novels, Okorafor takes readers to an alternate time where aliens and humans are living together in a rough peace on Earth, but it’s still not OK to smuggle plants through LaGuardia Interstellar and International Airport. But when a pregnant Nigerian-American doctor does so, bringing the alien plant Letme Live with her to the U.S., the repercussions expand to ignite a movement for freedom.
The TV adaptation Good Omens won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, and is available on Amazon Prime Video.
And our congratulations go as well to Naomi Kritzer for winning the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book for Catfishing on CatNet, and to R.F. Kuang for winning the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, neither of which are Hugo Awards but have been traditionally announced at Worldcon.
One of science fiction’s most influential awards named the winners of the best works published in 2019—and a lot of our editors’ favorites are on the list.