Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Sideways Awards

I don’t really follow alternate history, but for those of you who do, here are the nominees for this year’s Sideways Awards:

Short Form

“The Weight of the Sunrise,” by Vylar Kaftan
“A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel,” by Ken Liu
“Tollund,” by Adam Roberts
“Uncertainty,” by Kristine Kathryn Smith
“Cayos in the Stream,” by Harry Turtledove
“Blair’s War,” by Ian Watson

Long Form

1920: America’s Great War, by Robert Conroy
The Secret of Abdu el Yezdi, by Mark Hodder
The Windsor Faction, by D. J. Taylor
Surrounded by Enemies: What If Kennedy Survived Dallas?, by Bryce Zabel

I believe the judges are pretty strict about what constitutes real alternate history. Not sure how they feel about stories that lack plot and therefore aren’t necessarily really stories. I know in the past Ken Liu was nominated for the Hugo for a novella in the style of a documentary, that came across to me as too documentary-ish and not enough of a real story, and the name of his entry above makes me wonder if this is another like that. He’s a good writer, though, I think.

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3 Comments Sideways Awards

  1. Craig

    “Sidewise” not Sideways — apparently Tor got that wrong, though they’ve corrected it.

    Looking over the list of nominations, there are a few not-really-stories: Jeff Greenfield, Then Everything Changed); Jess Nevins, “An Alternate History of Chinese Science Fiction”; Kim Newman and Paul McAuley, “The 2005 Hugo Award Ceremony Script”.

    I don’t follow the Sidewises much, having decided their taste in AH just doesn’t match mine closely enough to be worth while.

  2. Rachel

    I’ll definitely blame the “Sideways” instead of “Sidewise” on tor.com, even though I could very well have misread it.

  3. Bryce Zabel

    Hi Rachel… If you were referring to Surrounded as potentially something that lacks plot and therefore isn’t really a story, I just want to assure you that, at least in my opinion, does not apply. I think it’s a compelling story, presented in an interesting form: as if it’s a Newsweek or Time special edition looking back on the JFK close call from a 50-year perspective. Craig, I hope you’ll give it a shot… it might surprise you. Thanks for commenting!

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