The Hugo nominations for 2016 are now closed, and my ballot is in. I did read several more stories in March, but since nominations are now closed, I thought I would turn my attention to next year’s Hugos instead. Yes, even while I was reading (and listening) madly to things published in 2015, there were some things published this year that I just couldn’t wait for.
Also, I’ve decided to keep a running list of what the best works are instead of just doing a summary at the end like I did this year. Reading suggestions are welcome.
“Vortex” by Gregory Benford
a short story published by Fantasy & Science Fiction
This story had some interesting ideas about Mars and humans contaminating alien ecosystems. I just didn’t get into it.
“Girl in Blue Dress (1881)” by Sunil Patel
a short story published by Fantastic Stories of the Imagination
On first reading, I didn’t care as much for this story, but I kept reflecting on it, and it started growing on me. It has a lot to say about exploitation and giving credit, in a very short space.
“The Sun and Other Stars” by Rosamund Hodge
a short story published by The Hanging Garden
I really understood the feelings of loneliness that are depicted in this story. I just couldn’t buy though that the narrator had already used up her one friend in life, and that she should be thankful for it always.
(5 stars) “Tom, Thom” by K. M. Ferebee
a novelette published by Tor.com
This was a beautifully written story with an interesting premise about taking in a changeling despite superstition. I didn’t completely understand the ending, but it’s a nice sentiment.
(5 stars) Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
a novel published by Tor Books
This novel is my favorite of the Wax and Wayne books. The plot twisted. I really enjoyed Steris’s development as a character. And there were some really cool moments with technology and battle.
Mistborn: Secret History by Brandon Sanderson
a novella published by Dragonsteel Entertainment
This was a fun easter egg type of story. It was fun to see Kelsier up to his antics even after death.
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
a short story published by Candlewick
I’ve already read this early chapter book with my kids many times. Very funny and very cute.
Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
a novel published by Delacorte Press
A fun end to the Reckoners trilogy. Lots of surprises and cool moments. I did feel like the triumph at the end didn’t measure up to the triumph in Steelheart, though admittedly, that is a high bar to clear.
(5 stars) “A Mother’s Arms” by Sarina Dorie
a novelette published by Fantasy & Science Fiction
I quite liked this story. The alien perspective was charming and amusing. I liked imagining how scenes went from Jonathan’s perspective.
“L’enfer, C’est la Solitude” by Joe Vasicek
a short story published by Perihelion
The idea for this story was intriguing – two enemy outposts befriend each other on a lonely battleground. I felt like there was too much philosophizing and other fluff to it though.
“You Are Not the Hero of This Story” by Caroline M. Yoachim
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction
This style of story where the narrator talks to the reader doesn’t work as well for me. I did like the message at the end though – to go write your own story, because that isn’t trite.