Another great year for Clarkesworld, lots of great stories by authors both familiar and new. Clarkesworld remains the most prolific of the podcasts I listen to, clocking in at 83 stories for the year of 2016, and with a much higher wordcount limit than most of the others, that comes to significantly more words. Neil Clarke continues as editor, and Kate Baker continues to produce, host, and narrate most of the episodes of the podcast.
They continue to publish monthly stories published from Chinese through a relationship with StoryCom. This has had a wonderful result, as I’ve very much enjoyed finding new Chinese authors in translation through Clarkesworld, and you can clearly see the effect on this list.
All of the stories that are eligible for the Nebulas and Hugos are marked with an asterisk (*) if they are Clarkesworld originals, or a double-asterisk (**) if they were first published elsewhere in 2016 and then reprinted in Clarkesworld.
It occurs to me 20 days into a 26 day Kickstarter campaign for the Long List anthology that I have not actually mentioned the Kickstarter campaign on my own website. It has been a crazy 20 days and so much has been happening this particular thing has been postponed while I was working on other factors related to the campaign. Well, better late than never, and with 6 days left in the campaign there is still some time for those who are interested to back the project to get their rewards and to help push toward the couple of remaining stretch goals.
You can read more detailed information on the Kickstarter page, but I’ll give a brief rundown here.
The Nebula awards are nominated and voted by members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I have been a member of SFWA in the past, but have chosen not to maintain my membership dues so I am not currently a member. So I can’t actually vote. But I do still follow the Nebula awards, and so I thought it worth posting my ballot as if I had the right to vote. The Nebula ballot has only 5 categories, four of them for lengths of written fiction and one for the Ray Bradbury Award for film. Unlike the Hugos, its voting system only allows you to vote for one thing, rather than rank-ordering all of them and doing instant runoff votes like the Hugos, so I will structure my post accordingly. You can find the full list of nominees here.
Because I don’t tend to read many novellas, because the Nebula voting period is so short, and because I was spent some of the Nebula voting period reading books for short-term review deadlines, I didn’t read any of the novella nominees this year.
The Nebulas are voted for by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America, based on all the published stories from 2014. The Novelette category covers stories between 7500 and 17500 words.
I have only had time to read three of the six stories before the SFWA voting deadline. It’s Ferrett Steinmetz’s fault, really. His first novel FLEX released the first week of March and my reading time was all occupied with reading his book.
Clarkesworld has been getting bigger and better. They’re publishing more stories than ever before and they’re good as ever, publishing more episodes than any of the other podcasts I listen to. Neil Clarke continues to edit and Kate Baker continues to host and usually narrate the podcast.
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.
So this is a “Best of” list combining all of Lightspeed’s podcasted backlog, combined with the 10 Fantasy Magazine episodes in consideration as well.