The Analytical Laboratory Awards

2016 Analytical Laboratory Results

Once again, we’d like to thank everyone who voted in our annual poll on the previous year’s issues. Your votes help your favorite writers and artists by rewarding them directly and concretely for outstanding work. They help you by giving us a better feel for what you like and don’t like—which helps us know what to give you in the future.

We have six categories: novellas, novelettes, short stories, fact articles, poems, and covers. In each category, we asked you to list your three favorite items, in descending order of preference. Each first place vote counts as three points, second place two, and third place one. The total number of points for each item is divided by the maximum it could have received (if everyone had ranked it 1) and multiplied by 10. The result is the score listed below, on a scale of 0 (nobody voted for it) to 10 (everybody ranked it first). In practice, scores run lower in categories with many entries than in those with only a few. For comparison, the number in parentheses at the head of each category is the average for that category.


  1.  “The Coward’s Option,” Adam-Troy Castro (3.54)

  2. “Wyatt Earp 2.0,” Wil McCarthy (3.03)

  3. “The Soul Behind the Face,” Adam-Troy Castro (2.36)

  4. “Progress Report,” Rajnar Vajra (2.31)

  5. “The Journeyman: Into the Great North Wood,” Michael F. Flynn (1.59)


  1. “Detroit Hammersmith, Zero-Gravity Toilet Repairman [Retired],” Suzanne Palmer (1.79)

  2. “Dreams of the Rocket Men,” C. Stuart Hardwick (1.54)

  3. “Diamond Jim and the Dinosaurs,” Rosemary Claire Smith (1.33)

  4. “Playthings” Stephen L. Burns (1.23)

  5. “Prodigal” Gord Sellar (1.03)


  1.  “In the Absence of Instructions to the Contrary,” Frank Wu (1.85)

  2. “The Continuing Saga of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” James Van Pelt (1.64)

  3. “Death of a Starship Poet,” James Van Pelt (1.38)

  4. “The Battle of Ceres,” Karl Bunker (1.18)

  5. “Jewels from the Sky,” Brendan DuBois (.92)

  6. “Rocket Surgery,” Effie Seiberg (.92)


  1. “Energy for the Future,” Richard A. Lovett (3.28)

  2. “Dawn Comes to the Asteroid Belt,” Richard A. Lovett (3.03)

  3. “A Mind of Its Own, Pts. 1 & 2,” Edward M. Lerner (2.97)

  4. “Human 2.0: Being All We Can Be, Pts. 1 & 2,” Edward M. Lerner (2.46)

  5. “Here We Go Loopedy Loop, Pts. 1 & 2,” Edward M. Lerner (1.69)

POETRY (1.24)

  1. “Somebody I Used To Love Asks Me Who Marie Curie Is,” Carly Rubin (2.72)

  2. “Black Hole Blues,” G.O. Clark (2.67)

  3. “Paint It Black,” Bruce Boston (1.85)

  4. (tie) “Final Dispatch,” Robert Frazier (1.54)
    (tie) “Soft Collision,” Scott E. Green & Herb Kauderer (1.54)

COVER (1.46)

  1. December, by Vincent DiFate (2.36)
  2. June, by Bob Eggleton (2.15)
  3. March, by Eldar Zakirov (1.96)
  4.  April, by Bob Eggleton (1.69)
  5. (tie) January/February, by Maurizio Manzieri (1.59)
    (tie) October, by Sandeep Karunakaran (1.59)

This year, stories in series ranked high. Rosemary Claire Smith’s novelette placement, “Diamond Jim and the Dinosaurs,” as well as both Adam-Troy Castro’s novella win (“The Coward’s Option”) and placement (“The Soul Behind the Face”) attest to that. Both of Adam-Troy’s stories are follow-ups to other pieces, but so self-contained that if you didn’t know it, you wouldn’t know it . . . you know? The same goes for Michael F. Flynn’s “The Journeyman: Into the Great North Wood.” It’s entirely its own story but also reveals part of a larger picture if you’ve read the others.

We also saw impressive debuts for new and new-to-Analog authors: Suzanne Palmer’s win for “Detroit Hammersmith” and C. Stuart Hardwick’s runner-up “Dreams of the Rocket Men” hopefully mean more from them in the future, to say nothing of Frank Wu’s “In the Absence of Instructions to the Contrary,” for short story. Also notable are Brendan DuBois’ and Effie Sieberg’s runner-up stories, because the short story category is so competitive.

The fact category wasn’t much of a surprise: Richard A. Lovett and Edward M. Lerner divided the positions between them, since they were both particularly prolific this year, putting out a lot of great articles. Clearly, you, the readers, thought so, too.

Then there’s the December cover, by Vincent DiFate. I sometimes play a little game, called, “Is There Anything Vin Can’t Draw?” where I throw things like mantis aliens, whales, elephants, and dog brains (for Gord Sellar’s novelette, “Prodigal”) at him, to see if he can rise to the task. The answer, in all cases, is yes. I’ve had fun with it, and I think the results speak for themselves.

Since AnLab votes are so important in encouraging authors and artists to do their best work, and to giving you the kind of magazine you most like to read, we hope to see even more next year. Use our online ballot, e-mail, or “snail mail”! (Remember to be careful to vote in the right category, as listed in the annual index. Sometimes a few votes are wasted by being cast in the wrong category, and those simply can’t be counted. Using our online ballot makes this much less likely.)