Hugo Award vs Jalapeno Fiction Award: A Call For Guest Posts


Thousands of science fiction fanciers anticipate August 20, 2016 more than Christmas and Birthday altogether. This is the date when the Hugo Awards will be selected from the shortlisted candidates. From over 4000 submissions this year, only 85 survived the initial voting (that’s five per each of the 17 categories).

We all know Hugo Awards. They are well established in the science fiction and fantasy genres. I think  Hugos are awesome, but I also think there may never be too many awards considering a huge number of qualified submissions. I also believe that there is the room for more contextual look at the science fiction writing. Namely, Hugos do not differentiate between science fiction and fantasy. I believe that these two genres are like sexual orientation: while some people prefer both, many still lean towards one or another. Jalapeño Fiction strongly prefers science fiction. More so, I am trying to come up with the guidelines for the science fiction genre, although this proves to be quite challenging. However, in it’s simplest form, I have  adopted this highly scientific chart as a guide:


Finally, Jalapeño Fiction tries not to spread too thin, and focus on the long form (novels and movies). That simple. Thus are the guiding  rules for eligibility:

  • Two types of work: novel and movie (long form);
  • Published/aired in the preceding year (currently – 2015);
  • Belongs to the science fiction genre, which excludes fantasy works; and
  • Irrespective of the publisher/production type.

This year, the following novels and movies are shortlisted for the Hugo Award:


  • Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)


  • Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac‐Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


Unfortunately I have to keep my list of the Jalapeño Fiction Award participants open, because as of right now, I am limited to the number of books and movies I can process, review and rate by December 2016. That is unless I find likeminded adventurous readers who would like to team up with me and contribute guest reviews.

If you love reading and watching science fiction, you can accept the Jalapeño Award Challenge and team up with me in search for the best sci fi books and movies of 2015.

If you are interested and would like to check out the format, look at the reviews of:

I am also in the process of writing reviews for the ‘Not Alone’, ‘The End of All Things’, ‘Planetfall’, and ‘The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet’, which I have read. Other than that, you  are free to pick any sci fi novel published in 2015 (some of them are suggested on this page, but the list is far from complete), or movie aired in 2015.

The Novel Review Guidelines:

The review should consist of the following sections:

  1.  Total Jalapeño score XX/50 (sum of 4-8)
  2. Overall impression
  3. Plot summary
  4. Science-meter (1-10 jalapeños)
  5. Plot-meter (1-10 jalapeños)
  6. Character-meter (1-10 jalapeños)
  7. Originality-meter (1-10 jalapeños)
  8. Writing-meter (1-10 jalapeños)

The Movie Review Guidelines:

The movie review should consist of the similar sections:

  1. Total Jalapeno score XX/50 (sum of 4-8)
  2. Overall impression
  3. Plot summary
  4. Science-meter (1-10 jalapeños)
  5. Plot-meter (1-10 jalapeños) (pacing, coherence etc.)
  6. Character-meter (1-10 jalapeños)
  7. Originality-meter (1-10 jalapeños)
  8. Production-meter (1-10 jalapeños) (any visual effects on screen)

Shortlisting and Voting

I suggest to shortlist the candidates with the score  of 35 points and above, and allow the readers to vote on the shortlisted candidates.

If you are interested, please comment on this post or email me at


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