July 9, 2016

Hugo Voting 2016: Novelettes

1988 Hugo Award Trophy | The Hugo Awards

(This is the 1988 Hugo trophy. Looks rather Lovecraftian, doesn't it?)

We are now up to the Novelette category.

1) "And You Shall Know Her By the Trail of Dead"

I was so-so about this when I read it the first time, but a reread has left me a bit more favorably disposed. (Also in awe of the many ways the author uses the word "fuck.") This might feel a bit old-fashioned to some, as it's a dark, gritty cyberpunk universe, but Brooke Bolander does write a modern twist at the end, which I'm not going to spoil.

2) "Folding Beijing"

This story wasn't really for me, but it was original and inventive.

3) "Obits"

So-so Stephen King, about a hack writer who discovers he can pen an obituary for a living person...and said person kicks off as described. Only thing is, there is more than one person with a particular name, and the collateral damage starts piling up. (Although that really doesn't make sense, since the people are not only named, they're described. But we wouldn't have a story otherwise.)

4) No Award

5) "What Price Humanity?"

Bah. A war where soldiers' minds are replicated and sent out to what they think is virtual reality, but they're manning actual weapons and dying over and over again, and they don't even know it.

(Other nominees: "Flashpoint: Titan," which is meticulously described, lovingly detailed Castalia House weapons porn. I'm leaving it off the ballot altogether.)

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