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Worlds Without End Blog

2013 Hugo Voter Packet Posted at 3:02 PM by Rico Simpkins


Hugo AwardThe 2013 Hugo Voters Packet is now available for members of LoneStarCon 3, the 71st annual Worldcon convention.  The packet is “an electronic package of nominated works graciously made available to voters by nominees and their publishers.”

From the LoneStarCon website:

The 2013 Hugo Voter Packet is available to Supporting, Attending, Military and Young Adult members of LoneStarCon 3 to help inform them about the works under consideration before voting. The packet will remain available until voting closes on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 11:59pm CDT.

Members can login here. You will need your name (as recorded in the LoneStarCon 3 membership database) and your unique Hugo PIN to access the Hugo Voter Packet content. PIN reminders will be sent out at regular intervals during the final ballot period. Instructions on how to recover lost or forgotten PINs can be found on the download page.

Not going to attend Worldcon?  No problem, you can still get in on the action.  You can sign up as a Supporting Member for $60 and get the packet – valued way more than $60 by the way – and you’ll be eligible to vote.  That’s a pretty damn good deal and less than you would have to pay for just the novels alone.

Get to reading and get to voting!

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



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.

Hugo Awards Announced (Live Blog)! Posted at 8:11 PM by Rico Simpkins


We are live at the 2012 Hugo Award ceremony, where the committee has reported a massive ballot turnout.  As I write this, hundreds thousands of nerds are filing into the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency in balmy Chicago in breathless anticipation.  We’re live blogging the results, so refresh this post to get fresher and fresher results…that is, unless you decide you’d just as soon go get something to eat and then get your results all at once!  Better yet, watch the live stream here.  We are also tweeting results to all who follow @WWend.

8:16: I wasn’t sure how much I liked the 2012 trophies.  All stacked together on the stage, however, they look great.

8:17:  “We are diverse, and we are all in this together”  –  John Scalzi, this year’s MC (to great applause)

8:28 Scalzi presented David Kyle, who presented the “Big Heart” award Juanita Coulson, noted author and fan.

8:32: Best fanzine A special committee award goes to Robert (Bob) Weinberg.

8:36:  A memorial for those who have died in the year since Renovation 2011, including the incomparable Ray Bradbury. Harry  Harrison, Neil Armstrong, Anne Macaffrey, Sally Ride, Maurice Sendack and many authors, artists and fans, whom will surely be missed.

8:48:  Analog Magazine editor, Stanley Schmidt (who received a standing ovation for lifelong career) is presenting the award for the John W. Campbell award for best new writer (not to be confused for the Campbell memorial award).  The award goes to E. Lily Yu.  Her reaction can be best described as shock.  Jay Lake presented the diadem.

8:53:  The base design for this year’s trophy (pictured above) is being explained by its creator, Deb Kosiba, who made each one by hand.

8:55:   Scalzi’s stages of being nominated for a Hugo:  elation, intimidation, bargaining, depression, nervousness.  The nominees are currently experiencing number five.  Personally, I think the story is dragging so as to intensify this stage for each of them.

9:00: The best fan artist award goes to Maureen Starkey.

9:04: The best fan writer award goes to Jim C. Hines.  He said he isn’t used to being popular, as he first learned in high school:  “It turns out that sewing a Star Trek patch onto your jean jacket isn’t the best way to get in with the cool kids.”

9:07: The best fancast (special category) award goes to SF Squeecast, Lynne M. Thomas, Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, and Catherynne M. Valente.  That was NOT a surprise to me.  Yes, there was much squeeing.

9:13 The best fanzine award goes to SF Signal edited by John DeNardo.  We are spared the histrionics of Christopher J. Garcia.  (Just kidding — I loved it last year)

9:20:  The best semiprozine award goes to Locus edited by Liza Groen Trombi, Kirsten Gong-Wong, et al.

9:23: The best professional artist award goes to John Picacio (the crowd roars).

9:28:  The best editor award (long form) goes to Betsy Wollheim.

9:33: The best editor award (short form) goes to Sheila Williams.

9:40:  The best dramatic presentation (short form) award goes to “The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who), written by Neil Gaiman; directed by Richard Clark (BBC Wales).  Neal Gaiman accepted the award!  Gaiman claims that Community is a Doctor Who spinoff, due to Inspector Spacetime’s presence on the show.  Ha! Also “It would be the act of a fool or a madman to try to do it [write an ep] again.  So I’m on my third draft.”  (!)

9:53:  The best dramatic presentation (long form) award goes to Game of Thrones (Season 1), created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss; written by David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson, and George R. R. Martin; directed by Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Tim van Patten, and Alan Taylor (HBO).  George R. R. Martin describes his original pitchmen as “mad fools” to think they could get his book on the small screen.  He adds “sure, I wish we had two more hours every season.” He and I, both.

9:55: The best graphic novel award goes to Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press).  Scalzi, in the process of announcing the award, declares himself a sloppy fan of Neil Gaiman’s graphic work.  Heh.

10:03: The best “related work” award goes to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight (Gollancz).  Graham Sleight, accepting the award, says he thinks he might be dreaming.  Scalzi promptly slaps him. “That,” Sleight responds, “is quality toastmastering.”

10:10: The best short story award, presented by Gardner Dozois, goes to “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2011).

10:12:  “The novelette is the Goldilocks form of story.  Not too short, not too long, just right” – Scalzi

10:14:  The best novelette award goes to “Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (

10:17:  The best novella award goes to “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s, September/October 2011).

And now for the big one….

10:21:  The award for best novel goes to Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor).  Ta Da!

Jo Walton’s story is a really great one for fans.  She made the trip from fandom to authorship, and this award, I think, completes an extraordinary transition.  I can’t wait to go back and read ALL five nine of her books.

10:24:  Jo just said that she thinks the nominees are the important works (and so it doesn’t matter who wins).  We agree, and this is EXACTLY why we list nominees so prominently in our tiled lists.  We’re glad to see such a great author who thinks this way.

Graphic Stories, Unwrapped! Posted at 11:16 AM by Rico Simpkins


2012 Hugo Graphic Story NomineesThe fifth in our series of Hugo Voting articles (short story, novelette, novella, and related work preceding) is Best Graphic Story. Like Best Novel and Best Related Work, these books are rarely available online for free, but that is not without exception. Although the Hugo committee is likely to make novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories available for free for convention attendees and sponsors (a supporting membership is only $50), we do not believe graphic novels will be included in that reader packet. Consequently, you will need to find some online (two are free) and purchase/borrow/check out others, if you want to read them all.

  • Digger, by Ursula Vernon is a webcomic, so may be read online for free. If you’d rather own the paper comic, each volume is about ten bucks, give or take, on Amazon.

  • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication is also online for free and begins here. Although dead tree versions of Schlock Mercenary are available, Force Multiplication does not seem to be in print, yet.

  • Locke & Key Volume 4: Keys To The Kingdom, is in print, and the nominated volume 4 may be found at your local comic book shop or on Amazon or in electronic format on Comixology. If you’d like to start from the beginning, get volume 1.

  • Fables Vol 15: Rose Red also does not appear to be available online. Volume 15 is $12, or you could start the whole series in dead tree or Kindle formats. The ebooks are formatted only for the Kindle Fire or Kindle for Android, however.

  • The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan is also available in print and Kindle editions, but volume 4 (the volume that was nominated) is only available in print, so far.

If any more of these volumes become available for free online, we will update this post.

Links to all of the award winning novels are, as always, available through BookTrackr.

Related Works, Unchained! Posted at 8:24 AM by Rico Simpkins


Hugo Best Related Wroks 2012Fourth in our series of posts helping you locate Hugo nominees (short story, novelette, and novella preceding) concerns Best Related Work, the Hugo committee’s catch-all category. Unlike the previous three categories, a Worldcon membership will not get you any Related Works. We still recommend that you get at least a $50 supporting membership, because that will nab you digital copies of all five novels, six novellas, five novelettes, and five short stories — a bargain.

The good news: Two of the related works are already free and online. The other three, however, will cost you something:

  • The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition, though originally published in hardback (in its first two editions), is now available online for free. If you want a paper copy for coffee table, you’ll need to order from England.
  • Writing Excuses, Season 6 is a podcast, and can be heard for free here. You’ll need to navigate to season six.
  • Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M. Kimmel is $14.99 in dead tree format at Amazon, or digitally in Kindle or Nook editions for only $9.99.
  • Wicked Girls is an album by Seanan McGuire and can be ordered for $15 through CD Baby, which also allows you to sample portions of each song. Who knew Seanan could sing?
  • The Steampunk Bible edited Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers has gotten a lot of press over the past year, so its inclusion is no surprise to WWEnders.

Links to all of the award winning novels are, as always, available through BookTrackr.

Novellas, Unbound! Posted at 6:58 AM by Rico Simpkins



First, we posted links to all of the Hugo nominated short stories (all free and digital), then we followed up with the novelettes (mostly free and all digital), and now we have… novellas! Of the six nominated novellas, five are available digitally, and four are free. Considering Hugo defines a novella as being up to 40,000 words, that’s a lot of reading for not much.

Do remember that Chicon 7 (Worldcon 70) members get digital copies of all five novels, six novellas, five novelettes, and five short stories for FREE. Even if you don’t plan on attending Worldcon this year, you can get a supporting membership for only $50, and you’ll be able to vote.

If membership isn’t in the cards this year, you can still get the novellas (most of them for free):

A note on the two stories that are not free: Countdown is a real book, published by Orbit, which sells digitally for $2.99. 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 unaccessable stories will have a longer shelf life, giving us more to read. While Seanan McGuire is being all cutting edge, “The Ice Owl”, by Carolyn Ives Gilman, does not seem to be available anywhere online. 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. So, now you have no excuse when someone asks you who you think should win. Get to reading!

Novelettes, Unveiled! Posted at 2:48 AM by Rico Simpkins



Our recent post on where to read the Hugo nominated short stories for free has been by far our most popular post ever (500 clicks from our Twitter feed, and counting). We should have seen that coming. After all, who doesn’t want free award-nominated SF/F? Since it was such a hit, we thought we’d do a follow up on all of the novelettes that were recently nominated for the 2012 Hugos.

Before I show you the list, I should (once more) remind you that a Chicon 7 (Worldcon 70) membership will garner you digital copies of all five novels, six novellas, five novelettes, and five short stories. We highly recommend you attend the con, of course (because then you can visit our booth!), but even if you lack the spare time (and spare change) for that, you can get a supporting membership for only $50… far less than the cost of buying all those stories and books. Plus, you get to vote, which gives you the right to complain about who actually won, Christopher Priest style.

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 Chicon committee to release the reader packets in May. Well, your wait is over. I 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 Copenhagen Interpretation by Paul Cornell (free!)
  • Fields of Gold by Rachel Swirsky (free!)
  • Ray of Light by Brad Torgersen

    This one is interesting, and I expect this to be a phenomenon that will grow in the coming years. You may read the bulk of the story here, but the entire story is for sale on Kindle or Nook at a buck and a half. Not bad.

  • Six Months, Three Days by Charlie Jane Anders (free!)
  • What We Found by Geoff Ryman

    This is a little more complicated. I haven’t found it anywhere online by itself, but it is part of a collection called The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (Volume 6). The price, $13.59, isn’t bad for a whole collection, but may be a bit hefty if all you want to do is read this one novelette. You could always buy the back issue of its original publication (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2011) for $9.50, but that seems more of a hassle for not much savings. I, personally, am quite surprised that I can’t buy back issues on Kindle or Nook. Does anyone know if that is possible? Some readers might find this novelette worth the price, as it received a nomination for both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

If there are any updates on these novelettes, I will redact this blog post, and I’ll tweet that I have done so (@wwend). Fair enough? Next up: Novellas!

Short Stories, Unleashed! Posted at 2:55 AM by Rico Simpkins


TSWotNDIt’s true that Worlds Without End mainly covers award winning SF/F/H novels, but, as we all know, novelists write in all kinds of formats. With the recent announcement of the 2012 Hugo Award nominees, we though you might be interested in reading all of the stories that were nominated, including novellas, novelettes and short stories. Our crack team of researchers (okay, just me) has been feverishly working to find where you can find all of the stories that Worldcon members have chosen to put before us fans. Here is what I found.

First, I highly recommend Chicon7 (hence Worldcon 2012) membership. If you can’t afford an attending membership of $215 (as of this writing, installment plan available) or can’t make it out to Chicago, the supporting membership is only $50, and it includes digital copies of all five novels, six novellas, five novelettes, and five short stories for your perusing. The novels alone would cost more than $50 to buy. Chicon7 has told us that the reading packets will be out by May.

Of course, we know that you don’t want to wait until May to read some of these outstanding stories, so here are some more fruits of our research labors. All five nominated short stories can be read for free online right now (except one…but it’s coming it’s here). I also included the original publication dates, in case you just want to go out and buy a back issue:

We hope that this keeps you satisfied for a little while, while we wait for our Worldcon readers packets. I know my personal goal is to read every nominated story, so that I can actually fill out a whole Hugo ballot.

Next up: Novelettes!

2012 Hugo Award Nominees Announced Posted at 3:50 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Among Others A Dance With Dragons Deadline Embassytown Leviathan Wakes

The 5-convention simulcast is over, and the 2012 Hugo Award nominees have been announced. The nominees for Best Novel are:

See the the complete list of nominees in all categories on the home page of the Chicon 7 website.  Congratulations to all the nominees.

What do you think of this year’s lineup? Anything you really like on this list? Anything make you scratch your head in confusion? More importantly, will it satisfy Christopher Priest?