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Worlds Without End Blog

2013 Hugo Novellas Unbound! Posted at 4:13 PM by Rico Simpkins

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2013HugoNovellas

UPDATE: Click here to find the short story nominees, and here for the novelettes

2nd UPDATE: Aliette de Bodard’s entry, On a Red Station, Drifting, has now been released as an ebook for a much lower price.  See details updated in the article, below:

 

Last year, when we posted the 2012 Hugo nominated novellas, most of them were available for free.  One exception was Mira Grant (A.K.A.: Seanan McGuire)’s “Countdown,” which sold for $2.99.  I said, at the time:

This, I think, is the beginning of a trend. Shorter stories are starting to sell on Kindle at less-than-novel prices. Even though the other books on this list are free, I think the trend to charge small amounts for novellas, novelettes, and even short stories means that otherwise inaccessible stories will have a longer shelf life, giving us more to read.

Well, it seems Ms. McGuire’s experiment has spurred more of them.  No nominee is available for free.  Sanderson’s “The Emperor’s Soul” is the second cheapest, selling for $4.99 on Amazon.  The rest cost even more, with only a portion of Jay Lake’s story being made available for free.  The result of these experiments is relative chaos: prices ranging from $2.99 (and instantly available) to $14.85 (and available via snail-mail only).

Considering Hugo defines a novella as being up to 40,000 words, I don’t mind paying a Mira Grant (or even a Brandon Sanderson) price to read one.  Considering we’re used to reading nominated stories for free, transitioning to a much higher price than $5 seems to stretch reason.  For that reason, I’m still betting on Seanan McGuire’s strategy being the most sensible.  Only time will tell.

Of course,  LoneStarCon 3 (Worldcon 71) members get digital copies of all novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories for FREE. Even if you don’t plan on attending Worldcon this year, you can get a supporting membership for only $60, and you’ll be able to vote.

If membership isn’t in the cards this year, here are this year’s novella links:

As always, we rely on you, our readers, to let us know if you find a cheaper way to read any of the above novellas.  If that changes, we will update this article and let you know by tweet (@WWEnd).  Links to all of the award winning books are, as always, available through BookTrackr.

Now you have no excuse when someone asks you who you think should win. Get to reading!

2013 Hugo Novelettes, Unveiled! Posted at 7:00 PM by Rico Simpkins

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2013HugoNovelettes

Last week, we told you where to read the Hugo nominated short stories for free, and we felt a little down about it, because there were only three of them.  At least the authors each have a 1 in 3 chance of winning, right?  Still, it couldn’t have taken you long to read those stories, so we wrote this follow up on all of the novelettes that were recently nominated for the 2013 Hugos.

Before we go there, let us (yet again) remind you that a LoneStarCon 3 (A.K.A. Worldcon 2013) membership will grant you digital copies of most or all of the five novels, five novellas, five novelettes, and three short stories. We highly recommend you attend the con, of course (mainly so you can visit our booth!), but even if you can’t make it to San Antonio, you can get a supporting membership for only $60… far less than the cost of buying all those stories and books. Plus, you get to vote (hence allowing you to say “I didn’t vote for *that* one!” if don’t like who won).

Still, it’s possible that you don’t care to vote, or can’t afford the cash, or (as is the case with me) can’t wait for the Worldcon committee to release the reader packets. Well, at least for novelettes (and short stories) you need wait no longer. We looked far and wide to find the nominated novelettes, and while they are not all free, most of them are. They are as follows:

  • The Boy Who Cast No Shadow, by Thomas Olde is available (for free!) in both .epub and .mobi formats (both formats are DRM free, too).
  • Fade to White, by Catherynne Valente can be read on the Clarkesworld web site for free.  If you want it on your eReader, you’ll have to copy and paste it into a .txt file and transfer it.  You can download the audiobook here.
  • The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi, by Pat Cadigan, does not seem to be available anywhere for free.  It is part of an anthology entitled Edge of Infinity, which costs $8.09 in dead tree format, and $6.29 digitally.  At least you can read it right away (and have a bunch more stories to boot).
  • In Sea-Salt Tears, by the terribly popular Seanan McGuire, is available for free in PDF, Mobi, and ePub formats, which makes her the author who did the best job of giving us all the (DRM free) formats we want.  Thanks, Ms. McGuire!
  • Rat-Catcher, also by Seanan McGuire is the one story that isn’t immediately available.  The anthology in which it appears doesn’t seem to be online at all, even at cost.  You get get it in dead tree format for $13.60, which is a little steep if you only want the one story.  We’ll keep our eye out for a sign that this story might be released online.

If there are any updates on these novelettes, I will redact this blog post, and I’ll tweet that I have done so (@wwend). If any of YOU know where The Girl-Thing or Rat-Catcher can be had for a lower cost, please tell us in the comments sections, so I can update this list.

Next up: Novellas!

2013 Hugo Short Stories, Unleashed! Posted at 4:36 PM by Rico Simpkins

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Perhaps the most popular blog series WWEnd had last year were the ones that covered free Hugo nominated content. With the recent announcement of the 2013 nominees, we are, once again, covering nominated works, including short stories, novelettes, novellas, graphic novels and related works. In the coming weeks, we will be looking in every nook and cranny to determine where you can find all of the stories that you should read in order to have an informed opinion on who should win. Here is what we have found (so far) on the short stories.

First, we highly recommend LoneStarCon 3 (A.K.A. Worldcon 2013) membership. If you can’t afford an attending membership of $200 (as of this writing, installment plan available) or can’t make it out to San Antonio, the supporting membership is only $60, and it will include digital copies of (most, if not all of) the novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories for your perusing. The novels alone would cost more than $60 to buy.  If history is any indication, the reading packets will be out by May.

The first thing you’ll notice about this year’s nominees is the dearth of short stories.  This is apparently because of a clause in the WSFS constitution that states:

No nominee shall appear on the final Award ballot if it received fewer nominations than five percent (5%) of the number of ballots listing one or more nominations in that category, except that the first three eligible nominees, including any ties, shall always be listed.

I’m not sure what to think of that rule.  It seems to me that it might discourage diversity in the nomination process.  Well known authors are more likely to get a larger concentration of votes, and excluding the fourth and fifth place nominees just because the top three authors are hogging the votes seems counter-intuitive.  Wouldn’t you want to expose more authors rather than fewer?

At any rate, all three nominated short stories can be read for free online right now.  I also included the original publication dates, in case you just want to go out and buy the original book or back issue:

  • Immersion”, by Aliette de Bodard was nominated for Nebula and BSFA awards, so has been online for a while, now.  It was first published by Clarkesworld in their June 2012 issue.  Enhance your daily commute by listening to the audio version, downloadable here.
  • Mantis Wives”, by Kij Johnson is also available in the pages Clarkesworld, in their August 2012 issue.  The audio version of the story is available here.
  • Mono no Aware”, Ken Liu was published as part of an anthology by VIZ Media, engilted  The Future is Japanese.  To read it, go to click on the “Look inside” preview feature from the book’s Amazon listing (or just click here) and scroll down to the first full story.  No, it may not be the most convenient method for accessing the story, but you could always buy the anthology (the Kindle version is only $3.99).  If the publisher makes the story available elsewhere online, we’ll update this page.

It’s a tad disappointing to see such a short list, but maybe it’s enough to keep you occupied until we publish the novelettes list (coming soon).   On the bright side, it won’t be hard to read every nominated short story, so that part of the ballot will be easy for you to fill out.

Next up: Novelettes!

2013 Hugo Award Nominees! Posted at 4:11 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

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The 2013 Hugo Award nominees have been announced! In the Best Novel category the nominees are:

Congrats to all the nominees! For the full list of nominees in all categories see the press release on The Hugo Awards official website.

What do you think of this year’s crop of noms? Anthing stand out for you? Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) keeps rolling with her Newsflesh series having been nominated for all three books in the trilogy.