Saturday, June 25, 2016

Reading for the Hugo Awards, part 2: short story category

"Cat Pictures Please" by Naomi Kritzer: not quite what I consider Hugo-quality (I didn't nominate it, which means that I found five stories I liked better), but a good short story and certainly one that will not embarrass the Hugo award process. Edited to add: this just won the Locus Award, so clearly many people like this story even more than I do.

"Asymetrical Warfare" by S. R. Algernon: great SF concept, but far too short. I really wish the author had gone for a longer take on this, because this was easily my favorite concept of the five. But there just isn't enough to the actual story for me to list it first.

"Space Raptor Butt Invasion" by Chuck Tingle: this started out as a cool idea (solo astronaut on a distant planet, watching over the terraforming machines) but then took a turn for the weird with the gay dinosaur dom showing up and seducing our hero.

"Seven Kill Tiger" by Charles Shao: wow, the sheer level of racism being described by various characters in this story is appalling. The execution of the story wasn't bad, but also wasn't particularly stunning. As a science fiction idea, this is neither original nor innovative. The story itself had almost no tension, and neither of the main characters was memorable nor compelling.

"If You Were an Award, my Love" by Juan Tabo and S. Harris, wasn't included in the voter package, but I found it online. It's pretty clearly a fanfic of the very lovely and famous (infamous?) short story by Rachel Swirsky. Another reviewer has pointed out that this might be the first time a piece of fanfic got nominated for the Hugo... no idea if that's actually correct. Unfortunately, the writing on this was clunky, and required so much back-story that I gave up trying to decipher it.

Stories listed in the order I plan to vote them, although I may change my mind with further thought.

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