But some of these doubts have been allayed by Becky Chambers’ series Wayfarers receiving the
|Becky Chambers' win|
shows that Best Series
serves a segment of SF
ignored by other Hugos.
(Image via Goodreads)
There are at least two reasons why we consider this to be a monumental win: none of the novels in the series had already been awarded a Hugo; and it recognizes a relatively new talent, as Becky Chambers is both the youngest person to have been shortlisted for Best Series and the youngest to win it by three decades.
These facts may seem like minor distinctions, given that the category has only been around for three years. But to us they are positive indicators that the category might be working as intended.
For the first two years of its existence, the Best Series Hugo Award was presented to a towering icon of science fiction — Lois McMaster Bujold. She has won the Best Novel Hugo more often than any other living author, and each of Bujold’s wins for Best Series involved a series that had previously won her a Hugo or two.
It would be hard to argue that Bujold’s work is not meritorious. But if the Best Series Hugo only ever went to series that include a Hugo-winning novel, it might call into question the need for a series award at all. Giving a Best Series Hugo to Best Novel winners seems a bit redundant.
|Did the Vorkoskigan|
saga need another
(Image via Amazon)
It is interesting to note that to date only Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books have made a repeat appearance on the best series shortlist. With six finalists listed in each of three years, one repetitious nominee out of 18 gives us hope that we might continue to see a diverse range of series getting shortlisted. A lack of repeat appearances could indicate that the category is serving a diverse and engaged readership.
It is too early for anyone to pass judgment on whether or not the Best Series Hugo is a useful addition as a category.