The Hugos were awarded this weekend at WorldCon and although I did not attend the convention, I did read all of the stories and vote. My congratulations to the winners, they were all good stories. I already briefly in the referenced one of them last week. I briefly raved previously about my favorite of the short fiction nominees, but evidently it wasn't everyone else's favorite.
Best novella: Ted Chiang's The Lifecycle of Software Objects
This is a beautifully realized near future story that captures the wonder of artificial intelligence and virtual reality that combine to allow virtual furbies that have as much intelligence as children. The story captures a real sense of the excitement of software startups and what happens when upgrades are necessary and even worse when hackers violate the system. Thought provoking and heart-wrenching at times.
Best novelette: Allen M. Steele's The Emperor of Mars
Books bring magic to our lives and sometimes a sense of escape when life becomes too much. This Martian outpost has the grittiness of hard science, but when time and space collide to take away those we hold dear, the story explores how we deal with grief.
Best short story: Mary Robinette Kowal's For Want of a Nail
An accident that happens just prior to the beginning of the story drives the unraveling of a mystery and what it means to those revealed. The story takes place on a generation ship traveling through the stars and doesn't focus too much on the suspect, but rather on the interesting intertwining between the families traveling and their AI helpers. [Note, Mary Robinette Kowal is selling a $0.99 ebook that provides her original draft and her process in editing this towards the final version. I haven't taken a look at this, but it sounds intriguing.]