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Recommended short stories 2021

…and a few novelettes and poems mingled in….

On a Branch Floating Down the River, A Wren Is Singing, Betsy Aoki (Uncanny)

The White Road or How a Crow Carried Death Over a River, Marika Bailey (Fiyah Issue 18)

The Red Mother, Elizabeth Bear (

Trojan Road, Leah Bobet (Plenitude)

The Station of the Twelfth, Chaz Brenchley (

Below Salt-Heavy Tides, Andi C. Buchanan (Mermaids Monthly)

Radioactivity, Octavia Cade (Uncanny)

When I fell apart my mother put me back together, Renee S. Christopher (Fiyah Issue 20)

Demon Fighter Sucks, Katherine Crighton (Apex)

From the Fire, Leah Cypress (Asimov’s Nov/Dec 2021)

Salvage Song, Julia Da Silva (Reckoning)

The Last Days of Summer in the City of Olives, Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

When Your Being Here Is Gentler Than Your Absence Hard, Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

For the World’s More Full of Weeping, Andrew Dykstal (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Quintessence, Andrew Dykstal (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

The Revolution Will Not Be Served With Fries, Meg Elison (Lightspeed)

Cause and Manner, Jeannelle Ferreira (The Deadlands)

Women on the Edge of an Atomic Breakdown, Jeannine Hall Gailey (Allium)

I Swim Up From Below, Sarah Gailey (Mermaids Monthly)

Redwood Houses, Amelia Gorman (Climbing Lightly Through Forests)

All the Open Highways, Alexis Gunderson (The Deadlands)

Hourglass, Jordan Hirsch (Star*Line, Fall 2021)

Alexa, Play Solidarity Forever, Audrey R. Hollis (Fireside)

The Case of the Turned Tide, Savitri Horrigan (Grist: Imagine 2200)

City Lights As Myth, Yong-Yu Huang (Strange Horizons)

The Wizard’s Book Tastes of Flight, Jennifer Hudak (Flash Fiction Online)

A Serpent for Each Year, Tamara Jerée (Strange Horizons)

Six Fictions About Unicorns, Rachael K. Jones (Uncanny)

To Rest, and to Create, L.A. Knight (Fiyah Issue 19)

Frequently Asked Questions About the Portals at Frank’s Late-Night Starlite Drive-In, Kristen Koopman (It Gets Even Better: Stories of Queer Possibility)

Fractured, Aimee Kuzenski (Translunar Travelers Lounge)

The Bear Prince, P.H. Lee (Lightspeed)

Friendship and Other Anomalous Results, P.H. Lee (Nature Futures)

Just Enough Rain, P.H. Lee (Giganotosaurus)

Kuemo of the Masks, Naomi Libicki (Giganotosaurus)

My Mother’s Hand, Dante Luiz (Constelacion)

Birds Are Trying to Reinvent Your Heart, Jennifer Mace (Baffling)

Letters from the Ides, Jennifer Mace (Reckoning)

Ossify, Jennifer Mace (Climbing Lightly Through Forests)

Photolinguistics, Jennifer Mace (Reckoning)

My Custom Monster, Jo Miles (Fireside)

The Deflection of Probability, Premee Mohamed (Escape Pod)

The Badger’s Digestion; Or the First First-Hand Description of Deneskan Beastcraft by an Aouwan Researcher, Malka Older (Constelacion)

A Better Way of Saying, Sarah Pinsker (

Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny)

The Music of the Siphorophenes, C.L. Polk (F&SF)

The Shape of Wings and Feathers, Jenny Rae Rappaport (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

From the Embassy of Leaks to the Court of Cracks, Catherine Rockwood (Reckoning)

Meditations on Sun-Ra’s Bassism, Yah Yah Scholfield (Fiyah Issue 19)

All Worlds Left Behind, Iona Datt Sharma (Khoreo)

As I Wait for the Killing Blow, M. Shaw (Fireside)

Forward, Victoria, Carlie St. George (The Dark)

Thirteen of the Secrets in my Purse, Rachel Swirsky (Uncanny)

Every Night and All, Sonya Taaffe (Nightmare)

Comments on Your Provisional Patent Application for an Eternal Spirit Core, Wole Talabi (Clarkesworld)

Letters from a Traveling Man, W.J. Tattersdill (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Phases of the Moon, Alice Towey (Fireside)

The Burning Girl, Carrie Vaughn (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Saint Simon of 9th and Oblivion, Sabrina Vourvoulias (Speculative Fiction for Dreamers: A Latinx Anthology)

Bathymetry, Lorraine Wilson (Strange Horizons)

Unseelie Brothers, Ltd., Fran Wilde (Uncanny)

How to Find Yourself in a Fairy Tale, A.C. Wise (Daily SF)

For Lack of a Bed, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots)

Gender Reveal Box, $16.95, John Wiswell (Fireside)

Guidelines for Appeasing Kim of the Hundred Hands, John Wiswell (Fireside)

That Story Isn’t the Story, John Wiswell (Uncanny)

The Tyrant Lizard (And Her Plus One), John Wiswell (Drabblecast)

We Are Not Phoenixes, John Wiswell (Fireside)

The Machine Is Experiencing Uncertainty, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor (Escape Pod)

1 thought on “Recommended short stories 2021

  1. I was very moved by “On a branch…” Yes, it is words on a page, but it builds so much territory out from its own form, a universe of feeling and understanding there.

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