Hugo 2021 Reading – May

I have some exciting news – “Portal Friends” is a finalist in the Mormon Lit Blitz, and will be published on June 16. I hope you all enjoy it.

Other than that, not much has changed since last week. There’s three more weeks of school, and I haven’t been as excited for that since I was a student. I have never had a desire to homeschool, and that’s even more cemented now.

Now, to what I’ve read:

(5 stars) “This is How the Rain Falls” by M.K. Hutchins
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

I have a soft spot for stories about people who have endured trauma and are left vulnerable. This story expressed that PTSD in a beautiful figurative way. The metaphors were vivid. The lead in to the punch at the end was well done.


Second Chances in the West” by D. Roe Shocky
a short story published by The Arcanist

This was a fun story. A Groundhog’s Day-like tale that took an unexpected twist. The ending did leave a sour taste in my mouth, since I don’t like endings like that, but I can see it was the ending it needed to be.


A Being Together Amongst Strangers” by Arkady Martine
a short story published by Uncanny

I must have missed a lot of subtext when I listened to this story. I don’t know if its because I listened to it in chunks, or because I’ve never lived anywhere near New York City. The conflict resolution tech was interesting. I certainly didn’t see how it would come into effect at the climax.


Berlin is Never Berlin” by Marko Kloos
a novelette published by Tor.com

This was a fun Wild Cards story. I liked Khan’s character. He had a fun attitude as he deals with annoyances. And then in a fight he was really capable, even if he lost the first one. The action was tense. Nice way to pass an hour or so.


An Explorer’s Cartography of Already Settled Lands” by Fran Wilde
a short story published by Tor.com

I am literally minded, and never got the hang of symbolism in English class. So I feel like I missed a lot in this very figurative story. But I can still appreciate the beauty of the language used. I also liked its themes of risks and mistakes, of observing vs participating. I wouldn’t mind studying it further.


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