Hugo Award 2022 for Best Novelette: my votes

The 2022 Hugo Awards are scheduled to be presented on Sunday evening, September 4, 2022, during a ceremony at Chicon 8, the 80th World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago, Illinois. It will be live-streamed.

I had a delightful time reading all the novelettes. Here’s my ranking for the Hugo ballot, which reflects no difference in quality among the stories because they’re all good. This is just my personal preference.

6. “Unseelie Brothers, Ltd.” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny Magazine, May/Jun 2021) – When the right dress can change fate through the art of magic, scruples crumble — but art endures. Effective pacing with a nice twist.

5. “That Story Isn’t the Story” by John Wiswell (Uncanny Magazine, Nov/Dec 2021) – A terrified young man overcomes his fears, just barely, of a vampire. This story is really a beautiful tribute to friendship.

4. “O2 Arena” by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Galaxy’s Edge, Nov 2021) – In a dystopic Nigeria, a law student decides that survival is overrated. “This world needs a wake-up call that might be only found in an arena of our own making.” Taut and gritty. Won the Nebula Award.

3. “L’Esprit de L’Escalier” by Catherynne M. Valente (Tordotcom) – Told with poetic intensity embracing an aching sadness, Orpheus brings Eurydice back from Hades in our present day, but despite his hopes, she’s still dead.

2. “Colors of the Immortal Palette” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Uncanny Magazine, Mar/Apr 2021) – An immortal painter struggles with art, recognition, and meaning. Quiet and philosophical.

1. “Bots of the Lost Ark” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, Jun 2021) – If you love Murderbot, you’ll love this story. Enough said. This is my pick for first place because it’s funny, and as I’ve said before, there’s never enough humor in SF.

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