I'm attending the World Science Fiction Convention (aka Worldcon) in San Antonio, TX, this year. As an attending member I am eligible to vote on the 2013 Hugo Nominees. So over the next couple of months you see reviews for Novelettes, Novellas, Novels, and the Campbell Awards. And maybe some movies if time permits. Click here for the full Worldcon 2013 Hugo Nominee list.
Only three Short Story Nominees for 2013, and the nominees are not surprising. All have been consistent showings on the Hugo Ballot for several years, and all have been consistently good. I may not have necessarily liked the stories, but so it goes.
"Mono no Aware" by Ken Liu
Published in The Future Is Japanese ed. Hiakasoru (VIS Media, LLC)
Excellent! Mono no aware - the sense of transience of all things in life. Or, as young Hiroto said in the story "It is like a gentle kitten is licking the inside of my heart". And, ultimately, "We are defined by the places we hold in the web of others’ lives."
"Immersion" by Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld, June 2012)
Interesting layers woven into so few pages. Not as much emotional punch as "Mono no Aware".
"Mantis Wives" by Kij Johnson (Clarksworld, August 2012)
Similar to the short story Ponies from the 2011 Ballot...disturbing. I suspect the author liked to fry ants with a magnifying glass as a small child.