My 2012 Hugo Vote: Best Short Story

The Hugo Awards are given by the World Science Fiction Society to commemorate the best science fiction and fantasy published during any given year. I’m eligible to vote this year, and I’ve had a chance to read all of the entries for Best Short Story. The nominated works are:

  • “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld, April 2011)
  • “The Homecoming” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s, April/May 2011)
  • “Movement” by Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s, March 2011)
  • “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2011)
  • “Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue” by John Scalzi (Tor.com)

All of the stories were quite interesting. My favorite title was certainly Scalzi’s story: “Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue,” which appears to be, quite literally, the prologue to the first book in a planned fantasy trilogy. The story itself I found amusing, but not quite something to which I’d give an award. On the other hand, I’ll buy his new book when it comes out, so it’s not a total loss for John Scalzi. He gets the $9.99 alternate prize.

The story, “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” was my least favorite story. It was sort of a parable, using empire-building wasps and enslaved bees to provide perspectives on various issues. I enjoyed it, but it just wasn’t my kind of story.

Three stories really resonated with me. Nancy Fulda’s story, “Movement,” provided a sweet and touching perspective of an autistic child’s mind. Resnick’s “The Homecoming” brought together an aging father, an estranged son and a mother deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s. It hit close to home for me, because a few years ago my own father suffered similar effects when a heart arrhythmia left him severely brain-damaged. Finally, Ken Liu’s story, “The Paper Menagerie,” was a peculiar and effective fantasy and coming-of-age story about a son, his parents and his Chinese heritage.

I’ll give my vote to “The Paper Menagerie.” I really liked the ending, and I can’t keep the images of happily cavorting, magically animated origami animals out of my head.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:00 AM | Permalink

    Hah! I got this one! “The Paper Menagerie” won the Hugo award.

  2. gw2gold
    Posted October 11, 2012 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

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