This year, I'd like to read as many of the nominees as I can, so that I can start to delve into current science fiction as well. Since I'm reading My List in chronological order, I've been spending an awful lot of time in the past, ignoring much current sci-fi (surely to my detriment).
I started with the nominees for Best Short Story, since those wouldn't take too much time to read through.
The 2018 Hugo Award Nominees for Best Short Story
- “Carnival Nine,” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, May 2017).
- “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand,” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny, September 2017).
- “Fandom for Robots,” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny, September/October 2017).
- “The Martian Obelisk,” by Linda Nagata (Tor.com, July 19, 2017).
- “Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon, (Uncanny, May/June 2017).
- “Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™,” by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex, August 2017).
All of these short stories were very interesting, representing a wide range of world-building and narrative styles. An interesting note was the prevalent use of the second-person narrative voice, the "you" voice, which is typically rare.
I enjoyed "Carnival Nine," "Fandom for Robots" and "The Martian Obelisk" the most out of the six nominees, primarily because I felt they were complete stories, well-written and emotionally compelling. Of course, all of these stories have been very well reviewed and readers loved them, hence the nominations.
Prediction: "The Martian Obelisk"
My prediction is that "The Martian Obelisk" will take it, though I wouldn't be surprised if "Carnival Nine" wins instead. "The Martian Obelisk" is about one woman's struggle to leave behind a monument of a dying humankind, while "Carnival Nine" is about windup dolls who must spend their time wisely each day so they don't run out of energy. Both are extremely compelling tales, but in a way "Carnival Nine" is more creative and imaginative since it's told from the perspective of dolls. Still, my prediction is "The Martian Obelisk" because I think it's emotional core spilled out over the confines of the short story format. The story feels bigger than it's short length.
I can't wait to find out which short story wins!
Take a gander at these stories and share your predictions with me in the comments below!