Hugo 2019 Reading – January – March

I feel bad that I haven’t interspersed these Hugo Reading reviews with other updates on my writing. It’s been hard, mentally, to write. I’ve set aside “Masculine Rescue” for now. I’m not going to make the deadline for the anthology I wanted to submit to, and I wasn’t excited for it. Maybe I’ll pick it up again later. I did do another draft of “Refusing the Call” and “Tattered Flower” but didn’t blog about either, as they were more of a minor rewrite than a major. Right now, I’m turning my attention to the entries to the Mormon Lit Blitz. I’ve got very rough drafts for two entries done. Now to polish them up before the deadline.

Enough about my writing. Let’s look at what other people have written. I liked everything I read the last few months for 2019 Hugos, though not enough to give 5 stars to.

Dances with Snoglafanians” by Aimee Ogden
a short story published by Daily Science Fiction

This was a fun skewering of the Avatar story. It really pokes fun at how a human could master the natives’ ways in a matter of days, and how it really wouldn’t protect them when the colonists came. But the natives had a much better way of protecting themselves. Excellent twist.

Dust to Dust” by Mary Robinette Kowal
a short story published by Fireside Magazine

This story was short but very heartfelt. It had a good look at what happens to those left behind when industry meets magic, as well as ethics of performing a spell for good on someone that doesn’t want it done. Really, it’s amazing how that all fit in less than 2,000 words.

White Sand Vol 2 by Brandon Sanderson and Rik Hoskin
a graphic story published by Dynamite

Lots of intrigue in this volume. I am a bit disappointed that we don’t get the full explanation of how the magic works and how it feels like we do in Sanderson’s novels. I’m also going to want to read the entire series as a whole. This part doesn’t stand well on its own. At least I don’t feel like I can predict what will happen. The plot is certainly twisting.

RWBY by Shirow Miwa
a graphic story published by Viz Media

I am a fan of the RWBY anime, so I wanted to see what new adventures were in the manga. This volume has some new stories that take place during seasons 1 or 2, and retells each of the trailers used to promote the show at the beginning. I liked the added details to Weiss’s story, giving her motivation for fighting the giant knight. They also added a new type of grimm – the possession type – which could create some interesting fights in the future.

A Priest of Vast and Distant Places” by Cassandra Khaw
a short story published by Apex Magazine

This story was an interesting thought about what home and love are, told through a conversation between a person and plane. The religious angle was an intriguing take. It’s told in second POV, but it flowed smoothly, and I was able to suspend disbelief for the few facts that didn’t match my experience.

Gennesaret” by Phoenix Alexander
a short story published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies

This story is a haunting allegory for marginalized people. Attempts among themselves to be “normal.” Silenced when met with the dominant group, leaving the person in pain to be overridden and ignored. And using the dead as martyrs for their cause. Heart-wrenching.

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