For some reason, there were six nominees in most categories this year, and novel category was one those. The quality of the nominated novels was pretty good as a whole. A kind theme this year was steampunk: one of the books was clear steampunk, another could be considered as steampunk even if it happens in the future (Julian Compstock), and a third one has some very close similarities to that genre (Windup Girl). My favorite was fairly easy to choose. In my opinion, City and the City was clearly the best book of these six. Another easy choice was the bottom two, but that was pretty hard choice: Is a book which is well written, but has incomprehensive plot, better than a book with pretty interesting and entertaining plot, but where the writing is not too strong? After some thought, I decided to put Palimpsest to the last place on my voting list – if I had not been reading this book as a part of my Hugo awards ”marathon”, I certainly would not have finished it.
Windup Girl was easy to put to third last place due to its extremely shitty science. The hardest two novels to place in order were Boneshaker and Julian Comstock. Both were nice, entertaining reads, with some similarities in style. I believe that Boneshaker was a bit more satisfying. The Julian Constock was good, but there was something missing, something I can not clearly define.
1. The City & The City, China Miéville
2. Boneshaker, Cherie Priest
3. Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America Robert Charles Wilson
4. The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
5. Wake, Robert J. Sawyer
6. Palimpsest, Catherynne M. Valente