Steven desJardins (stevendj) wrote,
Steven desJardins
stevendj

2017 Hugo Thoughts, Part 3

Prior fiction roundups here and here.

"The Child Support of Cromdor the Condemned" (Lightspeed) is a reprint, and therefore not eligible for the Hugo, but it's a really fun fantasy story which I recommend.

"The Raven and the Reindeer" by T. Kingfisher (a.k.a. Ursula Vernon, Smashwords & other places) is a lovely re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen. Won't be on my Hugo ballot, but I recommend picking up a copy.

"Omoshango" by Dayo Ntwari (Lightspeed) is interesting as an example of Nigerian science fiction: I found it weird and unsatisfying, but it's still worth checking out, along with the rest of Lightspeed's "People of Color Destroy Science Fiction!" special issue.

Ada Palmer will almost certainly make my Campbell ballot next year. But I'm not sure if her novel Too Like the Lightning will make my nomination; it's attempting something new, certainly, but I'm not sure it succeeds, and it's the first part of a four-book series about what's either an odd Enlightenment cosplay utopia or something else entirely. Jo Walton has thought about this book more than I have and has much to say.

"Bronzeheart" by Lucy Stone (Giganotosaurus) is a steampunk story about a women trapped in a country where her work is considered heresy, a man who comes to her for help, and the cost of doing what may or may not be the right thing.

I have mixed feelings about "The Kraken Sea" by E. Catherine Tobler (Apex). I didn't love it, and I'm not sure I even liked it, but it's ambitious and it's going on my list of stories to re-read before nominating next year.

"The Jewel and Her Lapidary" (tor.com) by Fran Wilde is both a story about two women resisting an invasion of their country, and a meditation on history in the form of a guidebook summarizing what the world centuries in the future knows of what happened.

"The Snow of Jinyang" by Zhang Ran (Clarkesworld) is a pretty good alternate history/time travel short, drawing heavily on a familiarity with Chinese history (the translator resorts to a quick summary).

Stories I read and enjoyed but which I'm not singling out for attention are "Depot 256" by Lisa Allen-Agostini, "Fire in the Haze" by Mishell Baker, "Fifty Shades of Grays" by Steven Barnes, "The Shop of Dying Illusions" by Barbara A. Barnett, "Salto Mortal" by Nick T. Chan, "Mortal Eyes" by Ann Chatham, "Runtime" by S. B. Divya, "5x5" by Jilly Dreadful, "Digital Medicine" by Brian K. Hudson, "Life in Stone, Glass, and Plastic" by José Pablo Iriarte, "The Night Bazaar for Women Becoming Reptiles" by Rachael K. Jones, "Bride Price" by S. E. Jones, "Firebird" by Isha Karki, "The New Ancient of Sophocles High" by Marco Kaye, "Breathe" by Cassandra Khaw, "The First Confirmed Case of Non-Corporeal Recursion: Patient Anita R." by Benjamin C. Kinney, "Forest of Memory" by Mary Robinette Kowal, "Jonas and the Fox" by Rich Larson, "Magnifica Angelica Superable" by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, "A Good Home" by Karin Lowachee, "Away From Home" by Luo Longxiang, "Colossal" by Amanda Marbais, "How High Can Your Gods Count" by Tegan Moore, "The Beef" by J. D. Moyer, "The Nature of Ghosts and the Fate of Shadows" by Luke Nolby, "Left the Century to Sit Unmoved" by Sarah Pinsker, "Left Behind" by Cat Rambo, "The Universal Museum of Sagacity" by Robert Reed, "And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices" by Margaret Ronald, "The Red Thread" by Sofia Samatar, "As Long as It Takes to Make the World" by Gabriel Santiago, "All Things Returned" by John Richard Saylor, "The Sound a Raven Makes" by Mathew Scaletta, "Wilson's Singularity" by Terence Taylor, "Ebb Stung by the Flow" by E. Catherine Tobler, and ".identity" by E. Catherine Tobler. Also the section of Flash Fiction in the Lightspeed "PoC Destroy SF!" issue, which I won't bother listing individually.

My reading also included some horror fiction: "The Old Horror Writer" by Adam-Troy Castro, "Sawing" by Lisa Goldstein, and "Things With Beards" by Sam J. Miller. These, while competent, were among my least favorite stories, and serve as a reminder that it's okay for me to dismiss certain genres as Not My Thing. Also competent but Not My Thing: "The One Who Isn't" by Ted Kosmatka and "Some Pebbles in the Palm" by Kenneth Schneyer.
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