As previously noted (here, here and here), I've been populating my potential shortlists of Hugo nominees by reading the output of Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Asimov's, Subterranean Press and Strange Horizons for the calendar year of 2015. I've now finished that process and also read a few other bits and pieces, including most of the stories nominated for the BSFA Award. I'm aware that my list varies quite a lot from other people's, but I'm also encouraged by recent reports suggesting that the best outcome for the awards is simply for lots of people to nominate lots of good stuff. So I'm not going to worry too much about nominating tactically; I'm just going to make sure that I have five good nominations in each category.
From the last quarter of the year, my favourite stories from my chosen venues were
[short story] "Some Gods of El Paso", by Maria Dahvana Headley – a great alternate history of emotional transfer.
[short story] "Points of Origin", by Marissa K. Lingen – a very nice story of parenting.
[short story] "Summer at Grandma's House", by Hao Jingfang, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan – gay granddaughter helps her grandmother's genetic engineering research.
[novelette] "So Much Cooking", by Naomi Kritzer – lovely story of escaping the plague.
[novella] "Citadel of Weeping Pearls", by Aliette de Bodard – relieved that I liked this after bouncing off her recent novel; splendidly intricate emotional tale of Asian space opera.
[novelette] “English Wildlife” by Alan Smale – wow, really unusual story of ancient English lion magic.
[short story] "The Game of Smash and Recovery", by Kelly Link – good story of what might happen to bright children in the future
[short story] "Liminal Grid", by Jaymee Goh – cybercrime in near-future Malaysia – rather good.
So my current set of long lists is
Aliette de Bodard, "Citadel of Weeping Pearls" (Asimov's, Oct/Nov 2015)
Lois McMaster Bujold, Penric's Demon (Spectrum)
Paul Cornell, Witches of Lychford
Eugene Fischer, "The New Mother" (Asimov's, Apr/May 2015)
Kristine Kathryn Rusch "Inhuman Garbage" (Asimov's, Mar 2015)
Lisa Shapter, A Day In Deep Freeze (Aqueduct Press)
Allen M. Steele, "The Long Wait" (Asimov's, Jan 2015)
Eneasz Brodski, "Red Legacy" (Asimov's, Feb 2015)
Paul Evanby, "Utrechtenaar" (1, 2 – Strange Horizons, June 2015
Naomi Kritzer, "So Much Cooking" (Clarkesworld, November 2015)
Sarah Pinsker, "Our Lady of the Open Road" (Asimov's, Jun 2015)
Priya Sharma, "Fabulous Beasts" (Tor.com, July 2015)
Vandana Singh, "Ambiguity Machines: An Examination" (Tor.com, Apr 2015)
Alan Smale, “English Wildlife” (Asimov's, Oct/Nov 2015)
Karl Bunker, "Caisson" (Asimov's, August 2015)
Nino Cipri, "The Shape of My Name" (Tor.com, Mar 2015)
Jaymee Goh, "Liminal Grid" (Strange Horizons, Nov 2015)
Hao Jingfang, tr Carmen Yiling Yan, "Summer at Grandma's House" (Clarkesworld, Oct 2015)
Maria Dahvana Headley, "Some Gods of El Paso" (Tor.com, Oct 2015)
L.S. Johnson, "Vacui Magia" (Strange Horizons, Jan 2015)
Marissa K. Lingen, "Points of Origin" (Tor.com, Nov 2015)
Kelly Link, "The Game of Smash and Recovery" (Strange Horizons, Oct 2015)
Jay O'Connell, "Willing Flesh" (Asimov's, Apr/May 2015)
Robert Reed, "The Empress in Her Glory" (Clarkesworld, Apr 2015)
Kelly Robson, "The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill" (Clarkesworld, Feb 2015)
Iona Sharma, "Nine Thousand Hours" (Strange Horizons, April 2015)
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, "Everything Beneath You" (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
Wole Talebai, "A Short History of Migration in Five Fragments of You" (Omenana)
There are rather too many short stories, always an over-populated category, and I have a new understanding for why it has been so difficult to winnow down that particular corner of the field in recent years. Now I look forward to browsing other people's recommendations – looking particularly at the Rocket Stack Rank and Ladybusiness aggregations of ratings – and also seeing what the Nebula shortlist looks like before I finalise my choices.