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Hugos, Novelettes

I've read the novelette nominations, all of which are online for free. Herewith are my comments:

1) “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale”, Rajnar Vajra (Analog, 07/08-2014) - This feels like an episode of the Twilight Zone where, if they'd just pan the camera out, you'd see the "surprise" ending. It also had very kludge-y plotting and characters, including a cadet who, after years of training, suddenly springs on his fellow cadets that he's filthy rich.

2) “Championship B’tok”, Edward M. Lerner (Analog, 09-2014) - This felt to me like it was the middle chapters of a novel. Very incomplete.

3) “The Journeyman: In the Stone House”, Michael F. Flynn (Analog, 06-2014) - I found this a pleasant-enough story, and I'm fond of Flynn's writing style. It did feel a bit like Flynn was serializing a novel with this, but unlike the Lerner, it was a complete story.

4) “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium”, Gray Rinehart (Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, 05-2014) - Actually quite entertaining, although it required buying into the idea that "we humans must continue to fight!"

“The Day the World Turned Upside Down”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lia Belt translator (Lightspeed, 04-2014) - The science in this was weak to non-existent, but the imagery stuck with me and the emotional impact was high.

My ballot at this time:

1) Heuvelt
2) Rinehart
3) Flynn
4) No Award



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2015 03:44 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I haven't read two of them yet. I should probably try to get to them soon.

The "twist ending" of The Triple Sun was just like, wait, what? That's it? I like stories where people can work things out without slaying the aliens but somehow basing the crux of a story on an old folk tale didn't do it for me.

And the only non-Puppy nominee, the Heuvelt, didn't do it for me. I think it was the part where he dropped the goldfish into seven up--and it didn't thrash in agony and die--was where he lost me, though I did read to the end at the time.

Rinehart's story was the one I liked the best, as far as that goes. I will be putting Puppy nominees below No Award because I think slates are unfair and break the nomination process, but had the current ballot been arrived at fairly, it would probably be my top choice at the moment.

Apr. 30th, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC)
The Heuvelt didn't work for me on any level I'm afraid, and I don't much like Fynn's style either. I concur on the Lerner, I actually was enjoying the first few chapters and then it all went wrong.

Sad to say I got bored in the bar fight scene at the start of the Vajra and never recovered - there's only so many 'asides' about how big people are that I can take.

I thought Rinehart had withdrawn? I am mistaken, I'll read that tonight.

But at the moment I am voting No Award across the line for this.
Apr. 30th, 2015 05:48 pm (UTC)
Reinhart is in. The editor of Card's magazine is out.
Apr. 30th, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, realized that. I will read it tonight.
Jul. 3rd, 2015 04:36 pm (UTC)
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