The book contains the winning entry for each category from the 44th Convention in Atlanta, the 45th Convention in Brighton, and the 46th Convention in New Orleans.
This book is as yet unread, but I have previously read a number of the stories, albeit some time ago, when I was generally providing very succinct story summaries. These ‘aide-memoire’ summaries are included below, awaiting a proper read of this volume.
44th Convention, Atlanta.
Best Novella : 24 Views of Mount Fuji, by Hokusai. Roger Zelazny. Originally in Asimovs July 1985.
Not yet read, but in the meantime why not visit an interesting website in which you can see all 24 views, the inspiration for the story.
- Green Mars. Kim Stanley Robinson Originally : Asimov’s Sept 1985
- My short aide-memoire summary in Dozois #3 : Mountaineering on Mars.
- The Only Neat Thing to Do. James Tiptree Jr Originally : F&SF Oct 1985
- My short aide-memoire summary in Dozois #3 : Young Croati starts the story as a spoilt brat who uses her parent’s money to give her spaceship a deep space capacity. On her travels she comes across a microscopic alien with which she becomes intimately acquainted, and with whom her very future is predicated.
- Sailing to Byzantium. Robert Silverberg Originally : Asimov’s Feb 1985
- My short aide-memoire summary : Advanced civilization recreates great cities from history, with short-timers and virtually immortal constructs.
- The Scapegoat. C. J. Cherryh Originally : Alien Stars
Best Novelette : Paladin of the Lost Hour. Harlan Ellison.
Originally in : Universe 15
Not yet read.
- Dogfight. Michael Swanwick and William Gibson Originally in : Omni July 1985.
- Aide-memoire summary from Dozois #3 : Deke’s a wetware VR game player who takes a local wheelchair-bound World War I biplane scenario champ on. He wins the VR battle, but little else
- The Fringe. Orson Scott Card. Originally in : F&SF October 1985.
- Dozois #3 aide-memoire : A wheelchair-bound teacher in small farming community puts the finger on bootleggers.
- A Gift from the Graylanders. Michael Bishop. Originally in : Asimovs September 1985
- Portraits of His Children. George R.R. Martin. Originally in : Asimovs November 1985
Best Short Story : Fermi and Frost. Frederik Pohl. Originally in : Asimov’s Science Fiction, January 1985
Story summarized when read in Dozois 3rd : Nuclear folly finally leaves the world a shattered place, thus solving Fermi’s Paradox. A young boy finds himself in Iceland, sufficiently far away from the fallout to provide a glimmer of hope through the nuclear winter. And perhaps to seeing the bigger future that Fermi pondered.
- Dinner in Audoghast. Bruce Sterling. Originally in : Asimov’s May 1985
- Story summarized in Dozois 3rd : Hi-tech espionage and environmental/big business shennanigans..
- Flying Saucer Rock & Roll. Howard Waldrop. Originally in : Omni January 1985
- Story summarized in Dozois 3rd : Doo-wop showaddywaddy.
- Hong’s Bluff. William F. Wu Originally in : Omni March 1985
- Snow. John Crowley. Originally in : Omni November 1985
If you want to see how these winners and nominees sit with other well-regarded stories from 1988, then you can read my reviews of Dozois 3rd and Wollheim 1986, Carr #15, or compare the winners and nominees of the Nebula Awards from that year, as listed on the LocusMag website.
Silverberg has great fun, in a Philip Jose Farmer ‘Riverworld’ way. He postulates an afterlife, a hell in which Great People from throughout history, are brought together. Ancient history furnishes Gilgamesh, heroic giant with rippling muscles, who comes across HP Lovercraft and RE Howard, the latter who comes over all girlie and homo-erotic. Gilgamesh has fallen out with his comrade in arms of olde, and the conclusions features the pair brought together in hand to hand combat.
- Eifelheim. Michael F. Flynn Originally in : Analog Nov 1986
- Escape from Kathmandu. Kim Stanley Robinson. Originally in : Asimov’s Sept 1986
- R&R. Lucius Shepard. Originally in Asimovs April 1986
- Spice Pogrom. Connie Willis. Originally in : Asimov’s Oct 1986
On a frozen moon, a murderer returns to the scene of his crime. However, he finds his victim has in fact become one with the moon itself, and the tables are horribly turned, as he is uploaded to the HQ AI, and the person who uploaded himself as the AI prior to his death, is thus able to return to a human body and to leave the planet with the girl, leaving the bad guy and the frozen victim to vent their anger on each other ad infinitum.
- The Barbarian Princess. Vernor Vinge. Originally in : Analog Sept 1986
- Hatrack River. Orson Scott Cardtext Originally in : Asimov’s August 1986
- Thor Meets Captain America. David Brin Originally in : F&SF July 1986
- The Winter Market. William Gibson. Originally in : Stardate Mar/Apr 1986; Interzone #15 Spring 1986
An elderly mathematician, who has fled his youthful fame and misdeeds, is seeking contact with another dimension. A young boy who has an immediate rapport for the work, proves the catalyst to the success of his experiments.
- The Boy Who Plaited Manes. Nancy Springer. Originally in : F&SF Oct 1986
- Rat. James Patrick Kelly. Originally in : F&SF June 1986
- Robot Dreams. Isaac Asimov. Originally in : Asimov’s mid-Dec 1986
- Still Life. David S. Garnett. Originally in : F&SF Mar 1986
If you want to see how these winners and nominees sit with other well-regarded stories from 1986, then you can read my reviews of Dozois 4th and Wollheim 1987, Carr #16, or compare the winners and nominees of the Nebula Awards #22.
Young Mick has been brought up in an orphanage. Not the nicest of places, but made worse by the fact that he has a strange innate power which enables him to visit fatal diseases and ill health upon others. As a young man he has an itinerant life, but his family find him – a very strange family who have been selectively inbreeding to hone the abilities which he has in spades. He flees his family and his betrothed, rescued by others who have his best interests at heart.
- The Blind Geometer. Kim Stanley Robinson. Originally in : Asimovs, August 1987.
- Robinson’s story is a fascinating one, the POV character being a mathematician blind since birth. He is at the cutting edge of some very complex n-dimension geometry, and he finds himself being used by a colleague and others to investigate some theory whose practical uses may have military applications. The world-view of the protagonist is expertly handled, down to some very clever handling of some of the story structure.
- the Forest of Time. Michael F. Flynn. Originally in : Analog, June 1987
- Mother Goddess of the World. Kim Stanley Robinson. Originally in : Asimovs October 1987
- The Secret Sharer. Robert Silverberg. Originally in : Asimovs September 1987.
- Dinosaurs. Walter Jon Williams. Originally in : Asimovs, June 1987
- Dream Baby. Bruce McCallister Originally in : Asimovs, October 1987
- Flowers of Edo. Bruce Sterling. Originally in : Asimovs, May 1987
- Rachel in Love. Pat Murphy. Originally in : Asimovs, April 1987.
Some 15 years after its publication I picked up this issue of Asimovs, and wrote of this story : Harry’s hamburger emporium is in the middle of nowhere, and wouldn’t appear to offer much in the way of prospects for a young teenager. However, night-time in when the business at Harry’s picks up, and his clientele is quite peculiar. For Harry’s is located at a juxtaposition point for a huge number of alternate Earth’s, and his hambrugers attract those who are able to criss-cross the multiverses. His young night-time helper has his horizons broadened (particularly by the babes from the Earth in which wandering around topless and in tight jeans is normal behaviour). However, just as he is about to bum a life to another, any other, Earth, a wise word or two is whispered in his ear : there is enough beauty and strangeness is this one Earth to last a lifetime.
- Angel. Pat Cadigan. Originally in : Asimovs May 1987
- Cassandra’s Photographs. Lisa Goldstein. Originally in : Asimovs August 1987
- The Faithful Companion at Forty. Karen Joy Fowler. Originally in : Asimovs July 1987
- Forever Yours, Anna. Kate Wilhelm. Originally in : Omni July 1987
- Night of the Cooters. Howard Waldrop. Originally in : Omni, April 1987.