55327_girl-writing_mdThese may only be the Rabid Puppies’ recommendations, and I hope more are forthcoming from the Puppy camp, because I’m disappointed at the quality of stories on the list. I’m also disappointed that there’s no serious, hard SF here. I thought the Puppies would be back with a stronger slate after getting trounced both in reviews and in the Hugo voting last year, but I actually think this crop of stories is weaker than last year’s slate. These are only average, and aside from “Asymmetrical Warfare,” they’re not the kind of brilliant work that’s necessary to win the award. “Asymmetrical Warfare” is pretty awesome, but I don’t think such a minimally developed story will win against the kind of competition that’s on the Nebula and Locus Reading lists, for example.

One issue that affects the strength of this effort from the Puppies is that the established lists, including the Locus Reading List and the Nebula Reading List have already identified all the best of the easily found SF and fantasy stories. It would take a lot of effort to unearth something else that’s original and brilliant and likely to be a contender. If the Puppies advance the same stories as the other lists, then why bother?

I do notice the Nebula nominees have broadened this year to include some “traditional” type stories, for example, ‘‘And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead’’ by Brooke Bolander. This suggests the Puppy complaints have been noted. Possibly the Hugo nominations might follow the same trend as the Nebulas.