2016 Award Eligibility Post


I’ve spent a great deal of the year working on longer projects–including edits for Her Body and Other Parties–so my eligibility post for 2016 is pretty short. I published two original short stories this year: “The Old Women Who Were Skinned” at The Fairy Tale Review and “My Body, Herself” at Uncanny Magazine. I also published two nonfiction/related-work pieces this year: “The Morals of the Stories” at Tiny Donkey and “How to Suppress Women’s Criticism” at Electric Literature.

Awards Eligibility & Rec List

This was a very quiet year for me, publication-wise. I had a lot of reprints from 2014, but only a handful of original short stories. They are:

Eligible Short Stories:
Carmen Maria Machado, “Horror Story” (Granta)
Carmen Maria Machado’s “Descent” (Nightmare)

Here’s what I read this year that I’m either nominating for Nebulas, or (in the case of the Interfictions stories, which I’m not eligible to nominate as their editor) suggesting for other people’s consideration. This is an evolving list; I just want to get it up on my blog.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Signal to Noise

Eugene Fischer, “The New Mother” (Asimov‘s)

Short Stories
Amy Parker, “Kingdom by the Sea” (Interfictions)
Rebecca Campbell, “I Just Think It Will Happen, Soon” (Interfictions)
Debbie Urbanski, “A Primer on Separation” (Interfictions)
Indrapramit Das, “Psychopomp” (Interfictions)
Shveta Thakrar, “Shimmering, Warm and Bright” (Interfictions)
Sam J. Miller, “Calved
Sam J. Miller, “When Your Child Strays from God” (Clarkesworld)
Alyssa Wong, “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” (Nightmare)
Lisa Bolekaja, “Three Voices
Sadie Bruce, “”Little Girls in Bone Museums” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
Kelly Link, “The Game of Smash and Recovery” (Strange Horizons)
Alice Sola Kim, “A Residence for Friendless Ladies” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
Rachel Swirsky, “Tea Time” (Lightspeed)

My Campbell Award Eligibility & Recommendations

I made an awards eligibility post a few weeks ago, but it occurs to me that I should make one specifically for the Campbell, since it covers two years’ worth of work.

I am in my second qualifying year for the Campbell Award. My first professional sale was to Strange Horizons, for “Inventory,” which was published in January 2013. Since then, I’ve published 19 short stories in a mix of genre/non-genre magazines.

Last year, I included my three favorite stories from 2013 in the Campbell anthology.

(I also published one other genre story that wasn’t included in the anthology: “Real Women Have Bodies” at FiveChapters.)

In her NPR review of the 2013 Campbell anthology, K. Tempest Bradford recommended me for nomination, writing:

Carmen Maria Machado’s stories build and build until they surround and ensnare, and at the end you’re always glad to be all tangled up. My favorite, “Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU,” defies explanation. Call it postmodern, or fan fiction, or Lovecraft meets Dick Wolf — all labels fall short of capturing the essence of this story.

This year, the 2014 Campbell anthology will include:

  • “California Statutes Concerning Defrauding an Innkeeper” / AGNI
  • Mothers” / Interfictions
  • The Husband Stitch” / Granta (recently selected for inclusion in Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 2)

In addition to these stories, I published three other speculative stories, including:

When it comes to my personal ballot, here are the other writers on my shortlist:

My Nebula-Eligible Stories

In 2014, I published half my stories at SF/F-specific venues (Lightspeed twice, Interfictions) and half at non-genre places (Granta, AGNI, Yalobusha Review). All of them were non-realist, and some mix of fantasy and horror. Here are my Nebula-eligible stories for the upcoming awards cycle. Thank you, as always, for your consideration.


The Husband Stitch,” Granta. This story has gotten more love than anything else I’ve published this year. J.Y. Yang said: “I started reading. And then kept reading. And kept reading. The beauty of this story is the way it takes urban myth, freshly scraped off the walls of the Internet, and kneads it into something electric.” Over at SF Signal, A.C. Wise wrote: “Nearly everyone knows how the story will end, how it must end, and yet the sense of impending doom, the question of when crawls beneath the reader’s skin and leads them through the story.” K. Tempest Bradford included it in her “Best Short Stories for the Week of November 10th – 15th,” saying: “This is exactly the kind of SF you’d expect to find in a magazine like Granta — language spun like gossamer, linear narrative dipping in and out of some other mode, be it the past, the future, or the stories of others, a mysterious truth held tight in the hand, a surprise to people unfamiliar with fantasy or horror but sweetly expected by those of us who are.” And perhaps most excitingly, Ellen Datlow mentioned it during a World Fantasy Convention panel when asked about her favorite work of the past year.

Short Stories:

Mothers,” Interfictions. This story was a finalist in the American Short Fiction Contest, judged by Amy Hempel. Gillian Daniels at Fantastic Stories calls the prose “tight and gorgeous,” and says “the main character of ‘Mothers’ [functions] in worlds where explanations hide behind curtains that are never lifted. [She] can only do the best with the circumstances offered to [her].”

Please Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead.” First published in the John Joseph Adams anthology Help Fund My Robot Army & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects, and later reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine. K. Tempest Bradford included this in her “Best Short Stories for the Week of July 7th – 12th” post at io9, saying “The concept is interesting but I had my doubts about whether or not it could be pulled off without seeming gimmicky. I should have known that Machado’s story would be brilliant and work exactly right, given that she’s already proved her skill at spinning great tales through unconventional story structures.”

Observations About Eggs from the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa,” Lightspeed Magazine. Lois Tilton at Locus Magazine recommended this story: “Eggs as cosmic metaphor and pickup line – unusual and original premise.”

California Statutes Concerning Defrauding an Innkeeper,” AGNI. A genre- and form-bending romp through a magic-realist road trip gone terribly awry. (Print only – available on the SFWA forums)

Ekphrasis,” Yalobusha Review. For the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure enthusiasts out there.