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[personal profile] extrapenguin
Nominees are up. Here are my thoughts on each of the short stories, apart from the Castalia House one. Grading out of five, where
0 = this is a terrible piece of shit
1 = I didn't click at all and wish for that time back
2 = You Tried, but not my thing
3 = okay enough, could be someone else's 4 or 5
4 = a good story that I engaged with
5 = mind=blown, excellent

The City Born Great, NK Jemisin
First up, a story in the genre of Psychological Weird Magical Realism WTF. The metaphors were florid, and I didn't click with the emotional beats of the story at all.
1/5

A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers, Alyssa Wong
Exactly the same emotional core as above, except with a different plot. Slightly better, if only because I like weather more than cities.
1/5

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies, Brooke Bolander
I liked the use of formatting, but this is essentially issuefic with a Psychological Weird Magical Realism WTF veneer. At least it's shorter than the above two.
1/5

Seasons of Glass and Iron, Amal El-Mohtar
Okay, this is issuefic, too, but the experimenting on the binding magic and the femslash ending have me forgive a lot. Also, the fairytale grounding makes it more straightforward mythic than Weird Magical Realism.
2/5

That Game We Played During the War, Carrie Vaughn
ACTUAL SCIENCE FICTION. It's got some nice telepath worldbuilding and has clearly thought war with teeps through more than the average telepath-writing author. The complex feels, opaque to the narrator, transparent to everyone else, and the weary yet hopeful atmosphere mean it's the best of the pack.
4/5
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