It’s time for that January tradition, the Award Eligibility post for Diabolical Plots.
This has been a year of change, as we’ve been trying a new publishing strategy; instead of publishing stories only on the Diabolical Plots website, we’ve been shifting toward publishing them in ebook. Since there was a backlog of several years of stories already published, this resulted in three anthologies of stories that were first published on Diabolical Plots:
Diabolical Plots: The First Years in March 2018
Diabolical Plots: Year Three in June 2018
Diabolical Plots: Year Four in September 2018
Having previously listing out award-eligible works that were written or published by me, here is my list of works that I think you might want to consider for Hugo and Nebula awards that were not written or published by me.
I’m working mostly from the Hugo Award categories, but a few of these categories overlap with the Nebulas as well.
Note that I have skipped any categories that I didn’t think that I was sufficiently knowledgeable enough about during the year of 2016.
Also, in any given category, the ordering does not mean anything–the order is not rank-order, so the first is not any different than the last, etc.
“Obits” is one of the Hugo Finalists for the novelette category this year. It was published in Stephen King’s short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.
Mike Anderson takes a job at the online celebrity gossip mag Neon Circus writing joke obituaries of recently-deceased celebrities. His article becomes one of the most popular in the magazine. After he is turned down for a raise in frustration he writes an obituary about his boss to blow off steam and his boss dies unexpectedly that same day. Does his writing have the power to kill?
I’ve been following the Hugos closely for several years, trying to read and review as many of the nominated works as I can digest between the announcement of the ballot and the final deadline. I also follow the Nebulas, and I glance at the results from other SF genre awards, but for me the Hugos take up most of my attention come award season. With this eventful Hugo year, it crossed my mind to wonder why the Hugos specifically, and whether I might perhaps be better off devoting more of my attention to awards that don’t collect controversy the way the Hugo Awards always seem to do, and in escalating fashion these last few years.
“Championship B’tok”, written by Edward M. Lerner, published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, is nominated for this year’s Hugo Award in the Novelette category. Analog has posted this story for free online as part of this Hugo season.
I generally start these stories with a synopsis, to give a sense of what the story was about. For me to be able to write a meaningful synopsis I need to be able to get some cohesive sense of what the story was about. I had trouble discerning that for this particular story, so this is not so much a synopsis as a list of story elements. The story starts with pilot Lyle Logan playing chess against his ship AI, and then the scene ends very abruptly in a way that’s never adequately explained and these characters never appear again in the story, nor have any other appreciable effect. We’re introduced to an alien race known as Snakes, among other things. There are also a mysterious race of beings (Interveners) that can apparently mimic the appearance of either humans or Snakes–these beings are not at all well-understood but they believe that the beings sparked the explosion of life in the Cambrian Era and that they steered the social/technological development of the human race. The story mostly circles around two characters: a snake named Glithwa and a human named Corinne, and a human Carl. Glithwah represents the ruling Snakes, digging for information about what might be human sabotage. The titular game, b’tok, is played during the story, which is supposedly as much more complicated than chess as chess is more complicated than rock-paper-scissors.
“The Journeyman: In the Stone House” by Michael F. Flynn, published in Analog, is nominated for this year’s Hugo Award for Best Novelette. Analog has posted this story as a free read as part of the Hugo season.
This is part two of the Journeyman series of stories. I have not read the first part of the story, so I am extrapolating a bit. Teodorq sunna Nagarajan the Ironhand and Sammi o’ th’ Eagles are in the midst of a journey that began in the previous story, where they were sent on a quest by a ghost that resided in a crashed vessel from the sky (presumably an AI residing in a starship) to find particular settlements for the star-men to salvage from the remains. As well as the quest, they are also trying to stay ahead of Kalakaran Vikaram who is looking to avenge his brother that Teodorq killed. As they are trying to cross a territory toward their destination, they stop to examine a stone building and they wonder how it was constructed (the technology level of the setting is mostly like a Medieval level, but with the remains of higher tech scattered about it’s clear that this occurs in the future after a technological collapse of some kind). They, as well as their pursuer, are captured. To continue their quest they must somehow escape their imprisonment.
“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium” by Gray Rinehart was published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. The story is posted here for free to read.
Alluvium is the name of a human settlement and the planet its on, a place close enough to Earth in habitat that colonists can live with just nano-infusions to balance out the few chemicals that are toxic to humans. Life is as good as it can be, until the Peshari (a lizard–like alien race) landed and conquered the human settlements. Cerna is one of the settlers still living under their oppressive rule. His friend, Keller, has become sick, since the Peshari took away their all-important nano-fabbers. Keller has taken an interest in the death rituals of the Peshari and how it differs from human death rituals.
written by David Steffen “On a Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli, published in Sci Phi Journal, is nominated for this years Hugo Award in the Short Story Category. Sci Phi Journal has posted the story for free for the voting period, which you can find here. The story takes place on the alien planet Ymila, … Continue reading Hugo Short Story Review: “On a Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli
Today is the first day for the Kickstarter of the Long List anthology. The purpose of the Long List anthology is to celebrate more of the short fiction chosen by the Hugo voters. This will be done by soliciting the short fiction works on the Hugo “long list” that the Hugo administration publish every year after giving the award. See the Kickstarter for more details
Ann LeckieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ancillary Justice swept the awards. (See the list below.) The sequel, Ancillary Sword, is due in October 2014. The third novel in the trilogy will be titled Ancillary Mercy. Lecke is a Clarion graduate, former VP of SFWA, founder of GigaNotoSaurus, and former slush editor for Podcastle. Her short fiction has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Subterranean Magazine.