Hugo Award Nominations are open until March 31st, and I’m in the process of organizing my thoughts about which works to nominate. I’m going to write a series of posts talking about each of the fiction categories, and what makes my best-list of the year. If I’ve missed your favorite, please let me know in the comments. There’s still time before the end of the month to enjoy more science fiction and fantasy!
Today, I’m going to start with the category of Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). This is usually “Best Film”, but it can also be given to a season of a television show. This past year has been incredibly rich in science fiction television, so a few of them ended up on my long form list. As of the moment, my Hugo Nomination Ballot is going to include:
1) Predestination: This is the most interesting science fiction films I’ve seen in a long time, and it has had its eligibility extended to this year. It stretches the limits of what kind of story you can tell with a time travel premise, and it also features some excellent performances by Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook.
2) The Martian: It’s a shame that previous self-publication kept The Martian novel out of eligibility last year. Luckily, we get another chance to recognize the story through last year’s movie. I have this on my list both to recognize an excellent novel by Andy Weir and all those who worked on the faithful and entertaining movie adaptation.
3) Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Okay, so maybe the plot echoed the original trilogy a little too hard, but there’s no way I could leave Star Wars off this list. It was a truly fun movie, and I am on board for following Rey and Finn into more adventures. I hope they don’t make this trilogy about redeeming Kylo Ren, though.
4) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: The first fantasy to make my list, and a Regency era fantasy at that. If you’re unfamiliar with it, this is the story of two magicians in an alternate history 19th-century UK. I loved the novel, and was excited to share the story with my husband through this television adaptation. I feel like the show stumbled a bit at the end, but it did so much more right along the way. Even my husband, not at all a fan of the Regency era style, agrees that the miniseries deserves its place on this list.
5) The Man in the High Castle: A science fiction drama from Amazon Prime, I was curious to see what the series would make of the novel. It has diverged quite far from the source material so far, but I think it’s tonally consistent. This was an engrossing and disturbing show about living in an occupied country and the level of atrocities that can become accepted as the new normal.
Honorable Mentions: There are many other shows and movies that I would also agree deserve a Hugo nod. In movies, I’m sure Ex Machina will be on many lists. I thought it was an interesting film, but a little slow for my tastes. Mad Max was unique, but it has been a polarizing film in my household (I think it’s neat, my husband is less tolerant of extended car chases). In television, Jessica Jones season one nearly made the list, and it was the conflict between Jessica and the mind-controlling Kilgrave that sold the show for me. ‘Kilgrave’ has even become a verb that I use in describing other shows. I have been surprised to realize how common Kilgraving people is in speculative fiction.
What do you think? Did I miss anything amazing? If so, do tell!