Fourth and final of the classic fiction categories on the Hugo Ballot is Best Short Story:
A science fiction or fantasy story of less than 7,500 words that appeared for the first time in 2017.
The only possible change I can see for this category is splitting out flash fiction. I haven’t really heard any serious discussion of that though.
In this case, I actually have six contenders for my five ballot slots:
- “The Heart’s Cartography” by Susan Jane Bigelow (Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 84)
- “Marley and Marley” by J. R. Dawson (Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2017)
- “Microbiota and the Masses: A Love Story” by S. B. Divya (Tor.com)
- “A Nest of Ghosts, a House of Birds” by Kat Howard (Uncanny Magazine, Issue 17)
- “If a Bird Can Be a Ghost” by Allison Mills (Apex Magazine, Issue 99)
- “In the Shade of the Pixie Tree” by Rodello Santos (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 221)
I’ll probably end up eliminating one of the Ghost/Bird stories, but we’ll see. Who knew that was a combo I’d like? I’m not particularly fond of either individually! [Update 3/15/18: I left “If a Bird Can Be a Ghost” off my ballot here, but I nominated Allison Mills for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.]
I’m feeling the most prepared for this category because I made a point of reading all the 2017 original short fiction from eight sources:
- Apex Magazine
- Beneath Ceaseless Skies
- Clarkesworld Magazine
- The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
- Lightspeed Magazine
- Strange Horizons (and their quarterly sister magazine Samovar)
- Tor.com Original Fiction
- Uncanny Magazine
If I have time (ha!), I’d like to read the online stories I haven’t gotten to yet from the 2017 Locus Recommended Reading List and the Year’s Best anthologies. Asimov’s has now posted their five stories that made the Locus List (all of which also made one or more Year’s Best). Jason at Featured Futures lists the stories chosen for the Clarke, Dozois, Horton, and Strahan annual anthologies in Collated Contents of the Big Year’s Bests (2017 Stories, with Links!). The Spacefaring Kitten takes a thoughtful look at which stories Dozois and Strahan picked in Anthologies Answer Questions.
Any other 2017 short stories out there I shouldn’t miss?