I use that fishing metaphor intentionally -- Alyssa Wong's story "The Fisher Queen" was about catching mermaids and having sex with them.
To be blunt, the best sci-fi and fantasy this year is heavy on the fantasy.
I think Pratchett may get a posthumous Solstice Award in the future.
Joanna Russ received that award for 2014 (she passed away in 2011).
The target audience of the recipients of this year's awards is the underdog sci-fi lover, for better or worse.
I guess I'll have to wait until 2017 to find out who won the 2015 awards. Not that the inclusivity is a bad thing: sci-fi has always been a safe haven for diverse identities to imagine alternative pasts and futures.
But perhaps our intrepid stereotype, comic book guy, won't be bothered by the awards' dates. For this reader at least, the diversity is refreshing, even in its conspicuousness.
Some readers will find that the short stories and novellas are better than the novel excerpts.
Others may like the "teaser" element of the excepted content.
There are a few spaceships mixed in among the lascivious humanoids, maybe even a bionic body part or two.