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: Hello, said the Stick

It’s unfortunate that my first encounter with Michael Swanwick’s stories was “A Small Room in Koboldtown,” which underwhelmed me. I thought “From Babel’s Fallen Glory We Fled” was pretty good, but still unsatisfying. These two left me unprepared for how much I would love “Hello, said the Stick.”  I first encountered it a  reading on […]

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Re: Stories of Your Life

Some believe that different languages change the way you perceive the world. In “Stories of Your Life”, by Ted Chiang, an alien language can change your perceptions even more profoundly. You can tell something is up from the beginning: Your father is about to ask me the question…. “Do you want to make a baby?”

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Re: The Cambist and Lord Iron

Olaf Neddelson is a humble cambist, a money changer, whose life is changed when the notorious Lord Iron comes to his exchange window. Lord Iron demands that he exchange convertible guilders from the Independent Protectorate of Analdi-Wat for pounds sterling. If Olaf fails to do so within 24 hours, his license could be reviewed under […]

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