I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
Best Short Story
I had a hard time rating some of these, but not the first and even second story.
Fandom for Robots: we'll written, hilarious and just plain fun. What happens when a robot finds a fandom with a robot? This short story. It's well worth a read. And the robot and his interactions with a fellow fan writer? Just delicious!
Sun, Moon, Dust: I didn't expect to like this as much as aI did. High fantasy, but the grandma is salty, and Sun, Moon and Dust are all likable while being very distinct personalities. The warmth and humor ended up winning me over despite not usually adoring high fantasy and won this story the number two spot.
Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand: Not 100% sure I fully understood this, but it was creepy and effective nonetheless. I wasn't sure this would make #3, but I simply enjoyed it more than the fourth and fifth entries, and the DNV entry, so here we are.
Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience: I just didn't get the ending, but it wasn't quite as depressing as The Martian Obelisk or Carnival Nine, and I felt I understood it, quite frankly, more than those two. Felt like it was trying too hard to be smart, so it ended up feeling pretentious to me, and made me feel dumb as well.
The Martian Obelisk: To be frank, I didn't hate this story, but I didn't love it either. It simply got spot number five because I didn't see anything glaring that would keep it from getting any nomination, but I also hated Carnival Nine.
Carnival Nine: Robots + depressing + outside stress. Add to that that both Martian Obelisk and this story making me go 'I intellectually understand the point you're making, but I'm not sure why you got me here' and I simply didn't feel like this deserved the top spot.