The Center for the Study of Science Fiction just released their list of nominees for the 2016 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science-fiction/fantasy story. The list is really strong. (Full disclosure: I’m on CSSF’s advisory board, but not on the Sturgeon nominating committee… so I’m biased, but didn’t help create the list.)
I always enjoy comparing the Sturgeon list to the list of Nebula Award Nominees for short fiction. I’m curious how these lists resemble each other, and what hints they give about the soon-to-be-announced 2016 Hugo Award nominees.
It is fantastic to see some favorite venues on the Sturgeon list, such as Uncanny Magazine‘s nomination for Hao Jinfang’s story and Strange Horizons’ nomination for Kelly Link’s excellent (as usual) “Game of Smash and Recovery.”
Just glancing, it looks like only five stories made both lists:
- Brooke Bolander’s “And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead” from February Lightspeed
- Greg Egan’s “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred” from December Asimov’s.
- Eugene Fischer’s “The New Mother” from Apr/May Asimov’s (note: it just won the Tiptree Award)
- David Levine’s “Damage” from Tor.com
- Sarah Pinsker’s “Our Lady of the Open Road” from June Asimov’s (link opens PDF)
Hmmm. That’s 3 out of 5 from the same venue. Well played, editor Sheila Williams and the Asimov’s staff!
Are there a few gems that didn’t make the lists? Of course. If you want to find them, a good place to start is SFWA’s recommended reading list, which helps members find works to nominate.
Of course, there are some basic differences in the lists. The Nebulas list is created by nominations from only Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America members, while the Sturgeons are a juried award. The Nebulas break works into categories (novella, novelette, short), while Sturgeons lump all short work together into a longer list.
All in all, both lists are solid. I’ll wait until Hugo noms come out to give further shout-outs to works I’ve enjoyed.