The Hugo Awards 2017 – Nomination Worthy Short Stories

The 2017 Hugo Awards Nominations are open, so you should hurry and nominate your favorite fantasy and science-fiction works from last year. I read more than 70 short stories eligible for the 2017 Hugo Award, and this page lists my favorite ones (if you have the time to squeeze in some last minute reading, and you have not read them yet, pick them up!). Take a look, and let us know what you think.

My Favorites

  
 

A Handful of Dal by Naru Dames Sundar
(published in Lightspeed #73)
A moving story, about the future of the human race, as told generation after generation by the humans traveling towards a new promise land on a generational spaceship. The story is told via a simple dal recipe, and its evolution through the ages. Thanks to the adroit writing, the story is powerful and moving.
Buy: [amazon]

That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn
A powerful and moving story, that adroitly portray the relationship between Calla and Valk, members of two countries that have been at war until recently. Valk is a citizen of the Gaant, a country of telepaths, while Calla is an Enithian, where people have no mental power. They meet during the war, one prisoner of the other, switching roles at different times. Despite the decade long war, despite the situation, the two build a relation that outlast the way.
Read it for free on-line: [tor.com]
Buy: [amazon]

A Fist of Permutations in the Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong
Hannah and Melanie are two sisters, with the ability to bend time and reality. Unfortunately there are limits of what they can achieve, and when one succumbs to self hate, suicide, family transphobia, and hate crime, the other traps herself in a never ending loop of alternative realities, fueled by her sense of guilt, desperately trying to change an unchangeable past.
Read it for free on-line: [tor.com]
Buy: [amazon]

A Good Home by Karin Lowachee
(published in Lightspeed #73)
In a future where wars are fought by highly intelligent robots, the VA find itself dealing with shell shocked androids. The protagonist of this story decides to bring one home, to help it rebuild its life… but the society of the future is as unkind and uncaring of those who scarified so much for their country as the one we live in today…
Read it for free on-line: [lightspeed.com]
Buy: [amazon]

The evaluators: to trade with aliens, you must adapt by N.K. Jemisin
(published in Wired, January 2017 issue)
In a future where space exploration has put humans in contact with alien civilizations, Aiuha is tasked to deal with one of the just encountered xenospecies, the Manka, to set up trade and commerce.
Jemisin uses a very fascinating storytelling technique, that reminds me of Afrofuturist 419 by Nnedi Okorafor: the story emerges from different snippets of recording of different conversations, each providing a different stroke to what end up being a fascinating, and creepy, short story.
Read it for free on-line: [wired.com]
Buy: [amazon]

Stochastic fancy: play the game and find true love by Charlie Jane Anders
(published in Wired, January 2017 issue)
An entertaining and satirical short story, illustrating some of the ills of direct democracy. Stochastic fancy: play the game and find true love is set in a dystopian future, where virtual and augmented reality are always on. The main character, a robot psychologist, is very depressed, and hide herself in KloudsKape, to try to distract herself from her loneliness.
Read it for free on-line: [wired.com]
Buy: [amazon]

Life in stone, glass, and plastic by Jose Pablo Iriarte
(published in Strange Horizons, June 2016 issue)
A beautifully written, moving short story, dealing with love, memory, and Alzheimer.
An elderly man of South American descent, Sergio, is working two jobs to be able to support himself, and his dearly loved wife, that has been cognitively impaired (Alzheimer?) for years now. One day, he is asked to clean up a beautiful and very unusual graffiti on the side of the building. Sergio will try, but that graffiti will prove quite a challenge to remove…
Read it free on-line: [strangehorizons.com]

Complete list of eligible short stories I read

It was hard to decide which 6 stories to pick among so many worthy contenders. This is the complete list of short stories that are eligible for this year Hugo that I had a chance to read. Did I miss any good one? Please let me know in the comment section!

  • Karin Lowachee, A Good Home, Lightspeed
  • Jennifer Marie Brissett, “Breathe Deep, Breathe Free”, Lightspeed
  • Naru Dames Sundar, A Handful of Dal, Lightspeed,
  • Joe Abercrombie,Two’s Company,Tor
  • Margaret Killjoy, Everything that Isn’t Winter,Tor
  • Carrie Vaughn,That Game We Played During the War,Tor
  • Jose Pablo Iriarte, Life in stone, glass, and plastic, Strange Horizons
  • Alyssa Wong, A Fist of Permutations in the Lightning and Wildflowers,Tor
  • N.K. Jemisin, The evaluators: to trade with aliens, you must adapt, Wired
  • Charlie Jane Anders,Stochastic fancy: play the game and find true love,Wired
  • Laurie Penny,Your Orisons May Be Recorded,Tor
  • Daniel Polansky,meat + drink,Tor
  • N.K. Jemisin,The City Born Great,Tor
  • Brit Mandelo,The Pigeon Summer,Tor
  • Charlie Jane Anders,Clover,Tor
  • Lisa Allen-Agostini,Depot 256, Lightspeed
  • Sofia Samatar,The Red Thread, Lightspeed
  • Terence Taylor,Wilson’s Singularity, Lightspeed
  • Caighlan Smith,A Pest Most Fiendish,Tor
  • Gabriela Santiago,As Long as It Takes to Make the World, Lightspeed
  • Lavie Tidhar,Terminal,Tor
  • Kelly Robson,The Eye of the Swan,Tor
  • Joan Aiken,The Cold Flame,Tor
  • Brooke Bolander, Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies, Uncanny
  • A. Merc Rustad, This is Not a Wardrobe Door, Fireside fiction
  • Caroline M. Yoachim, Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station, Lightspeed
  • Barbara Krasnoff, Sabbath Wine, Clockwork Phoenix 5
  • Amal El-Mohtar, Seasons of Glass and Iron, Uncanny
  • Cat Rambo, Red in Tooth and Cog
  • Nnedi Okorafor,Afrofuturism 419,Clarkesworld
  • Peter S. Beagle,The Story of Kao Yu,Tor
  • Ken Liu,Seven Birthdays,Tor
  • Sam J. Miller, Things with beards, Clarkesworld
  • Kat Howard, The Sound of Salt and Sea, Uncanny
  • Laura Lam,Through The Eyes of a Bluebird,Tor,
  • Hiranyagarbha,Hiranyagarbha, Lightspeed,
  • Kai Ashante Wilson,Grandchild of the Gods,Google,
  • Ruthanna Emrys,Those Who Watch,Tor
  • Tara Isabella Burton,The Destroyer,Tor
  • Monica Byrne,Traumphysik,Tor
  • Jonathan Carroll,The Loud Table,Tor
  • Aliette de Bodard,Lullaby for a Lost World,Tor
  • A.M. Dellamonica,The Glass Galago,Tor
  • Jennifer Fallon,First Kill,Tor
  • Cixin Liu,The Weight of Memories,Tor
  • Sarah McCarry,Blue is a Darkness Weakened by Light,Tor
  • Jack Nicholls,Dune Time,Tor
  • Karin Tidbeck,Listen,Tor
  • Genevieve Valentine,La beauté sans vertu,Tor
  • Douglas F. Warrick,”Sic Semper, Sic Semper, Sic Semper”,Tor
  • L.E. Modesitt Jr.,The Forest Girl,Tor
  • Kat Howard, The Sound of Salt and Sea, Uncanny
  • E. Lily Yu, The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight, Uncanny
  • Kathleen Baldwin,Dragons of Tomorrow,Tor
  • Alex Bledsoe,The Key to the Coward’s Spell,Tor
  • Rebecca Campbell,The High Lonesome Frontier,Tor
  • Paul McAuley,”Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was”,Tor
  • Marisela Navarro,Reverse Documentary,Tor
  • David Nickle,The Caretakers,Tor
  • Sarah Porter,Ratspeak,Tor
  • Kristen Simmons,Burned Away,Tor
  • Caighlan Smith,The Weather,Tor
  • Michael R. Underwood,There Will Always Be a Max,Tor
  • Kat Howard, The Green Knight’s Wife, Uncanny
  • Teresa Naval,An Offertory to Our Drowned Gods,Lightspeed,
  • Fabio Fernandes,Other Metamorphoses,Lightspeed,
  • Nin Harris,Morning Cravings,Lightspeed,
  • T. S. Bazelli,The Peacemaker,Lightspeed,
  • S.B. Divya |,Binaries,Lightspeed,
  • Caroline M. Yoachim,Chocolate Milkshake Number 314,Lightspeed,
  • JY Yang,Four and Twenty Blackbirds,Lightspeed,
  • Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling,Totem Poles,Tor

Related links

  • Rocker Stack Rank: our favorite short stories [link]
  • Hugo Nominees 2017 wikia: Short Stories [link]
  • Tor Short Fiction [link]
  • Hugo Awards Official Site [link]
  • 2017 Recommended SF/F List [file770]

2 thoughts on “The Hugo Awards 2017 – Nomination Worthy Short Stories

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