2016 awards reading

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 …

Short Stories:

Novelettes (how did I not read more novelette-length fiction last year?! please let me know your recs):


  • 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.

2017 writing goals

Putting these down somewhere so that I have some sense of accountability. In 2016, I wrote 27 short stories, 1 novelette, and 2 poems, edited one novel, and wrote another. Now that the kids are in preschool two morning a week–something that really helped me churn out the words during this fall and winter–I’m hoping to do even more in the new year.

Word goal: 350k. An increase of about 16%. Tough, but do-able. Now that the kids are older a minimum of 500 words a day seems like a manageable minimum instead of my previous 250.

New story goal: 25 short stories/flash. For the first part of 2016, I wrote a short story a week, and I’d like to do that for the first few months of the new year too. The total goal this time around is a little less than last year, because I also want to close out 2017 with a …

Finished novella draft. Much ado about space opera! I have an outline, character descriptions, and scene synopses filled out in Scrivener. We’re doing this.

Edit Starstruck. New year = time to edit my 2016 NaNoWriMo draft with fresh eyes.

First draft of a new novel. Not sure yet what this will be; there are a few ideas on my radar but we’ll see which one sings the sweetest siren song.

And I think that’s it! Looks a little overwhelming to have it all written down in one place here, but I have high hopes. At least from this side of the New Year.

2016 award eligibility post

Coming soon – a post where I slobber over all the best SF&F that I read from this past year. But the much shorter list to write is my own award eligible work from 2016, when I made my first pro sale! Here are the big three that I had out this year.

  • Tomorrow’s World“, Daily Science Fiction – Les Miserables meets SFF.
  • Dear Ammi“, Baen.com – 2016’s Jim Baen Memorial Award Winner. Asteroid miners, raiders, and a future society that’s failed to deal with the same inequalities we deal with today.
  • To Touch the Sun Before It Fades“, Persistent Visions – A distant scientist waits for news of a family tragedy mid-mission.

And if you happen to be reading for the Rhysling Award, too, I had two poems out as well:

  • “The Dragon”, F&SF (September/October 2016)
  • “The Cut Worm Forgives the Plow”, Asimov’s (May/June 2016)

“Stop shaming Trump voters!”

 … No.
Because it IS shameful to look at a package deal that not only includes but centralizes a great big pile of white nationalism and say, “Yes, I’ll have that, please and thank you.”
Because it’s shameful to demand, over and over again, that liberals “understand” them. Where do you think a lot of us “big-city elites” grew up? Where do you think we came from, and why do you think we left? We understand very well because we’re the girls who grew up being told that we could be anything we wanted to be (as long as we were wives and mothers first and foremost), the LGBTQIA kids who got bullied and kicked out of homes, the Muslim kids who got called “Osama”, the black kids who had the N-word scratched into their lockers and painted on their driveways, the mentally ill who got told to just suck it up so the neighbors wouldn’t think we’re weird. We understand plenty. With a media that caters primarily to centralizing them and their importance in the national narrative, how could we not understand?
Because it’s shameful to say “it’s going to be okay” to people who your President-Elect has vowed to hurt. It’s going to be okay for YOU. Not for everyone. This isn’t the same as how you felt when Obama got elected eight years ago; his “coming for your guns” was your projection of his views. The people who are scared that it won’t be okay now are scared of the actual promises your candidate has made, the real “first 100 days” list he’s published.
Because it’s shameful to pretend that this is about their economic anxiety. Wisconsin has only 4.9% unemployment and look what happened here. Check the demographics on who voted for whom: the lowest income brackets, the hurting poor, did not vote for Trump. But the middle and upper classes did. And because it’s shameful to let people believe that the manufacturing jobs that have long since dried up are coming back. Automation and computerization aren’t going away. This isn’t about jobs and it’s ridiculous not to rip off that thin veneer of wrapping paper.
Because it’s shameful that the media is already churning out puff pieces on Melania Trump’s favorite designers and how relatable the Trump family really is. Because it’s shameful to normalize and humanize and rationalize this kind of hate, because we’ve seen before what happens next.
Because it’s shameful they’ve asked us to endure eight years of calling Obama a secret Muslim terrorist but now insist that we’re not respecting them enough unless we go along quietly and don’t object. Because it’s shameful that they suggest the same First Amendment that let them call him the N-word is now too lax if it lets us stand in the streets and demand that the government treat the least among us with justice.
Because it’s shameful to lower our voices now. We can’t change who our next President is, but if we keep our voices raised and our feet on the ground, we have a chance to mitigate some of the harm that’s coming.
And because it’s shameful that I’ve bought in to the last eight years of trying to play nice with a group of people who have refused to compromise and meet anywhere in the middle with an intelligent, compassionate President in the White House who extended olive branch after olive branch and who saw the national conversation dragged ever right-ward despite that. I’m done being quiet, I’m done being polite. I’m done not rocking the boat (and I’m ashamed that it took this for me to get there). If that disturbs you, then you know where the Unfollow and Unfriend buttons are.

Recent publication updates!


Haven’t posted here for a while–I’ll have to be better about that! In the meantime, here’s the latest and greatest work of mine to hit your Kindle, computer screen, and/or page.

To Touch the Sun Before It Fades” at Persistent Visions: a story about relationships, loss, and ice mining on Pluto–and free to read!

A Way With Words” in the inaugural issue of Helios Quarterly Magazine, about a failure to communicate with extraterrestrials (and coworkers).

And a poem, too: “The Dragon” in the September/October issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction, about the fairy tale princesses who have to write their own endings, and what it costs them.

Happy reading!


#PitchWars mentee bio (no minute like the last minute)

Well, I’ve decided to give PitchWars a shot again this year. Thanks for stopping by, potential mentors and fellow mentee hopefuls! Here’s a picture of my dog in a sombrero, just to get thing off on the right note.



About me: Stinky cheese and funky beer enthusiast, former mad scientist, She-Hulk fangirl, and CrossFit weirdo.

I grew up in Michigan, but I’ve lived in Wisconsin for more than 10 years, and I think of myself as from here more than I do where I was born (beer, cheese, and the Packers? Easy choice). I’m a stay-at-home mom to two-year-old twins, and I’ve also been a grad student, a science teacher, and a software tester. Also, Team Marvel with the exception of old Justice League reruns on Netflix.

About my writing: SF&F with a feminist bent and a fair amount of crying–my aesthetic is “sad astronauts and angry princesses”. I’ve sold a few short stories, two to professional markets, and I’ve got some critting experience under my belt–three times at the WisCon writing workshop, and I’m a member of both the Online Writing Workshop and Codex.

About what I like to read: Favorite novelists include Tamora Pierce, Ursula K. Le Guin, N.K. Jemisin, Catherynne Valente, Terry Pratchett, and Zen Cho. As far as short stories go, Alyssa Wong, Rachael Jones, and of course Ted Chiang are names I get hearts in my eyes for.

What I’m looking for in a mentor: I have been face-deep in this book for so long that it’s gotten hard to see the forest for the trees. I’d love the kind of deep reading that a mentor could offer to really polish it, trim out wayward plot cul-de-sacs, and give character arcs the emotional boom they deserve. I work hard, I meet deadlines, and I love this book–I’ll do what it takes to make these pages shine.

If you have any questions or want to chat, I’m on Twitter (possibly more than I should be) @Aimee_Ogden; otherwise, good luck with either picking or getting picked!