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All 2007 Hugo-nominated short fiction now online

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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.

5 Comments

Thanks for performing the public service. Also, I'll second the kudos for PS. They do put out nice products--the only drawback is one can't read a chapbook while goofing off at work. :)

In this Year of Unhappy, I've read one of the Hugo noms in the original published format. Shameful. Well, okay, the fact that I no longer subscribe to Asimov's puts me at a major disadvantage for reading nominated stories in advance. But usually I've at least read a lot of stories published in other venues, which has made me feel better about not having the time for Asimov's. Not so much, this year. I hadn't even gotten to the Gaiman story before reading it online yesterday, despite having a partially-read copy of Fragile Things at home.


Just thought I'd mention that not only is Julian: A Christmas Story a lovely story, it's also a really beautiful hardcover novella, well worth picking up from PS. PS are possibly one of the few small presses who actually have a good eye for design and layout, and turn out really good-looking books.

And Peter Crowther's rather generous with the digital versions - a while back he sent me a PDF of a single-author collection they were publishing, as it was simply out of my price range to purchase in Australia, and I was re-subscribing to Postscripts. As a nice coda to that, I was visiting San Francisco last week and purchased it at a much more affordable price from the amazing Borderlands books there :)

Thanks for performing this service, Jed! I'm sure you'll enjoy the novella when you get a chance to read it!


For those who really, really, really prefer paper, Jonathan Strahan's new anthology, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 1, now in the shops, contains three of the five novelette nominees and three of the five short story nominees. I'm not sure that an anthology with quite so many Hugo nominees has been available within the voting period before.


Megan: Clearly you'll have to start reading Asimov's again.

Peter: Agreed re PS. Though I should note that there are several small presses that have been putting out really gorgeous books lately. Night Shade springs to mind as my favorite example (and note that they published the Strahan book Cheryl mentioned), but there are several others too.

Cheryl: Nifty! Thanks for mentioning that; I hadn't noticed.

...And to tie various bits of this thread together, the ToC of Strahan's Best Short Novels 2007 has just been announced by the Science Fiction Book Club, and it contains three of the five nominated novellas, including Julian. This volume won't be out 'til late May, but that's still plenty of time before the Hugo voting deadline. Strahan was really on a roll with his picks this year--in two volumes, he's got 9 out of the 15 short-fiction Hugo nominees.


Speaking of audio versions of the nominees, I forgot to mention that Bill Shunn is providing a free audio version of his nominated novella "Inclination" (CC licensed). I really like the story; haven't heard the audio, but figured it was worth linking to.


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