Thursday, February 28, 2008

BSFA Awards 2007 - Short Fiction: Brief story descriptions & my ranking

"BSFA Awards 2007" applies to works up to novella length first published in UK during 2007; so stories might be older. Awards themselves are given in 2008.

Shortlist at their web site doesn't really have a persistent URL, but is currently available here. List below is only of finalists (Including the winner); I didn't look at nominated works - the previous stage of their process - because that list is so huge as to be meaningless.

Story list (5 stories, best first).

  1. [final] Ted Chiang's "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" (A); download; novelette; first published as a short book by Subterranean Press, July 2007; fantasy: Four time travel folktales - told in the style of (I think) Arabian Nights. Added to my best of the year 2007 list.
  2. [final] Alastair Reynolds's "The Sledge-maker’s Daughter" (A); download; Interzone #209 (April 2007); science fiction: A victim of sexual assault gets a weapon to punish her oppressor.
  3. [final] Ian Whates' "The Gift of Joy" (B); download; TQR; science fiction: A human shape shifter, but he transforms himself to other's bodies by technology rather than magic! Technology itself is a variation on Cory Doctorow's "0wnz0red". He has spent a lifetime living other people's lives - sometimes after killing the original, other times by playing the dead so the world doesn't know original is gone. He used to do this work for a security agency of local government.
    Sick with living someone else's life, he escaped & has been living the life of a supposedly nameless male prostitute in some town. Only, his services involve sex after he transforms himself to a celebrity of the client's fantasy - from among a menu of celebrities whose profiles he has in his database!
    Now his old boss has caught up with him, & wants him to live the life of country's President. President has recently died, & the security racketeers want to keep him alive!
  4. [winner, final] Ken MacLeod's "Lighting Out"; disLocations: Not read.
  5. [final] Chaz Brenchley's "Terminal"; disLocations: Not read.
Note: Above list has my rating (ABC: A = worth your time, C = don't bother) in brackets. If I've posted a separate note on a story, main link takes you there. If the full text of the story is available online, download link fetches it for you.