Fiction Fix: Hugo Award Nominees

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The Fiction Fix is your weekly dose of short story. If that’s not your drug of choice, too bad: consider it medicine. Every week, we’ll scour the literary magazines you don’t have time to read, online and in print, and let you know where to find one story worth reading.

Only this week, we’re not just pointing you to one story. There are no less than nine links to excerpts, stories, and downloads for the 2009 Hugo Award nominations on the website for the 67th World Science Fiction Convention. If that sounds way too geeky for you, check out this list of some past Hugo winners: Michael Chabon, Susanna Clarke, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, J.K. Rowling, Isaac Asimov… the Hugos might presented each year at a giant nerd-con, but the work upon which the awards are bestowed quite often transcends the boundaries of genre.

Read our thoughts on two of the short story nominees, both of which have “monkey” in the title, after the jump.

26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss by Kij Johnson

“Aimee has had the act for three years now. She was living in a month-by-month furnished apartment under a flight path for the Salt Lake City airport. She was hollow, as if something had chewed a hole in her body and the hole had grown infected.”

The character’s name is rather appropriate – this story reminds us of everything we love about Aimee Bender.

Evil Robot Monkey by Mary Robinette Kowal

“Sly bared his teeth, knowing these people would take it as a grin, but he meant it as a threat. Swinging down from his stool, he crossed his room in three long strides and pressed his dirty hand against the window. Still grinning, he wrote SSA. Outside, the letters would be reversed.”

In a very small space, Kowal makes her evil robot monkey entirely human and sympathetic. Click through to the story for a downloadable PDF chapbook, illustrated by the author.