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Book Discussions > 2014 Nebula Award-Nominated Short Stories & Novelettes discussion

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message 1: by G33z3r, Old Man Yelling at Clouds (last edited Apr 10, 2015 08:07PM) (new)

G33z3r | 8819 comments 2014 Nebula Award-Nominated Short Stories & Novelettes

This is the omnibus discussion topic for our April, 2014, Short Stories and Novelettes discussion.

I'm trying a different structure for our short story collection/anthology discussions this time: Rather than using a single Topic for the entire collection, I've created a Folder for the collection with a separate Discussion Topic for each story. I hope that will allow those who want to discuss a specific story to quickly find all messages about that story without having to scan through a lengthy topic on the entire collection to find comments pertinent to a particular story.

Our story collection this month is an ad hoc set of the short stories and novelettes that were nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award.

All of these stories are available to read free online, and I've included links beside each one (and in the Discussion Topic.) I've put a link to each of the individual Discussion Topics beside each title below.


2014 Nebula Award nominated story discussion folder

Best Novelette Nominees

"Sleep Walking Now and Then" by Richard Bowes (@Tor.com 7/9/14) -> DISCUSSION
"The Magician and Laplace's Demon" by Tom Crosshil (@Clarkesworld.com) -> DISCUSSION
"A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i" by Alaya Dawn Johnson (from F&SF 7-8/14 ) @Alaya Dawn Johnson) -> DISCUSSION
The Husband Stitch" by Carmen Maria Machado (@Granta #129) -> DISCUSSION
"We Are The Cloud" by Sam J. Miller (@Lightspeed 9/14) -> DISCUSSION
"The Devil in America" by Kai Ashante Wilson (@Tor.com 4/2/14) -> DISCUSSION


Best Short Story Nominees

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


message 2: by G33z3r, Old Man Yelling at Clouds (new)

G33z3r | 8819 comments I've already read about 2/3 of these during the previous year, usually in their original publications. I'm going to re-read most of them before commenting though, just because my memory gets a little vague sometimes. (Also, I can compare my current opinion to what I wrote last year!)


message 3: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 429 comments Well I am at the other end of the scale - I have attempted to read Sleepwalking now and then but need to give it a fresh try and ditto with the Usman Malik but thats it. Hopefully will get to read some of the rest later today and tomorrow.

Thanks for all the work it must have taken to create all the different folders - it also means people like me can hop around without spoiling later stories for people who dont like spoilers.


message 4: by G33z3r, Old Man Yelling at Clouds (new)

G33z3r | 8819 comments Ben wrote: "Thanks for all the work it must have taken to create all the different folders - it also means people like me can hop around without spoiling later stories for people who dont like spoilers...."

I'm interested in feedback on whether "one Topic for story" improves our anthology/collection discussions. So I can decide whether to do it again next month.


message 5: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 429 comments Its extra work for you so the first thing is whether you like it or not and can be bothered with it. I think it can lead to slightly static discussions in the sense that I might log in to put a comment about a story I have just read and then see a comment about another one that gets me thinking and there can be more easy discussion about the stories as a whole.

Be interesting to see how the discussion evolves over the month and how well it works.


message 6: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) G33z3r wrote: "I'm interested in feedback on whether "one Topic for story" improves our anthology/collection discussions."

Does make it easy to follow a single discussion. For those like me who'll read a couple of them, not the lot. And we can see which is being read/discussed.


message 7: by Andreas (last edited Apr 12, 2015 04:18AM) (new)

Andreas | 677 comments Do you read the stories on a computer or tablet? I was able to download a couple to my Kindle and Malik's and Wilson's is in Strahan's best of... . But the rest... I don't know, I hate reading stories on a monitor.


message 8: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) For me, on my laptop. Used to be averse but I'm okay with it now, I even like it.


message 9: by G33z3r, Old Man Yelling at Clouds (new)

G33z3r | 8819 comments Andreas wrote: "Do you read the stories on a computer or tablet? I was able to download a couple to my Kindle and Malik's and Wilson's is in Strahan's best of... . But the rest... I don't know, I hate reading stories on a monitor."

Actually, I hate reading stories on my desktop monitor, too. That's why I got my Kindle! I was reading more and more of the free short fiction offered online, but hated sitting at my desk to read it.

I usually just save the story to an rtf file locally and then cross load it to the Kindle, though I could also use the e-mail option. (I'm used to doing that for the Tor.com weekly story, anyway.) There are also a couple of browser extensions that can e-mail a page directly to your Kindle.

Note the two Tor.com stories are in the free Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2014 (at least in US Amazon.) And Beneath Ceaseless Skies is available in .mobi as well.


message 10: by G33z3r, Old Man Yelling at Clouds (last edited Apr 16, 2015 07:30AM) (new)

G33z3r | 8819 comments I noticed that none of the stories here come from the anthology/collections of last year. (e.g. Upgraded, HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!, Rogues, Twelve Tomorrows, Academic Exercises). Everything is from the magazines or online sources (of which there is some overlap.)


message 11: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 429 comments I normally read on the kindle and do the same as G33z3r does although if it is quite a short, short story I do sometimes read it on the laptop - also if my daughter falls asleep on me then I might read on the laptop - otherwise its kindle all the way.

I think for nominated awards stories that are in collections usually get so much less reads and coverage its really difficult for them to do well in voting ballots. Its a shame because I do think that many of the strongest stories for this year were in collections. I think in part the Kickstarter/crowdfunding side of the publishing business has really reinjected the short fiction market. I think that much in magazines is filler whereas some of these crowdfunded collections such as Fearful Symmetries or Upgraded contained some utterly wonderful stories.

Rogues also looks very strong and the couple of stories I read in it were wonderful (including the Gillian Flynn), not read the Twelve tomorrows volume but it also looks like it had some of the finest short fiction of the year.

I am about half way through the nebula ballot so far and I have got some enjoyment out of all the stories i have read and am really glad I read them. However none have wowed me with the ideas, innovation, writing or anything. Its strange to have a "best of" list that is full of the familiar so we have zombies, vampires, deals with devils etc. Still very much enjoying the stories so far. Just wish i had more brain energy for reading.


message 12: by G33z3r, Old Man Yelling at Clouds (new)

G33z3r | 8819 comments G33z3r wrote: "I noticed that none of the stories here come from the anthology/collections of last year. (e.g.... Academic Exercises..."

I am reminded belatedly that Academic Exercises is a collection of previously published works, none of which are eligible as 2014 stories. (It was on the Locus Magazine ballot for Best 2014 SF/F Collection, though.)


message 13: by G33z3r, Old Man Yelling at Clouds (last edited Apr 16, 2015 07:32AM) (new)

G33z3r | 8819 comments Ben wrote: "I think for nominated awards stories that are in collections usually get so much less reads and coverage its really difficult for them to do well in voting ballots...."

I'd buy that argument about the Hugo or Locus award, which is popular/fan voting. But the Nebula Awards are voted on by the SFWA, professional SF/F writers & editor, and I think they'd have better visibility to the field. I mean, they nominated a story from Granta. Surely they could find a copy of Upgraded or Rogues.


message 14: by Ben (new)

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 429 comments The Granta one was available free online by a writer who was pretty well known in the field and whilst some writers get the perk of ARC and review copies not all will have got these collections many wont and online stories with their tweetlinkable and sharable nature always get more "reads".

Its not that hard to be a SFWA member - you only need a few published short stories in professional markets or to have reached a level of sales in self published markets - to my mind its still a popularity contest/poll its just one with a particular niche (writers) who nominate/vote.


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