by Robert Reed
Novella, won the Hugo a few years back. Pretty strong scenario and building of character and story together, although it didn't work for me quite as well as some of Reed's stuff, particularly "Truth" from 20008’s nominees. Still it's a good story, managing a surprisingly nuanced story of religion's undermining of women's position, and some very unique incidents. Reed continues to demonstrate an admirable ability to think in large scale, to imagine what huge numbers actually looks like, on the physical and especially social level. Here, there’s a deep exploration of what hyper-expansion actually means, and what kind of unwholesome but not completely monstrous social elements it can be linked to. In a related issue, it’s very intriguing to see this scenario of religious society with some severe systemic abuses to women, yet in a much more sublte and nuanced way than the stock science fiction use of this theme.
Better than: True Names by Cory Doctrow and Benjamin Rosenbaum
Worse than: Down the Bright Way by Robert Reed