Wednesday, July 29, 2015

2015 Hugo Reads - Short Stories

This will be a short one, befitting the shortest of the fiction categories. I'm a very rare reader of short fiction, so these are definitely not part of my normal reading. The links in the titles lead to online versions of the stories, except for the Wright & Diamond stories, as I couldn't find those online, so the links are to the collections containing them on amazon.

Once again, in the order listed on the Hugos website:

On A Spiritual Plain, Lou Antonelli - 3 of 5 Interesting to read a new story by the guy from "Letters to Gardner", and he has an interesting idea here. The first human death on a world where the magnetic field causes consciousness to linger, it reminds me of an idea i read in Warren Ellis's Planetary (not sure if it originated with him). I think he could've done more with it, but not bad.
The Parliament of Beasts and Birds, John C. Wright - 1 of 5 This is a post-Rapture/Armageddon tale told in an Aesop's fables style of animals trying to decide what to do in the absence of Man. It mixes Old Testament and Greek lore (some pretty obscure), and it comes off as an odd read. Wright just is not my cup of tea, and his usual inconsistently-archaic dialogue doesn't help.
A Single Samurai, Steven Diamond - 1.5 of 5 This story of a single samurai walking up the back of a Godzilla-ish kaiju didn't do it for me. It was the first thing I read in the reread months ago, and I have little memory of it, aside from a pretty eyeroll-inducing ending. Not bad, just didn't do it for me.
Totaled, Kary English - 4 of 5 Some near-ish future sci-fi, this is an interesting and moving short story about the aftermath of a life-altering car crash. The setup for the small bit on insurance rules seemed out of place and a bit forced, but overall it was fascinating and surprisingly moving.
Turncoat, Steve Rzasa - 2 of 5 Military SF about a ship's AI in a battle between a human govt and one run by former humans uploaded to machine consciousness. The ending is pretty obvious and the characters flat, but the basic idea wasn't bad.

Final Ballot:
On A Spiritual Plain
A Single Samurai
The Parliament of Beasts and Birds

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