written by David Steffen And, my favorite award category of the SF award season, the Hugo Award for Best Short Story. The Hugos are my favorite bunch of awards since they are meant to represent the tastes of fandom itself (albeit the portion of fandom that has the money and time and inclination to [...]
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On to the next category for Best Novella. I find this one another awkward one, covering word counts from 17,500 to 40,000. I like novels because they have room to spread out and really make you care about a broad range of characters in an intricately woven plot. I like short stories because they can really hit you with a story, worldbuilding, or other elements, get in and get out while you’re still excited. Novella I find is kind of awkward length, like a story that wants to be a novel but somehow just doesn’t have the stamina to make it all the way up there.
Spring is here, but you wouldn’t know in my neck of the woods. It’s cold, wet, and chilly. Perfect time to read a good book…or some Daily Science Fiction….
You may notice that four of the five nominees here are also nominees for the Ray Bradbury award this year, which I also reviewed. So, yes, I did just move my review of those four into this article. If you read that previous article and you want to just read the new stuff, The Hobbit is the only nominee that was nominated for Hugo but not for Ray Bradbury, so you can skip ahead to that part.
Anyway, this was a very enjoyable batch of movies this year!
Semiprozine is one of those Hugo categories that’s a little hard to understand. They can’t be professional magazines, where professional means that either the magazine provides more than 1/4 the income of any person or is owned/published by an entity that provides more than 1/4 the income to any one person. And it has to pay its contributors or staff in something other than copies of the magazine, or is only available for paid purchase.
As it happens, all five of the semiprozine nominees are magazines that I’ve read before.
Whew. A lot going on in our little Diabolical world. So much David Steffen has left the substitute in charge. David assures me that Anthony Sullivan is more than capable for the job, and said he has yet to miss an edit.
On to this month’s review!
On to the next category of the Nebula awards, the Best Novelette, which covers fiction between the word counts of 7,500 and 17,500 words. Generally I’m not a big fan of novelettes because to me they feel like short stories that have overstayed their welcome. Even though they can be more than twice as long as a short story I rarely feel like they have more meaningful content than a short story and so the story is just diluted in a larger space. It’s an awkward length, I think, not enough room to spread into more plot arcs like a novel would do but too long for the appealing conciseness of a short story.
The Ray Bradbury Award isn’t exactly a Nebula, but it keeps company with the Nebulas, voted for by the SFWA members and presented at the same ceremony. Its full name is the “Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation.”
There are six nominees. Three of them I’d already seen by the time the nominees were announced, and I figured it would be fun to rent the other three as well. I love science fiction movies, and a few hours watching a list of the most popular movies is a great use of time.
One of the things that sets Daily Science Fiction apart from its contemporaries is its invitation to its contributing authors to comment on their own works. I always read them, grateful that I get to read about the inspiration some authors experience that gave birth to the story I just read. Sometimes, the author comments grant me a rare perspective in their thought process. Occasionally, my opinion of the story changes after I read an author’s close comments.
This is the first, and quite possibly the only, year that I’ve been eligible to vote for the Nebula Awards. The Nebula Awards, for those who don’t know, are one of the biggest awards of science fiction fandom. This is the one voted by members of Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America, as opposed to the fan-voted Hugo awards.
So to make the most of it, I’m reading as many of the nominees as I can find to do before the voting period ends. Here are my rankings of the Short Story category in order of preference from favorite to least (for the voting I pick only one, but to flesh it out as a full review I found this helpful). The Short Story category covers all speculative fiction stories of 7500 words or less.