Holy wah, Hugo nominations are open already! My short fiction reading has fallen off in a pretty severe way the past few months, but I still read a lot of great things that came out last year. Take a look around, and then please point me at all the best things you read from 2016! This list will probably grow as I come across more great work that I didn’t get to in the past year …
- The Desert Glass-Maker and the Jeweler of Berevyar, Rose Lemberg (Uncanny).
- Smooth Stones & Empty Bones, Bennett North (F&SF Jan/Feb). FULL DISCLOSURE: this is my best writing ladybro. But this is a cool, haunting story that you should read.
- The Godbeard, Lavie Tidhar (Strange Horizons).
- How the God Auzh-Aravik Brought Order to the World Outside the World, Arkady Martine (Strange Horizons). Is this gorgeously-written story with real, grisly bones in its world and its characters my favorite all year? MAYBE.
- When He First Laid Eyes, Rachael K. Jones (Fireside).
- Haunted, Sarah Gailey (Fireside).
- Meltwater, Benjamin Kinney (Strange Horizons).
- You Are Not the Hero of This Story, Caroline Yoachim (Daily Science Fiction). Do you want to feel All the Things in one little flash story? Of course you do.
- Be Not Unequally Yoked, Alexis A. Hunter (Shimmer). This is the best Amish were-horse story you will ever, ever read.
- That Lucky Old Sun, Carrie Cuinn (Apex).
- The Family Ghost, Rati Mehrotra (The Sockdolager). This story is so good and it just makes me feel happy when I think of it, which is often.
- Breathe, Cassandra Khaw (Clarkesworld). Do try to breathe when you read this. It may get tricky.
- This Is a Letter to My Son, KJ Kabza (Strange Horizons).
- More Heat Than Light, Charlotte Ashley (F&SF May/June). Canadian alternate history!
- The Signal Birds, Octavia Cade (Liminal).
- Fish Dance, Eric Schwitzgebel (Clarkesworld). Another top favorite story from this year.
- The Gentleman of Chaos, A. Merc Rustad (Apex).
- Laws of Night and Silk, Seth J Dickinson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies). If you loved being emotionally devastated by Traitor Baru Cormorant as much as I did, you’ll love this one too.
- My Grandmother’s Bones, SL Huant (Daily Science Fiction).
- The Wombly, KL Morris (Shimmer).
- Talking to Dead People, Sarah Pinsker (F&SF Sept/Oct).
- Binaries, SB Divya (Lightspeed).
- After We Walked Away, Erica Satifka (Apex). You had me at “it’s an Omelas story”.
Novelettes (how did I not read more novelette-length fiction last year?! please let me know your recs):
- One Sister, Two Sisters, Three, James Patrick Kelly (Clarkesworld)
- The Long Fall Up, William Ledbetter (F&SF May/June). Another good writing friend and another great story.
- The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde
- You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay; Alyssa Wong; Uncanny
- Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
- Hammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw (CTHULHU MYTHOS HARDBOILED NOIR!!)
- The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home, Catherynne Valente. (I’m not ready for this series to be over.) (ALSO I believe this should be eligible for the Best Series award!)
- The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin. (I’m more than ready to have Book #3 of this series in my grubby little hands, though.)
- Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer.
- Ghost Talkers, Mary Robinette Kowal.
- Everfair, Nisi Shawl.
- Cloudbound, Fran Wilde.
- Infomocracy, Malka Older.
- All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders.
Okay bye time to go weep tears of blood over my short story and novel selections.