Thoughtful Thursday: 2018 Hugo Awards: Novelettes & Short Stories

The 2018 Hugo Awards will be presented at Worldcon 76 in San Jose, California, on August 19. The Hugo Award finalists are chosen by readers who are voting members of Worldcon. This week we'll talk about the shortest works, novelettes and short stories. We'll discuss other categories in future columns.



Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. We liked all of these stories and loved most of them. It's not surprising that we saw many of these in the Locus and Nebula finalist lists.

BEST NOVELETTE

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Thoughtful Thursday: The 2018 Locus Awards: Short fiction

The Nebula Awards are in our rearview, and next up are the Locus Awards, leading us into Hugo Season!

The Locus Weekend will be held in Seattle, Washington, on June 22-24, 2018.

The Locus Awards have lots of categories, so I am focused on the short fiction this week and in a couple of weeks we'll discuss the novels.

Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. I've included the cover art for some of our favorites.

Who do you think will win the Locus Award in these categories? Answer below for a chance to win a book from our stacks.

 

BEST NOVELLA

In Calabria Read More

SHORTS: 2018 Locus Award finalists

Today's SHORTS column features all of the 2018 Locus Award finalists for short fiction. The Locus Award winners will be announced by Connie Willis during Locus Award weekend, June 22 - June 24, 2018.

NOVELLAS:

In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle (2017)

Claudio, a middle-aged curmudgeonly farmer living in a remote area of the Italian countryside, has been a standoffish loner since his wife left him decades ago. He’s satisfied with his current lifestyle, taking care of his land and his animals, and writing poetry that he shares with no one.

Everything changes one morning when a unicorn shows up on his farm. The pure and beautiful unicorn inspires Claudio’s poe... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2017 Nebula Awards: Novelettes, Short Stories, YA

This year’s Nebula conference (May 17-20) will be held in Pittsburgh, and the 2017 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

We talked about the nominees for Best Novel and Best Novella last week.

Now let's talk about the finalists for Best Novelette, Best Short Story, and the Andre Norton Award for YA SFF.

Here they are. Click the links to read our reviews and get the links to the stories:

BEST NOVELETTE:

“Dirty Old Town” by Richard Bowes, published by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
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Thoughtful Thursday: The 2017 Nebula Awards: Novels & Novellas

This year’s Nebula conference (May 17-20) will be held in Pittsburgh, and the 2017 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

Here are the finalists. Click the links to read our reviews:

BEST NOVEL:

Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory, published by Knopf
Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, Tor
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by  Read More

SHORTS: Slatter, Tolbert, Pratt, Pinkser

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 
Finnegan’s Field by Angela Slatter (Jan. 2016, free at Tor.com, 99c Kindle version)

This grim story of a mother’s love for her child taps into a rare feeling of collective folklore from a shared history. Finnegan’s Field is a dark fantasy tale about a missing girl returning home after having disappeared three years prior. As ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: March 13, 2016

This week, philosophical ruminations from Ayesha, She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed, as she waits eternally for her lost love Kallikrates.

Ayesha: Week 148,386. More or less the same as week 148,385. Still no sign of Kallikrates. I believe I finally puzzled out the meaning behind human existence the other day. I've already forgotten what it was, though, so it mustn't have been very important. Taking as a given the presumptions that firstly I did indeed uncover an objective meaning for it all and secondly that it was in fact unimpressive, it follows that only in subjective experience can satisfaction be found. No external validation shall ever be accorded, and only by achievement of one's own purposes can one attain happiness. My purpose is to wait for Kallikrates. At least in the abstract. In the particular -- as regards this day, this week, this year -- my purpo... Read More

Magazine Monday: Nebula-Nominated Short Stories, 2014

Here are the short stories nominated for a 2014 Nebula Award:

In “The Breath of War” by Aliette de Bodard, the main character, Rechan, is pregnant. She must find her breath-sibling before she gives birth, or the baby will be stillborn. That, and the fact that they are carved by adolescent women from a special stone called lamsinh, are all we know about breath-siblings at first. Most women have their breath-siblings with them once they are created, but Rechan’s has remained in the mountains from which it was carved during a time of war on her planet. “The Breath of War” is a very alien story, setting up a world and a biology that are so different from ours that the wonder of the story comes... Read More

WWWednesday: June 11, 2014

On this day in 2003, the Spirit Rover was launched, beginning the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. You can learn more about Spirit Rover here: it will leave you feeling a little teary-eyed and inexplicably proud of a machine, just like when you saw Wall-E.

A medieval grotesque



Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

It’s award season! As I announce these awards, you should just imagine me hopping for 3 ½ minutes like Hugh Jackman did at the Tonys. Because that’s totally what I’m doing. Right now.

The Campbell and Sturgeon awards were announced today. Marcel Theroux won the Campbell for his 2013 novel... Read More

Magazine Monday: Asimov’s, February 2014

The first of three novelettes in the February 2014 issue of Asimov’s is Derek Künsken's “Schools of Clay,” a space opera that is almost incomprehensible. It concerns a race of beings that is modeled on bees, apparently, with queens, workers and new generations of princesses. These beings mine asteroid belts and seem to be partly machine and partly organic (though their nature is never spelled out, one of the serious shortcomings of this story). Some of these beings have souls, and some do not, though what “soul” means in this context is unclear. Diviya is the viewpoint character, a medic or mechanic or both, caught between castes. And he is a revolutionary, for the workers have become dissatisfied with their status. A need for the colony to migrate — a pod of predatory shaghāl has come after the colony, beings whose nature and aims are not explained — comes too early for the plans of the revolutionaries, but Diviya encourages them to rise up regar... Read More

Magic for Liars: A fresh spin on the “magical school” trope

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

I recently enjoyed Sarah Gailey’s short story “STET,” on Tadiana’s recommendation, and decided I needed to check out more of Gailey’s work. When I saw their latest novel, Magic for Liars (2019), gleaming bright red at me from the library shelf, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Magic school meets detective thriller? Right up my alley, as I like both of those things. It was like asking me if I wanted vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

Ivy and Tabitha Gamble are twins, but Tabitha has magic and Ivy doesn’t. When the two were teens, Tabitha got to go away to magic school, while Ivy stayed home and dealt with regular high school and her mother’s terminal cancer. Now in their th... Read More