stdesjardins: (Steven)
[personal profile] stdesjardins
I've been making a special effort this year to cast a full (and fully informed) Hugo nominating ballot in at least the major categories, for reasons that should be obvious if you've been following the controversies of the last couple of years. (If you haven't, well, it's a Long Story™.) I've done quite a lot of novel reading, and much more short fiction reading than usual, and have come up with a large number of excellent stories I can recommend.

My favorite novels of the last year are The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin, Ariah by B. R. Sanders, and The Sorceror of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson. Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor has the fourth slot on my ballot, and right now I'm considering The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton, Planetfall by Emma Newman, and Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher (a pseudonym for Ursula Vernon) for the fifth slot. I'll also like to read The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro and Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie before casting my final ballot.

For novellas, I like The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn by Usman T. Malik and Sunset Mantle by Alter Reiss. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor has the third place on my ballot, and I'm also considering Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter, The Waters of Versailles by Kelly Robson, and Quarter Days by Iona Sharma. (All except "Quarter Days" (Giganotosaurus) from tor.com, which reflects on the inadequate diversity of my reading more than anything else. "The Pauper Prince" and "The Waters of Versailles" and some of the stories I recommend below are included in the free Some of the Best From Tor.Com: 2015 bundle, which is worth downloading.)

For novellette, my top pick is So Much Cooking by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld #100). I also like Asymptotic by Andy Dudak (Clarkesworld #105) and Ballroom Blitz by Veronica Schanoes (tor.com). Considering Madonna by Bruce McCallister (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #167). Really need to do more reading in this category.

Lots of excellent short story picks. Going alphabetically by author, there's If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Xia Jia (Clarkesworld #110), The Apartment Dweller’s Bestiary by Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld #100), Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld #100), The King in the Cathedral by Rich Larson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #166), Two to Leave by Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #174), Variations on an Apple by Yoon Ha Lee (tor.com), The Log Goblin by Brian Stavely (tor.com), and Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, September). Plus The Godzilla Sonnets by Jo Walton, which she wishes not to be considered, out of the belief that poetry ought not compete with prose stories.

For Graphic Story, my top picks are The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, Astro City: Lovers Quarrel by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross, Widdershins: Green-Eyed Monster by Kate Ashwin, and Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman and J. H. Williams III.

For the Campbell Award, Scott Hawkins, Kelly Robson, Graydon Saunders, and Carrie Patel.

The ballot deadline is the end of March, so I have time to do more reading before then.
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