psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
What do we know, what do we think we know? I'm sure other people will be doing this too but I like to take a crack at it.

5950 total voters. Looking at the novellas (5337 voters), 3495 for No Award, 1842 splitting the nominees, with one of the Wright stories and the two non-Wright stories roughly evenly matched around 500-550, and the other two Wright stories majorly trailing in the 100-150 range.

So one interesting thing here is that even if the Puppies had put out an official *order* for their slate, and gotten those 1842 votes backing one candidate, they still would have been crushed by the No Award voters. We see that again in Short Story, where there are 3053 No Award voters and 2214 for all five nominees.

It's still true but less pronounced looking at the Editor categories, 2672 No vs 2178 Anyone for the Short and 2496 No vs 2411 Anyone for the Long. Also of interest here, 586 first place votes for VD in the Short, 166 first place votes for him in the Long, he eventually runs-off to 5th place in the Short and last place in the Long. Still an unbelievable embarrassment to the field that he was on our ballot, but on the other hand, that's 12% of the Short category and Deez Nuts is polling at 9% in the Republican Primary in North Carolina.

Chaos will think this is interesting: in the novelettes, "Day the World Turned Upside Down" and No Award were 1700 to 1732 in the first pass, and it took three eliminations for "Day" to pull ahead. Hugo voting people not wildly excited about this candidate. Wesley Chu, on the other hand, 2655 out of the gate against 529 No Award.

I'll probably link to more analysis as it happens.
ETA: Here's one initial analysis.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
The PDF is here.

Tobias Buckell put together the likely Puppy-free ballot here.

The most interesting thing to me here is the presence of The Martian on the longlist. I *seriously* thought this wasn't eligible. Also interesting: the total absence of The Magician's Land. Really, Hugo nominators? I mean, I didn't nom it, but it was a pretty major release for the year, and really excellent if you can read with slightly less feminist eyes than I could.

I'm sad that I didn't get that Nancy Kress novella in the packet; I suppose I could see if the library has it, or ::gasp:: actually buy it. I thought Swirsky's "Grand Jete" was pretty great, pleased to see it in the contenders.

I came very close to nominating "Litany of Earth", although in the end I did not, but I would have very happily voted for it.

Short Stories:
Man, look at that ballot. I guess Ursula Vernon got a Nebula at least.

Sex Criminals got onto the ballot with 60 noms, Nimona was 11th with 28. This is a category where your nomination makes a difference!

Dramatic Short:
Conventional wisdom is that there's more overlap between Puppies and others in the Dramatic categories - I myself voted for the Flash pilot even though it had been on the slate. So it's a little hard to say what a Puppy-free ballot in this category might have looked like. *However*, we know the top three got Puppy nominations, and "Legend of Korra: the Last Stand" came in 8th. Was there a chance? Maybe, maybe not, I'm pleased it came so close.

Pro Artist:
Galen Dara would have made the ballot without the Puppies, sigh.

Fan Artist:
Elizabeth Leggett squeaked onto the ballot with 23 nominations and ran away with the category, somewhat similar to Sarah Webb last year iIrc. Two of my nominees each got 16 nominations. Another category where your nomination has a lot of power.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
I'm proud of my fellow Hugo voters for their decisive rejection of bigotry tonight.

Also, although I didn't care for Three Body Problem, it was an excellent heart-warming acceptance speech, very much the best of what the Hugos can be.

Numbers tomorrow. :)
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I seem to have claimed back in March that I would comment on my Hugo ballot reading when I did it.

In fact I did very little Hugo ballot reading this year because of the Puppy situation, but here's what I've got:

Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu: made myself read to 20% and gave up, not into it. A novel.

Graphic Stories not previously read:

Saga Vol 3: if you like Saga you'll probably keep liking it!
Rat Queens Vol 1: if you like dungeon-crawling ladies, these are some. (I liked this a lot, classic this-could-be-a-campaign adventuring party stuff but all the PCs happen to be women.)
Sex Criminals Vol 1: man, my jury is out until I see where it's going. Clever, but do they think they're writing a psychological thriller, or a romantic comedy?
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
The Nebulas got awarded, you can read the whole list here.

Novel: Annihilation beat Goblin Emperor, Ancillary Sword, and Three-Body Problem, which I suppose is one more indication I should read it.

Novella: a Nancy Kress novella I haven't read beat Swirsky's "Grand Jete".

Novelette: Alaya Dawn Johnson's "Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i", which was very good but I think I failed to ever review, beat a bunch of stuff I had read that I wasn't crazy about. Yay for Johnson! I'm kind of in love with her as a writer for Summer Prince and as I read more of her stuff she seems like someone who will always have something interesting to say. Go read this story, it's so good: A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i.

AND she won the Norton for Love Is The Drug! I still haven't read most of the other Norton nominees and I wasn't crazy about Love Is The Drug - I think the near-future thriller just isn't my fave genre - but I certainly can't be sad about that outcome.

Short Story: Ursula Vernon for "Jackalope Wives"!! Man, talk about richly deserved! I loved this story (as you have heard before if you've been following my Hugo reccing). Nice work, Nebula people!
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Ancillary Sword vs Goblin Emperor for Best Novel.

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 made the Graphic Story nominees!

And that's all of love that could make it today.
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2015 Hugo award ballot.
File 770 breakdown of nominees by Sad and Rabid Puppy lists.

Okay, so, look: I don't think I can talk about 61 out of 85 nominees coming from these organized campaigns without breaking down quickly into "flames on the side of my face" incoherency.

Here's what I can say. I read the vast majority of the new short fiction published online by Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Giganotosaurus,, Daily SF, Apex, Subterranean, Crossed Genres, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies last year.

On this year's ballot, there are four novella nominees from Castalia House and one from Analog (incorrectly listed as being from, I hope a correction for that circulates soon). There are three novelette nominees from Analog, one from Castalia, and one from Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, a magazine I don't follow. The short stories come from Castalia, Sci Phi Journal, Galaxy's Edge, and an anthology series of apocalypse stories.

I admit that I don't read Analog and had never heard of Castalia or any of those other magazines. So maybe there's some good stuff out there, I think you know you'll be hearing all about it when the packet comes out.

But JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, it is my STRONG SUSPICION that there are a bunch of Hugo nominators who don't read Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Giganotosaurus,, Daily SF, Apex, Subterranean, Crossed Genres, or Beneath Ceaseless Skies, because I read some REALLY FUCKING GOOD STORIES and it pisses me off that not a single piece of short fiction from any of those fine publications made it to this ballot. I mean, never mind that no short fiction I personally LIKED made it to the ballot - NO SHORT FICTION I READ.

I am interested in the Hugos as a conversation about SFF. But this isn't a fucking conversation.
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Fan artist is a confusing category for me. My pro artist nominees are all people I came across while I was wearing my SFF hat - they did covers or story illustrations for something I was reading. I see awesome fanart on a daily basis, but I encounter it while wearing my fandom hat. I'm not thinking about SFF awards nor are these works clearly being put forward as part of a conversation in the SFF world. But, can there really be said to be a coherent SFF world. Maybe fanartists are in fact fan artists.

I've decided to split the difference and nominate three people whose work I liked while browsing this Hugo Eligible Art Tumblr: Evgeny Hontor, Autun Purser, and Mandie Manzano, who was my second choice on last year's ballot.

And also two people from the fandom world: Marisha Lozada for her Korra art, and Julia Cross for the Avengers Tarot that I cannot find an original posting for, just reblogs.

(And I believe this is the last of my Hugo nomination posts... I stay out of related works, longform editor, fanzine, fancast, and fanwriter. Tune in some time in April for my reaction to the ballot, in June and July for my reviews of things I haven't already read, and in August for the rejoicing and deploring.)
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Snobbery time: I kinda think of the Campbell as an "expert level" category for nominating purposes. It's not *that* hard to decide to read an online mag or two (or the recommendations of someone who does), pick out a couple of stories you like, and nominate those. Coming up with plausible candidates for the Campbell on the other hand - when practically by definition they can't be anyone you've *heard of* before - that just seems much harder. I am still super impressed with myself for nominating Sofia Samatar last time. I really have not managed to do much relevant reading this year - I was hoping to read Monica Byrne's The Girl In The Road, which I know is a first novel, but I just haven't gotten around to it. (In part because I spent most of my fiction time for the past couple weeks writing instead of reading.) I looked up a bunch of authors who showed up more than once in my short fiction recommendations but didn't find anyone eligible.

So, this year I'm nominating Helene Wecker (The Golem And The Jinni) who I should also have nominated last year but didn't think to do. And I don't think I have anyone else.

No, wait! It has just occurred to me that the internet exists. Behold, a list of eligible authors! Hot damn! Cross-checking this list against my 2014 short fiction recs would be much easier if in addition to the internet I also knew how to use a computer, huh. Well, doing it manually and half-assedly, it would seem that JY Yang and Tahmeed Shafiq are also eligible and I really liked stories they wrote, so why not. Go me, I am a nominating rockstar.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
Yeah, I've been stalling on this one.

What I'm Nominating:

Lockstep, Karl Schroeder. The best alien-planet travel porn I've read in years, coupled with a genuine Nifty Idea. Made the Locus list under YA, which I'm sure is a sign it won't make it anywhere near the ballot, but it definitely belongs on my standouts-of-the-year list.

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. I think this might actually have awards traction, which delights me.

Stranger, Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith. I don't even know, possibly I like this in a YA way more than I like it in an SFF way, but the postapocalyptic worldbuilding is just so *competent*. ::fans self:: Didn't make the Locus list, will not have traction, possibly what I would really want would be for it to win the Norton, but I'm not voting for the Norton.

What I'm *Not* Nominating:

The Martian, Andy Weir. Consensus seems to be that this book isn't eligible due to prior self-publication, which gives me a cop-out on deciding whether I would have nominated it. I probably would have; it wasn't quite the book I wished it was in some ways, but it was hella gripping, it was the kind of thing I wanted to tell people they should read, and after I gave it to him for Christmas it's the most excited my dad has been about a novel in years (which is maybe a weird consideration? but I wouldn't even be playing this game if I hadn't started reading his old Year's Bests as a kid, and, like, a super-heartwarming moment of shared fandom with my dad is totally Hugo-relevant for me).

My Real Children, Jo Walton. Iiiii don't know. My favorite thing she's written (definitely liked it more than Among Others) and I wouldn't think it *didn't* belong on the ballot, I'm just... I don't know. Maybe I still harbor resentment for Among Others beating Embassytown (a catalyzing event for me being an actual Hugo voter and not just a Hugo spectator).

Lock In, John Scalzi. A fine book doing some nifty things, but enh. Also my opinion is irrelevant as I will eat my hat if it doesn't end up on the ballot.

The Magician's Land, Lev Grossman. I am SO TORN. On the one hand, I loved so much about it, he's *so good* and the stuff he's working on is so dear to my heart. On the other hand, his problem with seeing women as the sex class ENRAGES me, and I guess I feel like that's a disqualifying flaw for deserving a major award.

Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie. Ancillary Justice was a slam-dunk but this book felt very Book Two, like, there's a lot of neat stuff on the board but I just don't feel like I can judge the payoff yet.

Echopraxia, Peter Watts. Finally finished my Blindsight reread but I'm only like ten pages into this; maybe it'll turn out to be brilliant but I have not determined that in time to do anything about it.

Turn Of The Story, Sarah Rees Brennan. I love this so so so much, but it feels like it's part of a different conversation than the Hugo conversation. (Maybe *it* should win the Norton, in my fantasy universe where I'm the boss of the Norton.)

The Problem

I probably like any of the above more than Parasite 2 or GrimNoir 4 or Pluto's Increasingly Tedious Second Sequel or whatever the fuck ye Voters of Disparate Tastes are likely to put on the ballot. So should I use my fourth and fifth slots for something I don't really want to vote for after all?
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
I really want to nominate Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant for Monstrous Affections. I'm not entirely sure I *can* - they are two people and the award seems to specify A Person. However I believe they have sufficient joint editing credits (they need four anthologies/collections/magazine issues, one of which has to be from the nominating year) to qualify. Nominating them separately seems wrong since that would be like saying they were in contention for an award for work they'd done together. I've written them in and hopefully the Hugo committee will either a) figure out what to do with that or more likely b) get to ignore the problem when they don't get enough nominations to get near the ballot.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
I guess it's time to actually finish these.

Legend of Korra - "Day of the Colossus"
Legend of Korra - "The Last Stand"
Legend of Korra - "Venom of the Red Lotus"
Agents of SHIELD - "Turn, Turn, Turn"
Agents of SHIELD - "What They Become"

I admit I'm not passionately devoted to those particular Agents of SHIELD episodes - it's more that I like the idea of recognizing that SFF fandom likes shows other than Game of Who, and those seem like episodes SHIELD fans might be able to get behind. I mean, I did think the tie-in between the show and CA:TWS was neat and "Turn Turn Turn" seems like the right ep to award for that, but in general, I don't know, it's very hard to pick out an individual chunk of something I enjoy in its ongoingness.

The Legend of Korra finale on the other hand was the best thing to happen to my short-dramatic-presentation-watching eyeballs in 2014, no qualifiers.


Feb. 20th, 2015 04:34 pm
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
2014 Nebula nominees! Things I've read but didn't rec in italics, things I liked in bold.

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)
Trial by Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu ( ), translated by Ken Liu (Tor)
Coming Home, Jack McDevitt (Ace)
Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)

We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)
Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
“The Regular,” Ken Liu (Upgraded)
“The Mothers of Voorhisville,” Mary Rickert ( 4/30/14)
Calendrical Regression, Lawrence Schoen (NobleFusion)
“Grand Jeté (The Great Leap),” Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’14)

“Sleep Walking Now and Then,” Richard Bowes ( 7/9/14)
“The Magician and Laplace’s Demon,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 12/14)

“A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i,” Alaya Dawn Johnson (F&SF 7-8/14)
“The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado (Granta #129)
“We Are the Cloud,” Sam J. Miller (Lightspeed 9/14)
“The Devil in America,” Kai Ashante Wilson ( 4/2/14)

Short Story
“The Breath of War,” Aliette de Bodard (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/6/14)
“When It Ends, He Catches Her,” Eugie Foster (Daily Science Fiction 9/26/14)
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye,” Matthew Kressel (Clarkesworld 5/14)
“The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family,” Usman T. Malik (Qualia Nous)
“A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide,” Sarah Pinsker (F&SF 3-4/14)
“Jackalope Wives,” Ursula Vernon (Apex 1/7/14)
“The Fisher Queen,” Alyssa Wong (F&SF 5/14)

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Unmade, Sarah Rees Brennan (Random House)
Salvage, Alexandra Duncan (Greenwillow)
Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, A.S. King (Little, Brown)
Dirty Wings, Sarah McCarry (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Greenglass House, Kate Milford (Clarion)
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton (Candlewick)

Don't get me wrong, I did like Unmade and Love Is the Drug, I'm just not excited about either winning the Norton. Well, I don't know, I love Sarah Rees Brennan and would like for her to have nice things and insofar as winning the Norton might help her sell her next book and I would get to read more SRB books, I guess I would be excited about it winnning the Norton, I'm just not convinced that Unmade is in fact the most exciting thing to happen in YA SFF in 2014. I'm not even sure what I think *is* the most exciting thing to happen in YA SFF in 2014 - the Locus list thought Lockstep was YA, but I thought it was marketed straight SF. I could make a case for Goblin Emperor being YA (although again, it wasn't marketed as such to my knowledge) but no one else seems to think so. Possible Stranger, actually, which has the "I *just* read this and am still freshly excited about it" thing confusing the issue for me a little, but, damn, in terms of books I feel I could hand out and most recipients would enjoy and I can't wait to read more of, it's certainly a strong contender.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
Stranger, by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith. This is *so good*, YA the way you want it to be and so often isn't. (Brown is "one of us" in a fandom sense so that might help.) The setting is great - postapocalyptic southern California, with all kinds of weird mutant animals and plants and powered people. The structure is great - five different POV characters, plus significant revelations and twists about non-POV characters, so it really feels like a world where everyone is real and interesting, not one of these stories where everything is always about one main character. Also, structure-wise, a bunch of random wacky adventure shit happens very fast in the beginning, building the world... and then over the course of the book, bits of it come back again, some of it in unexpected ways. I get annoyed when I feel like I'm just reading through a bunch of disconnected episodes, a mishmash of elements where the author seemed to take an "every nifty idea that ever occurred to me plus the kitchen sink" approach to their world, which seems to plague fantasy particularly. Stranger does not have this problem, it really felt well-built and coherent and like someone was paying close attention to hanging guns up on a series of walls and then taking them down again and firing them. (And they hit a good balance between a satisfying ending and still having some guns left on the walls that I'm eager to see go off in the next books - this is book one of a trilogy.) Did I mention some very intense action (and emotional realism about it) and a canonical OT3? And the world actually seems to make sense in terms of, like, population size and where people get their food and stuff, which I really appreciate *not* having to suspend disbelief about? I'm not sure what to compare this to but I highly recommend it.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
Okay, this is the hardest category for me for figuring out eligibility (that I actually vote in, at least), but I *think* all of O Human Star Volume 1, Strong Female Protagonist Book One, and Nimona count as 2014 publications. (If Nimona doesn't make the ballot, I think we can nominate it again in 2016 in its paper manifestation.)

I have a month: should I try to see what of Captain Marvel or Ms. Marvel I can get from the library? I feel like some random stuff has made the ballot in this category in the past so I would enjoy having five things to nominate. Please, suggest things!
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Aka "movies". By the way, sorry to anybody feeling drowned in Hugo posts - the good thing is I'll run out of categories eventually ::grin::.

I definitely want to nominate How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Book of Life, and Big Hero 6. Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men: Days of Future Past were both fine, enjoyable movies but neither made me say "oh, yeah, that should get a Hugo". But I think I will nominate Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Oh, hey, I could nominate the Lego movie! Sure, why not. Apparently I have been wholesale convinced that animated movies can and often are the best SFF of the year ::grin::.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
I conveniently seem to have noted five pro artists while trawling the online publication world, sounds like a slate of nominees to me!

Ashley Mackenzie.
Anna and Elena Balbusso. (They did the Goblin Emperor cover.)
I really liked this one cover but not so much the rest of Lake Hurwitz's portfolio, but will probably still nominate them.
Galen Dara is my favorite non-Julie Dillon pro artist right now.
Paula Arwen Friedlander, cut paper illustration.

Possibly I should nominate Julie Dillon instead of Lake Hurwitz - she's just so amazingly good - but I also have a strong bias towards not just giving awards to the same people over and over again. Man, I don't know.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
Just the one:

Grand Jete (The Great Leap), Rachel Swirsky. The limits of nerd Rapture.

I'll be curious to see what ends up on the ballot here, since I haven't read most of what's on the Locus list. I wasn't thrilled with any of "Where the Trains Turn", "The Things We Do For Love", "The Mothers of Voorhisville", or "The Black Sun", although I suppose if we get another "Butcher of Khardov" on the ballot I'm going to be sad I didn't nominate all four of those.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
The stories I marked as "might nominate":

Storytelling for the Night Clerk, JY Yang. Personality archiving and the State.

*How to Get Back to the Forest, Sofia Samatar. The best dystopia story I've read in ages.

No Lonely Seafarer, Sarah Pinsker. Intersex kid vs sirens.

Stone Hunger, N.K. Jemisin. Kinetic magic.

*Passage of Earth, Michael Swanwick. Alien autopsy.

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade, John Chu. Parental expectations and magic engineering.

Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land, Ruthanna Emrys. Judaism as portal fantasy.

Economies of Force, Seth Dickinson. The machines are running the show.

Jackalope Wives, Ursula Vernon. They dance in the light of the moon.

My likely nominees in bold.

Stories on the Locus list are starred. "Storytelling for the Night Clerk" placed fourth in the Strange Horizons reader poll - last year second place in the reader poll wasn't enough to get a story I really loved onto the Hugo ballot (but the first place story did make it on).

More patterns of bias: it makes me happy that I have something on my nomination list from Strange Horizons. It makes me happy that a bunch of the authors I'm nominating are women.

[ profile] carpenter, I know you're reading this, bonus story for you: Still Life, With Oranges, John P. Murphy. Like Replay but inverse.
psocoptera: ink drawing of celtic knot (ha!)
A recap of novelettes (minus the five Giganotosaurus ones I liked but am not considering nominating):

Saltwater Economics, Jack Mierzwa. Field biology at the Salton Sea.

The Djinn Who Sought To Kill The Sun, Tahmeed Shafiq. Classic-feeling fantasy.

Giants, Peter Watts. Reprint from a 2014 source. Far-future space exploration story.

*Wine, Yoon Ha Lee. Dark SF-or-maybe-high-fantasy.

The Dead Star, The Satirist, and the Soldier, Rachel Sobel. Big-R Romantic tragedy.

Reborn, Ken Liu. Aliens in Boston; memory and accomodation.

*The End of the End of Everything, Dale Bailey. Art and death.

*The Litany of Earth, Ruthanna Emrys. Humanist Lovecraft story.

*The Colonel, Peter Watts. Interstitial between Blindsight and the sequel. Serious science fiction.

*The Last Log of the Lachrimosa, Alastair Reynolds. Space adventure-horror, meh ending.

The five in bold are the ones I think I'm nominating.

In many ways the piece of fiction that brought me the most joy this year was Sarah Rees Brennan's "Wings In The Morning" in Monstrous Affections, which I would *totally* nominate if it were a novella, but my best guess based on number of pages (I asked SRB for a wordcount but never heard back) is that it's a novelette, and - I'm not sure I want to use one of my novelette slots? Let me digress for a minute about my philosophy of nominating. Certainly my own personal reading pleasure is a major factor, but I also see the Hugos as an ongoing conversation in SFF fandom, and so I'm looking for works for the Hugos that I think everyone (for, you know, large-percentage values of "everyone") might like, or that I think everyone *ought* to read; works I want to send forward to readers in the future as representing SFF today, or that I think the future *will* consider significant and I want us in the present to look smart by recognizing contemporarily. As much as I am crazy fannish about that SRB story, I don't think it's as interesting a contribution to the bigger conversation as the rest of these. Also, I'm interested in applying my nominations where they might actually push something over the line into making the ballot, because I like having things I like on the ballot. "Wine" and "The Colonel" made the Locus 2014 recommended reading list, which is a sign of possible ballot potential. "Litany of Earth" also made the Locus list and I'm a little tempted to swap it out for "Reborn" which didn't, although Ken Liu is very ballotable in himself. Anyways, this is where I am right now with novelettes.


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