Hugo Award-Eligible Work by Alas Authors

Barry asked me a few weeks ago if I’d compile a list of Hugo award-eligible work by Alas authors. “Sure,” I said. Then I forgot. So belatedly, here it is.

I apologize to any contributors who have work that I have neglected to mention (in particular, Tempest, I didn’t see anything new in your online bibliography?). Drop it in the comments or send me an email and I’ll update.

Barry Deutsch (Ampersand)

Barry Deutsch’s HEREVILLE, tagged as a comic about “Yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl,” came out in 2010 from Harper Collins. It’s eligible for the Norton award (given at the same time as the Nebulas) for best young adult novel. It’s also eligible for the Hugo award for best graphic novel.

For those of you who haven’t heard all the praise this book has been raking in (and if you haven’t, where have you been?), here’s a snippet or two: “Fresh, believable, fun, and funny. Adventurous, animated, well-illustrated, clear…a wonderful book!” (Muddy Puddle Musings), ” The art sets just the right tone between serious and funny, and the story is a warm-hearted adventure with a good sense of humor. I fell hard for Mirka” (Library Mama), “A great comic crosses over a boundary in my brain so that I’m not just reading it, I’m experiencing it on some deeper level. Hereville was the best example of that” (Brigid Alverson)

N. K. Jemisin (Nojojojo)

Nojojojo’s debut novel, THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, and its sequel, BROKEN KINGDOMS, came out in 2010 from Orbit.

These striking novels are epic high fantasy from a post-colonial perspective, and they’ve also been deservedly praised to high heaven. From the publisher’s weekly starred review of Hundred Thousand Kingdoms: “Convoluted without being dense, Jemisin’s engaging debut grabs readers right from the start… Multifaceted characters struggle with their individual burdens and desires, creating a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists. ”

She also has several eligible short stories. My favorite was “On the Banks of the River Lex” from Clarkesworld:

Death lay under the water-tower on a sagging rooftop, watching the slow condensation of water along the tower’s metal belly. Occasionally one of the water beads would grow pregnant enough to spawn a droplet, which would then fall around — and occasionally onto — Death’s forehead. He had counted over seven hundred hits in the past few days.

Sleep appeared and crouched beside Death, looking hopeful. “You look bored. I don’t suppose you’d care for a little oblivion?”

“No, thank you,” said Death. He was always scrupulously polite, to counter his reputation. He waited until another drop fell — a miss, alas — and then turned his head to regard Sleep. “You’re looking a little detached yourself.”

At the refusal, Sleep had sighed and sat down beside him. “I thought I would be all right,” she said. “I should be all right. Animals sleep, even plants in their way. But it just isn’t the same.”

And a short story self-published as part of a charity drive for Haiti, “The Effluent Engine“:

This was the dance of things, the cric-crac as the storytellers said in Jessaline’s land. Everyone needed something from someone. Glorious France needed money, to recover from the unlamented Napoleon’s endless wars. Upstart Haiti had money from the sweet gold of its sugarcane fields, but needed guns — for all the world, it seemed, wanted the newborn country strangled in its crib. The United States had guns but craved sugar, as its fortunes were dependent upon the acquisition thereof. It alone was willing to treat with Haiti, though Haiti was the stuff of American nightmare: a nation of black slaves who had killed off their white masters. Yet Haitian sugar was no less sweet for its coating of blood, and so everyone got what they wanted, trading ’round and ’round, a graceful waltz — only occasionally devolving into a knife-fight.

Also, the excellent “Sinners, Saints, Dragons and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters,” a fantasy take on Katrina which unfortunately isn’t online. It was originally published in Postscripts (so it’s not Nebula-eligible this year), but it will be coming out later this year in audio from PodCastle. I recommend you give a listen when it does; it’s a very striking piece.

Rachel Swirsky (Mandolin)

My first novella came out this year from Subterranean Press, “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window.” I’m really excited about this piece, which has been well-received so far, and is being reprinted in year’s best anthologies from Jonathan Strahan and Rich Horton.

My story should have ended on the day I died. Instead, it began there.

Trigger warning (and apologies) for ableism as discussed here.

I also had several short stories published, including “The Monster’s Million Faces” at The story comes with a trigger warning for child abuse. I hope it works despite that–I’m hopeful that it does since a few survivors have told me that the story was moving to them, and one person told me she planned to use the story as an example of how to “get it right” when writing about sexual assault. (The main character is male, something I only note in conjunction with comments at Manboobz wherein someone indicated that he’d never seen a woman admit men could be raped.)

He’s old this time. A hospital gown sags over his gaunt frame. IV wires stream from his arms, plugging him into a thousand machines. I could tear them out one by one.

I ask, “Do you know who I am?”

He rolls his head back and forth, trying to see. His eyes are pale with cataracts, roosting in nests of wrinkles. He gestures me closer, skin thin to the point of translucence, veins tunneling below.

Recognition strikes. “You’re that boy I hurt. . . . All grown up. . . .”

Where Shadows Meet Light” at Fantasy Magazine:

Princess Diana’s ghost emerges at night. There are other ghosts, presumably, but she doesn’t see them. She only sees the living.

At first she haunted Charles and Harry and William, but eventually it grew too painful to think about her life. She even grew tired of the longtime pleasure she’d taken from blowing into Elizabeth’s ear while she slept, making the old woman’s dreams as disturbed and uncomfortable as she had made Diana’s life.

She went overseas to America where she’d once visited the White House and danced with John Travolta in a midnight blue velvet gown that sold at auction for a hundred thousand pounds. This time, she traveled between ordinary houses, some white and others beige and mint and yellow. It was easy to find people she could haunt there, people who owned memorabilia with her face on it, but whose distance from the British Isles meant they didn’t know every detail of her reported life, giving her enough room to dwell and still keep her secrets.

and “The Stable Master’s Tale” at Fantasy Magazine:

Princess Amory tied a ribbon around the dragon’s neck and had a stool brought so it could perch beside her during dinner. She fed it mashed lamb mixed with milk.

“Precious is hungry,” Amory said to her nursemaid.

The nurse cowered away from her charge’s pet. The other diners glanced furtively at the dragon as they ate, whispering behind cupped hands.

As well as two stories which aren’t available online: “Mother, Maiden, Crone” in Realms of Fantasy, and “Again and Again and Again,” originally published in Interzone and scheduled to be reprinted in Dozois’ year’s best.

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