Best Novel: Zero World, by Jason M. Hough, Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky, and Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman. I doubt I'll get to all of them, but I should be able to swing at least one before nominations close. Will it make the cut? Only one way to find out.
- Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
Best Short Story:
- Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer by Megan Grey
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Kaedrin Movie Awards will probably not be surprised by this list, but I suppose the one missing entry that might raise some eyebrows would be Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Call it a "snub" if you like, but given the Hugo voters' historical record and generally surprising lack of depth in this category, I opted to highlight some wonderful films that actually need the help. Star Wars will almost certainly make the ballot, along with Mad Max and The Martian. I think Ex Machina has an excellent chance, while Predestination is a true dark horse (perhaps a resurgence of Heinlein fans will get it done?) and What We Do in the Shadows has almost no chance at all. If you're reading this, though, seek all these movies out, they are worthy of your time and nomination.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: The Chickening, which has virtually no chance of becoming a finalist. It is maybe a bit on the outskirts of fannish interest (being a take on Kubrick's The Shining) and strikingly bizarre, but it is absolutely brilliant. You should totally watch it and then wonder about my mental state afterwards. Seriously though, I found myself reaching for more short films this year than TV episodes (which normally comprise approximately 100% of the finalists). Kung Fury is a hoot, but I suspect not really the Hugo voters' thang. I have mixed feelings about World of Tomorrow and it might not make my final ballot, but then, I'd rather see that there than any number of the usual suspects (and it does seem rather fannish). Game of Thrones is a lock to be a finalist, but they've gotten a lot of Hugo attention the past few years, so maybe it's not necessary this year (but then, who else can stop the Doctor Who juggernaut?)
And that just about covers it for now. I suspect I'll read a few other things before nominations are due, but this is where I'm at now. Suggestions are welcome, though comments are still wonky, so hit me up on twitter @mciocco or @kaedrinbeer (if you're more of a lush) or just send an email to tallman at kaedrin dot com.