The “Best Series” Hugo

I’ve recently been reminded that the Hugo Awards are test-driving a new category, this one for “Best Series”:

…a multi-volume science fiction or fantasy story, unified by elements such as plot, characters, setting, and presentation, which has appeared in at least three volumes consisting of a total of at least 240,000 words by the close of the calendar year 2016, at least one volume of which was published in 2016.

Because I’d forgotten about this, I didn’t think to mention explicitly in my eligibility post that The Memoirs of Lady Trent qualify: the series is now four books long and roughly 370,000 words, and In the Labyrinth of Drakes came out in 2016.

Although I understand protests about the proliferation of award categories, I have to admit I’m glad to see this one added. A lot of SF/F work is done in series format, and delivering a good series is its own kind of challenge. I can read a bunch of books that aren’t individually the best books of their years, but the work in aggregate winds up being really memorable and satisfying, so I like the notion of having a way to recognize that fact. But I hope the final wording of the category, if it stays in, includes something about how a series that wins becomes ineligible for nomination thereafter; otherwise we may end up with a revolving-door situation where a small number of popular series win over and over again as their new installments come out.

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