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2013 Hugos: Best Short Story

There are only three nominees in this category. I think that is a problem, but I don't have any bright ideas about what to do about it. Anyway, I found it pretty easy to rank them:

3) "Mantis Wives" by Kij Johnson. This is an interesting idea, but it isn't actually a story.

2) "Immersion" by Aliette de Bodard. Nice style but didn't engage me.

1) "Mono no Aware" by Ken Liu. Superb stuff, updating "The Cold Equations" with a huge dollop of cultural awareness. No doubt experts will whine that the engineering in the story is unsound, but it convinces me enough for the emotional impact.

I feel much more strongly about this ranking than any of the other three fiction categories.

See also: Best Novel | Best Novella | Best Novelette | Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 2nd, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, I rank them the same way:

1. Mono no Aware (Ken Liu)
2. Immersion (Aliette de Bodard)
3. Mantis Wives (Kij Johnson)

We agree on the #1 choices in all three short fiction categories this year. I haven't finished all the novels yet, but there is no way I'm going to agree that CAPTAIN VORPATRIL'S ALLIANCE is the top novel on the ballot. It is light-years away from premium Bujold.

I agree that the Liu story is superb (and in my opinion he had two of the three best pieces of short fiction on last year's ballot!).

I DID find "Immersion" engaging, but I thought the ending was a bit weak. As for her style, she has a tendency to come up with some ill-advised similes and metaphors. Such as:

"He spread his hands, letting the air fall between them like specks of dust."

I think a simpler, "He spread his hands, helplessly" would have worked better. Still, it was a pretty good story.

Alan Heuer

Jun. 2nd, 2013 10:50 pm (UTC)
...it may be light-years away from premium Bujold - and I certainly agree that she has written much better - but that doesn't stop it being the best novel on this particular ballot...
Jun. 2nd, 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
Except that I don't really agree with you about the weakness of the novel category this year. I haven't finished all of them yet, but I have really liked the Ahmed and the Robinson, in particular. Both are, for me, far superior to the Bujold.

But I have looked at your votes going all the way back to 2002 (though I've never found anything about your 2007 vote), and have found we tend to agree a lot (with 2005 being an exception).

Alan Heuer
Jun. 10th, 2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
We agreed exactly on this one. I also agree that ranking them was easy.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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