Saturday, January 28, 2012

BSFA Awards 2011: Short fiction nominees, winner, & my ranking

Official announcement came out a few days back. Only minor stories this year.

All nominees are online. All originally published in UK during 2011.

List below is in order of my preference - best first, unread last. Links on author or publisher fetch more matching fiction. My rating is in brackets. Where I have a separate post on a story, link on title goes there.
  1. [novella] Nina Allan's "The Silver Wind" (B); download; Interzone 233: Evil British government has been secretly experimenting with randomly picked citizens without informing them. Experiments that leave the victims grotesquely changed in body, if they survive at all. Experiments with a device that puts the subject in a parallel universe or in a different time.

    This is the story of a man who will be thus stranded in a parallel London, never able to return.

    British readers might find it more interesting as the story makes several references to what appear to be popular political issues there.
  2. [novelette] Al Robertson's "Of Dawn" (C); download; Interzone 235: Left midway through. It wasn't that badly written, but I had read enough of unimportant stories in succession & wanted to move to something interesting.

    A woman is mourning the recent death of her soldier brother.
  3. [ss] China Mieville's "Covehithe" (C); download; The Guardian, 22 April 2011: If the story has a head or tail, I cannot make it out.

    Oil rigs lost in the seas due to disasters are mysteriously coming alive, walking at ocean's surface, sometimes visiting coastal places & doing mindless destruction, laying "eggs" & having baby rigs, ... 
  4. Kameron Hurley's "Afterbirth" (C); download; author’s own website: Way too complex to describe story & completely pointless. A world where women are required to have at least some children, though the responsibility for raising them is of the state. A woman is interested in some sort of astronomical artifact.
  5. [winner] [novelette] Paul Cornell's "The Copenhagen Interpretation" (C); download; Asimov's, July 2011: In a Europe where diplomatic messages are conveyed via human couriers by burning the message in a courier's head in a language known only to two end parties, & even the courier doesn't know the message. Where walls & doors of rooms are made by bending space itself.

    Don't ask me what the story is about, though. It made zero impression & I immediately forgot. Something about a spy getting involved in an intrigue where terrorists have got hold of a courier carrying a valuable message.
[via SF Signal]


  1. Past nominees & winners.
  2. My "Best of 2011" list.
  3. Fiction originally published during 2011.