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Paul Kincaid is unimpressed by this year's BSFA short fiction nominees. Of Paul Cornell's offering, for instance:

And what we are being told is nonsense, but it is nonsense engagingly wrapped up with the weird technology of a weird world. I’ve already read at least one other story set in this universe, so I’m already familiar with the ‘folds’ and what have you (though when something is described as being the colour of folds, what on earth are we supposed to make of that?), but beyond this what do we actually have? There’s a little bit of sex and an awful lot of fights and chases, a confrontation with the baddies that comes straight out of some Victorian melodrama, and a last minute rescue that is so deus ex machina that you are left wondering how the hell that happened. It is an entertaining potboiler, but seriously, who might imagine this is one of the best stories of the year?

Still, if you're at Eastercon, don't forget to submit your ballot by noon on Saturday -- box on the BSFA table in the dealer's room.



Niall Harrison is a reader and fan.
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