(some of) what I liked in 2015.

The Nebula nominating period (and the Rhysling nominating period) end this weekend; the Hugo nominations have just begun. It’s a good time to compile my list of what I liked in 2015. Not exhaustive in any way.

Organized for your delectation by (Hugo/not-a-Hugo) nomination category. Some commentary. Some lists.

dramatic presentation (short form):

  • Blackstar, David Bowie. I was going to nominate this before Bowie died; it is an incredible ten minutes of film, about legends and transformation and relics and death and other worlds. I really want to nominate it now.
  • Jessica Jones. My god, I watched an entire Marvel property and enjoyed it.
  • Steven Universe: is there a consensus on a best episode to collectively nominate? Can we come to such a consensus?

dramatic presentation (long form):

  • Mad Max: Fury Road. Pretty much the ideal action film for me: gonzo, grotesque, desert death cults, the world is saved by women and emotional openness.


  • Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
  • Last First Snow, Max Gladstone
  • The Just City, Jo Walton.
  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson (this ends up on my list despite my reservations, because I think it’s such a goddamn brilliant ambitious failure and it made me happy in very complicated ways).
  • Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
  • The Sorcerer of the Wilddeeps, Kai Ashante Wilson (this counts as a novel, apparently, at least for the Nebulas)
  • Updraft, Fran Wilde
  • House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard
  • Shadowshaper, Daniel Jose Older

novella (I’m bad at novellas):

  • The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Djinn”, Usman Malik (Tor.com)
  • “Binti”, Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)


  • “The Deepwater Bride”, Tamsyn Muir (F&SF)
  • “Folding Beijing”, Hao Jingfeng (Uncanny)
  • “And You Shall Know Her By the Trail of Dead”, Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed)
  • “Fabulous Beasts”, Priya Sharma (Tor.com)
  • “Morrigan in Shadow”, Seth Dickinson (Clarkesworld)
  • “And the Balance in the Blood”, Elizabeth Bear (Uncanny)

short stories:

  • “Planet Lion”, Catherynne Valente,  (Uncanny)
  • “The Ticket Taker of Cenote Zaci”, Benjamin Parzybok, at Strange Horizons
  • “Madeleine”, Amal el-Mohtar, at Lightspeed
  • “Monkey King, Faerie Queen”, Zen Cho, at Kaleidotrope
  • “The Deepest Rift”, Ruthanna Emrys, at Tor.com
  • “The Glad Hosts”, Rebecca Campbell, at Lackington’s
  • “ζῆ καὶ βασιλεύει”, Sonya Taaffe at Ideomancer
  • “Cat Pictures Please”, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld)
  • “In the Queue for the Worldship Munawwer”, Sara Saab (Clarkesworld)
  • “Shimmering, Warm, and Bright”, Shveta Thakrar (Interfictions)
  • “Midnight Hour”, Mary Robinette Kowal (Uncanny)
  • “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers”, Alyssa Wong (Nightmare)
  • “Documentary”, Vajra Chandrasekera (Lightspeed)

Campbell Award:

  • Alyssa Wong
  • Sara Saab
  • Natalia Theodoridou
  • Alison Wilgus
  • Laurie Penny
  • Sunil Patel
  • Roshani Chokshi
  • Andy Weir

Graphic story:

  • Bitch Planet #5
  • The Wicked + The Divine, vol. 2: Fandemonium
  • Pretty Deadly (vol. 1)
  • Wilde Life (webcomic)

For the record: I myself am also eligible for the Campbell Award, and have published the following eligible things in 2015:

short stories:


“City of Salt”, Strange Horizons (16 March 2015) (2nd place, Strange Horizons Reader’s Poll)

“Adjuva”, Lakeside Circus (Year Two, Issue One)

“When the Fall Is All That’s Left”, Apex Magazine 77

one poem:

“The Demon Vivienne Explains Volitional Geography”, Through the Gate 8



5 thoughts on “(some of) what I liked in 2015.

  1. Pingback: Awards eligibility and recs post - Aliette de Bodard

  2. God, picking one best Steven Universe episode? Story for Steven, Jail Break, Maximum Capacity, Sworn to the Sword, or We Need To Talk would be my nominees, I think, but narrowing it down even that far was incredibly difficult. I kind of just want to say “everything.”

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