Sunday, February 3, 2008

Nebula Ballot -- Novelettes

I've finished reading the novelettes on the Nebula preliminary ballot. I'm not going to comment on my own ("Safeguard"). Other than that, my favorite was Kij Johnson's "The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change," from the anthology Coyote Road: Trickster Tales (edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling). The title is a good, if prosaic descriptor: There has been a "change," dogs have abruptly evolved the power of human speech (this is a fable, not a plausible SF story), and they are now both embracing the trickster stories found in many cultures, as well as evolving a strong sense of human treachery. It's an absorbing story, nicely written, and has some unpleasant but true things to say about the nature of hierarchy.

I also liked William Shunn's "Not of This Fold," about proselytizing Mormons on a space station, aliens, and the nature of faith. This story takes a long time to get going, but once it does, it's interesting. Both the same points can be made about "The Sun God at Dawn, Rising From a Lotus Blossom," by Andrea Kail. She is a very new writer -- this story is from Writers of the Future, Volume 23. Finally, Mike Resnick's "Alastair Baffle's Emporium of Wonders" is moving, with lots of good Resnick details. I don't quite understand why it's on the '07 ballot since it came out in January of 'o8 (Asimov's), but I presume that it received ten recommendations to qualify, and beyond that the Nebula qualification rules are a murky fog to me.

Also murky, on a totally unrelated subject: Somehow I managed to turn off the spell-check function on these blog posts. Uninformed experimentation has failed to turn it back on. Help, anyone?


Carmen Webster Buxton said...

Nancy-- I don't use Blogger so I can't comment, but I do use Firefox as my browser; I like it better than Internet Explorer, and it offer tools like spell check that work on ANY form you fill in, not just blog entries. I just used it to correct my many typos in this post!

smr said...

Nancy, when you're creating your blog post, there's an "ABC" button with a checkmark on it in the task bar. I've never used it (I probably should!), but it's there. :^) ~Su

Nancy Kress said...

That is the button I was using, which for a long time did in fact produce spell-checking. Now it won't.

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Didn't the great Poul Anderson write a similar yarn? =Something happens=, and animals become intelligent? BRAINWAVE, mebbe?

Mark said...

My guess about why Mike R's story is on the ballot despite being dated January 2008 is because that issue of Asimov's was released to the world in mid-November.
However, I am befuddled by the qualifing rules for the novel award, where books I read two years ago show up on the ballot.