Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nebula Awards 2011 - short stories: Nominees & my rankings

Quote from short story Movement by Nancy Fulda
Official announcement.

Seven stories, all first published in the US during 2011. Nothing really outstanding. I found two completely unreadable; rest are at least readable.

All the ones I finished, except Yu's, are in sad mood, about various kinds of tragedies.

Where I have a separate post on a story, link on story title goes there. My rating appears in brackets. Links on author or publisher yield more matching fiction. All stories are online, & download links are included.

Nominees (7 stories, best first).

  1. Nancy Fulda's "Movement" (B); download text & audio; Asimov's, March: Life of a girl inflicted with "temporal autism".
  2. David W Goldman's "The Axiom of Choice" (B); download; New Haven Review, Winter: A personal tragedy & a man's pain coping with it. Has unusual FORTRAN-style presentation.
  3. E Lily Yu's "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" (B); download text/audio; Clarkesworld, April: Wasps colonize bees territory. Imaginative but with lousy ending.
  4. Ken Liu's "The Paper Menagerie" (B); download; F&SF, March/April: Emotional & sad story of a Chinese peasant girl - losing her parents, being sold as a slave to a Hong Kong household, being sold as a "wife" to an American man, & finally being rejected by her American son who disliked his Chinese origins.
  5. Tom Crosshill's "Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son" (B); download; Lightspeed, April: A woman has sold her 8 year old son to a scientist for experiments. Scientist who plugs him into a virtual reality environment, only we are not clear if it is virtual reality or alternate realms. Where multiple copies of child's consciousness experience multiple terrors.
  6. Adam-Troy Castro's "Her Husband's Hands" (C); download; Lightspeed, October: Left partway through. This is macabre stuff. A soldier lost all of his body except hands, which were reanimated & returned to his wife. How should the wife be interacting with these living disembodied hands?
  7. Aliette de Bodard's "Shipbirth" (C); download; Asimov's, February: Left partway through - something incomprehensible & apparently gory about future star-faring humans.

Fact sheet.

  1. Other categories in this year's Nebula awards: [novelette], [novella].
  2. This year's other awards: BSFA short fiction.
  3. Previous Nebula award nominees & winners.
  4. My "best of 2011" list.
  5. Fiction originally published during 2011.
  6. "Best of" lists.


WCG said...

And those are supposed to be the best stories of the year? None of them sound even slightly appealing to me, Tinkoo.