2008 Hugo Awards Countdown: The Sites and Blogs Behind the Fiction – Short Stories


One thing I miss on the Hugo nominee lists are links to the websites and, in many cases, blogs of the writers responsible for these works. As a blogger I admit I’m prejudiced in that direction.

So I’ve decided to start compiling all that information together, along with summaries and quotes where applicable so that anyone late to the party can pick and choose from the smorgasbord of fantasy and science fiction reading goodness.

I also think this is a useful look at the websites and blogs of great writers—useful for those of us who hope to use our blog to enhance and promote our writing.

An Introduction to the Hugos

The Hugos are science fiction and fantasy’s primo fan award, voted on by SFF fans, with a formal presentation of rocket-style awards (different design every year) to the winners. Every nominee is a guaranteed good story to read, and every winner is most excellent. Often the decisions are difficult, which means good times for those of us looking for unique and vibrant literary escapes.

This year is especially spectacular, because all of the short fiction is online for free perusal—as well as free electronic editions of the novels for registered voters.

The Hugo Award Countdown

The categories are numerous, so I’m breaking the information down into separate posts.

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Nominees for Best Short Story

Last Contact – Stephen Baxter


Just at that moment Maureen’s phone pinged. She took off her gardening gloves, dug the phone out of the deep pocket of her old quilted coat and looked at the screen. “Another contact,” she called to her daughter.

Caitlin looked cold in her thin jacket; she wrapped her arms around her body. “Another super-civilization discovered, off in space. We live in strange times, Mum.”

Hard copy
The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, ed. George Mann, Solaris Books
Electronic copy
Author Website

Tideline – Elizabeth Bear


They would have called her salvage, if there were anyone left to salvage her. But she was the last of the war machines, a three-legged oblate teardrop as big as a main battle tank, two big grabs and one fine manipulator folded like a spider’s palps beneath the turreted head that finished her pointed end, her polyceramic armor spiderwebbed like shatterproof glass. Unhelmed by her remote masters, she limped along the beach, dragging one fused limb. She was nearly derelict.

The beach was where she met Belvedere.

Hard Copy
Asimov’s June 2007
Electronic Copy
Author Website

Excerpt from latest post, I did not go to school today…

I was talking with another friend last night about the single worst stage of trying to break into print. It’s the “there’s nothing wrong with this story but I’m not going to buy it” stage. (Actual words (or a paraphrase thereof) from an actual rejection letter written by [info]ellen_datlow to me, circa 2004.) It’s the stage where you’re competent, but you haven’t yet found your voice. The snap isn’t quite there, the pop, the narrative drive. It’s the garage-band stage.


Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359? – Ken MacLeod


When you’re as old as I am, you’ll find your memory’s not what it was. It’s not that you lose memories. That hasn’t happened to me or anyone else since the Paleocosmic Era, the Old Space Age, when people lived in caves on the Moon. My trouble is that I’ve gained memories, and I don’t know which of them are real. I was very casual about memory storage back then, I seem to recall. This could happen to you too, if you’re not careful. So be warned. Do as I say, not as I did.

Some of the tales about me contradict each other, or couldn’t possibly have happened, because that’s how I told them in the first place. Others I blame on the writers and tellers. They make things up. I’ve never done that. If I’ve told stories that couldn’t be true, it’s because that’s how I remember them.

Hard Copy
The New Space Opera, ed. Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, HarperCollins/Eos
Electronic Copy
Author Website

Excerpt from latest post, Reasons to be Cheerful:

OK, so we have our Marxist intellectual book publishers, and our socialist street newspaper sellers. That leaves the little matter of the policy that will inform the papers they sell. How is that to be decided, if not by the intellectuals? Why not the rank and file? We search the blogs of the far left with a sinking feeling. How is it that so many bright, well-informed, intelligent people can bear to either carry the cross of their party’s line, or drift into inactivity (disguised, often enough, as left-wing blogging)?


Distant Replay – Mike Resnick


Two nights later I was in Vincenzo’s Ristorante, which has been my favorite Italian joint for maybe forty years—and there she was again. Not only that, but this time she was wearing my favorite blue dress. Oh, the skirt was a little shorter, and there was something different about the sleeves, but it was the dress, all right.

It didn’t make any sense. She hadn’t looked like this in more than four decades. She’d been dead for seven years, and if she was going to come back from the grave, why the hell hadn’t she come directly to me? After all, we’d spent close to half a century together.

Hard Copy
Asimov’s April/May 2007
Electronic Copy
Author Website

Mike Resnick’s Homepage
Excerpt from latest post, Van Helsing:

Just saw Van Helsing. I have to preface this by saying I thought Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy was a better film than any of the Indiana Jones films, and that the sequel, though flawed, was at least enjoyable.


A Small Room in Koboldtown – Michael Swanwick


That winter, Will le Fey held down a job working for a haint politician named Salem Toussaint. Chiefly, his function was to run errands while looking conspicuously solid. He fetched tax forms for the alderman’s constituents, delivered stacks of documents to trollish functionaries, fixed l&i violations, presented boxes of candied John-the-Conqueror root to retiring secretaries, absent-mindedly dropped slim envelopes containing twenty-dollar bills on desks. When somebody important died, he brought a white goat to the back door of the Fane of Darkness to be sacrificed to the Nameless One.

Hard Copy
Asimov’s April/May 2007
The Dog Said Bow-Wow, Tachyon Publications
Electronic Copy
Author Website

Excerpt from latest post, One Fine Collection of Stories

There’s simultaneously too little and far too much going on for a long posting today. Did everybody catch the stellar lineup of the 2008 Theodore Sturgeon Award finalists list?

Of course, nobody’s going to be surprised by most of the names on the list. (“I am shocked — shocked! — to learn that Gene Wolfe and Karen Joy Fowler wrote some of the best stories of the year. Round up the usual suspects!”) But how pleasant to see Johanna Sinisalo there. Sinisalo is one of Finland’s foremost genre writers, but we see only those of her works which have been translated into English. So we owe the presence of “Baby Doll” to James and Kathy Morrow, whose SFWA European Hall of Fame brought many non-Anglophone works to our attention.


Reviews of the Nominees

Abigail Nussbaum reviews the Hugo 2008 Short Story Shortlist