2018 Hugo Finalists: Best Short Story

Worldcon 76 announced the winners of the 1943 Retro Hugo Awards on August 16th.  I continue to look at the 2018 finalists.  Next up, Best Short Story.

“The Martian Obelisk” by Linda Nagata was also a finalist for the Sturgeon Award and won the Locus Award.  This is Nagata’s first Hugo nomination.

“Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad was also a nominee for the Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus awards.  Prasad’s “A Series of Steaks” is a finalist for Best Novelette.  She is one of this year’s nominees for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

“Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM by Rebecca Roanhorse was the winner of the Nebula Award.  It was also a finalist for the World Fantasy, Sturgeon, and Locus awards.  She is one of this year’s nominees for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

“Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon is the author’s third Hugo nomination.  She’s won a Hugo for Best Graphic Story and another for Best Novelette.  She is also a finalist under her pseudonym T. Kingfisher for the WSFS Award for Best Young Adult Book.

“Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” by Fran Wilde was also a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy awards.  Wilde has one previous Hugo nomination for Best Novelette.

“Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim was also a finalist for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Locus awards.  This is Yoachim’s first Hugo nomination.

I had read all these before the announcement of the finalists, but none of them were my own nominees.  They were still impressive, making this one of the hardest categories to rank.

“The Martian Obelisk” and “Carnival Nine” were very touching, but didn’t move me as much as I expected.  Both Roanhorse and Wilde’s stories were intense, tough, and important reads.  Prasad’s “Fandom for Robots” was an absolute blast!  Vernon continues to be a favorite who makes ordinary people fascinating and inspiring.

We have two previous finalists, two first-time finalists, and two Campbell Award nominees.  Here’s how I ranked them on my final ballot:

  1. “Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon
  2. “Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad
  3. “Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim
  4. “The Martian Obelisk” by Linda Nagata
  5. “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM” by Rebecca Roanhorse
  6. “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” by Fran Wilde

Like the Best Novelette finalists, these are all online.  Go read them, if you haven’t, and tell me what you think!

2018 Hugo Awards: Best Short Story

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:

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:


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?