Originally in : Realms of Fantasy, February 2012
In terms of being a Big Name and having that help your story get in front of the judging panel, you don’t get much bigger than Harlan Ellison. His ‘Repent! Harlequin’ is the kind of standard against which I would judge the Nebula, and I’d opt for ‘No Award This Year’ if I felt the stories to be judged didn’t come up to that kind of standard.
It’s a short story, with a palpable sense of detachment to it, as the creator of a tiny man finds that public reaction to his creation isn’t as he anticipated. He offers the reader alternate endings, and the story does stick in the mind in the way Harlequin did. And it will have people asking ‘what is it about?’ in the same way that Harlequin does. Which, to my mind, is A Good Thing.