"The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" by Elizabeth Hand (Stories)
"Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance" by Paul Park (F&SF)
These were the two best novellas from 2010 that I read. Both are brilliantly written, involving and mysterious. Both stories concern secret histories, or hidden histories. "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon" concerns members of the staff of the Museum of American Aviation and Aerospace, who gather after learning that a coworker is seriously ill, and, in an elegiac gesture, decide to test fly an early heavier-than-air craft. "Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance" is a meta-fictional history of the author’s own family, past, present, and future, reaching back to the Civil War and forward to a depopulated, exhausted future. Both stories are filled with wonderful images and unexpected turns. I am not sure which one will be at the top of my ballot.
“The Lifecycle of Software Objects” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
"Dead Man's Run" by Robert Reed (F&SF)
"Troika" by Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines)
"The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window" by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean)
These are fine, award-worthy novellas. I would be pleased to see any of these on the final ballot. My quandary is that one of them will have to be left off my list of nominees, since there are only five spots available.
"The Sultan of the Clouds" by Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov's)
“Seven Cities of Gold” by David Moles (PS Publishing)
“Alone” by Robert Reed (Godlike Machines)
“Blue and Gold” by K.J. Parker (Subterranean)
These were quite good, but won’t make my nominating ballot, alas. A good year for novellas, I think, and there were several more published in 2010 that I wish I had gotten to read in time for voting.
Locus Recommended Reading list for 2010
Locus Year in Review issue, February 2011
Hugo Awards at the annual World Science Fiction Convention