Discussing the Hugo Nominees for Short Story

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Richard Horton

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Apr 25, 2003, 9:47:58 PM4/25/03
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>SHORT STORY
>"Creation", Jeffrey Ford (F&SF May 2002)

All I said in the May Locus was:

Jeffrey Ford's "Creation" is an impressive short story about a boy and
his father and his own strange "creation" in the woods.

>"Lambing Season", Molly Gloss (Asimov's July 2002)

From my review in the July Locus:

The best thing in the July issue of Asimov's is Molly Gloss's short
"Lambing Season". Gloss's narrator is a hard-bitten woman who works
as a shepherd in a remote area of the West. One day she witnesses an
apparent meteor strike, and on investigating, she finds (to the
surprise of no SF reader) that it was actually an alien ship landing.
Over a few months, she encounters the ship and its pilot, a few more
times. Nothing very earth-shaking happens, but the story is worth
reading for a its well-portrayed lead character, and its well-evoked
landscapes.

>"Falling Onto Mars", Geoffrey A. Landis (Analog Jul/Aug 2002)

From my review in the July 2002 Locus:

The best of the many short stories in this thick issue is Geoffrey A.
Landis' "Falling Onto Mars", a cynical but still hopeful story of the
founding of Martian civilization in a clash between a scientific base
and the prisoners that Earth has cruelly abandoned on the barely
habitable planet.

>"'Hello,' Said the Stick", Michael Swanwick (Analog Mar 2002)

From the March 2002 Locus:

I was most impressed by two short stories in the March issue. Michael
Swanwick's "'Hello', Said the Stick" is a brief, mordant, effective
story about a soldier who finds an AI weapon. [The other story was
"Flight Corrections" by Campbell nominee Ken Wharton.]

>"The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport", Michael Swanwick (Asimov's Oct/Nov 2002)

I didn't review this story. I thought it fun, but I admit not quite
of Hugo nomination quality. It's a sequel to last year's Hugo Winner
"The Dog Said Bow-Wow". This time Darger and his enhanced dog Surplus
are in Paris, setting up a scam involving recovering the Eiffel Tower,
but they are themselves the target of a scheming woman.

Overall I think this is the weakest category, though it was greatly
improved when "Lambing Season" replaced the awful "Gift of Verse". I
haven't really settled on my ballot -- I plan to do some rereading --
but a tentative hack looks like: Lambing Season, Creation, Falling
Onto Mars, Hello, Said the Stick, The Little Cat Laughed to See Such
Sport.

The first two and the last two places might each switch, but otherwise
I think that's about right. Swanwick fans (hey, I'm one too!) please
note: even though I put his stories last in both novelette and short
story, I am voting _Bones of the Earth_ first in novel.

More news for Swanwick fans -- in his insatiable search for more
opportunities to write short-shorts, he has written four
Darger/Surplus short-shorts, which will appear in the upcoming Lou
Anders edited Roc anthology _Live Without a Net_.


--
Rich Horton | Stable Email: mailto://richard...@sff.net
Home Page: http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton
Also visit SF Site (http://www.sfsite.com) and Tangent Online (http://www.tangentonline.com)

Peter D. Tillman

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Apr 25, 2003, 10:32:45 PM4/25/03
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In article <izlqa.407$ph4...@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com>,
Richard Horton <rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote:

> Swanwick fans (hey, I'm one too!) please
> note: even though I put his stories last in both novelette and short
> story, I am voting _Bones of the Earth_ first in novel.

Yeah, Bones is impressive. But you're wrong wrong wrong re "Slow Life"!
(Imo, of course).

Well, Swanwick fans can't complain too much, when Our Hero garners four
Hugo nominations for 2002!

> More news for Swanwick fans -- in his insatiable search for more
> opportunities to write short-shorts, he has written four
> Darger/Surplus short-shorts, which will appear in the upcoming Lou
> Anders edited Roc anthology _Live Without a Net_.

And apparently MS is still mulling the possibility of a Darger & Surplus
novel. Yes, yes!

Incidentally, there's a new Unca Mike's Bad Advice column up:
http://www.michaelswanwick.com/evrel/advansw.html

with the following gem (advice to "Crazy Girl"):

"Oh, sure, a life involving multimillion-dollar book deals, fame, the
adulation of the public, and hot lesbian affairs with FBI agents who
then have shootouts with their husbands sounds good. But there's a
downside. I don't know what it is. But I'm sure it's horrible. Don't
take any chances!"

Cheers -- Pete Tillman
Swanwick Site Committee

--
"We'll write no story before its time... I'm always at work on
twenty-to-forty stories at a time. Jim Kelly tells me this is not
normal."
-- Michael Swanwick, http://www.michaelswanwick.com

Mark Watson

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Apr 26, 2003, 5:31:13 AM4/26/03
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On Sat, 26 Apr 2003 01:47:58 GMT, Richard Horton
<rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote:
>
>Overall I think this is the weakest category, though it was greatly
>improved when "Lambing Season" replaced the awful "Gift of Verse". I
>haven't really settled on my ballot -- I plan to do some rereading --
>but a tentative hack looks like: Lambing Season, Creation, Falling
>Onto Mars, Hello, Said the Stick, The Little Cat Laughed to See Such
>Sport.

Yup, a fairly weak and somewhat random collection.

Falling onto Mars was the only one on -my- list of the best for 2002,
alongside another two Landis - The Long Chase, and At Dourado.

Other shorter length stories which appealed most to me during 2002
were

Rajnar Vajra. The Great Prayer Wheel. Analog
Liz Williams. The Banquet of the Lords of Light. Asimovs
Benjamin Rosenbaum. Droplet. F&SF
Robert Reed. The Majesty of Angels. F&SF
Bruce Sterling. In Paradise. F&SF
Tony Ballantyne. Teaching the War Robot to Dance. Interzone

And three from SCI FICTION which may be too long for the short story
category

Gregory Benford. Around the Curve of a Cosmos. March SCIFICTION
Paul Di Filippo. Shipbreaker
Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow. Jury Service. Dec SCIFICTION

Mark Watson
Best SF - www.bestsf.net
Best SF reviews: classic and current short SF
Best SF Gateway: online short SF

Richard Horton

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Apr 26, 2003, 12:00:32 PM4/26/03
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On Sat, 26 Apr 2003 10:31:13 +0100, Mark Watson
<mark....@bestsf.net> wrote:

>On Sat, 26 Apr 2003 01:47:58 GMT, Richard Horton
><rrho...@prodigy.net> wrote:
>>
>>Overall I think this is the weakest category, though it was greatly
>>improved when "Lambing Season" replaced the awful "Gift of Verse". I
>>haven't really settled on my ballot -- I plan to do some rereading --
>>but a tentative hack looks like: Lambing Season, Creation, Falling
>>Onto Mars, Hello, Said the Stick, The Little Cat Laughed to See Such
>>Sport.
>
>Yup, a fairly weak and somewhat random collection.
>
>Falling onto Mars was the only one on -my- list of the best for 2002,
>alongside another two Landis - The Long Chase, and At Dourado.
>

"At Dorado" was my favorite Landis story of last year, though "Falling
Onto Mars" was pretty decent. Somewhere Landis remarked that he
thought "At Dorado" the only one of his stories with a chance to make
the ballot -- oops!

>Other shorter length stories which appealed most to me during 2002
>were
>
>Rajnar Vajra. The Great Prayer Wheel. Analog
>Liz Williams. The Banquet of the Lords of Light. Asimovs

This was good weird stuff but didn't quite coalesce for me.

>Benjamin Rosenbaum. Droplet. F&SF

Definitely one of the best stories of the year, and I'm frankly quite
surprised it didn't make the ballot -- it had a lot of "buzz".

>Robert Reed. The Majesty of Angels. F&SF
>Bruce Sterling. In Paradise. F&SF
>Tony Ballantyne. Teaching the War Robot to Dance. Interzone
>

Ballantyne has done some interesting stuff lately.

>And three from SCI FICTION which may be too long for the short story
>category
>
>Gregory Benford. Around the Curve of a Cosmos. March SCIFICTION
>Paul Di Filippo. Shipbreaker
>Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow. Jury Service. Dec SCIFICTION

The first two are novelettes, the last a novella. The Benford didn't
do much for me. I liked the Di Filippo a lot, though it ranked only
third for me among his 2002 stories (behind A Year in the Linear City
and "Ailoura"). The Stross/Doctorow story was great fun, though I
wouldn't list it one of the very best of the year.

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