Thoughtful Thursday: 2018 Hugo Awards: Novelettes & Short Stories

The 2018 Hugo Awards will be presented at Worldcon 76 in San Jose, California, on August 19. The Hugo Award finalists are chosen by readers who are voting members of Worldcon. This week we’ll talk about the shortest works, novelettes and short stories. We’ll discuss other categories in future columns.

Click the title links below to read our reviews and on the author links to visit our page for the author. We liked all of these stories and loved most of them. It’s not surprising that we saw many of these in the Locus and Nebula finalist lists.




How many of these finalists have you read? Who do you think will win the Hugo Award in these categories? Answer below for a chance to win a book from our stacks.

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Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town. You can read her blog at, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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  1. Bobby Berry /

    Sorry but I haven’t read any of these. I am sure the authors did a great job.

  2. Fee Roberts /

    I haven’t read any of these either.

  3. Margo /

    I’ve read most of these stories, and also loved most of what I read. I have favorites but have no idea how the votes will go. Most are easy to find/read for free, and I’d recommend that anyone reading this post go do exactly that.

    • I always think novelette/short story is the wide-open category where almost anyone could win. I may just think that because I don’t read as many of them, though.

  4. I think I’ve only read one, but this is why I love our site so much; I can check out the reviews and decide which ones go on my TBR list. Basically, novellas and novels are more my speed.

  5. Noneofyourbusiness /

    Fran Wilde’s work is amusing and thought-provoking not unlike Oscar Wilde.

  6. John Smith /

    “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” sounds quite eerie and sinister! Quite intriguing!

  7. Lady Morar /

    “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience TM” sheds a light on cultural appropriation in the tourist industry in a way that not many stories have before.

  8. April /

    I tend to avoid short stories – not because they aren’t good because many are wonderful – because they are too short for my tastes. This is also the reason I never got into comics, I love the art but it takes me a few minutes to read one and it is over. It is like getting a bite of chocolate mousse when what you want is an entire bowl.

  9. The Distinguished Professor /

    The uniqueness of Yoon Ha Lee’s writing excites me, and I’m also excited for the response to Aliette de Bodard and Caroline M. Yoachim’s latest.

  10. I’ve read all of these novelettes and short stories – and reviewed most of them for FanLit, hah, since I’m the editor of the Short Fiction Monday (SFM) column. I’m very happy to say that I think they’re pretty much all worthy nominees. I happen to love good short fiction, but even if you’re not really a fan of the genre, I’d recommend checking these stories out.

    “The Secret Life of Bots”, “A Series of Steaks”, “Sun, Moon, Dust” and “Fandom for Robots” are great if you want a fun, enjoyable story that still has some meat to it. For something deeper and darker, try “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience” or “The Martian Obelisk”.

  11. Sethia /

    I’m not a big short story person, I don’t even like my novels less then 500 pages. If it part of a 13 book series even better!

  12. Fee Roberts, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

    • Fee Roberts /

      Thanks Marion! How do I contact you, and how long do I get to choose? I’m going through the list now. Some I’m not familiar with, so I was getting a bit of info on them. Thanks again :)

      • The Distinguished Professor /

        Click the link in Marion’s comment where it says “contact me (Marion)”.

        • Fee Roberts /

          The only information I see about giveaways states to contact Marion, but doesn’t let me know how.

          • The Distinguished Professor /

            It says “You can contact individual reviewers by email by using“. So

          • Fee Roberts /

            Thank you, The Distinguished Professor :)

          • The Distinguished Professor /

            No problem! Thought I could take care of your question quickly before Marion would have to.

          • The Distinguished Professor /

            Weird. The first comment I tried to make the other day only just now appeared.

          • Fee Roberts /

            The Distinguished Professor, did you comment using your smartphone? I noticed that when I make comments with mine, they tend to be late, or they’ll be duplicated. Alas, the way of smartphones.

          • The Distinguished Professor /

            No, all on my home computer. I don’t even have a smartphone.

          • Fee Roberts /

            Kat, you are doing an excellent job! Thank you! It’s hard work trying to keep spam at bay :)

        • Thanks, Professor!

          • The Distinguished Professor /

            You’re welcome!

          • The comment came late because it had two links (the email addresses) and had to go through an approval process (a way to reduce spam). I approved it today, then realized it was no longer needed, and deleted it. Another mystery solved! :)

  13. Thanks TDP. As the website manager, I recently removed the contact form (which Fee has used in the past) because the unethical person who bought the plugin from the developer is using it for spamming. You can read about it here, if interested:

    Rather than use a different contact form that could also be vulnerable to this sort of problem, we’re going to try going without one. This has reduced my email spam, for sure!

    • Fee Roberts /

      I thought I was going crazy! lol! I thought something was different. My old mind isn’t as sharp as it use to be, so I wasn’t sure! lol.

    • The Distinguished Professor /

      I’ve used the old form before, too. That’s terrible. Who does these things?

      • Fee Roberts /

        The Distinguished Professor, in a word: crooks. I won a $100 Amazon card through an author’s book release party held on Facebook, and some idiot made a profile pretending to be me and contacted the author and tried to get the card. Thank goodness the author had already contacted me, so she reported the fake profile.

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