Voting closed on Thursday for the 2014 Hugo Awards and 1939 Retro Hugo Awards. I managed to read for some of the categories, and here are my thoughts.
My ranking order (best to worst):
- “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean, Fall 2013) OVERALL 2014 FAVE!
- “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com / Tor.com, 09-2013)
- “The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard (The Other Half of the Sky, Candlemark & Gleam)
- “The Exchange Officers” by Brad Torgersen (Analog, Jan-Feb 2013)
- “Opera Vita Aeterna” by Vox Day (The Last Witchking, Marcher Lord Hinterlands)
Ted Chiang’s story about life-logging and personal stories nails what short SF should do: it’s a little bit mind-bendy and a little bit prophetic. I loved it. I teared up with Kowal’s strong story about the choices women make between family and career. I see de Bodard’s name all over the place, but “The Waiting Stars” was an average space operetta. Torgersen presents an average military space romp. I’m still trying to figure out the point of “Opera Vita Aeterna,” other than to co-opt Middle Earth and remove the interesting conflicts and characters. Even the author seems bored with his own story.
Seriously, if there was one Hugo award for all of the fiction categories, Chiang should get it. “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling,” blows away all other competitors. READ IT!