As I have become more focused on reading for the Hugo Awards, I have spent quite a bit of time looking over some recent nominees. I have pointed out that I have read other works that I found to be better reading experiences in comparison with recent nominees. What I have not done is pointed out those nominees that I found to be less than stellar.
A note just in case. I have enjoyed reading all of these books. I am proud to own at least a signed copy of at least one of these books. I am glad that all of these authors are experiencing different levels of success.
I just do not happen to think that these are one of the five best SFF novels produced in their respective years. I have read something better.
- 2016 - The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
- 2015 - The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
- 2012 - A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
- 2011 - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
- 2009 - Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi
- 2008 - The Last Colony by John Scalzi
- 2000 - A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
I can't comment on the rest of the nominees as I haven't given them a full reading.
 By John's own admission, The Last Colony was missing something. Which is how Zoe's Tale came into being. Two halves of a good book are not independently worthy of being a top 5 book, IMHO.
 This was the winner in 2000! I enjoyed it, but didn't think it was that great. Curiously, I did like A Fire Upon the Deep by Mr. Vinge a great deal and can see why it won in 1993. The two books are related.
 Added on 5/16/2016. I just finished it over the weekend. While it was a very good book, I have, indeed, read better books.