Hugo 2018 Reading – June

June was a roller coaster month, ending with kids out of school, which completely throws my schedule for a loop. At least now they’re at the age where they can mostly self-entertain. I just have to feed them now and then. 😉 Here’s what I managed to read this month.

(5 stars) How the Paladin Got His Scar by Rich Burlew
a graphic novel published by Giant in the Playground

I am not sure if this is eligible for the Hugo as it is not publicly available yet. It’s only available to those who contributed to Burlew’s Kickstarter 5 years ago. It’s a prequel story to one of the side characters of the webcomic Order of the Stick. This story was the reason I contributed to the Kickstarter, and I did not expect it to be so long (96 pages!) or this good. A great struggle for O-Chul, who just wants to solve a crisis diplomatically when both sides are eager for war. Also loved seeing young Miko and Hinjo.

(5 stars) “Paradox” by Naomi Kritzer
a short story published by Uncanny

I loved how this story touched on many of the different takes on time travel that have been written over the years. And then it ends with a call to action, saying why rely on time travelers to do the work of fixing the timeline when you can influence the world now.

(5 stars) “Wendy Darling” by A. C. Wise
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

I really like how this depicts the creepy nature of Peter Pan, and how nobody listens to Wendy, but she is still determined to bring her daughter back from Neverland.

Rick and the Green Gunslinger” by Zach Chapman
a short story published by Persistent Visions

This story had a lot of good gritty details and a clever duel in the weird west where shooting bullets casts spells. Yet while this is based on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which was about testing Gawain’s honesty, Rick is anything but honest. Fun story, though a fair amount of swearing.

Monster of the Soup Cans” by Elizabeth Barron
a short story published by Diabolical Plots

This story was really cute, about a shy scientist and the shy monster she accidentally creates.

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