The Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards: 2020 nominees

Black and white photo of some pebbles, each painted with text: Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards

We’ve had a month of furiously reading 2019 releases we’d missed out on, agonising over shortlists, swearing about eligibility and generally testing the waters for incipient chaos. And now it’s time: here are the 2020 nominees for the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards!

More jurors means more nominees. In theory that makes life easier (phew, someone nominated that book I’m feeling guilty for not reading), in practice it means more chances someone nominates your pick first (damn, now who do I nominate?). The outcome? More nominees – and more reading. I’m not complaining. I am absurdly excited about this year’s shortlist. I’ve read some already and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the rest. So, let me walk you through pour picks for the best genre fiction of 2019…

Best Fantasy

  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E Harrow
  • The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The True Queen – Zen Cho
  • Kingdom of Souls – Rena Barron
  • The Bone Ships – RJ Barker
  • Realm of Ash – Tasha Suri

Best SF

  • A Memory Called Empire – Arkady Martine
  • Ancestral Night – Elizabeth Bear
  • Wanderers – Chuck Wendig
  • Velocity Weapon – Megan O’Keefe
  • The Outside – Ada Hoffman
  • All City – Alex diFrancesco
  • Steel Frame – Andrew Skinner
  • Fleet of Knives – Gareth L Powell

Best Blurred Boundaries

  • Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir
  • The Last Supper Before Ragnarok – Cassandra Khaw
  • The Infinite Noise – Lauren Shippen
  • David Mogo, Godhunter – Suyi Davies Okungbowa
  • The Strawberry Thief – Joanne Harris
  • The Migration – Helen Marshall
  • The Kingdom – Jesse Rothenburg
  • The Institute – Stephen King

Best Novella

  • Incompleteness Theories – Wole Talabi
  • Silver in the Wood – Emily Tesh
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate – Becky Chambers
  • We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff – Isabel Waidner
  • This Is How You Lose The Time War – Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
  • The Deep – Rivers Solomon
  • Walking to Aldebaran – Adrian Tchaikovsky

Best Series

  • Luna – Ian McDonald
  • Elemental Logic – Laurie Marks
  • Rosewater – Tade Thompson
  • Winternight – Katherine Arden
  • Empires of Dust – Anna Smith Spark
  • Swords and Fire – Melissa Caruso
  • Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovksy
  • The Winnowing Flame – Jen Williams

Short fiction

What happens next?

The reading begins! All of us have read some of the nominees, and all of us have more reading to do. With a larger panel, we’re likely to divide and conquer in this first round. I intend to read 3 or 4 categories (fantasy, science fiction and series; plus novellas if time permits) and I’ll be posting my reviews as I read. I’ll also chime in with occasional updates on our progress overall. We’re yet to agree our deadlines or this year’s venue for announcing our winners – so, chaos as usual, yes?