A robot thing helps a young boy mature and thrive on the beach of a different (?) future planet.
This story recently won the Hugo for Best Short Story of the year. It was up against four other stories, all available online. I have vowed to read these other four stories, if only to see if they are as esoteric as Tideland. I'm not going to say Tideland is bad. It is not. It just didn't go where I would have liked it to. This robot-shiny-thing-gatherer is referred to as female. Why? And why is she gathering these gems for necklaces that are to be given to people she would never be able to hand out unless for the chance meeting with Belvedere?
The mood was effective however. You felt the sand on this beach and the boy, Belvedere is well crafted. It's just that, for me, the whole didn't hold together. Much ado about very little. I look forward to reading the competition.
Read it here.