Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

BSFA Awards Voting – Short Fiction Longlist

with 2 comments

Every year I have good intentions of reading lots of short stories, identifying some real gems and then nominating them for the BSFA Awards. Most years I fail. So I am very pleased that the BSFA have now introduced a two-stage voting process where members can vote on a longlist of nominations. Given the size of the field and the difficulty of achieving blind consensus on the best short fiction published through nominations (witness the 2013 Hugo short story shortlist only having 3 nominees that had the minimum of 5% of nominations) this is a sensible change but on a personal level, it is hugely welcome because it allows me to re-engage with the field.

There are 41 stories on the longlist and I’ve read 34 of them. On that basis, my votes are:

  1. ‘A Day In The Deep Freeze’ by Lisa Shapter – Set in an anonymous mid-Twentieth Century America that hides something truly horrific, this is a remorseless novella that is completely unique and penetrates bone deep. This is the only one of my selections that isn’t available for free but you should buy it now.
  2. ‘The Game of Smash and Recovery by Kelly Link – It is a Link story and it is a very good Link story and it is science fiction. What more do you want?
  3. ‘Manifesto of the Committee to Abolish Outer Space’ by Sam Kriss – Combatative, creative non-fiction that is like nothing else on the longlist.
  4. ‘Elephants and Corpses’ by Kameron Hurley – One of only two secondary world fantasy stories, this is typical exuberant, inventive Hurley which is something this rather mannered longlist needed.

If I had four more votes, they would be for:

My votes sort of accord with those of Nicholas Whyte but I’m looking forward to seeing what stories other people are going for. And I’m hoping to write more about the stories on the shortlist itself once it is announced.

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Written by Martin

15 January 2016 at 08:32

Posted in awards, sf

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. That Sam Kriss piece is really something.

    August

    15 January 2016 at 21:21

  2. Well, the shortlist is now out. Despite reading 83% of the longlist, I’ve only read 40% of the shortlist and unfortunately neither of those stories are any good. ‘Three Cups Of Grief, By Starlight’ by Aliette de Bodard is another mediocre installment in her Xuya series (which is a constant presence on award shortlists so it is obviously just me) whereas ‘Ride The Blue Horse’ by Gareth L Powell is a pointless bit of flash fiction.

    Martin

    8 February 2016 at 17:58


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