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YA Hugo Nominations, 2019 Dublin

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 I'd really like to get a robust discussion of the great young adult novels that came out in 2018, in advance of the young adult award nominations.  (Yes, I know it's technically not a Hugo, but that's bureaucracy.)

Apparently, according to Helen Gbala at the ALA, they already have over 300 titles suggested for the Hal Clement award, which is only science fiction!

So, what are the interesting speculative fiction young adult books that you've read this year?

ETA: Also welcome here are recommendations for YA-related fan artists, book covers, and professional artists that we think would make great Hugo nominees.

 

Edited by LugaJetboyGirl-irra

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2 hours ago, LugaJetboyGirl-irra said:

Apparently, according to Helen Gbala at the ALA, they already have over 300 titles suggested for the Hal Clement award, which is only science fiction!

Is that list online anywhere?  Can it be linked here?  Sounds like a good starting point.

Well of course there is Peadar's The Invasion which came out in March.

Other than that probably the only other YA I've read this year and really enjoyed is Holly Black's The Cruel Prince which was most excellent.  I've read a lot of YA this year that I haven't enjoyed and certainly would not nominate. 

Edited by lady narcissa
typo

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I’m not trying to start up that debate but need to ask before I suggest stuff that doesn’t fit, but is there any kind of criteria for whether something is young adult? Is it anything that is marketed as such or is there specific requirements?

having just finished Veil of Spears by Bradley Beaulieu I think that would be a good pick but I’m not certain if it’s YA or not

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Even YA authors don't agree on a definition. For me it is teen lit, with characters who are in their teens, maybe 12-19 years old. Other people focus on the coming-of-age elements. For other readers, it's the intended audience and marketing categories. 

To get an idea of various ways of defining it, have a look at the YA Hugo report from Sasquan, pg. 4-10: http://dothraki.com/yareport_sasquan.pdf

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I have not read Spinning Silver but if it's like her prior book Uprooted then I would say it's not YA but would be a contender for the Best Novel category.

YA for me is books written for teens (that most likely but not necessarily are about teens) and / or books about teens that were perhaps not written with a limited teen audience in mind.

I think in addition to those, sometimes with an extended series the first book might start with the main character as a teen and be categorized as YA but as the series progresses and the main character ages and the themes mature it really crosses over into adult but still gets thrown into the YA category.

Also one can look to the author and how they think of their books. Are they out there putting themselves forward as a YA author and going to YA cons to promote? Or are they steering clear of the YA community? No point in nominating an author who doesn't want to be thought of as YA.

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6 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

 just finished Veil of Spears by Bradley Beaulieu I think that would be a good pick but I’m not certain if it’s YA or not

I was not familiar with this book but looking at it on amazon and goodreads it appears to be thought of as adult fantasy not YA fantasy.

I generally find when looking at people's goodreads shelves that inevitably someone will categorize a book YA that I in no way think is YA. But in this instance not a single person has marked it as YA.

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Since the YA award is not a Hugo, I think that's one reason why it would be fine for it to be nominated both in the best novel Hugo category and in the Lodestar best YA category.

Haven't yet read Spinning Silver, but Uprooted could easily have been nominated for the YA award if it existed then, even if the book is not marketed as YA. I suspect Spinning Silver will be the same. Now, Novik could decline the Lodestar nomination if she felt it unfair to be in two categories with the same work... but then again, maybe she wouldn't.

Edited by Ran

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5 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

I was not familiar with this book but looking at it on amazon and goodreads it appears to be thought of as adult fantasy not YA fantasy.

I generally find when looking at people's goodreads shelves that inevitably someone will categorize a book YA that I in no way think is YA. But in this instance not a single person has marked it as YA.

Thanks, I don't really pay attention to what stuff is marketed as when I buy it, but was sure I'd heard the series described as YA once or twice. I think I would probably agree with the assertion it isn't YA though, if I'm honest.

I could see Spinning Silver as YA though, and would happily see it get awarded either here or in Best Novel for the Hugo. I thought it was wonderful, and better than Uprooted which I already loved a lot. 

 

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6 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

I could see Spinning Silver as YA though, and would happily see it get awarded either here or in Best Novel for the Hugo. I thought it was wonderful, and better than Uprooted which I already loved a lot. 

I almost wonder if Novik is an author who could get hurt by this.  If I had to guess I would guess most people wouldn't think to nominate the book in both categories but would go with one or the other and thus dilute the nomination in both categories.  Uprooted got 715 nominations for Best Novel in 2016.  If for the sake of guessing you assumed that same number for Spinning Silver but assumed 1/3 would nominate for Best Novel, 1/3 would nominate for the Lodestar, and 1/3 would nominate for both that would mean around 476 nominations for Best Novel which with 2016 numbers wouldn't be enough to land her a spot on the top 5.  Of course this is all guesswork but I think it means it would be best to focus on one category for a single work rather than risk splitting the votes.

5 hours ago, Xray the Enforcer said:

Another contender would be Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I did purchase this book and have it sitting on my bookshelf but have yet to read it.  I'm guessing you enjoyed it?

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I haven't read Spinning Silver, but I didn't really think Uprooted was YA.

One thing that can help you identify how publishers categorize the book is the genre code(s), according to @PlusOne. If you go to Amazon on your desktop computer (not phone), and look under Product Description, there will be a set of several genre codes. Most YA books will have their second category listed as Teen.

So, Akata Warrior, which just won the award, is listed as: Books > Teens > Literature & Fiction > Magical Realism

The Invasion, by @Peadar, is listed as: Books > Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Horror > Ghosts

Spinning Silver is: Books > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales (also things like 'Women's Adventure' and 'Romance'). PlusOne says that the book is also listed elsewhere as 'epic fantasy.' These are somewhat arbitrary marketing categories, but they do suggest the publisher does not consider Spinning Silver to be Young Adult. Do with that as you will.

(Apparently these codes are called BISACs. Thank you @PlusOne for the quick lesson).

Edited by LugaJetboyGirl-irra
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I offer for consideration Dread Nation by Justina Ireland.

It's set just after the US Civil War, and considers racial injustice in a post-apocalyptic world where slavery was only made illegal because the shambler apocalypse happened in the middle of the Civil War and the South needed to be saved by the North. The shamblers (zombies, restless dead) have been infected by a virus that evolves during the book. Black and native people are forcibly taken to combat schools (modeled on 'reeducation schools') so that they can do the hard and dangerous work of killing shamblers. The book starts with the main character Jane at a combat school.

What I really liked about the book was Jane's voice and personality, which came across so clearly. The world building was pretty cool, and it was interesting to see a YA book that addressed racial injustice through the lens of zombies (I generally find zombies boring, but not in this case), and considered how the zombie apocalypse would play out in the historical and cultural worlds of the US in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Edited by LugaJetboyGirl-irra
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27 minutes ago, kairparavel said:

What is the publishing window for consideration? I'm about ready to get a supporting membership solely for this award.

The 'previous calendar year.' And you need your membership by December 31.

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English translation of Nation of the Beasts comes out this fall.  I met Mariana Palova at WorldCon.  She illustrates her own novels and the art is beautiful.  Her book is YA and SET IN NEW ORLEANS.  I was so excited I bought a bunch of her art and ordered the deluxe preview.  Thanks to John Piccacio AGAIN for organizing the MexicanX initiative.  I met so many new (to me) remarkable artists.

https://themageslantern.com/products/notb-preview-edition?variant=12091493843017

 

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Looks interesting @Lily Valley thanks for providing the link!  So potentially a novel nominee as well as artist then?

Speaking of art, I know this is a thread for the YA novel nomination but I think this might also be a good spot to talk about artists connected to YA novels that might not get too much attention in the Hugo thread. Plus assuming one likes YA novels they might also like art related to YA novels?  There is so much great YA fanart out on the internet on tumblr and the like.  A lot of these artists are female and young but still talented.  Sometimes the books they are drawing art for might not be award quality and thus maybe their art gets overlooked as a result.

But one artist I have noticed is Charlie Bowater.  I first came across her because of the fanart she has done for Sarah J. Maas's novels.  I knew Maas was a fan of her art and that elements of her art had actually been incorporated into the two most recent Maas covers.  But in looking at her website for this I just realized she actually did the cover for a novel I thought had a really good looking cover the other year - An Enchantment of Ravens - and that she is doing the cover for Brandon Sanderson's upcoming YA novel.  So professional artist as well as fan artist.  Just perhaps someone to keep our eyes on to see what she puts out this year:

http://www.charliebowater.net/

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