Archive for Hugo Awards

EP155: Tideline


2008 Hugo Nominee!

By Elizabeth Bear.
Read by Stephen Eley.
Closing Music: “The Fall” by Red Hunter.

They would have called her salvage, if there were anyone left to salvage her. But she was the last of the war machines, a three-legged oblate teardrop as big as a main battle tank, two big grabs and one fine manipulator folded like a spider’s palps beneath the turreted head that finished her pointed end, her polyceramic armor spiderwebbed like shatterproof glass. Unhelmed by her remote masters, she limped along the beach, dragging one fused limb. She was nearly derelict.

The beach was where she met Belvedere.

Rated PG. Contains implied violence and themes of death.

Referenced Sites:
2008 Hugo Awards
WisCon May 23-26, Madison, WI

EP108: Kin


2007 Hugo Nominee!

By Bruce McAllister.
Read by Stephen Eley.
First appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, February 2006.

The alien and the boy, who was twelve, sat in the windowless room high above the city that afternoon. The boy talked and the alien listened.

The boy was ordinary—the genes of three continents in his features, his clothes cut in the style of all boys in the vast housing project called LAX. The alien was something else, awful to behold; and though the boy knew it was rude, he did not look up as he talked.

He wanted the alien to kill a man, he said. It was that simple.

Rated PG. Contains implied violence and morally complex themes.

Referenced Sites:
The Girl Who Loved Animals and Other Stories by Bruce McAllister
Balticon 2007 Trip Report

EP107: Eight Episodes


2007 Hugo Nominee!

By Robert Reed.
Read by MarBelle (of Director’s Notes).
First appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, June 2006.

Eighteen months later, the fledging Web network declared bankruptcy, and a small consortium acquired its assets, including Invasion of a Small World. Eager to recoup their investment, the new owners offered all eight episodes as a quick-and-dirty DVD package. When sales proved somewhat better than predicted, a new version was cobbled together, helped along by a genuine ad budget. The strongest initial sales came from the tiny pool of determined fans—young and well educated, with little preference for nationality or gender. But the scientists in several fields, astronomy and paleontology included, were the ones who created a genuine buzz that eventually put Invasion into the public eye.

Rated PG. Contains some suggestive imagery, references to infidelity, and not very good television.

Referenced Sites:
World Science Fiction Society
Steve’s LiveJournal

EP106: The House Beyond Your Sky


2007 Hugo Nominee!

By Benjamin Rosenbaum.
Read by Paul Tevis (of Have Games Will Travel).
First appeared in Strange Horizons, September 2006.

The simulations, while good, are not impenetrable even to their own inhabitants. Scientists teaching baboons to sort blocks may notice that all other baboons become instantly better at block-sorting, revealing a high-level caching mechanism. Or engineers building their own virtual worlds may find they cannot use certain tricks of optimization and compression‚Äîfor Matthias has already used them. Only when the jig is up does Matthias reveal himself, asking each simulated soul: what now? Most accept Matthias’s offer to graduate beyond the confines of their simulation, and join the general society of Matthias’s house.

You may regard them as bright parakeets, living in wicker cages with open doors. The cages are hung from the ceiling of the priest’s clay hut. The parakeets flutter about the ceiling, visit each other, steal bread from the table, and comment on Matthias’s doings.

Rated R. Contains some profanity and child abuse. It’s probably too complex for young children as well.

Referenced Sites:
Diversity in SF Markets (blog post by Tobias S. Buckell)
Finis: A Book of Endings
Nina Kimberly the Merciless
SciFi Smackdown

EP105: Impossible Dreams


2007 Hugo Nominee!

By Tim Pratt.
Read by Matthew Wayne Selznick (of Brave Men Run and Writers Talking).
First appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, July 2006.
All stories by Tim Pratt.
All stories read by Stephen Eley.

He went to the Sci-Fi shelf‚Äîand had another shock. I, Robot was there, but not the forgettable action movie with Will Smith‚Äîthis was older, and the credits said “written by Harlan Ellison.” But Ellison’s adaptation of the Isaac Asimov book had never been produced, though it had been published in book form. “Must be some bootleg student production,” he muttered, and he didn’t recognize the name of the production company. But‚Äîbut‚Äîit said “winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.” That had to be a student director’s little joke, straight-facedly absurd box copy, as if this were a film from some alternate reality. Worth watching, certainly, though again, he couldn’t imagine how he’d never heard of this. Maybe it had been done by someone local. He took it to the counter and offered his credit card.

She looked at the card dubiously. “Visa? Sorry, we only take Weber and FosterCard.”

Rated G. Contains excessive movie trivia; some of it true.

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Referenced Sites:
Balticon 2007

EP056: The Clockwork Atom Bomb


By Dominic Green.
Read by Dr. Jonathon Sullivan.

The wind in here was deafening. The girl had to shout. “THERE IS MORE THAN ONE IN HERE. THEY LIVE IN THE MACHINES. THE GOVERNMENT MADE THE MACHINES, BUT NOT WITH TECHNICIANS AND ELECTRICIANS. WITH SORCERY.”

The machines did not look made by sorcery. They were entirely silent, looking like rows of gigantic, rusted steel chess pawns twice the height of a man, with no pipes or wires entering or leaving them, apparently sitting here unused for any purpose. Mativi felt an urgent, entirely rational need to be in an another line of employment.

Rated R. Contains profanity and some violence.

Referenced sites:
2006 Hugo Nominees
The Balticon Podcast
Michael & Evo’s Slice of SciFi
Rock & Roll Monster Bash

EP055: Down Memory Lane


By Mike Resnick.
Read by Alex Wilson (of Telltale Weekly).
Discuss on our forums.
All stories by Mike Resnick.
All stories read by Alex Wilson.

I don’t know where I was when Kennedy was shot. I don’t know what I was doing when the World Trade Center collapsed under the onslaught of two jetliners. But I remember every single detail, every minute, every second, of the day we got the bad news.

“It may not be Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Castleman. “Alzheimer’s is becoming a catchword for a variety of senile dementias. Eventually we’ll find out exactly which dementia it is, but there’s no question that Gwendolyn is suffering from one of them.”

Rated G.

Referenced sites:
2006 Hugo Nominees
World Science Fiction Convention
L.A.Con IV
TellTale Weekly — Clarion Foundation Fundraiser
Hooting Yard Benevolent Fund for Distressed Out of Print Pamphleteers

EP054: Tk’tk’tk


By David D. Levine.
Read by Paul Tevis (of Have Games Will Travel).

Shkthh pth kstphst, the shopkeeper said, and Walker’s hypno-implanted vocabulary provided a translation: “What a delightful object.” Chitinous fingers picked up the recorder, scrabbling against the aluminum case with a sound that Walker found deeply disturbing. “What does it do?”

It took him a moment to formulate a reply. Even with hypno, Thfshpfth was a formidably complex language. “It listens and repeats,” he said. “You talk all day, it remembers all. Earth technology. Nothing like it for light-years.” The word for “light-year” was hkshkhthskht, difficult to pronounce. He hoped he’d gotten it right.

Rated PG. Contains scatology and crimes against pronunciation.

Referenced sites:
2006 Hugo Nominees
Shelley the Republican
CAP Alert System
Bento Fanzine
National PTA
Rescuing Recess

EP053: Seventy-Five Years


By Michael A. Burstein.
Read by Deborah Green.

Isabel turned the handheld on and read to herself briefly. “According to this, your bill would push the date of release of the individual Census forms from seventy-two to seventy- five years.”

“It makes sense, Isabel.”

“It does?”

He pointed to her handheld. “You say you have my argument in there.”

“I do. And I find it specious.”

Rated G. Contains politics and reference to moral issues. (Your kids may not get it, but it shouldn’t offend.)

Referenced sites:
2006 Hugo Nominees
Wikipedia on the Hugo Award
Hugo History at a Glance
Novel Nominees – Electronic Editions
Rock ‘N’ Roll Monster Bash 2006