Previously on Hugo Choices:
A category damaged by rabid-activity but not broken. Essentially a shortlist of two-and-half reasonable entries.
1. Folding Beijing: a story of a lower class go-between in a future Beijing where the social divides are so vast that the city literally folds itself into different cities at an appointed hour. The central conceit is more magic-realism than anything else and the story requires the reader to just go along with the absurdity of it. If you can, then this is a rewarding tale of social-division with a hefty dose of allegory.
2. And You Shall Know Her By the Trail of Dead is foulmouthed pulp-pastiche cyberpunk with an extra helping of punk. Violent and well paced, it feels shorter than it actually is. I think a novel with the same pace, tone and language would get tiring but as a novelette, this is probably the right dosage.
But I could swap those two around. Both decent entries.
3. Obits: Hack journalists discovers that his tacky obituaries come true when written in advance. More horror than SF/F and obviously competently put together by Steven King. However, it is otherwise unremarkable. I considered putting this below No Award but decided to give it the benefit of the doubt.
4. No Award. Definitely worth looking at comparison works for this category. Nebula nominated Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds by Rose Lemberg is freely available at Beneath Ceaseless Skies (although oddly not in their Hugo Packet entry) and Nebula winner Our Lady of the Open Road by Sarah Pinsker is available at her website. There also three other novelettes in the Hugo Packet entry for Asimov’s Science Fiction (in Best Editor Short Form). All arguably better than Obits.
Two self-disqualifying entries from Why Isn’t This Walrus? Volume X.
What Price Humanity: Another war + virtuality story with a surprise twist that isn’t very surprising.
Flashpoint Titan: More space war, huh, what is it good for?