Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Annotated 2018 Sturgeon Award Finalists

Update 8/24/19: Tagged 20 stories in πŸ“™BASFF year's best anthology TOC + 33 honorable mentions (click link to highlight).
Update 8/24/19: Tagged 3 πŸ†Hugo Award winners (click link to highlight). (More)

Here is the annotated 2018 Sturgeon Award finalists list, merged with RSR's 2018 Best SF/F list (aka our aggregated list of "outstanding" stories) for the first time, with the finalists highlighted in red, and sorted by score.

The combination lets us analyze the Sturgeon finalists to see which stories that were broadly recognized as outstanding were left out, which magazines were over- or under-represented, how many were Campbell-eligible, and how RSR's own recommendations stack up with the Sturgeon Award jurors in general. As with every RSR annotated list, there are links galore to the stories, their authors, the magazines, any award nominations/wins or "year's best" anthology inclusions, and search-links to find other reviews.

If you want to skip the analysis and just start reading, click here (to highlight free stories).

Observations

Unlike the Nebula finalists this year, there were few surprises with the Sturgeon finalists, with 8 of the 11 finalists already being in the top 10 in their respective categories (Novella, Novelette, Short Story) and 7 were top scoring stories in their respective magazines before being Sturgeon finalists. It's also nice to see three stories by Campbell Award-eligible writers.

In the section below, the links support the claims in the text by jumping to a view of the table that shows the stories and data being discussed.

1. πŸ’¬Novellas, Novelettes, Short Stories

  • The finalists include three novellas and three novelettes, and all six are in the top 5 in their respective categories by score. That means they were already in the top 10 before gaining +2 points for being Sturgeon finalists.
  • The five finalists that are short stories are more of a mixed bag, with three being in the top 11 (score of 6+) and two at the bottom (minimum score of 2).

2. πŸ“šPublications

  • Only one finalist, from F&SF, was published by a traditional paid-only magazine reviewed by RSR (Analog, Asimov's, F&SF, Interzone). It's now the top scoring story for F&SF.
  • Among free-online magazines, four finalists were the top stories for their respective magazines (BCS, Clarkesworld, Tor.com) with the exception of the story from Apex.
  • Both Tor novellas are in the top 3.
  • The remaining three finalists were from magazines not reviewed by RSR.

3. ✍New Writers

4. πŸ”΅Translations

  • None are translations.

5. Locus List

6. RSR Recommendations

  • Novellas: RSR recommended 2 of the 3 finalists and was neutral on the 3rd.
  • Novelettes: RSR recommended all 3 finalists.
  • Short Stories: RSR recommended 1, was neutral on 2, and did not review 2.

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