This post is going live two days before Hugo nominations closes. I'm not going to tell you all of who I voted for, but I want to spotlight a few works that I was especially fond of this year, and that I doubt will be on the final ballot.
There's a ton of overlap between SF/F readers and gamers, so I hope you'll forgive me this side-trip out of gaming for a week.
I don't like baseball. I think it's a dull sport that is not really worth the time spent watching it. This is largely because of a lack of strategy inherent in the game itself. Yes, there is some, but much of it is set before the game even begins and isn't particularly flexible after the game starts.
But if you strip the game itself out, sometimes baseball can be amazing. Transcendent, even. Shoeless Joe is one of W.P. Kinsella's three baseball-related novels (The Thrill of the Grass and The Iowa Baseball Confederacy are the other two). All three blend subtle fantasy with the baseball itself, and they're a joy and a delight to read. All three of them make me wish I liked baseball. And none of them are shelved in the Fantasy section of bookstores.
None of them are eligible this year, either. Kinsella was one of the authors who passed in 2016. But Harry Turtledove, whose books always wind up in the SF/F section of bookstores, did have a baseball book drop this year. The House of Daniel was fantastic. Much like Kinsella's books, it made me wish I liked baseball. And it highlighted just enough baseball strategy that the game itself is slightly less boring for me. Slightly. I still won't sit through a game, given a choice.
But it was good enough that it's on my Hugo ballot.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Person of Interest was initially a "guilty pleasure" show for me. The first season was - like many TV shows - a series of (mostly) unconnected stories in which the main protagonists had to get to the bottom of a mystery provided to them by a computer. As the show went on, the SF elements spun ever higher until the last few seasons were all about a clash between two artificial intelligences.
It's worth getting through the first season to get to the other seasons, and the last four episodes are four of the best hours of television that I have ever watched. Since the last few seasons were a cohesive story, I nominated it in the Long Form category. I also nominated a few specific episodes in the Short Form category, because - again - they were fantastic. It's on Netflix here in the US.
This year, WorldCon is test-driving a "Best Series" Hugo award. There are a ton of series that are worth voting for, but The Craft Sequence series by Max Gladsone really grabbed me this year. The fifth book, Four Roads Cross is its "qualifying volume."
I've ranted about this series before in a variety of places (mostly on social media), but it's very much worth a read. Book one is Three Parts Dead - and I warn everyone that it's a bit of a slow starter, but it gets better and better and better the deeper into it you go. The other four volumes either don't start as slowly or else I just didn't notice because I was already invested in the world.
Of the three items mentioned in the post, this is the most likely to actually appear on the final ballot - I have several friends who pushed the series on me, and they're Hugo Nominators, too ...