The credit card bill (if not, just yet, the convention itself) confirms that I am a paid-up member of Anticipation, the 2009 WorldCon. This does not quite mean that I will definitely be in Montréal next August, but that is certainly the plan, finances and life events permitting. Long-time AtWQ readers will perhaps have guessed just what kind of bind this puts me in. It's a little difficult, after all, to decry the degraded, provincial tastes of Hugo voters when you are one of them. Not impossible, obviously, but it would be nice, if and when the time comes to complain loudly about next year's Hugo nominees, to have a list of alternative nominees which I had actually cast my vote for. And since I rarely read stories or books in the year of their publication, I find myself, with less than four months left in the year, somewhat overwhelmed by the wealth of material available.
So, my question to you is, what genre stories have you read since January that you think are award-worthy? Obviously, precedence will be given to stories available online, though I've also been checking the tables of contents of 2008's Big Three issues at Fictionwise (and, in the process, getting a close look at what had been, up until now, only a mathematical fact--if I read only these magazines in my search for Hugo-worthy stories, I will have sampled only a handful of female authors), and given their prevalence in the last few years I suppose I should give original-story anthologies a look too. Note that I'm asking for story recommendations, not novels--it's a little late in the game, not to mention a little expensive, for me to start seeking out 2008 novels just in case they happen to be Hugo material, and at any rate I'm much more interested in the short fiction categories, if only because it's in these categories that a few votes can make a real difference.
Over to you, then.