In which I finally enjoy the Hugo-nominated novellas

What are these novellas doing on this year’s Hugo ballot? I feel like a completely different group of people nominated them. They’re all enjoyable in some way, even if I wouldn’t go so far as to call all them science fiction.   One of them isn’t even a proper story.  Let’s start there.

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Re: The Red Bride

From the opening line of “The Red Bride,” by Samantha Henderson, there is a lot you imagine that turns out to be different in truth. You are to imagine, Twigling, the Red Bride to be a human, such as yourself, although she is in truth a creature of the Var.

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Re: Iteration

If you’re feeling down about the state of the world and need some way to imagine it getting better, you could read “Iteration,” John Kessel. Enzo is a grumpy checker at Tyler’s Superstore surrounded by grumpy people, until he receives an email that says: “Re-invent the world.” Bit by bit, he does, and so do […]

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Re: Elegy for a Young Elk

It’s easy to talk about things you don’t like. In fact, it’s so fun you can get totally caught up in hacking a story to pieces. But even though it took me two tries to properly read “Elegy for a Young Elk,” by Hannu Rajaniemi, I liked it so much, I’m having trouble explaining why.

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Re: Will You Be An Astronaut?

In New Skies, there are a fair number of classics which are heavily anthologized elsewhere, such as “Out of All Them Bright Stars” and “They’re Made Out of Meat“. Most of the stories seem to be directed at young people who haven’t read science fiction before. I think if that were the case for me, […]

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Re: Eros, Philia, Agape

In “Eros, Philia, Agape,” by Rachel Swirsky, Lucian is a robot purchased by Adriana to be her lover. His brain is filled with the knowledge of famous poets and physicists and gardeners etc, and he is designed to change his personality so he will be in love with her. After they marry, Adriana and Lucian […]

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