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Here are my thoughts on each of the novelettes. 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 Art of Space Travel, Nina Allan
First up, we have a tragedy-tinged litficcy tale. Mostly bleak. I recognize why it's in the SF awards, but I'd rather that it were elsewhere, such as in the world of literachoor, that is, the story felt insufficiently SFnal despite taking place in the future. 1/5

The Jewel and her Lapidary, Fran Wilde
Intriguing worldbuilding. I'd have liked the story better without the Travellers' Guide excerpts – let it stand alone without doing the ~but what if it was a legend~ or ~the hero succeeded in her goal~ dances. I'd also have liked it better if the girls had been actual adults and not teens, and also if they'd have been of the Honor Harrington mindset of sacrifice, but this was a story that danced very close to my Honor and Loyalty buttons but didn't press anything. Also, the femslash should have been much more developed, rather than "oh they kiss bye". 3/5

The Tomato Thief, Ursula Vernon
I liked all of the characters, especially Gramma, and also the desert and the vast quantities of casual worldbuilding. (The world was intriguing.) 4/5

Touring with the Alien, Carolyn Ives Gilman
Avery's job sounds intriguing and I want all of her job stories. The story was in some ways very reminiscent of the hard SF/Asimov/Egan that I like, in that it was the set-up for a thought experiment on consciousness. It also had lots of nice observations within, like speaking English vs speaking Human, and the ending was narratively satisfying and had weight. 5/5

You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay, Alyssa Wong
This one suffered a bit by being the second desert fantasy story of the bunch. It was also sadder, and while I did like some features, Girl Does Thing Because She Loves Boy is argh. 2/5

Alien Stripper Boned From Behind by the T-Rex, Stix Hiscock
An enjoyable romp, and also fucking hilarious. Our protagonist's narration is refreshingly analytical and #relateable, in that if I were to write such a story, I would write it in that exact style. The protag's enjoyment of the dancing bit was also nice. 4/5

Date: 2017-06-01 20:55 (UTC)
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
From: [personal profile] schneefink
I want some of Grandma Harken's tomato sandwiches.

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