The Boundy Awards for Literature
December is traditionally the time of year when blogs put together their ‘Best Books of the Year’ posts. Here At Boundary’s Edge, I like to do things a little differently. I don’t have time to recap all the great books I’ve read in a year, and I’m pretty sure you don’t have time to read a list that long. But I still want to celebrate the best of the best, and what better way to do that than with an awards ceremony?
December 11th is the anniversary of At Boundary’s Edge, so welcome one and all to the fourth annual Boundy Awards. Roll out the red carpet, grab some fireworks, and join me in celebrating the best science fiction of the year. For budgetary reasons, there are no trophies, but if any winners are reading this, feel free to have a celebratory biscuit. Now, on with the show!
Best Standalone Novel
Kasrkin, by Edoardo Albert – 2022 was a very good year for standalone novels, and Black Library was the source of a great many nominees for this award. Standing above the others is Kasrkin, a masterful novel of tension, intrigue, and action that really drives home the cost of warfare.
Best Series Opener
Not Awarded – Incredibly, despite having started multiple new series from several great authors, none of the series I’ve read this year have started in 2022. For that reason, the Best Series Opener award goes unawarded for this year.
Resolute, by Jack Campbell – In the second volume of its fourth spin-off, Campbell’s Lost Fleet universe continues to go from strength to strength. Resolute changes the nature of the game in many ways, laying the foundation for a big shift in tone for future novels.
The Albion Initiative, by George Mann – In the much-delayed sixth novel of the Newbury & Hobbes series, Mann delivers on his promises of a revolution against Victoria’s reign. Wit a typical mix of criminal conspiracy and steampunk derring-do, it’s a strong finale to an underrated series.
Best Anthology or Collection
The Vorbis Conspiracy, by various authors – This anthology of Warhammer Crime short stories is both a great collection of independent stories and a unified narrative arc for the city of Varangantua. A rare case of a dozen similar stories working well side-by-side rather than crowding one another.
The Boundy Awards for Visual Media
Best Individual Episode/Film
‘Happy Valley’ (For All Mankind, Season 3) – Truly an episode that encapsulates all that is good about this most excellent of shows, ‘Happy Valley’ shows an enthusiasm for space travel, a recognition of its dangers, and the ultimate indomitability of the human spirit.
Andor, Season 1 – With a far more nuanced take on the nature of rebellions than Star Wars has tended to provide, multiple gripping narratives that don’t always connect as expected, and a great cast, this is easily the best show to come out of Disney+.
The Boundy Awards for Audio
Best Individual Audio Production
The War Master: Boundaries, by Lizbeth Miles – In a boxset that jumped through time, this story took listeners back to the very first adventures of the War Master and his ‘friend’ Cole. That reunion, coupled with the idea that the Master may have been making the whole thing up, made for a great piece of audio drama.
Best Audio Series
Blake’s 7: The Terra Nostra, by James Kettle, Robert Valentine, and Peter Anghelides – Blake’s 7 was always at its best when showing the gritty underbelly of the Federation, and this deep dive into the criminal underworld offered plenty of that. The fact that this boxset also contains one of Michael Keating’s finest performances is just the icing on the cake.
Refugees from the Otherworld, by Psyche Corporation – The science fictional only by the thinnest of margins, Psyche Corporation’s original musical debut swept aside the competition with ease. If you want duelling vocalists over a corpse or tragic laments about lost love, this is the album for you.