I haven’t been in much of a science fiction/fantasy mood lately so I only got through the Nebula nominated short stories this year. The winners will be announced May 18th at SFWA’s annual banquet.
SHORT STORY Nominees
- “Robot“, Helena Bell (Clarkesworld 9/12) – I may be at an age when I don’t want to read YA fiction, but I don’t want to read Old People fiction either. Or having recently lost my grandparents, this hit a little close to the bone.
- “Immersion“, Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12) – Had a hard time getting into this story, but it was worth the work.
- “Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes“, Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 4/12) – This is very much a “middle age” fiction, and I’m happy to have some of those issues being addressed in speculative works.
- “Nanny’s Day“, Leah Cypess (Asimov’s 3/12) – I found the sci-fi technology elements distracting. Would it have been better without them?
- “Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream“, Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed 7/12) – Best line I’ve read in a while: “He looks at the crow’s feet around her eyes. Side effect of smiling. Crows walk on those who laugh in their sleep. He tried to tell her, but she did it anyway.”
- “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species“, Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/12) – Read this one back in August of 2012. Enjoyed it quite a bit, especially interesting in this age of books vs. ebooks. “Everyone makes books.”
- “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain“, Cat Rambo (Near + Far) – “Were there any sorrows, any passions that might lead her thoughts along the same groove till it gave, eroded into madness?” Cat Rambo is also becoming one of my favorite authors.
(Links courtesy SF Signal)
As a general thing, I liked that many of these stories were geared more toward an older age group. I have nothing against YA fiction, but its characters do deal with a certain set of problems that are the problems of young people. This is why Dune, despite the young protagonist, isn’t YA fiction. Paul Atreides deals with problems that aren’t related to his age. The majority of these short stories deal with the problems of middle age (or at least past YA or even past NA): cheating spouses, the decline of parents’ health, custody of children, aging in general. It’s actually sort of refreshing. Despite that, I like Ken Liu’s “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species” the best. I’m a sucker for meta fiction about storytelling.
Also, I really hope Looper wins the Ray Bradbury Award for dramatic presentation. I liked Avengers and Cabin in the Woods, but I think Looper may be the best time travel movie out there and a damn nice stab at an interesting SF world.