Hugo 2016 Reading – November

I haven’t had much time to sit down and read as I would like this month, due to various family gatherings. Which is why I’m so glad I decided to give audio books and podcasts a try. I always thought I was horrible at learning by listening, but when that’s all I’ve got, I’m doing better than I thought. Here’s what I got through this month.

  • The City of Your Soul” by Robert Reed, a short story published by Fantasy & Science Fiction
    • This story was a bit too surreal for my tastes. But the feelings were well crafted, and I liked the process the main character went through.
  • Requiem, for Solo Cello” by Damien Angelica Walters, a short story published by Apex
    • Another surreal story, this one strong with metaphor. The imagery was good, but I found it hard to connect, possibly because I know nothing about playing string instruments.
  • Moogh and the Great Trench Kraken” by Suzanne Palmer, a short story published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies
    • This story really made me laugh, as the barbarian stubbornly refuses to grasp what the sea is. Quite enjoyed the adventure.
  • Teardrop” by Lisa Mason, a novelette published by Fantasy & Science Fiction
    • I attempted to read this story when it first came out on the free digest, and found it really hard to get past the alien’s voice. It was creative and melodic, but I really found it hard to understand. I also felt dissatisfied at the ending.
  • Bones of Steel” by Aria Bauer, a short story published by Daily Science Fiction
    • I really liked this poignant flash fiction. As a person with more of an “engineer” mind, and also having recently gone through depression, I really connected with this character who has to prove to herself whether she is a robot or a human, and still doesn’t believe it when she sees the red blood. Well done.
  • Ether” by Zhang Ran, a novelette published by Clarkesworld
    • This story was a bit slow for my taste. Maybe it was the nature of the audio book, but I seem to have missed the setting. It almost felt like it could take place in modern day, with no speculative elements to it. I did like the idea of the finger talking gathering though.
  • The Light Brigade” by Kameron Hurley, a short story published by Lightspeed
    • This was a good story, which makes you think about the nature of war and propaganda. I was a little confused at the ending, which is why this story isn’t at the top of my list, but it was still worth reading.
  • Saltwater Railroad” by Andrea Hairston, a novelette published by Lightspeed
    • I liked the setting and characters of this story. It had a lot of flavor to it. I had a hard time getting invested in the plot though.

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