My judging criteria for shorter stories

The Locus Poll and Survey opened on 1 February.  This allows you to nominate best science fiction, fantasy, horror, YA and debut novels, among other things. The results are presented at the Locus Awards in June.

The categories are a lot like the Hugos and the Nebulas, except that instead of just a single best novel of speculative fiction, they divide the best novel prize into separate science fiction, fantasy, horror and young adult categories.

When I was younger the awards didn’t seem as prominent as they are now. I don’t know if that’s just my perception, but the internet seems to have made them more dominant that they used to be.

I like the way they showcase the best novels in each major sub-genre of speculative fiction.

It’s the one poll I vote in.  (Normally, anyway. This year, for the first time, I became a supporting member of WorldCon, which means I can also vote for the Hugos.)

So I had my list of novels I wanted to vote for. Skipped the ones, like horror, that I don’t read, and went down the list.

For novels, I vote for stories that have the trifecta. Great characters, interesting stories, excellent world-building.

When I got to the shorter stories, however, I have different criteria.

I only need one or two of these to consider a shorter story nomination-worthy.

The story that I marked as my number one novelette choice had a tired plot, and while the main character was good, no one else stood out. But the world-building, and the idea behind it. Oh, wow.

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