All of this year's Hugo-nominated short fiction is now available for free online; just follow the links from that page.
There was a moment a week or so ago when I think that Neil Gaiman's story was available online only in audio form--a recording of Gaiman reading it--and at the time, I was going to jokingly say that that was unfair, because Gaiman reads very well so it gave his story even more of an advantage than it already had. I suggested (tongue firmly in cheek) on a mailing list that Gaiman should be required to provide audio recordings of all the other stories as well.
But as usual, Gaiman is a class act. Not only does his page about his story now provide a text version of the story (which may have been there from the start; I may have just missed it the first time I looked), but it also provides links to all of the other nominated stories in the Best Short Story category. Very cool, very gracious; I'm pleased.
So as of last weekend, there was only one piece of short fiction on the ballot that wasn't available for free online: Robert Charles Wilson's novella Julian: A Christmas Story, published in a limited paper edition in December by PS Publishing.
I figured it couldn't hurt to ask, so I dropped a note to Wilson and to Pete Crowther at PS Publishing, asking whether they were planning to put the story online, and offering to help get it online if they wanted help with it. I got back nice notes from both, saying sure, that would be great. They sent me a copy of the story, and after a couple of rounds of discussion of formatting details, we put together a PDF version and an HTML version. (If you want to print it out, of course, you should use the PDF.) It turned out to be slightly more complicated than I'd expected, because the story contains a few footnotes that are important enough that Bob didn't want readers to have to follow a link to see them, but we came up with an approach that I think works reasonably well, with the footnotes in text boxes on the side of the page.
Both versions are hosted on my site, because that was the simplest approach, but I have no affiliation with Bob, Pete, or PS. I just think that it's an important and useful service to the sf community for the Hugo-nominated short fiction to be available online, and felt it was worth devoting a little of my time and energy to helping that happen. I'm pleased that Bob and Pete gave permission for it, especially given that the print edition is one of PS's nicely produced limited editions, which might have made a lot of publishers hesitant to allow a free version to appear online. (For those who don't know, PS Publishing specializes in publishing novellas as small standalone books. They do good work, from what I've seen of it.)
The funny thing is that I still haven't read the story. Hoping to read it, and the other two novellas I haven't read yet, over the weekend.
I've now read all the short stories and all the novelettes; so far, overall, I think it's a pretty strong short fiction ballot this year.