As mentioned previously, I undertook a project to read the short fiction nominees for the 2005 Nebula Award since all of the nominees were available online this year – a fortunate effect of the Internet Age.
Overall, the experience was fun, but I must say I was less than impressed with some of the stories. While most of them were good or better, a few of the stories just simply failed to entertain. Then again, there were a fair number of fantasy stories here and I make no bones about my hit-and-miss track record with fantasy. Ultimately, I just expected more from stories that were nominated for an award.
In a nutshell, here are my impressions of the stories in each category, sorted from most to least enjoyable. Obviously, the winning picks are the tops ones listed in each category.
“The Tribes of Bela” by Albert Cowdrey
“Identity Theft” by Robert J. Sawyer
“Left of the Dial” by Paul Witcover
“Magic for Beginners” by Kelly Link
“Clay’s Pride” by Bud Sparhawk
“The People of Sand and Slag” by Paolo Bacigalupi
“Flat Diane” by Daniel Abraham
“Men are Trouble” by Jim Kelly
“The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link
“Nirvana High” by Eileen Gunn and Leslie What
“Singing My Sister Down” by Margo Lanagan
“Born-Again” by K.D. Wentworth
“I Live With You” by Carol Emshwiller
“The End of the World as We Know It” by Dale Bailey
“There’s a Hole in the City” by Richard Bowes
“Still Life With Boobs” by Anne Harris
“My Mother, Dancing” by Nancy Kress
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