I haven't put in my votes yet, but I thought I'd do a quick recap, like Hammard did, about what I read and liked.
Sadly, I've had to pull out of three categories this year for the first round (fantasy, blurred boundaries and short stories) but I fully intend to get back to at least two of those for the second round, particularly since the fantasy category seems to be very exciting.
Science-Fiction category: this will be the hardest. There are three novels I want to give my vote to. Three novels I absolutely want in the second round. The Outside by Ada Hoffmann, which blew me away last year and has perfect neurodiverse rep; A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, which has an extraordinary pace, excellent world building and a remarkable rep of colonialism; All City by Alex DiFrancesco, which also blew me away and was the topical novel I didn't know I wanted to read. But I can only nominate two (first one gets two points, second one gets one point). This is going to hurt so much.
Novella category: A lot of contenders here for me, and some novellas which are definitely not my own cup of tea but very much to the liking of my fellow jurors! One of the most interesting things with SCKA is also how debating about the books with others can have you digging deeper into things you had initally dismissed, to realise that there was more to it than you first thought, or how some aspects you weren't keen on were balanced by things that made the novella worthwhile. My own highlights include Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky; Incompleteness Theories by Wole Talabi; The Deep by Rivers Solomon.
Series category: One of the things I particularly appreciate with SCKA is how it makes us read books we wouldn't read otherwise. In the series category, I really enjoyed reading the Sword and Fire trilogy by Melissa Caruso which was gathering dust on my TBR. Sometimes also, it just confirms that, nope, this book isn't your cup of tea at all! Apart from Caruso's series, my others highlights include, without a surprise if you follow this blog, Rosewater by Tade Thompson, and The Winnowing Flame by Jen Williams.
The deadline for putting our votes in is 19 July 2020. So stay tuned... The results are coming in shortly. Who will make it to the second round? (Dun, dun, dun...)