June 15th, 2016


My Hugo and #RetroHugos1941 votes: Best Novelette

My nominations for Best Novelette for the 1941 Retro Hugos were:

"It!", by Theodore Sturgeon (finalist)
"Farewell to the Master", by Harry Bates (finalist)
"New York Fights the Termanites", by Bertrand L. Shurtleff
"Into the Darkness", by Ross Rocklynne
"The Sea Thing", by A.E. van Vogt

I admit that I deliberately avoided Heinlein in my pre-nomination reading; I knew he would need little help from me, and indeed he got two stories on the final ballot in this category as well as three in Best Novella.

My own vote is as follows:

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My nominations for Best Novelette for the 2016 Hugos were:

"Red Legacy", by Eneasz Brodski
"Utrechtenaar", by Paul Evanby
"So Much Cooking", by Naomi Kritzer
"Our Lady of the Open Road", by Sarah Pinsker
“English Wildlife”, by Alan Smale

None of these were finalists.

Two of the finalists - “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead”, by Brooke Bolander, and “Folding Beijing”, by Hao Jingfang - did moderately well in the File 770 straw poll, whose top nominated stories were:

“So Much Cooking”, by Naomi Kritzer (18)
“Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathangan”, by Ian McDonald (14)
“Another Word for World”, by Ann Leckie (13)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead”, by Brooke Bolander (11)
“Entanglements”, by David Gerrold (8)
“Our Lady of the Open Road”, by Sarah Pinsker (8)
“Folding Beijing”, by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (7)
“The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild”, by Catherynne M. Valente (7)

Two other finalists, “What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke and "Obits" by Stephen King, were each nominated by one of File 770's respondents; “Flashpoint: Titan” by Cheah Kai Wai was nominated by nonoe of them. It is reasonable to suppose that these three owe their position on the final ballot entirely to the slate - despite King's prominence as a writer, the nominated story is horror rather than sf or fantasy,. (NB that the one non-Rabid Puppy nominee on the ballot was supported by the Sad Puppies.)

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One of the categories where even a relatively weak 1941 ballot is markedly better than the 2016 one.

Best Novel (1941/2016) / Best Novella (1941/2016) / Best Novelette (1941/2016) / Best Short Story (1941/2016) / Best Related Work (2016) / Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (1941/2016) / Art categories (1941/2016) / John W. Campbell Award