Monday, March 12, 2012

The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees, by E. Lily Yu

The Nebula awards span hard, soft and fantasy SF genres.  This diversity means you read a lot of very different fiction in the process of evaluating nominees.  The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees is very much on the soft end, pretty much in fantasy space.  It reads as a very different sort of story, which likely makes it a strong contender.  The Asian flair is popular this year as well.  The central characters are wasps that make maps inside their nests, which are discovered by humans.  There is opression, but it is somewhat circular.  Wasps are oppressed by humans, and oppress bees, but the wasps are then removed.  As a side effect, we have a faction.  You will need to read this one yourself and try to sort out the point.  There are several ways to read it, and it doesn't take long to read it repeatedly.  Three stars from me, and good luck.

All of the seven stories nominated for Short Story of the Year are online this year, so in this category I can make a completely informed choice.  Strongest contenders for me are probably Her Husband's Hands as absurdist fun, and The Axiom of Choice, because I like logic stories and this one is well done.  I'm pulling for Axiom.

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