Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nebula Awards 2010: Short stories - nominees & my rankings

Official nominees announcement is at SFWA.

7 stories, all first published during 2010. If you like a shocker, "Arvies" might work. Two others are at least readable - "Conditional Love" & "How Interesting: A Tiny Man". One I've not read. Rest aren't worth noting.

If I have a separate post on a story, link on story title goes there. Link on author or publisher fetches more matching fiction. All stories are online, & download links are included. My rating is in brackets.

List below is in order of my preference, best first, unread last.
  1. Adam-Troy Castro's "Arvies" (B); download; Lightspeed, August 2010: An extreme form of slavery.

    Caution: This is a very dark story, intended primarily to shock, with extreme cruelty.
  2. Harlan Ellison's "How Interesting: A Tiny Man" (B); download; Realms of Fantasy, February 2010; fanfic: Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" retold, with a twist.
  3. Felicity Shoulders' "Conditional Love" (B); download; Asimov's, January 2010: Caring for deformed & abandoned children. Deformities introduced by parents because of their quest for genetically tweaked "perfect" babies, a process that sometimes has horrific side effects.
    Related: Judith Merril's "That Only a Mother" far more effectively addresses the same general theme.
  4. Vylar Kaftan's "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You in Reno" (B); download; Lightspeed, June 2010: A love story that's a bit too science fictional for my taste.
    A man & a woman. Next door neighbors. Forever in love, never really meeting. A lot of cosmic & relativity adjectives thrown in in the descriptions. In some ways, it's just a review of many popular sf tropes.
  5. Amal El-Mohtar's "The Green Book" (C); download; Apex Magazine, 1 November 2010: Cannot make out the head or tail of it.
    There is a magical impossible-to-destroy notebook ("The Green Book") that can be used to chat with some dead - you write something, they write back! And some sort of sinister organization called "Sisters" that apparantly killed the dead you chat via the notebook & ominous implication they'll get to you too for having read their secret.
  6. Kij Johnson's "Ponies" (C); download;, 17 November 2010: Little (or is it teenage?) girls competing for status & belonging. It's for fans of unicorns, & of unnecessary gory violence.
  7. Jennifer Pelland's "Ghosts of New York; download; Dark Faith: Not read. Going by some comments I've read about it, it has something to do with 9/11 terrorist attack in New York.


  1. Other short fiction categories of Nebula Awards 2010: [novelette], [novella].
  2. Previous Nebula Awards for short stories: 2009, 2008, 2007.
  3. All Nebula Award winners & nominees.
  4. Competing awards for "best" short stories of 2010: BSFA, [Hugo].
  5. Anthologies collecting "best" short fiction of 2010: [Dozois'], Horton's, Strahan's, Hartwell/Cramer's.
  6. Fiction originally published during 2010 (search "Rating: A" for my selections of "good" stories).
  7. My "best of 2010" list.
  8. "Best of" lists