Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.
This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.
Novelette is a length that I always have to look up when I fill out my ballot. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.
Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex, by Stix Hiscock (self-published) - Nope.
“The Art of Space Travel”, by Nina Allan (Tor.com , July 2016) - Well written, but not at all my kind of thing.
“The Jewel and Her Lapidary”, by Fran Wilde (Tor.com publishing, May 2016) - I had a lot of trouble telling the two protagonists apart. This was interesting, but I'm not sure I liked it as much as some of the people I follow on twitter.
“The Tomato Thief”, by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016) - Cute and warm and fun. Vernon is always a delight.
“Touring with the Alien”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016) - I liked this one quite a bit in spite of not really getting invested in the protagonist. The ending is especially good. The perfect length for what it was trying to do.
“You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, by Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine, May 2016) - Odd and unsettling in a very appealing way. I didn't like the first few pages, but was quickly brought around. Wong was a finalist for the Campbell last year, and stories like this are why.
This is one of the easiest fiction categories for me to rate this year. Wong's at the top, followed by Gilman, then Vernon, Wilde, and Allan.