The nominations are out, but they are not complete. Try to resist the urge to vote until after 27 May, as the DGLA have said they're still taking (and adding) crowd-sourced nominations until that date. Those folks will be at a pretty substantial disadvantage already. When you are ready, vote here.
The (current) nominees list and my predictions below.
I really like the idea of 'publish list', 'take crowd-sourced recommendations for missing titles', 'open voting', but I like it in that order. The actual order of 'publish list', 'open voting', 'take recommendations' doesn't quite do the trick.
Any weird submissions? Not so much! The Fire Sermon is pretty overtly post-apocalyptic, but that's pretty much an accepted sub-genre of epic now (which I'm good with). The Mechanical is much more alternate history, but, again, eh. But really, nothing too weird - at least that I've noticed.
Any weird absences? A few, of course. We're still not seeing much in the way of non-Abercrombie YA. (Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes, maybe?) No Six of Crows, Tearling #2, Sarah Maas, Victoria Aveyard, Daniel Jose Older... Plus some non-YA gaps. Erin Lindsey's The Bloodforged? V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic seems like something that should be here as well, maybe? Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown? Ken Liu's Grace of Kings? What about Terry Pratchett's The Shepherd's Crown?
If anyone is taking advantage of the nomination window, those would all be interesting additions.
Hey! Good news! I think we're guaranteed two women on the Morningstar shortlist, ensuring one of the most gender diverse DGLA shortlists in the award's short history! (A tie with 2011 and 2012. 2012 had three women across both the Legend & Morningstar shortlists; we can dare to dream.)
Bad news! One book is going to get shafted when the 6 nominations drop to a 5 book shortlist. Honestly, I think they should let all 6 through. However, unlike last year (cough), all the debuts actually seem to be debuts, so that's a good thing!
So who is winning?
(As always, this is what I predict, not what I want, and, more often than not, I'm terribly wrong.)
Morningstar: I have no idea, so - pass. I've heard good things about all six, and am genuinely looking forward to this year's read-through.
Ravenheart: No idea. Based on recent history, 'the artist for the Legend-winning book'?
Legend: Might as well book seats now for Joe Abercrombie's Half a War, Mark Lawrence's The Liar's Key and John Gwynne's Ruin. Brandon Sanderson's Shadows of Self isn't one of Sanderson's 'big' series, but then Alloy of Law made it and, last time I checked, Sanderson is still Sanderson - so we let's lock that one in as well.
If Voyager had entered both Half a War and Half a World, we'd be done already. But, generously (tactically?), they didn't, so instead of double-Abecrombie, we've got one more space to fill. So, who will be our fifth Legend?
Brian Staveley's The Providence of Fire and Brian McClellan's The Autumn Republic. Morningstar winners can pop up on the Legend list (see: Gwynne), and these two were particularly popular. When The Emperor's Blades was up for the Morningstar, it had more Goodreads ratings than many of the Legend shortlist. And DGLA voters are series loyalists.
David Guymer's Gotrex & Felix. Never underestimate Black Library.
Larry Correia's Son of the Black Sword. If the puppies slink over to the DGLA looking for some silverware, getting someone on the shortlist will be easy. After spending so much money on the Hugos, log-rolling the DGLA for free would be almost too easy. That said, the DGLA shortlists aren't exactly the haven of story-hatin' SJW manifestos that the puppies are out to piddle on - this would be less of a faux-political maneuver and more of an overt 'go fetch me a shortlisting'. I'm not sure that'll work as well...
And then there are the elephants locked outside the room: Aliette Bodard, Naomi Novik and N.K. Jemisin. In House of Shattered Wings, The Fifth Season and Uprooted, we have three - rather glorious - critically-lauded books that have already picked up BSFA, Nebula, Kitschies, Locus, Goodreads Choice and Hugo wins/nominations already. And... unless DGLA voting patterns change dramatically, none of them will be on the list.
I think if I had to bet on one of the above to sneak on... Novik? I think that's really optimistic, but, hell, let's do it.
Ok. So that's my bet: Abercrombie, Lawrence, Gwynne, Sanderson, Novik.
What about you? Which books do you think will make the shortlist? And, in a perfect world, which books would you want to see on the shortlist?