Fiction Friday: “The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard

I skipped last Friday because last Friday was the 4th of July, and most Americans have bigger, better things to do than toil away at their computers looking for free fiction to read. But this week, I’m back, I want to start highlighting some stories from the 2014 Hugo Ballot. I don’t do this to steer any votes so much as I want to make sure people get a chance to read, for free, what’s been nominated. Even if you can’t vote, you should still be allowed to enjoy these pieces of fiction. So let’s get started.

“The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard is set in the same world as last year’s Hugo and Nebula-nominated novella, On a Red Station, Drifting, and this novelette has already snagged the Nebula for 2014. The universe de Bodard has created is interesting, compelling, and I have to say I enjoyed “The Waiting Stars” even more than On a Red Station, Drifting, and I enjoyed that one quite a lot. And the ending. . .  oh, this has such a good ending.

Originally published in the anthology The Other Half of the Sky, you can read this story for free on de Bodard’s site, or download it (for free) on your e-reader. Both options are available at the link below:

Click here to read THE WAITING STARS for free

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Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

6 thoughts on “Fiction Friday: “The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard

  1. I read this close to a month ago, so my memory is a little shaky, but I agree, that was an awesome ending.

    I’ve enjoyed all the short fiction I’ve read by her, but have not read any of her novels. I really should, but I know you understand about TBR piles.

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    1. You know, what I’ve read about her Aztec novels just doesn’t appeal to me. But her short fiction I’ve read to date I’ve been really happy with. Sometimes, that’s how authors hit me. And who knows, she may write a novel or new trilogy of novels that’s right up my alley. 🙂

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  2. I quite enjoyed this one. In fact, the novelette category had some of my favorite contributions.

    I feel like de Bodard did something with this story that many writers (including other nominees) struggle with. She managed to tell a story in an already exiting universe without making previous knowledge of that universe a requirement for the reader. I picked up the story with no knowledge of this world or emotional attachment to the characters and it still worked quite well for me. I hope she decides to release all of these connected stories in some kind of collection or something. I’d totally check it out.

    Love the picture too 🙂

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    1. I can tell you that “The Waiting Stars” only shares the world-building: no characters repeat with On a Red Station, Drifting, which was a distraction…. I read that novella last year, so when I was reading “The Waiting Stars,” I kept wondering if I should remember anyone! I now know that’s not the case, but you’re right about this story being set in an existing universe but being perfectly stand-alone.

      The picture is what the author has on her website. I couldn’t find any credit for it, so….

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