Hugo short stories can be surprisingly long (7500 words or less). I tend to prefer the vignette, but regardless of length, I want a self contained story that hits its mark.
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
A loyal commander teams up with a traitorous general to crush a rebellion through a combination of super advanced weapons and manipulation of the calender.
Weird is easy. Believably, coherently and off-puttingly weird is much harder…
A member of the filth finds his calling as the police’s newest, and nearly only, wizard.
Peter Grant is not your typical urban fantasy protagonist. For starters he’s a cop, and an extremely junior one at that. More importantly, at the beginning of the series, not a very good cop: better than a hanger, but lacking in the instincts and discipline that would make him stand out. He’s also black, which matter less then it might have in the past, but certainly carries varying degrees of baggage in the Police, London, and England respectively.
Now we get to the category where I can actually seem vaguely competent because I’ve read most of them before. As you would hope, this is an extremely strong category, and my only regret is that I didn’t have time to read more books in these series.
As mentioned before this is not strictly a Hugo category, it just uses the same voting system with the same electorate and is given out at the same time. It’s also an odd duck, as novels duke it out with short stories and mixtures of both. Still, the Campbell Award often ends up being my favourite slate – in previous years I have preferred the novels represented here to those in the novel category.
What happens when SFF fans nominate comic books for an award? Usually I would say you get fewer superhero titles and more SFF, but this year fully half the titles contain avengers, though not the avengers you are thinking of. Also, I love comic books, but I have no knack for visual criticism, so I apologise in advance to both readers and artists if my art criticism boils down to “it looked pretty”.
The Novelette and Novella are the ugly step children of the Hugos, novelette being a long short story, and a novella being a short novel. Nonetheless, they are often have the most diversity in offerings of the categories. This slate of novellas is particularly strong, with five of the six stories being excellent and deserving of award.