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Archive for September, 2009

And the Hugo goes to…

The Hugos 2009 winners have been decided and none of my favourites won. This brings up an interesting question: I have based my selection of must-read stort stories on the Hugo and Nebula winners. If I only like 2 out of 5 stories and if I don’t agree with the winner – what kind of poor stuff am I about to read?

Maybe 2008/2009 was just a bad year for stort stories, who knows, but I am almost sure that the way how I select short stories for reading is doomed. Relying solely on award nominees and winners does not work, e.g. I would have missed the great story Pump Six. Even as a pre-selection it hardly works, personal taste is too different. This became obvious when I read the anthology Clockwork Phoenix. Some stories impressed me, most didn’t although the reviews were mostly glowing.. It’s much safer to look for favourite authors and stick to them…

A good thing is that short stories are short. Even the longest don’t take more than 1-2 hours to finish. There are enough reviews on the internet from people with different tastes so a combined list with stories-to-read should cover most of the gems. Based on these gems I can find new authors who are worth to be watched.

This brings me back to my current favourite author: Gene Wolfe. His excellent and careful writing makes it double hard for me to accept mediocre stories. The lust for a change has passed and I humbly return to the master story teller.

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