Best Novelettes, 1941 & 2016


  • “Blowups Happen” by Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Farewell to the Master” by Harry Bates
  • “It!” by Theodore Sturgeon
  • “The Roads Must Roll” by Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Vault of the Beast” by A. E. Van Vogt


  • “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander
  • “Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai
  • “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu
  • “Obits” by Stephen King
  • “What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke

So, who is at the top of your list and why?

As always, keep in mind the Comment Rules, and let’s discuss the Hugo finalists!

Last Recommendations!

Well, we’re to the end of my little project for this year. I cannot thank all of you enough for sending in recommendations and offering to help – it’s been great! When I started this, I had no idea if anyone at all would even come to the site, let alone send in recommendations. For a first year effort, in many ways it went better than I had hoped, and in others (me keeping up on the schedule) it was much rougher.

I’m hoping to do this again next year, and with having a better idea of the rough spots and ideas on running things better, I’m pretty excited about it (I should be only working 1 full time job next year, so that will help). 🙂 I’m also taking a realistic look at my schedule the rest of Spring and early Summer to consider doing a Phase 2 and posting link rounds up of discussions about the nominees after they are announced. With some short lists, I think it might actually be easier to get a lot of discussion around particular focus categories and not just have 90% of the discussion be about Best Novel (although that’s still better than 99% of the discussion being arguments about the process and how terrible people are like it was last year with extremely little about the works themselves – please, please, let there be more discussion about the works themselves this time!!)

So if you think that would be useful, feel free to speak up. We will see how it goes. Either way, get your nominations in!!!

And now, the final recommendations that have come in both for the final categories as well as late arrivals for past focus weeks.

Thank you.

Best Fancast

Sequential Fiction – Sequential Fiction is a weekly comics and pop culture podcast that has a focus on comics, sci-fi and fantasy.Brian and Liam talk about what interests them in comics and pop culture, and interview guests from time to time.

Other – The Retro Hugos

The Retro Hugos – Not a specific recommendation, or a specific category – but the Retro Hugos for 1941 are also up for consideration this year, and I have considered them, probably not very well, and I’ve written down my thoughts.

Best Graphic Story

Avengers, Time Runs Out Vol 4 – Hickman took years to set up this endgame, and manages to have it live up to that setup. It’s a story about the end of the world that, rather than being depressing is about survival. It’s about not giving in, and clawing and scraping, and using all of your wit to find a way to keep going somehow, someway.

Best Fan Artist

D. West – A call for a final fond farewell to UK fannish landmark D. West (1945-2015).

Best Novelette

And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead – Every bit as cheerful as it sounds – a piece of bloody, visceral, intense cyberpunk by Brooke Bolander.

Best Novel

Cursed: Black Swan – A Fixer Novel – Cursed: Black Swan – A Fixer Novel is the debut novel from Ryan T. McFadden. Nathaniel is a fixer, if there is a job you need done, he is the one to do it. When he gets mixed up in the case of the Black Swan, he finds that everyone is out to get him. It’s a thrill ride in the vein of Raymond E Feist meets Eric Van Lustbader.

The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild – Catherynne M. Valente’s picaresque, fairy-tale quest across a psychedelic landscape of colours.

Merman’s Mark – This book was so rich in detail and story I was gripped from start to finish. Tara Omar creates and populates two intricate worlds with dynamic characters, cultures, and a plot that keeps the reader turning the page. The next book can’t come soon enough!

The Ticket Taker of Cenote Zací – Benjamin Parzybok’s story of a tourist attraction where the number of visitors… doesn’t quite add up.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

Da Vinci’s Demons “The Labrys” (Writer/Will Pascoe and Director/Alex Pillai) – Leonardo Da Vinci has been captured by the secretive Labyrinth cult who are attempting to brainwash to convert him to their cause. As a form of resistance, Da Vinci escapes to an alternate reality/parallel universe inside his mind where the choices he’s made in his life turn out to have their own dark consequences.

Best Novella and Novelette

Still here and thank you for the offers to help. Might take one of you up on that as we approach the end. Today here are a Best Novelette and several Best Novella recommendations. A few came through without links, so I will see if I can check out what is up with those. But are included below for recommendation.

Tomorrow I will post Best Short Story recommendations. For the rest of this week, how about sending in recommendations for any category we haven’t covered. You can see the schedule here.


“We’re So Very Sorry for your Recent Tragic Loss” by Nick Wolven from F & SF Sept 2015 – In a completely personalized world, a computer glitch makes everything think that the main character has suffered a loss. She starts to wonder. Nice tone, interesting story.


Binti – A young woman from an insular community is the first of her people to travel into space – and promptly runs into trouble.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – A little masterpiece, with an unusual, distinctive voice, that sets it apart.

The Bone Swans of Amandale – C.S.E. Cooney does a new take on two traditional tales, “The Pied Piper” and “The Juniper Tree”. Features a talented rat called Maurice, which is always good news.

“The Lord of Ragnarok” by Albert E Cowdrey – Peasant becomes knight becomes vassal of a lord who has a particular relationship with a dragon. Our hero sees wonders, fights bravely, makes sacrifices.

“The Nalender” by Ann Leckie From Uncanny Magazine 2 – A smart, capable woman in a low-technology world with lots of gods all over the place is traveling down the river, avoiding an annoying suitor. He gets the best of her briefly. Wonderful mood, great world building, and a clever ending.

The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn by Usman T. Malik – The story of an American immigrant looking back to its family and cultural roots.

Penric’s Demon – Lois McMaster Bujold’s tale of a good deed, which, like most, does not go unpunished.

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps – Kai Ashante Wilson’s tale of Demane, a caravan guard on a journey through a treacherous and magical land.

The Witches of Lychford – The forces of good and evil clash over planning permission in rural Gloucestershire, in Paul Cornell’s story of modern people dealing with ancient magic.

X’s for Eyes – Laird Barron’s story of a 1950s space probe that goes off course – way off course, to encounter the primal nuclear chaos that froths and seethes at the centre of creation. (Lovecraft’s kind of creation, that is.)

All Other Fiction

Life has been even more difficult and time consuming lately and time is running out. So how about we take recs for all other prose fiction categories – short story through novella this week. Was hoping to keep things spread out, but I’d rather not miss anything.

So send in your recs (someone already did, which prompted this – thank you!, I will start posting them somewhere in Monday to Wednesday depending on my schedule and how many come in. Then I will figure out how to lump together the other remaining categories, but we might just be getting to a free-for-all any and all categories soon. 🙂

Thank you all!