- The Court Magician by Sarah Pinsker
- The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society by T. Kingfisher
- The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by P. Djèlí Clark
- STET by Sarah Gailey
- The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat by Brooke Bolander
- A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow
Well here we are at the end of the reading I did for the Hugos. I will do one last post covering other categories I voted for, but after that it will be back to reviews. I may do something from WorldCon, but I am not sure if I will actually find the time to do so, especially since I will need to write and post from my phone so we will have to see how that goes.
I have to say that this was an excellent bunch of short stories and there weren’t any of them that I didn’t enjoy so I highly recommend that you check them out, they are all linked above.
The Court Magician
A street kid becomes fascinated with street magic and gains the attention of someone in the court who offers him a choice, he can stick with the street magic or learn real magic but there will be a cost for it. The story then follows his choice and the consequences of it.
It’s well told and has a very interesting premise at the heart of it regarding the nature of power and what it can cost to use it.
The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society
A group of supernatural creatures sit around and lament about the Scottish lass who stole their hearts and dumped them.
I enjoyed this, I always like tales of positive female sexuality. The author should learn that a Scottish shape-shifting creature that sometimes looks like a horse and likes to drown people is called a Kelpie, not a Pooka. Otherwise a very fun story.
The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington
George Washington was famous for having a set of false teeth. I must admit I don’t know the history of them, but I do know that slave teeth were often used for them so it is certainly a strong possibility that they were.
Anyway, the story is basically telling the tale of the people the teeth were taken from and it’s wonderfully written, given a voice to people often overlooked. Very well done story.
One of the most unusual short stories I have come across given the form it takes is of notes between an editor and the writer of a piece written about the effects of driverless cars. It is deeply personal and quite raw, especially given how it’s presented. Excellent piece of writing and well deserves it’s place on the list.
The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat
I have to say that the story title alone is absolutely fantastic. The story itself is the strangest of fairy tales about, well, pretty much what the title says it is. Empowering, well written and a whole lot of fun.
A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies
This story is about a librarian, who is also a witch, trying to work out what she should do about one of her regular customers, a young boy who is desperately seeking escape from the life he is trapped in.
I found this story struck a deep personal chord with me and I was actually trying at the end of it. Beautifully well written and honestly explains the reason why I love fantasy worlds so much and also why the idea of portal fantasies spoke to me on such a deep level growing up.
I have to say that choosing the order for these was really, really hard. I dropped the two less serious tales to the bottom, but both of them were still excellent. In the end my choice was between A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies and The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington and I ended up going with the first one, largely because of how personally I felt the story.
But seriously, this is such a good list of stories, it makes me really keen to read more short stories to be honest if this is what the field is like currently.