Sad Puppy controversy aside, this time of year is always great for getting a chance to read good, free fiction. Plenty of editors and authors make their nominated work more accessible in the run-up to voting, so that everyone who wants to read it can.
As an example of which, John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey just made Annie Bellet’s Hugo-nominated short story “Goodnight Stars” available on the Apocalypse Triptych website free of charge. The story appeared in Adams’ and Howey’s “The End is Now,” the second volume in the anthology series.
This is my first time reading the story (I don’t have much of a budget for buying fiction, unfortunately), but it’s easy to see why it’s on the ballot. The characters are well-sketched, multi-layered, and sympathetic, the pacing is excellent, and the ending packs an emotional whammy.
So if you like apocalyptic stories, go give this one a read. (Even if you don’t like them, go give this one a read. It may change your mind.)
Annie has withdrawn her story from the ballot. Here’s why:
am withdrawing because this has become about something very different than great science fiction. I find my story, and by extension myself, stuck in a game of political dodge ball, where I’m both a conscripted player and also a ball. (Wrap your head around that analogy, if you can, ha!) All joy that might have come from this nomination has been co-opted, ruined, or sapped away. This is not about celebrating good writing anymore, and I don’t want to be a part of what it has become.
I am not a ball. I do not want to be a player. This is not what my writing is about. This is not why I write. I believe in a compassionate, diverse, and inclusive world. I try to write my own take on human experiences and relationships, and present my fiction as entertainingly and honestly as I can.