Weird Kitties: Best Novelette Open Thread


Ah, Best Novelette. The form that only the Hugos actually recognize, occupying the space between short story and short novel. Long story, as it were. Or, in technical terms, anything between 7,500 and 17,500 words long, because obviously people know the word length of things they read.

Here's the Hugo Wikia's list of eligible works, of which the only one I've read is Elektrograd: Rusted Blood, which I certainly wouldn't mind putting on my ballot, but which I hope the field is good enough that it isn't a shoo-in either. But I don't know. What should I read, dear readers?

We'll be back tomorrow with reviews, including Jack Graham on China Miéville's "The Dusty Hat," which, fun fact, is 7,549 words long.


Camestros Felapton 5 years, 3 months ago

//The form that only the Hugos actually recognize//

The Nebulas award Novelette also:

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Matthew Blanchette 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm just going to restate this, since I don't think the need for some sort of revision has gotten through in your rush to produce marvelous (and it is marvelous) content on this new site:

You've redecorated. I don't like it. :-P

More practically, the blinding white hurts my eyes -- I'd love to be able to customize the display, if there's an option for that -- but, what is worst of all, the blog Archive is no longer as common sense as the Blogspot one was. Instead of just clicking on the month and having a tidy list of posts drop down in the page I am currently on, I instead click on the month, wind up on an entirely new page, and have to deal with full-size portions of posts over several pages that will take me too long to hunt for the one I want.

If there's ANY way to install some sort of archive function that mimics the Blogspot drop-down list, please do so. And if there's any way to get rid of the hideous blinding white -- I now realize the paisleys were MUCH preferable -- for the love of sonic sunglasses, please do so.

And the CAPTCHAs seem to have only gotten worse with time -- as much as I'm sure you prefer being self-sufficient with this site, the Blogspot original was MUCH more conducive to ours, the readers', needs. This website -- in my opinion, from trying to access it with ease fruitlessly -- is far less so.

I really can't be the only one to have these problems.

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Elizabeth Sandifer 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes, I saw your comments. The Internet must be a very difficult place for you if you have trouble with black text on a white background.

Some of what you mention is on the to-fix list. Other things are not going to change. We're working on it, but Anna's got a real job, and we take what we can get. But the basic site functionality needed to manage a group blog whereby Jack and Jane could easily maintain their own sub-blogs. We were already stretching the limits of what Blogger could do in many regards. So this is not, as you suggest, about self-sufficiency - it's about a platform that meets the most basic needs of what we're doing, which Blogger wouldn't.

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Matt M 5 years, 3 months ago

>The Internet must be a very difficult place for you if you have trouble with black text on a white background.

While I can't speak for that user in particular, a lot of people with visual impairment find inverted schemes easier to read, which is why many websites offer alternative colour displays for accessibility reasons. White text on black is a higher contrast and at the same time doesn't overload the eye with a bright white background, for example.

I mean yes, the internet IS difficult for a lot of people, as it's generally designed for those of us with healthy eyesight.

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Shannon 5 years, 3 months ago

Another comment on improving accessibility, although this one has an absurdly easy fix. When you link to other pages/posts, it's best if the text you link to uses a description of what it's going to instead of just the word "here." For example, you could link to the review of The Girl Who Died by saying, "For more insight, (link) read the review of The Girl Who Died (link)" instead of "For more insight, read the review of The Girl Who Died (link)here (link)." The reason why is that assistive technology that reads text for folks who are visually impaired reads the links separately from the text, making it so that all the person hears when they "see" the link is the word "here." It will also improve your SEO. I don't know this because I myself am visually impaired, but because it's enough of a best practice that it's in the federal accessibility web guidelines and I'm a web coordinator.

Also, I agree that the Captcha is awful. For some reason, it's particularly bad on Safari. It's best to just use a different browser altogether if possible.

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Andy H. 5 years, 3 months ago

The three novelettes that have impressed me most so far were all published in Clarkesworld:

"An Evolutionary Myth" by Bo-Young Kim, written in 2006 in Korean but translated this year and so eligible. Exactly what it says on the tin; a story about a world that operates according to a mythic evolutionary logic, among beings whose bodies can make radical adaptational changes over the course of a lifetime.

Catherynne Valente's "The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild" (part one, part two) I could see being polarizing; I was right on the edge of finding it twee, but it had more sentences that really surprised me than any other work of fiction I've read this year.

And "The Servant", by Emily Devenport, a lively and effective story of revenge and revolution on a corrupt generation ship.

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Ryan Alexander 5 years, 3 months ago

Here are 9 novelettes I highly recommend from 2015 (all are freely available to read online):

Ambiguity Machines: An Examination - Vandana Singh

Coming of the Light - Chen Qiufan (trans. Ken Liu)

Day of the Dragonfly - Raphael Ordoñez

An Evolutionary Myth - Bo-young Kim (trans. Gord Sellar & Jihyun Park)

Folding Beijing - Hao Jingfang (trans. Ken Liu)

Ginga - Daniel José Older

The Oiran’s Song by Isabel Yap

Saltwater Railroad - Andrea Hairston

With a Golden Risha - P. Djéli Clark

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scrolling screenshots on pc 9 months, 3 weeks ago

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