I’ve actually finished all the Hugo reading I’m going to do! Now I just have to . . . write it up. And vote, of course. Okay, here we go, today’s the day for all these (scheduled) posts.
So, I read 3/5 of the Novelette ballot. I’m going to discuss it, and the rest of the ballots, in alphabetical order by author’s last name.
“The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean). As far as I’m concerned, this juuuuust barely escapes being a blog post or a Slate article about how technological advances change the way we approach memory, as opposed to being, you know, a story. And I would respect people who thought it didn’t escape it. (I also liked it better when I thought the third-person thread was not part of the first-person narrator’s presentation, but that’s a minor point.)
“The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard (at the author’s site). This was really good: emotionally engaging, genuinely science fictional worldbuilding, a lot of tension, resonant with current-day concerns while avoiding being didactic.
“The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor.com). Nothing about the emotional weight of this story surprised me in the least, and that’s not even getting the weirdness of the worldbuilding that secritcrush on LJ notes.
Not read: “Opera Vita Aeterna” by Vox Day or “The Exchange Officers” by Brad Torgersen, for the reasons discussed here.
My ballot: 1) “The Waiting Stars”; (2) “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling”; (3) “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”; (4) No Award; (5) “The Exchange Officers”; (6) “Opera Vita Aeterna” (on ranking items below No Award).