Hugo 2018 Reading – December

Several people have been sharing their favorite stories of the year on twitter, and I’ve actually been following the links and reading them. So I have several stories to share this month. Yay!

The Worshipful Society of Glovers” by Mary Robinette Kowal
a novelette published by Uncanny

This story has really beautiful description, and an interesting magic system – where brownies and humans work together to make gloves that give magical effects. All Vaughn wants is some gloves to help his sister with her seizures, and his character change in pursuit of those gloves is heart wrenching.

(5 stars) “Your Mama’s Adventures in Parenting” by Mary Robinette Kowal
a short story published by Shimmer

I want more stories like this one – that extols the work that mothers do. That’s really why I put this one at five stars, rather than because of craft. It is still fun, alternating between the fantastic and the mundane, and there’s puns and references to Star Wars and Peter Pan. I especially liked the twist on time travel on the end.

Henosis” by N. K. Jemisin
a short story published by Uncanny

A 2,000 word story, told in 6 chapters, all out of order. If I had been reading it, I might have been tempted to skip and read it in order. It’s an interesting look at fans and awards and how perspectives can get really messed up. So it’s a good thing I was forced to listen to it in audio, because the out of order arrangement adds to the message.

Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” by Fran Wilde
a short story published by Uncanny

I’m not a huge fan of horror, and this story definitely had a horror streak to it. This also was in second person, and it really fits, as the whole story is basically a narration to you. Really creepy details, given by a narrator that you come to realize hates you.

(5 stars) Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
a novel published by Tor

This behemoth of a novel had me reading far more than was healthy for me. I’m still trying to recover the sleep I lost to it. I love the magic system, the complications, the characters. Shallan’s character was the one that was the hardest for me to understand, but she still felt real. I’m really looking forward to learning more about Renarin’s abilities. We don’t get into them too much in this book, because it was one of the climactic twists, but we better learn in future books in the series. I also liked the philosophical considerations about slavery, and ethics of defending your homeland when you were the invaders initially. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Exhaling Memories” by M. K. Hutchins
a short story published by Aliterate

This was an interesting look at the downside of eternal life. In this world, your mind has a finite storage for memories, so people take them out of their mind to store for later. The ramifications on how that changes you as a person was really interesting.

It Happened To Me: My Doppleganger Stole My Credit Card Info, and then My Life” by Nino Cipri
a short story published by Fireside

A cute story about your invisible friend turning out to be real, and is in fact your doppleganger, and the two wanting to switch places. The longing for friendship felt real. Characters well done.

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