I will not try to share my manic happy, unadulterated, stupid grinning glee. I've known Aliette for a while over the internets and got to meet her in person at the first Villa Diodati, which we've both faithfully attended ever since. I'm a big fan of her work: I find it poignant, twisty and very very different from my own stuff, which I appreciate (I like to be surprised). Ben I met at Villa Diodati 3: he's one of the funniest people I know, and I know a lot of funny people. Also, he talks even more than I do. I respect people who can break my records. Third, I've become a fan of his wacky surrealism and plan on incorporating sentient, saintly oranges in my own work. Mary Robinette Kowal I know only over Internet but she's fun and I love her work.
Aliette has gone through the trouble of putting together a fiction sampler for the Campbell here. Even if you can't vote for the Campbell I recommend downloading it because, hey, it's free! Check out "The Last Xuyan Bride". If you've ever wondered what an Aztec+Chinese detective story might look like, well, this is it. It's also alternate history, in case you were wondering, and the plot snaps right under your eyes. Now, go read!
Evil Robot Monkeys by Mary Robinette Kowal is available as an audiostory. Six minutes of awesome. Free, of course.
Benjamin Rosenbaum is on the Hugo ballot for his novella, True Names, cowritten with Cory Doctorow. This one is also for free! It starts thus:
Beebe fried the asteroid to slag when it left, exterminating millions of
That's the kind of first line everyone wishes they'd written. And now this blog post will be cut short as my attention has wandered to Ben's novella and the sound of the printer, spitting out page after page of deliciousness which I will shortly read.