Next few days are Nebula Shorts Days!

Yes, I’ll be posting a review a day of each of the Nebula Short Story finalists. Using JJ’s helpful File770 post and some minor wrangling to get the none free-stuff, I have each of the stories:

I might get to other categories but Shorts is where I already need to do some extra reading before Hugo nominations close.

[ETA: an earlier version of this post included a link to a PDF of Going Dark by Richard Fox. The author has indicated that the PDF is pirated and has asked for the link to be removed, which it has. Apologies to Richard Fox.]

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17 thoughts on “Next few days are Nebula Shorts Days!”

  1. I haven’t read the Bruno or the Fox stories, but I read all of the others last year. Of the four, I think “The Court Magician” was my favourite, though I wouldn’t be upset if any of those won the prize.

    Judging by the summary of “Going Dark” and the reviews of the anthologies that “Interview for the End of the World” is in, I can’t imagine that either are going to be my type of story – they’ll go onto the “try to read this before the Hugo nominations close” pile, but if I don’t get to them by then I don’t anticipate that I’ll end up reading them afterwards…

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      1. And judging by the first page, those are its good points…
        Having the Fox story up for an award next to Pinsker’s and Harrow’s is frankly embarrassing.

        and what remained of the colonists lives strewn through the streets.

        Leaving aside the missing apostrophe (“colonists”) – though the fact that the second sentence of a story has an obvious grammatical error is never a good sign in my book – I guess this is meant to convey that the colonists’ bodies are strewn through the streets: in which case “lives” seems like totally the wrong word. Alternatively, possibly it means that the ephemera of the colonists’ lives are strewn through the streets, but this isn’t at all clear to me.

        Sergeant Hoffman, clad in power armor, his face obscured by a visor, took cover against the side of the wreck and did a quick peek into the school through the broken wall.

        “Did a quick peek”? Seriously?

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  2. I have read the Alix E. Harrowstory, yeah that hit a swetspot, storys were books play a role do this often.
    i am not a reviewer and I don’t want to spoil anythink, but “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” was a very good story (I would catagorise the story as having a low fantasysetting, but still having fantasyelements,

    Thanks to JJ and Camestros for the link.

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    1. Okay update from the 4 storys that did only require clicking and that I wanted to read: How I would rank them:

      1. “The Court Magician” by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 1/18)
      had me nearly from the first line. Started harmless and got very dark, great and powerful. Fantasy.

      2. “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/6/18)
      see above, the Pinsker I found a little bit stronger.

      3. “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside 2/18)
      The strangest of the storys, don’t know how I would define it. Some kind of strange magic story. I think the other 2 were easier for me, but it is a strong story.

      4. “And Yet” by A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 3-4/18)
      This one was for me a slight disapointment. (Would probably not have been if I had read it first) Enjoyable, but far weaker than the other 3. To make it clear not bad, just didn’t hit the wowfactor that the others hit.

      All(even if the Greenblatt was imho weaker) are good choices, and I am happy to have read every story. (Only some impresions that I have)

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      1. Slight update: I tryed the Fox, did not finish it (Stopped very early), the “Interview for the End of the World” sounds a bit more interesting, but not like a mustread and I am only signing up to somethink if I trust the writer and really want it.

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  3. I really enjoyed Witch’s Guide to Escape when I read it last year–a friend who’s a librarian sent it around.

    And somehow I missed that Sarah Pinsker had a new story out! And Then There Were (N-One) was one of the best things I read that year, so I’ll jump on The Court Magician right away.

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  4. “And The There Were (N-One)” has the advantage of involving “new physics” – the reader just suspends disbelief and doesn’t have the suspension regularly assaulted by waves of reality. (For the avoidance of doubt, it was awardworthy, IMHO)

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  5. I’ve read four (no prizes for guessing which two weren’t on my radar), of which And Yet made my longlist, along with Nine Negro Teeth which is probably getting a Hugo nomination from me. The Harrow and Pinsker stories are also good and worthy finalists.

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  6. You’ve got the PDF link to the GOING DARK story. The story is for sale as part of a larger anthology and you having there without anyone’s permission is piracy. Do remove that link right away.

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