Monday, June 5, 2017

Annotated 2017 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Here are the annotated 2017 and 2016 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Finalists for short fiction.

Annotations include time estimates, links to the story on the author’s website (if available), author links with Campbell Award-eligibility marked (superscript for year 1 or 2), blurbs for RSR-reviewed stories, links to reviews, and links to digital back issues (of print magazines) at eBookstores and library websites.

There are also the RSR annotated Locus Reading List, Nebula Award Nominees, and Hugo Award Finalists for short fiction.


Total Stories: 9 (9 reviewed by RSR)
Estimated Time for RSR-reviewed Stories: 6h:49m (123K words)
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson  Time: 1h:54m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 10/25/16
(Fantasy/SF) Young Aqib has a bright future as a noble, but he meets an enchanting foreigner who makes him consider risking everything.
Project Empathy by Dominica Phetteplace  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 03|16
(Near-future SF; Project Empathy) Teenage Bel worked as a host at a Blue Cup restaurant in Concord, CA before Blue Cup moved her to San Francisco for special training. Very special.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:5 Sturgeon
Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueStarlit Wood 2016
(Fairy Tale) Tabitha has been walking a long time, trying to wear out seven pairs of iron shoes; Amira has been sitting alone on a glass hill that suitors try to climb.
The Art Of Space Travel by Nina Allan  Time: 42m (Novelette) 07/27/16
(SF/Mainstream) The crew of the new Mars mission are coming to the hotel where Emily works, and her mom is starting to say strange things about her involvement with the last Mars mission.
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle  Time: 1h:32m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 02/16/16
(Black Lovecraftian Horror) In 1924 Harlem, 20-year-old Tommy Tester plays bad jazz and runs minor scams. When an old man offers him $500 to play at his house, he knows there's a catch. It's just not what he expects.
The Future Is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueDrowned Worlds 2016
(Post Apocalypse) Teenage Tetley lives in a human settlement (one of the last) built on a miles-wide floating garbage dump. She explains why everyone hates her now.
The Visitor From Taured by Ian R. Macleod  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Near-Future Hard SF) Lita learned Rob's obsession with alternate universes in college, but waning interest in science made it hard for him to explore it.
Things With Beards by Sam J. Miller  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 117
(Horror) Following a disaster in Antarctica, MacReady spends summer 1983 in New York and starts to wonder what he might have brought back with him.
Touring with the Alien by Carolyn Ives Gilman  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 115
(SF) Months after mysterious aliens scattered their spacecraft across North America, no one has a clue what they want. Avery knows what one of them wants, though: it wants a tour.


Total Stories: 12 (11 reviewed by RSR)
Estimated Time for RSR-reviewed Stories: 8h:02m (145K words)
Rhye a bitter ex-supersoldier, fights to rescue Rack, her hacker partner in crime, after the criminals they're working for kill Rack's body while his mind is in cyberspace.
Avery Cates: The Walled City by Jeff Somers  Time: 00m ()  IssueAvery Cates: The Walled City 2015
Not reviewed by Rocket Stack Rank.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review []  Recommended By: Sturgeon
Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts By Ida Countess Rathangan by Ian McDonald  Time: 44m (Novelette)  IssueOld Venus 2015
Lady Ida's visit to Venus was memorialized by the beautiful floral papercuts she made there, but this sensational story reveals the secret of the real purpose of her visit.
Damage by David D. Levine  Time: 24m (ShortStory) 01/21/15
An intelligent, patchwork fighter ship struggles to help the last of the Free Belt fight off the Earth Force.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: NClarke Nebula Sturgeon
Emergence by Gwyneth Jones  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueMeeting Infinity 2015
(SF) Romanz, a judge in the moons of Jupiter, deals with a tough case involving a juvenile delinquent AI.
Folding Beijing by Hao Jingfang  Time: 54m (Novelette)  IssueUncanny 2
(Science Fantasy) Lao Dao processes trash in a fantastic future "third-space" Beijing. To get money for his daughter's education, he makes a dangerous trip to first-space--a city that unfolds when his own Beijing sleeps.
Gypsy by Carter Scholz  Time: 1h:18m (Novella)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
With Earth falling apart, a secret group launches a mission to Alpha Centauri in 2041. Launching is only half the problem; getting there is the real challenge.
Our Lady of the Open Road by Sarah Pinsker  Time: 54m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 06|15
One of the last live bands struggles to do performances in a mostly-online world.
The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred by Greg Egan  Time: 1h:04m (Novella)  IssueAsimov's 12|15
(Hard SF) The situation on Vesta has reached the point where certain people flee to Ceres in suspended animation. Anna, the new Director of Ceres, tries to understand the refugees better as relations with Vesta continue to deteriorate.
(SF) Anat doesn't remember her parents, but she loves her brother Oscar. They live in a wonderful world full of strange creatures and machines. The more she learns, the stranger things seem.
The New Mother by Eugene Fischer  Time: 1h:04m (Novella)  IssueAsimov's 04.05|15
Tess is writing an article about a new disease that causes women to give birth to clones of themselves.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: KTB Nebula Readers Sturgeon
In 2001, just before the attacks, a girl out West has a very close encounter with space aliens.

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