This is the award for best new writer, regardless of output length (or quantity), and year after year it ends up my favourite category by delivering works that I think are better than any of the nominees in the main ballot. This year I will be thwarted however, as the three shorter pieces in this category are all in regular competition. On the upside, this makes this category an easy ask, as I’ve also already read Under the Pendulum Sun, leaving me with just three novels to cover.
Novellas are almost exclusively short novels, self contained and fully fleshed out. I was expecting good things given that one is a sequel to a novella I liked last year (A Heart Shaped Door), another by an author I liked last year (Sarah Gailey), and a third is the sequel to a 2016 winner (Binti).
A young girl defies her tribal traditions and sneaks off-world to university. Binti has magical artifacts, powerful rituals, strange races, and arcane institutions – it’s not science fiction that is obsessed with, or even interested in technology. Instead, Binti is about leaving home, encountering new cultures, and becoming part of the big scary world. Two […]
Novelettes tend to be long short stories (7500-17500 words). The little bit of extra space gives more flexibility and can lead to greatness (last year’s Tomato Thief springs to mind), but far to often they fall into the uncanny valley where the length makes them flabby without gaining the depth of a longer work.
I haven’t read enough new books or short works to tell anyone what to nominate, and I’m behind on movies, but I have been a voracious consumer of TV. The Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) category is generally dominated by tv episodes, so of course, what I would like to do is instead suggest you nominate a podcast episode.
The world might be different but there will always be London, or at least there are four of them, spanning from Georgian England to a lifeless world scoured by magic. A few special mages ferry messages between the worlds, but not all messages are created equal…
Welcome to Nightvale is the 300lb gorilla of the sf narrative podcast scene – a community radio show from a simple town in the desert where the one world government helicopters are always circling, angels called Erika are on every corner, and the community calendar is as likely to contain temporal paradoxes as crocheting events. Nailing a tone that reminds me of the best of the comedic X-files episodes, and hosted by the mellifluous Cecil Baldwin, Welcome to Nightvale is a permanent fixture in my podcast rotation. None of which answers the current question – how does a radio show do live
I read 55 books this year, plus a wide assortment of shorter works and comics, which, while not likely even close to my peak in my teens and early 20’s, is still enough to feel pretty happy with.