Hugo Awards: Voting for Best Short Story

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Okay, the nominees for all the Hugo categories were announced awhile ago, but those of us who have paid our membership dues to be able to vote only recently got our voters packets. Those packets have samples or entire copies of the works in question, so we can read and compare and decide what we think is best.

So today’s post is going to be about my take on the Best Short Story nominees.

What criteria should I use for these stories? Well, the Hugo Awards are for science fiction/fantasy, and the category is short stories. So my judgment will be if I think it was a good story, and if I think it fits the genre.

By those standards, I basically disqualified “If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris from voxday.blogspot.com  My sense here comes that this isn’t science fiction, but a parody of another Hugo nominee from another year, which was itself not really science fiction. Both definitely aren’t stories. But since enough people chose to nominate it, I won’t do them the disservice of not rating, so I put it as a 5

“Asymmetrical Warfare” by S.R. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015) is definitely a story, and is definitely science fiction. I just don’t get this story. It might work for other people, just not for me, so I placed it 4th.

Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services) Is a story, and it happens in space, so it fits environmentally as science fiction. On those two counts it qualifies. Asymmetrical Warfare actually addressed more science fiction themes than Space Raptor — Space Raptor is actually a piece of gay porn set in space. But it is a story, and works within its subgenre (I suppose), so I actually placed this 3rd.

Now comes the hard part. From a purely science fiction perspective, “Seven Kill Tiger” addresses more obviously science elements, gene warfare, etc., and does it in a well-told story. From that perspective it should be first. “Cat Pictures Please” is more whimsical, a story told by an internet search engine that becomes sentient. Yet despite the fact that I don’t approve of the search engine’s politics, the air of whimsy about it, and that it gives us the answer for all those cat pictures on the web, make me give Tiger #2 and Cat Pictures #1.

And that is my analysis.  See the voting grid below:

Best Short Story

A science fiction or fantasy story of less than 7,500 words that appeared for the first time in 2015.

1
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6
“Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)
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5
6
“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer ( Clarkesworld, January 2015)
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5
6
“If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris (voxday.blogspot.com, Jun 2015)
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5
6
“Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
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6
Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)
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6
No Award
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