26 May 2014

2014 Hugos: short stories

It's that time of year again. I'm working through the fiction, though afaik the packet isn't available yet, so I can only read what's freely available online (or from friends/the library) or already in my collection.

The list of nominees is here, with links to some of the pieces.

Now, my thoughts on the short fiction (in the order they appear in the list above).

"If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" by Rachel Swirsky: This is well written, and the ending, where you find that "you" were hospitalized, probably permanently, following a gay-bashing, does pack a punch, but when I read it, after half my twitter timeline gushed about how amazing it was, I wasn't moved. It felt overly preachy. It resonated for a lot of people, though.

"The Ink Readers of Doi Saket" by Thomas Olde Heuvelt: I couldn't get into this story at all. The narrative voice never clicked for me.

"Selkie Stories are for Losers" by Sofia Samatar: Like "Dinosaur," this story made the rounds of my twitter timeline when it went live. I thought it was ok, a clever take on an old story, but that was about it. (I also saw the ending coming.)

"The Water that Falls on You From Nowhere" by John Chu: A young Chinese-American gay man wants to introduce his partner to his family. His sister is vehemently against it. Also, when you tell a lie, water falls on you. This manages not to be the same old story we've read a hundred (thousand) times. It is very well written and it works.

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