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The 2021 Hugo Awards Nominees Announced Including Comics!

The Hugo Awards have announced the finalists for 2021. A 28-minute video announced the list who were nominated by the WorldCon 2020 and 2021 membership which was 1,249 ballots.

The full list is below. Congrats to all of the nominees. The winners will be announced at DisCon III, which takes place December 15-19 2021 in Washington, DC (if COVID allows).

Best Novel

  • Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Gallery / Saga Press)
  • The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Harrow The Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com)
  • Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tor.com)
  • Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
  • The Relentless Moon, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books)

Best Novella

  • Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com)
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune, Nghi Vo (Tor.com)
  • Finna, Nino Cipri (Tor.com)
  • Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com)
  • Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi (Tor.com)
  • Upright Women Wanted, Sarah Gailey (Tor.com)

Best Novelette

  • Burn, or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super”, A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny Magazine, May/June 2020)
  • Helicopter Story”, Isabel Fall (Clarkesworld, January 2020)
  • The Inaccessibility of Heaven”, Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny Magazine, July/August 2020)
  • Monster”, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2020)
  • The Pill”, Meg Elison (from Big Girl, (PM Press))
  • Two Truths and a Lie, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com)

Best Short Story

  • Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse”, Rae Carson (Uncanny Magazine, January/February 2020)
  • A Guide for Working Breeds”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, ed. Jonathan Strahan (Solaris))
  • Little Free Library, Naomi Kritzer (Tor.com)
  • The Mermaid Astronaut”, Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, February 2020)
  • Metal Like Blood in the Dark”, T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine, September/October 2020)
  • “Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots – 2020, ed. David Steffen)

Best Series

  • The Daevabad Trilogy, S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)
  • The Interdependency, John Scalzi (Tor Books)
  • The Lady Astronaut Universe, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books/Audible/Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
  • The Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells (Tor.com)
  • October Daye, Seanan McGuire (DAW)
  • The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager)

Best Related Work

  • Beowulf: A New Translation, Maria Dahvana Headley (FSG)
  • CoNZealand Fringe, Claire Rousseau, C, Cassie Hart, Adri Joy, Marguerite Kenner, Cheryl Morgan, Alasdair Stuart.
  • FIYAHCON, L.D. Lewis–Director, Brent Lambert–Senior Programming Coordinator, Iori Kusano–FIYAHCON Fringe Co-Director, Vida Cruz–FIYAHCON Fringe Co-Director, and the Incredible FIYAHCON team
  • “George R.R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun, Or: The 2020 Hugo Awards Ceremony (Rageblog Edition)”, Natalie Luhrs (Pretty Terrible, August 2020)
  • A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler, Lynell George (Angel City Press)
  • The Last Bronycon: a fandom autopsy, Jenny Nicholson (YouTube)

Best Graphic Story or Comic

  • DIE, Volume 2: Split the Party, written by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)
  • Ghost-Spider Vol. 1: Dog Days Are Over, Author: Seanan McGuire, Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa and Rosie Kämpe (Marvel)
  • Invisible Kingdom, Vol 2: Edge of Everything, Author: G. Willow Wilson, Artist: Christian Ward (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Monstress, Vol. 5: Warchild, Author: Marjorie Liu, Artist: Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
  • Once & Future Vol. 1: The King Is Undead, written by Kieron Gillen, iIllustrated by Dan Mora, colored by Tamra Bonvillain, lettered by Ed Dukeshire (BOOM! Studios)
  • Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, written by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy, illustrated by John Jennings (Harry N. Abrams)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), written by Christina Hodson, directed by Cathy Yan (Warner Bros.)
  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, written by Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele, directed by David Dobkin (European Broadcasting Union/Netflix)
  • The Old Guard, written by Greg Rucka, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Netflix / Skydance Media)
  • Palm Springs, written by Andy Siara, directed by Max Barbakow (Limelight / Sun Entertainment Culture / The Lonely Island / Culmination Productions / Neon / Hulu / Amazon Prime)
  • Soul, screenplay by Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers, directed by Pete Docter, co-directed by Kemp Powers, produced by Dana Murray (Pixar Animation Studios/ Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Tenet, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner Bros./Syncopy)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • Doctor Who: Fugitive of the Judoon, written by Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall, directed by Nida Manzoor (BBC)
  • The Expanse: Gaugamela, written by Dan Nowak, directed by Nick Gomez (Alcon Entertainment / Alcon Television Group / Amazon Studios / Hivemind / Just So)
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Heart (parts 1 and 2), written by Josie Campbell and Noelle Stevenson, directed by Jen Bennett and Kiki Manrique (DreamWorks Animation Television / Netflix)
  • The Mandalorian: Chapter 13: The Jedi, written and directed by Dave Filoni (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)
  • The Mandalorian: Chapter 16: The Rescue, written by Jon Favreau, directed by Peyton Reed (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)
  • The Good Place: Whenever You’re Ready, written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group)

Best Editor, Short Form

  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • C.C. Finlay
  • Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Nivia Evans
  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Sarah Guan
  • Brit Hvide
  • Diana M. Pho
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

  • Tommy Arnold
  • Rovina Cai
  • Galen Dara
  • Maurizio Manzieri
  • John Picacio
  • Alyssa Winans

Best Semiprozine

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, ed. Scott H. Andrews
  • Escape Pod, editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya, assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart, audio producers Summer Brooks and Adam Pracht and the entire Escape Pod team.
  • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, publisher Troy L. Wiggins, executive editor DaVaun Sanders, managing editor Eboni Dunbar, poetry editor Brandon O’Brien, reviews and social media Brent Lambert, art director L. D. Lewis, and the FIYAH Team.
  • PodCastle, editors, C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor and host, Setsu Uzumé, producer Peter Adrian Behravesh, and the entire PodCastle team.
  • Uncanny Magazine, editors in chief: Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor: Chimedum Ohaegbu, non-fiction editor: Elsa Sjunneson, podcast producers: Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky
    Strange Horizons, Vanessa Aguirre, Joseph Aitken, Rachel Ayers, M H Ayinde, Tierney Bailey, Scott Beggs, Drew Matthew Beyer, Gautam Bhatia, S. K. Campbell, Zhui Ning Chang, Rita Chen, Tania Chen, Joyce Chng, Liz Christman, Linda H. Codega, Kristian Wilson Colyard, Yelena Crane, Bruhad Dave, Sarah Davidson, Tahlia Day, Arinn Dembo, Nathaniel Eakman, Belen Edwards, George Tom Elavathingal, Rebecca Evans, Ciro Faienza, Courtney Floyd, Lila Garrott, Colette Grecco, Guananí Gómez-Van Cortright, Julia Gunnison, Dan Hartland, Sydney Hilton, Angela Hinck, Stephen Ira, Amanda Jean, Ai Jiang, Sean Joyce-Farley, Erika Kanda, Anna Krepinsky, Kat Kourbeti, Clayton Kroh, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Catherine Krahe, Natasha Leullier, A.Z. Louise, Dante Luiz, Gui Machiavelli, Cameron Mack, Samantha Manaktola, Marisa Manuel, Jean McConnell, Heather McDougal, Maria Morabe, Amelia Moriarty, Emory Noakes, Sarah Noakes, Aidan Oatway, AJ Odasso, Joel Oliver-Cormier, Kristina Palmer, Karintha Parker, Anjali Patel, Vanessa Rose Phin, Nicasio Reed, Belicia Rhea, Endria Richardson, Natalie Ritter, Abbey Schlanz, Clark Seanor, Elijah Rain Smith, Hebe Stanton, Melody Steiner, Romie Stott, Yejin Suh, Kwan-Ann Tan, Luke Tolvaj, Ben Tyrrell, Renee Van Siclen, Kathryn Weaver, Liza Wemakor, Aigner Loren Wilson, E.M. Wright, Vicki Xu, Fred G. Yost, staff members who prefer not to be named, and guest editor Libia Brenda with guest first reader Raquel González-Franco Alva for the Mexicanx special issue

Best Fanzine

  • The Full Lid, written by Alasdair Stuart, edited by Marguerite Kenner
  • Journey Planet, edited by Michael Carroll, John Coxon, Sara Felix, Ann Gry, Sarah Gulde, Alissa McKersie, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, Steven H. Silver, Paul Trimble, Erin Underwood, James Bacon, and Chris Garcia.
  • Lady Business, editors. Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan.
    nerds of a feather, flock together, ed. Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, The G, and Vance Kotrla
  • Quick Sip Reviews, editor, Charles Payseur
  • Unofficial Hugo Book Club Blog, ed. Amanda Wakaruk and Olav Rokne

Best Fancast

  • Be The Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
  • Claire Rousseau’s YouTube channel, produced by Claire Rousseau
  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe, Jonathan Strahan, producer
    Kalanadi, produced and presented by Rachel
  • The Skiffy and Fanty show, produced by Shaun Duke and Jen Zink, presented by Shaun Duke, Jen Zink, Alex Acks, Paul Weimer, and David Annandale.
  • Worldbuilding for Masochists, presented by Rowenna Miller, Marshall Ryan Maresca and Cass Morris

Best Fan Writer

  • Cora Buhlert
  • Charles Payseur
  • Jason Sanford
  • Elsa Sjunneson
  • Alasdair Stuart
  • Paul Weimer

Best Fan Artist

  • Iain J. Clark
  • Cyan Daly
  • Sara Felix
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Maya Hahto
  • Laya Rose

Best Video Game [One-time Special Hugo Award Category]

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Publisher and Developer: Nintendo)
  • Blaseball (Publisher and Developer: The Game Band)
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake (Publisher Square Enix)
  • Hades (Publisher and Developer: Supergiant Games)
  • The Last of Us: Part II (Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment / Developer: Naughty Dog)
  • Spiritfarer (Publisher and Developer: Thunder Lotus)

Review: Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater

Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem's Legendary Theater

Growing up n New York, its is not lost on me the mythical status that the city has on the world. As my time in the military showed me, no matter what country you are in everyone has heard of New York City. I would smile with glee while my friends would usually roll their eyes in hate and envy. I remembered growing up and seeing tourists from every part of the country and every part of the world come to see our majestic skyscrapers and the glory of the Statue of Liberty. Then there are the landmarks which inhabits the city’s greatest gift, its people.

I still have fond memories of going to Mets games with my cousins at the old Shea Stadium and how we used to catch the 7 train all over Queens. Then there are the iconic spots like Madison Square Garden, which Michael Jordan called “his favorite place to play.” Which brings me to one would consider the mecca of music in New York, the legendary Apollo Theater. In Ted Fox and James Otis Smith’s Showtime At The Apollo, they bring this iconic hall to life in this larger-than-life history.

We meet the author as he begins his research, as the theater gets closed in 1976, he unearths its history in a bunch of boxes that were about to be thrown away. As we see how Harlem became the place where most people made their bones, as Jazz took its roots in this part of city and Comedians made their names in clubs throughout , but they knew they really made it, if they could make the audiences laugh at the Apollo. As we also meet the Schiffmans, the family that owned and ran the theater, and how they made the theater the one place every black entertainer wanted to be. We also meet one of the icons that made the theater the place it is, Sandman Sims, as he was part of creating the Amateur Night, something that would be replicated in similar places. As Ted Fox, takes us on a journey, decade by decade, of how the time and culture shaped the theater and how its appealed to the masses every single time. By book’s end, we see that through the trials and tribulations, changes of ownership, world events and the people who were the theater’s patrons, that the Apollo persevered.

Overall, the graphic novel is engaging and gives readers a deep dive not only into the Apollo’s history but also Harlem’s. The story by Fox is fascinating, and significant. The art by Smith is breathtaking. Altogether, an excellent history of one of the world’s utmost auditoriums, one that everyone should visit at least once.

Story: Ted Fox Art: James Otis Smith
Story: 10 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York

I recently watched a movie called Shock and Awe which brought up the fact that those in power, create their own truth. That’s evident in today’s political climate, where the current government’s stance is a clear disdain for immigrants and especially for refugees. We have regressed over a century back to the days when “immigrant” was a bad adjective for someone. We completely ignore the contributions from foreign born American citizens throughout our history. The fact today’s xenophobia and racism is coming from people in power, it’s even more alarming to hear. Some of America’s greatest figures, people we celebrate today weren’t in America, but we seem to ignore that fact or are completely unaware of our own history.

The immigrant story is one of hope and doing better for your kids. A parent their kids will do better than they have. They they’ll “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”.  I remember watching the movie Avalon with Aidan Quinn, and Kevin Pollak years ago and thinking that it was the American dream of building a world better for your family. Though that movie was purely fiction, it still resonated, and gave the audience an impression of the struggles many immigrants face when they come to America. When I heard about Peter J. Tomasi and Sara DuVall’s The Bridge, I could not wait. The graphic novel is about the immigrant brothers who built the Brooklyn Bridge.

We meet the Roeblings as they come to America, particularly the patriarch, August, and his most astute son, Washington. As the family business grows, so does their family. As the family tries to finds some semblance of normal, the family business waits for no one, and one of the last jobs August worked on but never saw come to fruition, was the Brooklyn Bridge, the company’ greatest undertaking. Washington pushes on, as the men who he employs follow him blindly because of his military background. They go through trials and tribulations, leading to discoveries from the American Revolution, to unexpected fires and deaths. Washington became victim of a malady himself, then known as Caisson disease, or what some people call “the bends,” leaving him bedridden and forcing Emily to be her husband’s eyes and ears at the work site. It’s a story of an amazing structure, and the family that built it, that helps define New York City and America.

Overall, the graphic novel is a spellbinding tale of how one man made structure connects one family to one another and forever to a city and the world. The story by Tomasi is engrossing, passionate, and epic. The art by DuVall is captivating and beautiful. Altogether, it’s an important story about the love of family and how dreams are what becomes part of our destiny.

Story: Peter J. Tomasi Art: Sara DuVall
Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall:9.9 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide

There is nothing in the world like finding your true calling and making a living from it. The sad reality is most of us usually settle as our passions rarely call us to such rare air. The very few who are fortunate to do it, especially in the arts, inspire us all to pickup that pen, that pencil to put on those shoes, to pick up a microphone or pick up that camera. Then there are things that happen in your life, which puts a pause in your life.

When one loses a family member, it becomes difficult to live life again.  Most people feel like they are living a nightmare, one where they are hoping they are just sleeping. This is never easy, and most are never the same, as they may smile occasionally, but not the same way ever again.  These emotions run their course all throughout Graciela Iturbide’s life in Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide.

We meet Graciela, as she discovers photography, as something her father enjoys as she inadvertently inherits her passion for the camera. It is not until a few years later, that the death of her daughter, causes her to seek the meaning of life. Within her quest, she picks up the camera again, through documenting life around her. By books end, she not only discovered herself but what it means to be a citizen of the world and the responsibility it entails.

Overall, an excellent book, which shows in the darkest moments of your life, sometimes those glimmers of light can be closer than you think. Iturbide’s life story as told by Isabel Quintero is epic, heartfelt and awe inspiring. The at by Zeke Peña is glorious and lifelike. Altogether, a great graphic novel that highlights one of the world’s best photographers.

Story: Isabel Quintero Art: Zeke Peña
Story: 9.5 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Just So Happens

The power your parents has on one’s life cannot be understated. Your parents are there at the beginning, helping, guiding you, and most importantly, loving you.  They are also there at your worst, when times are hard, when you need someone to lean on and when life has disappointed you. So, it is no secret that these people have cared for you unconditionally, is the last people you do not want to ever let down.

As each parent, even if they do not communicate it verbally say it to their children, have their own expectations of what type of future they want for their seeds. The pressure seems even greater for children of immigrants, as the sacrifice made to leave the country, is never lost on the children. That is why when we find personal success in life, it still doesn’t seem like enough. These feelings are what I found in Fumio Obata’s Just So Happens, a searing tale that feels too close at home at times yet still touching.

We meet Yumiko, a young artist living in London, whose personal life is going well, and professional life has enjoyed similar accomplishment. Her life comes to a stop once her brother calls form home in Japan, notifying her that their father had died. Soon she must travel back to Japan, to bury her father, and being back home, not only reminds her that she was homesick, but she misses the faint kisses and whispers of her parents. By book’s end, Yumiko has a firmer grasp of who she is thanks to where she came from.

Overall, a heart-breaking tale of love in its many colors, and the love of family that will always be with you. The story by Obata will shatter your heart a thousand times and put it back together. The art by Obata is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that will give you the feels and will make you appreciate where you come from.

Story: Fumio Obata Art: Fumio Obata
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Octavia Butler’s Kindred

kindredgraphiccoverTime Travel has always been an interesting way to look at characters. This the reason why Back To The Future, is so relatable, as one decision in that story has repercussions and thereby making the right one is paramount to everything. Then there is HG Wells The Time Machine, which is a character study at its most base, where you realize man is and will always be the same good and bad. The last example, that most reverberates, is probably Dickens A Christmas Carol, whereby time travel is accomplished through paranormal means.

The one thing that threads all these examples together, is the fact that they barely have characters which possess melanin. When they do like it in Back to the Future, is they are mostly background characters, or plot devices, like  Mayor Goldy, to illustrate what certain choices yield. Rarely, has time travel been ideal for people of color, in science fiction, as one could only believe that they may have not existed during those times, which history refutes time and time again. One example in science fiction, that comes to mind, is a 1993 movie by Haile Gerima, called Sankofa, where a model times travels to slavery times.

Enter Octavia Butler, whose is an iconoclast in the science fiction world, and though she passed in 2006, her words live on and more so, in works like these. In Kindred, as the synopsis sums up:

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is abruptly snatched from her home in California and transported to the ante-bellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, has summoned her across time to save him from drowning. After this first summons, she is drawn back, again and again, to protect Rufus and ensure he will grow to manhood and father the daughter who will become Dana’s ancestor. Each time she arrives in the past, Dana’s sojourns will become more and more dangerous because of Rufus’ obsessive need for her. The reader never knows whether she will survive one journey or the next. It’s only when she finally must save herself from rape by killing Rufus that she is finally freed from the pull of the past.

As I remember reading this book when I was 13, and had not picked it up since, but this adaptation, brought all those goosebumps, back all at once. By story’s end, the reader has been taken on a ride, realizing things about themselves as well as the need for empathy in the human race.

Overall, when it comes to adaptations, this more than captures the spirit, pushes it to new heights. Damian Duffy deftly gets every message Butler was conveying and gets why this book has been a cornerstone, to every Octavia Butler fan. John Jennings‘ illustrations leap off the page, tugging at the reader’s heartstrings, at the right beats and not flinching when most artists would. Altogether, a strong adaptation, which not only met expectations but makes one fall in love with story all over again.

Story: Damian Duffy Art: John Jennings
Story:10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy NOW!!!!!!