First off, I’m excited to see the finalists for the 2019 Hugos. Looks like a great list, especially since there was stuff I loved on it. Some stuff I’ve missed, though. I’ll have to add it to my long reading pile. Right now I’m reading the longlist from the 2015 Hugos. I’ve finished all the Fairy Tail manga, and now I’m rereading the Fruits Basket manga, with the remake of the anime. I’m amazed at how much character nuances I’m catching this time. Hopefully it means that I can create better characters. In the meantime, here’s what I read published this year.
“The King’s Mirror” by M. K. Hutchins
a short story published by Strange Horizons
I liked this take on what to do with visions of the future that you can’t change. The pacing to me felt slow, because it was all about character introspection, when I prefer action. Still, I enjoy M. K. Hutchins’ Meso-American settings, fresh and detailed.
“The Willows” by Delilah S. Dawson
a novelette published by Uncanny
Horror is not my cup of tea, and I prefer my speculative elements more upfront than sneaky, so I am not the ideal audience for this story. Still, I can appreciate the evocative details and atmosphere.
“How to Move Spheres and Influence People” by Marko Kloos
a novelette published by Tor.com
I love superhero origin stories. And this one was fun. I loved T.K.’s glee at discovering her powers, and her horror when she realizes she can kill someone with them. I also loved that she was disabled. I want more disabled heroes, so I was a bit sad that there wasn’t more details about that. Though I do understand that she wasn’t really in many situations where it mattered that her left arm was paralyzed.
“How to Say I Love You with Wikipedia” by Beth Goder
a short story published by Fireside Magazine
This story was cute, a computer trying so hard to show its humans that it loves them, but lacking the understanding to communicate it in a way that they see. I did have a little hard time believing that Sarah could change the stationary computer into a rover in just a little time while everyone is preparing to leave Mars, but it wasn’t a huge detractor to the story.
“Eel Soup” by Marge Simon
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction
The speculative element here is extremely light. The details of the story drew me in, but the ending left me unsatisfied. I don’t believe cures work so fast, though for this story constraint, it kind of has to.