Hugo 2016 Reading – February

This month, our family went to Disneyland! I wasn’t sure if I was going to get reading done on the trip, but my youngest slept on my lap the whole way there, and half the way back. Yay! I hope to get a bunch more stories before Hugo nominations close next month, but I’m feeling a bit better about the nominations I’m making.


An Immense Darkness” by Eric James Stone
a short story published by Analog Science Fiction and Fact

I REALLY liked this story, as seen by it appearing on my recommendation list. I really liked how it explored the ethics of torturing a simulated mind, and the emotions were poignant.


When We Die on Mars” by Cassandra Khaw
a short story published by Clarkesworld Magazine

This story was all right. I just didn’t feel drawn into it. The idea of preparing to go away forever can be appealing to some, but character stories like this just aren’t my cup of tea


An Evolutionary Myth” by Bo-young Kim
a novelette published by Clarkesworld Magazine

This got put on my secondary list for Hugo recommendations. I liked how people’s bodies changed to fit their circumstances, and it was nice to see the emperor get his comeuppance.


Violation of the True Net Security Act” by Taiyo Fuji
a novelette published by Lightspeed

I liked the quantum algorithms in this story and some of the subterfuge. I wasn’t happy at the ending, but I understood why it happened.


Wisteria Melancholy” by Michael T. Banker
a novelette published by Writers of the Future 31

This was a cute x-men-esque set-up, but there were a few things about it that didn’t make sense. (a bunch of minors with uncontrollable powers are regularly left without any adults in the house at night? Really?) I was also turned off by the ending, because finding happiness by no longer fighting a disorder isn’t that simple. You can accept a disorder, but still have to work hard in order to deal with the difficulties it brings.


Poseidon’s Eyes” by Kary English
a short story published by Writers of the Future 31

This was a solid story with good description of a small town on the shore. I just didn’t connect with it. Probably because the plot was slow for my taste.


The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” by Usman T. Malik
a novella published by Tor.com

This story made my list of recommendations for the Hugo. I really liked the Pakistani elements. I stayed up reading it late into the night, even though the speculative parts didn’t come in until the end. Beautiful story.


Asymptotic” by Andy Dudak
a novelette published by Clarkesworld Magazine

This had an interesting idea of police penalizing people for breaking the speed of light. I just had a hard time following it. Some of the science was over my head, and listening it on audio didn’t help either.


So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer
a novelette published by Clarkesworld Magazine

I LOVED this story. I used to be a food blogger, so having it told from a food blogger’s point of view really resonated with me. My church also teaches to store food in case of natural disasters, and this is a perfect example of why to do that. Humorous and poignant, I really can’t say enough about how much I liked it and want to recommend it to everyone.


Waters of Versailles” by Kelly Robson
a novella published by Tor.com

This story had a good aesthetic, and I found the idea amusing (using magical means to install indoor plumbing and toilets). I just didn’t connect with the main character.


The Thyme Fiend” by Jeffrey Ford
a novelette published by Tor.com

I liked the idea of eating or smoking thyme in order to make visions disappear, and how that would lead one to steal thyme from everybody’s gardens. I just didn’t connect with the story though, possibly because the pace was slow for my taste.


The Shape of My Name” by Nino Cipri
a short story published by Tor.com

I was intrigued by this story, but I was really confused at first. This story happened to be tacked on to the end of “The Thyme Fiend” so I wasn’t sure if the story was continuing (though in 1st person instead of 3rd) or a new story. The time travel also made me a bit confused at first, but I did like it.


Coming of the Light” by Chen Qiufan
a novelette published by Clarkesworld Magazine

I liked the idea of this story – that we are all NPCs drawn to fight the hero as they approach the final boss. I just had a hard time following the story (not helped by the fact I was listening to the audio podcast). I wasn’t sure what exactly threatened the existence or whatever.


The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild” by Catherynne M. Valente
a novelette published by Clarkesworld Magazine

This is an absurd story, which really isn’t my cup of tea. I still enjoyed the whimsical descriptions, and the character was good.


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  1. Pingback: Hugo 2016 Recommendations | Write Something Different

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