by Doctor Science
5 ☆: All Systems Red by Martha Wells | The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang. Deciding which of these to rank higher is the purest form of torture. It's possible I love All Systems Red more (because ♥Murderbot♥), but Black Tides seems to me to be a better-written story. Also, Red has already won the Nebula, so I'll vote Tides to even things out a bit.
3 ☆: And Then There Were [N-One] by Sarah Pinsker | Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor. Three stars is about where my "acceptable/not acceptable" Hugo winner line goes. I had to downrate Home when I realized how appropriative it is: the future Himba culture in the story doesn't seem to have anything besides otjize in common with the Himba as they exist today. [N-One] I found predictable in the worst way: I spotted the murderer WAY before the detective did.
1. Black Tides of Heaven
2. All Systems Red
3. Down Among the Sticks and Bones
5. No Award
6. And Then There Were [N-One]
7. River of Teeth
4 ☆: "The Secret Life of Bots" by Suzanne Palmer | "Extracurricular Activities" by Yoon Ha Lee | "Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time" by K.M. Szpara | "Children of Thorns, Children of Water" by Aliette de Bodard. Aieeee! too many choices! and all Hugo-worthy. So: I enjoyed "Secret Life" the most. "Small Changes" didn't quite work for me, but I thought it novel and even important. "Extracurricular" is good but kind of slight. "Children" is good, but it's horror or horror-adjacent, and I don't. like. horror.
3 ☆: "Wind Will Rove" by Sarah Pinsker
1. A Series of Steaks
2. The Secret Life of Bots
3. Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time
4. Extracurricular Activities
5. Children of Thorns, Children of Water
6. No Award
7. Wind Will Rove
Best Short Story
5 ☆: "Carnival Nine" by Caroline M. Yoachim | "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™" by Rebecca Roanhorse. Both stories are gut-punches, in different ways. I think maybe I'll give the nod to "Authentic Indian" for the high-wire stunt of Second Person.
4 ☆: "Sun, Moon, Dust" by Ursula Vernon | "Fandom for Robots" by Vina Jie-Min Prasad | "The Martian Obelisk" by Linda Nagata. What the hell, I'll go with "Fandom for Robots": it's written for me and my friends, after all. Of the other two, "The Martian Obelisk" edges out "Sun, Moon, Dust" for me--mostly because in the latter story I kept expecting to hear something about how an army marches on its stomach.
1. Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience
2. Carnival Nine
3. Fandom for Robots
4. The Martian Obelisk
5. Sun, Moon, Dust
6. No Award
7. Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand
Whew! I don't think I'll post again until after I've finished, so I spend my time reading & watching & thinking instead of writing.