2019 Hugo Finalists: Best Short Story

In Best Short Story, we have two past Hugo winners, two authors with two Hugo nominations apiece this year, and two stories which have been fellow finalists for four awards.

“The Court Magician” by Sarah Pinsker is also a finalist for the World Fantasy Award and was a finalist for the Nebula and Locus awards.  This is Pinsker’s third Hugo nomination; she now has one for each short fiction category.  She has previously won the Nebula and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial awards.

“The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” by T. Kingfisher is Ursula Vernon’s first Hugo nomination under this pseudonym and her fourth overall.  She’s received both Hugo and Nebula awards for her short fiction and another Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story.  She’s been a finalist for the World Fantasy and Locus awards as well as the WSFS (now Lodestar) Award for Best Young Adult Book.

“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by P. Djèlí Clark has already won the Nebula and Locus awards and was a finalist for the Sturgeon Award.  His novella, The Black God’s Drums, is also a finalist for the Hugo and World Fantasy awards and was a finalist for the Nebula and Locus awards.

“STET” by Sarah Gailey was also a finalist for the Locus Award.  Gailey has previous Hugo nominations for Best Novella and Best Related Work and won a Hugo for Best Fan Writer.  They have been nominated for the Nebula as well and were a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2017.

“The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by Brooke Bolander is one of two Hugo nominations for the author this year.  Her novelette, The Only Harmless Great Thing, has already won the Nebula and Locus awards, was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson and Theodore Sturgeon awards, and is also currently a finalist for the Hugo, World Fantasy and British Fantasy awards.  She has two previous Hugo nominations for short fiction.

“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow is also a finalist for the World Fantasy Award and was a finalist for the Nebula and Locus Awards.  This is Harrow’s first Hugo nomination.

The only story I hadn’t read before the finalists were announced was “STET” by Sarah Gailey.  Both it and “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by P. Djèlí Clark were more intriguing for the way their stories were told than the stories themselves.  Alix E. Harrow’s heartwarming “A Witch’s Guide to Escape” was the one I nominated myself.  Sarah Pinsker told a thought-provoking coming-of-age tale in “The Court Magician.”  “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” by T. Kingfisher and “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters” by Brooke Bolander were both really fun stories with a feminist twist.

Here’s the order I put them on my final ballot:

  1. “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow
  2. “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by Brooke Bolander
  3. “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” by T. Kingfisher
  4. “The Court Magician” by Sarah Pinsker
  5. “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by P. Djèlí Clark
  6. “STET” by Sarah Gailey

Will it be a story with an extremely long title, one with a super short title, or something in between?  What do you think?