The SFFaudio Podcast #155 – READALONG: Five Nebula Nominated Short Stories


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #155 – Jenny, Tamahome, and Jesse talk about the five Nebula 2011 nominated short stories for which there are audio versions.

Talked about on today’s show:

the Clarkesworld one was too quiet (by the way, we use Levelator), April Fools jokes fall out of date, The Cartographer Wasps And The Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu, Jenny’s favorite, it’s science and it’s fiction but is it science fiction?, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, “nerdy mapmakers”, Ottoman Empire, Jenny is into language, ‘thrumming’, revolution, The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu, Tam was moved to tweet it, Jhumpa Lahiri and first generation Americans, do we need the fantastic part?, Mike Resnic-y, workshop stories, “he’s such a tool”, movie version?, Asian magic realism, the owl on Home Depot, Murakami, Jesse likes Leggos, childhood, Jesse please explain Mama, We Are Zhenya by Tom Crosshill, Tam sounds just like narrator Stefan Rudnicki, quantum mechanics, author’s blog post about the story, intellectual heft, it’s a five year old, Flowers For Algernon, head-eating clouds, Lost, YA novel about singularity, superpowers, and giant robots, author was a nuclear operator, Zhenya is everywhere, and now with a slightly older child — Movement by Nancy Fulda, we’ve read The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time |OUR READALONG|, “temporal autism”, we’ve also read Speed Of Dark |READ OUR REVIEW| so we are autism experts, or Asperger’s?, Daniel Tammet and prime numbers, “she doesn’t want new shoes”, father’s bug killer, (note: here I got E. Lily Yu mixed up with Yoon Ha Lee’sĀ Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain from Sffaudio 120, here’s the full text and audio from Lightspeed), Her Husband’s Hands by Adam-Troy Castro, horror, SUPER CREEPY DO NOT WANT, the hyphen in the author’s name was originally a typo, Chiller Theater, war, The Hand with Michael Caine, Guy De Maupassant, House of Holes by Nicholson Baker, Bianca’s Hands by Theodore Sturgeon (podcasted by Spider Robinson), It by Sturgeon, some story about brains, eyes, and taste buds, Pruzy’s Pot (podcasted by Spider Robinson) has a monster under the toilet that does things, we make our Nebula picks and predictions, a moving story about ponies from last year, Kij Johnson, a story about sex with an alien, which story will be remembered in ten years? Toy Story III with immigrants, we will discuss Among Others by Jo Walton, sexy Welsh accent in the audiobook, Tam’s amazing Welsh accent, waiting for Jo’s series on Hugo-nominated novellas, get off my lawn with your books series’s!, how to find good stories/books, Christopher Priest’s amazing post, anything good after 1950?, Stories by Neil Gaiman and Alan Sarrantonio, The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains |READ OUR POST|, Joe Landsdale on novels

crosshill novella cover

Posted by Tamahome

2 thoughts to “The SFFaudio Podcast #155 – READALONG: Five Nebula Nominated Short Stories”

  1. Hey all. You guys know me from the S&L goodreads forum. OMW ftw!
    Great podcast and Jenny did a good job of keeping you guys structured. I found it a little bit easier to listen to than some of your previous podcasts I’ve been fortunate enough to have had time to listen to. I loved hearing what you all thought of the nominees and comparing them to my own thoughts on the stories.

    Don’t count out “Axiom of Choice”. I enjoyed the setup for that short story. It wasn’t really a scifi story but the whole thing is done as a choose your own adventure done where you only see the outcome of the choices the main character went with. I really liked this story but I doubt it will win.

    For “Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son”, I thought the multiple Zhenyas might have been some analogy to quantum particles. I don’t know if you’ve ever read about how a qbit is supposed to work in quantum computing but what makes it so powerful is that it isn’t just a 1 or a 0 like a traditional computer bit but it can also be a 1 and a 0 at the same time as well as a few versions in between. So I thought maybe Zhenyas was something like this where he wasn’t in one place or the other but somehow in all places at certain times. Like Schrodinger’s cat being alive and dead at the same time. I might be interpreting that wrong but that is what popped in my mind while reading. I liked this story and give it about the same chance to win as “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” which was another one I enjoyed.

    “Her Husband’s Hands” I agree was creepy.

    “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” I like a lot mainly for the world building. It drew me in and I was almost sad it ended with such a fizzle. I was wanting a bit more action in the ending but given the short story format it did great with what it did do. I liked it and think it has a great chance at winning.

    “Movement” I wasn’t super impressed with.

    “The Paper Menagerie” felt like “The Joy Luck Club” with moving origami. It was well told but not my favorite.

    “Shipbirth” was just crazy. It felt like a mess to me and I didn’t enjoy reading it. I wasn’t sure of what point it was trying to make and I felt it didn’t do a good job of communicating its point. I think it had some meaning it was trying to communicate about gender roles but again the way it was told didn’t do a good job of clarifying what it was trying to say.

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