2008 Nebula Nominees: Short Stories

April 14, 2009 at 1:30 am | Posted in Short Stories | Leave a comment

I’ve been doing more writing than reading lately, but I thought I would post links and capsule reviews for the Nebula nominees available online.  Most of these links will be dead soon, since the Nebulas will be awarded in about two weeks, so act fast if you want to read them.

As usual, I wasn’t too thrilled with the short stories.  My thoughts have no spoilers this year.

The Button Bin by Mike Allen (Helix) — Horror story in second person.  I’m not overly fond of either of those, and this was no exception.

Don’t Stop by James Patrick Kelley (Asimov’s) — Effectively written mood piece but the central idea isn’t all that interesting, nor is the “plot” and theme.

26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s) — A pleasantly strange story told in a friendly, elegant style.  Reminded me a little bit of Kelly Link.  Still basically a mood piece on the “encounter with the fantastic” template, but it’s very well written and has a nice ending.

The Tomb Wife by Gwyneth Jones (F&SF) — Interesting little story about a haunted tomb being transported by a spaceship to a museum.  The twist didn’t work for me, but that’s probably partially my fault for not quite following the physics and philosophy of the story.

Mars: A Traveler’s Guide by Ruth Nestvold (F&SF) — Cool gimmick makes the story worth reading even though after the first few paragraphs the rest of it is very obvious.

The other two nominees, Jeffrey Ford’s “The Dreaming Wind” and Nina Hoffman’s “Trophy Wives” are not available online, at least in text form.  There are podcast versions, but while I listen to enormous amounts of non-fiction in my car I can’t stand listening to fiction.

Out of the ones I read, Tomb Wife was my favorite, but really it only barely edges out my old standby “No Award”.

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