I think we can all agree that 2020 has been quite a remarkable year. Most of the news has been on the negative end of the spectrum, but I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that. But while we have all been trapped indoors as a result of society collapsing around us, we’ve at least had science fiction to turn to. And as we celebrate the SF that has made life worth living, it’s time for the second annual Boundy Awards. As before, all winners were decided by a committee of one (me) and have been selected on merit, judged by entertainment value, objective quality and contribution to the genre. There are no trophies or rosettes (though if this blog becomes big enough that could one day change). So without further ado, let’s get to the winners.
Boundy Awards for Literature
BEST STANDALONE: Vagabonds, by Hao Jingfang (translated by Ken Liu) – An absolutely fantastic piece of social SF, and a fascinating examination of a future Mars.
BEST SERIES OPENER: The Duke of Caladan, by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson – It was a rough year for new series, but this new era for the Dune saga grabbed me from the first page.
BEST CONTINUATION: Demon in White, by Christopher Ruocchio – The middle book of the epic Sun Eater series continues to build on Ruocchio’s strengths, and cemented his place as one of my favoruite current authors.
BEST CONCLUSION: Light of Impossible Stars, by Gareth L. Powell – A fitting end to the voyages the Trouble Dog, this book surprised me at every turn and made the most of tropes I didn’t think I’d enjoy as much as I did.
BEST ANTHOLOGY/COLLECTION: Lord of the Dark Millennium, by Dan Abnett – An absolute behemoth of a book, this collection deserves praise for finally gathering so much of Abnett’s output into a single volume.
Boundy Awards for Visual Media
BEST INDIVIDUAL EPISODE/FILM: Doctor Who: ‘Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror‘ – In an incredibly uneven series, this episode stands out for bringing back the nostalgia I associate with the early years of Who‘s reboot.
BEST SERIES: Star Trek Picard: Season 1 – Patrick Stewart’s return to the iconic role of Picard did the impossible and made a show that is simultaneously the most and least Star Trek ever to hit our screens.
Boundy Awards for Audio Media
BEST INDIVIDUAL AUDIO: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, by Sarah Kuhn – Proving that Star Wars works as well in audio as it does on the big sccreen, this fun and often irreverent take on a Galaxy far, far away was one of the big surprises of the year.
BEST AUDIO SERIES: The War Master: Hearts of Darkness, by David Llewellyn and Lisa McMullin – Twist-filled storytelling and fantastic performances from Derek Jacobi and Paul McGann make this one of Big Finish’s best releases for years.
BEST MUSIC: Space Ninjas from Hell, by Victorius – Part of me can’t believe I’m giving an award to a bunch of anime-loving edgelords, but there’s no denying that the combination of power metal and cheesy lyrics is infectiously fun.
Boundy Awards for Interactive Media
BEST COMPUTER GAME: Stellaris: Federations (DLC) – Most of my gaming this year has been fantasy-based, but the Federations expansion for genre stalwart Stellaris added a nice new touch to the sprawling game, finally bringing some political possibilities to the universe.
Boundy Awards for Non-Fiction
BEST DOCUMENTARY: The Delta Flyers (Podcast) – Presented by Garrett Wang and Robert Duncan McNeill (along with the odd guest), this ongoing rewatch of Star Trek: Voyager is easily one of the best things to come out of the lockdown era. Warm, funny, and unafraid to criticise past mistakes, this show reminds me just why I love Star Trek so much.