Hugo 2017 Reading – April

I suppose I could say something about the 2016 Hugo Finalists, but everything I’d want to say has already been said by others. I’m really saddened that some excellent short stories got shut out due to the Rabid Puppy slate, but I’ve added a couple other finalists to my towering to-read pile.

Speaking of, here’s what I got through in April.


How the God Auzh-Aravik Brought Order to the World Outside the World” by Arkady Martine
a short story published by Strange Horizons

This story was a bit too abstract for my taste. It did have some good descriptions though.


Terminal” by Lavie Tidhar
a short story published by Tor.com

This story had some interesting ideas and consequences about a cheap one-way journey to Mars. It still seemed like the “cheap” journey took a lot of resources that ended up stuck on Mars, so I didn’t understand how that became a viable mode of travel.


Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” by Caroline M. Yoachim
a short story published by Lightspeed

This was a hilarious choose your own adventure story, which surprisingly still works as an audio podcast that goes straight through, which is how I “read” this story.


(5 stars) “Death Flowers of Never-Forgotten Love” by Jason Sanford
a short story published by Apex Magazine

This story made me think about consequences of rewriting history. Especially when the memories you want to keep aren’t the ones that others do. Very intriguing.


The Mountains His Crown” by Sarah Pinsker
a short story published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies

This was a really interesting story about farmers fighting for their livelihood when an emperor declares the land must create a portrait of his likeness. The main reason it didn’t get 5 stars from me is that it though it takes place in a secondary world, there was no fantasy elements to it.


This is the Sound of the End of the World” by Matt Dovey
a short story published by Flash Fiction Online

This was a well written story about a planet facing annihilation by an invading army. It felt predictable though.


La beauté sans vertu” by Genevive Valentine
a short story published by Tor.com

This story had some beautiful language in it about a future model industry taken to the extreme. I had a hard time connecting to it though. It had a lot of symbolism that went over my head.


Freebot” by R. M. Graves
a short story published in Writers of the Future volume 32

This story had some interesting ideas where the Internet is sentient and even going to the bathroom requires ads or a subscription. I didn’t understand why Nathan didn’t go see his wife in the hospital with their new baby, so that spoiled the story for me.


Coyote Invents the Land of the Dead” by Kij Johnson
a short story published by Clarkesworld

This creation mythos was more understandable and relatable than Auzh-Aravik. I had a hard time caring though.


Swords Like Lightning, Hooves Like Thunder” by K. D. Julicher
a novelette published in Writers of the Future volume 32

This was a fun sword and sorcery story set in a world based on the Mongolian steppes. The reason it didn’t get 5 stars was it felt a bit predictable, and I didn’t understand how Yvina fell in love with Mahkah after only a couple days when she was already pledging herself to someone else.


(5 stars) “Last Sunset for the World Weary” by H. L. Fullerton
a short story published in Writers of the Future volume 32

This story was really intriguing – watching earth die from the view of a cruise ship, told by a woman who wants to mourn, but is too removed to really do so. And it had things to say about the price of beauty.


Best Friends Forever” by Michelle Ann King
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

An interesting story about whether or not a robot could be a friend, though it was logical instead of emotional.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *