Friday, March 20, 2009

Hugo Awards 2009: Novelette winner, nominees & my rankings

Anticipation has posted this year's Hugo Award nominees. Fiction nominations apply to work originally published during the year 2008.
Update 10 August 2009: Winners announced.

Note: Novelette is 7.5 to 17.5 thousand words, according to Hugo Award definition, with a 20% leeway at boundaries.

Disclosure: Last year's short story, novelette, & novella official winners each happened to be the first on my rankings. In 2007, novella winner was my first preference, short story winner was my second preference, & novelette winner was my last choice! So you know I'm not the official oracle:)
Incidentally, 2007 novelette winner was a story about India, a subject where I usually have preferences very different from those of Western readers - probably because of familiarity.

All stories are online, & I include the download links. Link on author, editor, or publisher name yield more works from the source. Link on story title goes to my post on the story, if I have one. My rating is in brackets.

Novelette nominees (5 stories, best first).

  1. Mike Resnick's "Alastair Baffle's Emporium of Wonders" (A); download; Asimov's, January 2008; fantasy: An enigma is described. Included in my best of the year 2008 list.
  2. John Kessel's "Pride and Prometheus" (B); download from F&SF site, or as part of author's collection "Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories"; F&SF, January 2008; mildly science fiction: "Pride & Prejudice" meets "Frankenstein". For those who have read neither, it's mostly a description of life of the rich in England a few centuries back.
  3. Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Gambler" (B); download; Lou Anders (Ed)'s "Fast Forward 2": A Vietnamese immigrant to US is working for a near-future newsroom, & is not quite cut out for the job.
  4. James Alan Gardner's "The Ray-Gun: A Love Story" (B); download from publisher's or author's site; Asimov's, February 2008: A mysterious gadget of alien origin is affecting the lives of a young human couple, besides having a purpose of its own.
  5. [winner] Elizabeth Bear's "Shoggoths in Bloom" (B); download text or audio; Asimov's, March 2008: In 1938, a US man has stumbled upon a still-living sea-based bioslave artificially engineered by a lost civilization dating from pre-dinosaur age!! He's going to use it against Germans in the coming war.

    Story has parts dealing with black man, white man issues that readers outside US may not find interesting. They also happen to be irrelevant to the story.


  1. Hugo Awards 2009: short stories, novellas, novels.
  2. Other awards choosing "best of 2008" fiction: Nebula Awards 2008 (US); BSFA Awards 2008 (UK); Aurealis Awards 2008 (Australia); Prix Aurora 2009 (Canada).
  3. My "best of 2008" picks (includes links to more "best of 2008" lists, including various anthologies that collect last year's fiction).
  4. Last year's Hugos: short stories, novelettes, novellas.
  5. Hugo award fiction (includes past winners & nominees).
  6. Fiction by & about Hugo Gernsback, the man after whom Hugo Awards are named.
  7. "Best of" lists.