The SFFaudio Podcast #206 – READALONG: Seven Nebula Nominated Short Stories

April 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #206 – Scott and Jenny talk about the seven short stories nominated for the Nebula Award.

Talked about on today’s show:
Seven nominated stories for the Nebula Award. Why so many? Some of the stories have themes in common.  Scott wasn’t enamored by any of the seven (but it gets better with the discussion).  All of them are free online, and all except “Nanny’s Day” are also available in audio (see links below). 

Robot by Helena Bell (Clarkesworld 9/12) |audio version read by Cat Rambo| Scott’s favorite part is the very beginning: “You may wash your aluminum chassis on Monday and leave it on the back porch opposite the recyclables…don’t eat the dead flesh of my right foot until after I have fallen asleep and cannot hear the whir of your incisors working against the bone.” 

Immersion by Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12) |audio version read by Kate Baker| The story takes place in a restaurant, and the author likes to cook. Scott said this isn’t her first nomination. (Shipbirth was nominated last year , but we excluded it from our short story discussion at the time since it was not available in audio; “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” in the novella category for the Nebula and the Hugo in 2010.) Reminds Scott of The Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang.  Enjoying Kate Baker’s reading.

Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes by Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 4/12) |audio version read by Kate Baker| Author of “Mama, We are Zhenya, YourSon” |OUR READALONG| First line: “Every day, Mom says goodbye to me for the last time.” Stories grow in talking about them.

Nanny’s Day by Leah Cypess (Asimov’s 3/12)
Scott’s first would be Jenny’s last, and Scott is surprised to like it so much when it isn’t even really science fiction!

Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream by Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed 7/12) |audio version read by Gabrielle de Cuir| “Everyone knows that forever is, and has always been, a magic word. Forever isn’t always something one would choose, given all the information.”  Scott says It’s a both-and. Jenny says this is why love is hard.

The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species by Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/12). |audio version read by Stefan Rudnicki| We agree this story is missing its story, but are intrigued by the people and world created.

Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain by Cat Rambo |audio version|
Five things Jenny loves about this story:

  1. The creatures – chimmerees and limentia, like jellyfish floating on the wind.
  2. “She’d lain awake in the darkness, checking her mind with the same care. Were there any sorrows, any passions that might lead her thoughts along the same groove till it gave, eroded into madness?”
  3. Sound garden, but can it dissolve your insides to dust?
  4. Frozen orgasms
  5. “There were more interesting worlds in the multi-verse, she knew. Paper dolls, and talking purple griffons. Intelligent rainbows and everyone’s favorite, the Chocolate Universe. She shrugged.” Jenny wants to visit ALL these worlds.

Other discussion:

Hugo Award nominees will be announced before this episode posts and we both vote! – Embassytown by China Miéville The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord – what is “hard” science fiction?  Scott is tired of “stories in space” that aren’t really science fiction. Nominations can be quite a mystery.

Posted by Jenny Colvin