Recap on the World Fantasy Award finalists for best short fiction

World_Fantasy_Award_tree

The new and vastly nicer World Fantasy Award statuette, created by sculptor and artist Vincent Villafranca.

Puuhhh. That’s me blowing the dust off the blog. Rather than wallow in self incriminations, or even your incriminations, Dear Reader, let’s get to the point. The World Fantasy Awards are just around the corner. Lots of great fiction has been nominated, and we have looked closely at the finalists for best short fiction.

“Das Steingeschöpf”, G.V. Anderson (Strange Horizons 12/12/16). Reviewed here.

“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”, Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16). Reviewed here.

“Seasons of Glass and Iron”, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood). Reviewed here.

“Little Widow”, Maria Dahvana Headley (Nightmare 9/16). Reviewed here.

“The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me”, Rachael K. Jones (Clockwork Phoenix 5). Reviewed here.

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The power of creation, intent and love is highlighted in “Das Steingeschöpf” by G.V. Anderson / El poder de la creación, la intención y el amor se destaca en “Das Steingeschöpf” de G.V. Anderson

Note: this is the second review of the World Fantasy Award nominees for short fiction. You can see the list of nominees here.

Das Steingeschöpf” scratched an itch I didn’t know I had. The tone and narrative style immediately placed me in early 20th century Europe with its quaint depiction of a German village and a young journeyman of sorts just beginning his career. This is no criticism. Unlike so many stories today, G.V. Anderson’s style allowed me to clearly picture the place, the narrator and the fantastic creature, Ambroise, who needs mending. Within the first two paragraphs I was completely immersed in the story.

Frau Leitner from Bavaria had written to request a small restoration—I took the southbound train from Berlin, made two changes, and disembarked at the end of the line in a small town tucked between the pleats of the mountains. A ragged man with a horse-drawn cart was waiting for me. We travelled by lamplight up a steep, icy path to the front door of an old timber chalet.

All was dark and quiet. I jumped down, the snow crackling beneath my weight, and turned to thank the driver. He’d already clicked to the horse and was turning the cart around, grimly avoiding my eye.

Perhaps my appreciation for the author’s descriptions seems a little sentimental. As I said, I didn’t expect the story to move me, but it did. This is a beautiful, melancholy story that captures the fleeting peace between the two world wars and, somehow, a turning point in human consciousness about itself.

Okay, I know that’s a really large claim, but that’s what I felt about it. Let me try to explain. Continue reading

2017 World Fantasy Award nominees announced

Nominees for the 2017 World Fantasy Awards are out and the list doesn’t hold many surprises though it seems Tor.com has cornered the long fiction category. The anthology category is missing Nightscript II, which was my favorite this year, but I look forward to checking out the ones listed. Below are the short fiction nominees, including a couple of favorites already reviewed here for other awards — Brooke Bolander’s wild Harpy ride and Amal El-Mohtar’s sweetly rebuilt fairytale.

Reviews forthcoming.