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Short stories I have liked since last time I did one of these posts

If WordPress drops my links out of this I will cry.

The Virgin Played Bass, by Maria Dahvana Headley (Uncanny)

A Hundred and Seventy Storms, by Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny)

The Spy Who Never Grew Up, by Sarah Rees Brennan (Uncanny)

Blue Flowers: Fragments, by Sofia Samatar (Uncanny)

Foreign Tongues, by John Wiswell (Flash Fiction Online)

Fear Death by Water, by Arkady Martine (Unlikely Story)

Skills to Keep the Devil in His Place, by Lia Swope Mitchell (Shimmer)

Palingenesis, by Megan Arkenberg (Shimmer)

Zombies in Winter, by Naomi Kritzer (Persistent Visions)

Playing Prometheus, by Frances Rowat (Persistent Visions)

Once I, Rose, by Merc Rustad (Daily Science Fiction)

A Dead Djinn in Cairo, by P. Djeli Clark (

The Stone Garden, by C. A. Hawksmoor (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

The Sweetest Skill, by Tony Pi (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Das Steingeschopf, by G. V. Anderson (Strange Horizons)

Please note as always that I make no pretense of having read everything in the field or even everything in a particular magazine, so if you feel like recommending a story you’ve liked in the comments section, by all means do so. The only schedule I keep on these posts is that I do one at the end of the year with everything from that year all in one big post, so if you’re hoping I’ll have the time to read a particular story and like it, now’s your chance to speak up.


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Stories I’ve enjoyed: the re-storenating

These posts make no pretense at being comprehensive. I know for a fact that I haven’t read everything from the magazines I’m linking to, much less everything from all magazines. So please feel free to share your own recently-read favorites in the comments if you like. More stories for everyone.

My Grandmother’s Bones, by S. L. Huang. (Daily Science Fiction)

Today I Am Paul, by Martin L. Shoemaker (Clarkesworld)

Exquisite Corpse, by Caroline M. Yoachim (Daily Science Fiction)

Left the Century to Sit Unmoved, by Sarah Pinsker (Strange Horizons)

Only Their Shining Beauty Was Left, by Fran Wilde (Shimmer)

The Night Bazaar for Women Becoming Reptiles, by Rachael K. Jones (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

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Again with the short stories I’ve liked

Here we are once again with this irregularly recurring feature: short stories I have liked since last time I posted about short stories I have liked. I make no pretense about having read everything, so if you want to recommend something in the comments section, please do; I am nothing like caught up, even on the magazines to which I have links here, much less those which I do not. It has been quite a time lately and is not going to get any less timey. So links to good stories are appreciated wherever they come. I can easily miss things right now.

Asleep in the Traces, by Michael J. DeLuca (Middle Planet)

The Signal Birds, by Octavia Cade (Liminal Stories)

The Middle Child’s Practical Guide to Surviving a Fairy Tale, by Mari Ness (Fireside Fiction)

Spirit of Home, by José Pablo Iriarte (Motherboard)

Contra Gravitatem (Vita Genevievis), by Arkady Martine (Lackington’s)

Blood Reckonings, by Alec Austin (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Mortal Eyes, by Ann Chatham (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

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Catching up on short stories a bit

It’s been quite some time since I made a post with links to short stories I liked, and truthfully I fell behind on reading them earlier in the year, so even more so than usual: if you have some that you’ve liked and want to link to them in the comments, I encourage that. But I also wanted to remind myself that I’m not trying to be comprehensive, I’m just giving you links to some things I’ve liked since last time I gave links to things I liked. So! Some short stories I liked!

Listen, by Karen Tidbeck (

Recalled to Service, by Alter S. Reiss ( (Note: I critiqued this story in draft.)

Project Daffodil, by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley (Nature Futures)

The Governess With a Mechanical Womb, by Leena Likitalo (Clarkesworld)

Big Thrull and the Askin Man, by Max Gladstone (Uncanny)

The Right Sort of Monsters, by Kelly Sandoval (Strange Horizons)

Foxfire, Foxfire, by Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

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All the news that’s fit to pixelate

A lot of work stuff going on here. Some of it is in the category of “secret projects, cannot discuss.” Some of it has just departed from that category! So! I will tell you now!

1) I have signed the final paperwork and can now say that I am very pleased to have my long-form work represented by Kurestin Armada of PS Literary. If you have a fabulous book deal you have been waiting to fling at me and were not sure where to fling that offer, the answer is: Kurestin Armada, PS Literary. More seriously, I am looking forward to working with Kurestin. It really feels like the right fit for both of us.

(Kids, don’t ever let anyone make you feel like this goes only one direction. You and your agent are choosing each other, not just them choosing you.)

2) I sold “Drifting Like Leaves, Falling Like Acorns” to Analog. This is a story in the same mosaic as several previous stories, and it is the weirdest thing I have ever sold to Analog. Trevor seems to agree, calling it an “odd duck”–yep–quack!–but when they say “odd duck” in an acceptance letter, you say “thank you!” See, we can all do our part in keeping science fiction weird.

3) Strange Horizons did a reader poll for 2015, and my story It Brought Us All Together came in fourth. I’m not sure why I included the link there, since apparently enough of you liked it to vote it fourth out of all the year’s stories! Thanks, readers! Mycogeneticist origin stories are more popular than I ever knew, which is great, because I’m writing another, completely different one. And then the two mycogeneticists can get together and fight crime…er, actually just fungal plagues…but I get ahead of myself.

I do that a lot.

I want a 4) and a 5) in honor of the late great Rise/wilfulcait (for those of you who are late to this party, she was the source of “five things make a post,” breast cancer stole my friend away years and years ago now, and I still think of her whenever I do a post like that), but I don’t think I have two more bits of thematic news. Ah well. She would understand.

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Other people’s short fiction I liked in 2015

I’m not opposed to awards per se–they’re a formalized pat on the back, a “good job, well done,” and when I disagree, well, I’m allowed to. I’m allowed to wander off and pat someone else’s back instead. But when I’ve been talking about short fiction in 2015, it’s not for that purpose. It’s for the purpose of–and follow me here, this is going to get complicated–talking about short fiction. Because I think talking about short fiction is inherently a good thing. Specifically, pointing out things that are nifty is inherently a good thing.

So narrowing down to 5 or 10 or some other number–8 is my favorite number, it’s the smallest cube, yay 8!–but why should I like 8 things and not 7 or 9 or more? Turns out it’s more. I’m putting them here now because short stories have a tendency to flit past if no one jumps up and down and points at them. Because even the people most invested in them forget titles. Because I like to talk about short stories. Some of you are really into the awards thing. That’s fine; you do you. What I did in 2015–what I will continue to do in 2016–is point at the short fiction I like, and hope that some of you like some of it too. I make no pretense of reading everything. That’s a trap. I just read some stuff. And then jump up and down and point when I like it.

I think that one of the least enlightening discussions possible about a story is: “Is this the best story of this calendar year?” I would rather do: what does this remind me of? What is this story doing that I would like to see more of? What is special, what is familiar, what made me laugh or cry or write to someone I love? Best is flat and unidirectional and boring. I want stories to be stories and send out roots and runners and blossoms in all sorts of directions in my heart and mind, not send the little meter up to ring the bell. So okay: stories you can get to online:

Soteriology and Stephen Greenwood by Julia August (Journal of Unlikely Academia).

Fire Rises, by Alec Austin (Beneath Ceaseless Skies).

Monkey King, Faerie Queen, by Zen Cho (Kaleidotrope).

Further North, by Kay Chronister (Clarkesworld).

Hold-Time Violations by John Chu (

Wild Things Go to Go Free, by Heather Clitheroe (BCS).

20/20, by Arie Coleman (Strange Horizons).

The Coup in Elfland, by Michael J. DeLuca (Mythic Delirium).

The Half Dark Promise, by Malon Edwards (Shimmer).

The Deepest Rift, by Ruthanna Emrys (

Sun’s East, Moon’s West, by Merrie Haskell (Lightspeed).

Solder and Seam by Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed)

The Lamps Thereof are Fire and Flames, by Rosamund Hodge (Uncanny).

By Degrees and Dilatory Time, by S.L. Huang (Strange Horizons).

A Photograph of Bones, by Robin Husen (Daily SF).

Here Is My Thinking on a Situation That Affects Us All, by Rahul Kanakia (Lightspeed).

Midnight Hour, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Uncanny).

Cat Pictures Please, by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld).

So Much Cooking, by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld).

Meshed, by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld).

Court Bindings, by Karalynn Lee (BCS).

The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, by Usman Malik (

City of Salt, by Arkady Martine (Strange Horizons).

Ginga, by Daniel Jose Older (

A Beautiful Memory, by Shannon Peavey (Apex).

The Snake-Oil Salesman and the Prophet’s Head, by Shannon Peavey (BCS).

Remembery Day, by Sarah Pinsker (Apex).

Glaciers Made You, by Gabby Reed (Strange Horizons).

Spider’s Ink, by Jason S. Ridler (BCS).

The Closest Thing to Animals by Sofia Samatar (Fireside).

Those by Sofia Samatar (Uncanny).

The Girl With Golden Hair, by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (BCS).

Crazy Rhythm, by Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed).

The Ways of Walls and Words, by Sabrina Vourvoulias (

Bent the Wing, Dark the Cloud, by Fran Wilde (BCS).

Find Me, by Isabel Yap (Apex).

So that was more than five, and wow am I glad I’m not awards-focused. That was friends and acquaintances and total strangers, science fiction and fantasy and interstitialish things. That was just the stuff I can link to. And you know what? I’m pretty sure I missed stuff. Tell me what I missed. Tell me what you loved this year in short fiction. Because wow, guys. Look at the work going on in this field, just the stuff that I managed to get to and read and swoon over. Look at what we can do. For all that I’ve occasionally joked that it would be hard to pick a collection of the Year’s Best Sofia Samatar–for all the people I know in this field, some on this list–look at the people I’d never read before up there and the cool stuff they knocked me over with.

Let’s do more. More of us, more ideas, more awesome stories. We can. C’mon. Let’s.

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More stories I liked, that you might like too

Another in a semi-regular series of posts. Here are some stories I liked!  Please feel free to talk about them in the comments and/or leave links to additional stories you’ve liked. Stories are easier to transport for Mikulas morning and nobody will forget that it’s Mikulas and put their stinky feet on the nice stories you have left them. No one gets eaten by Krampus in these stories. That’s not really my style.

So Much Cooking, by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld).  Feeding a family in the face of a science fictional pandemic, food blogger style. This is so compassionate and humane. It is also so, so, so very Minneapolitan.

The Coup in Elfland, by Michael J. DeLuca (Mythic Delirium). I am a sucker for revolutions, especially for revolutions that do not have a simple happy ending. Blood is once again compulsory, you see.

Here Is My Thinking on a Situation That Affects Us All, by Rahul Kanakia (Lightspeed). Spaceship-perspective story on a gloopy people and their gloopy priorities vs. its own.

A Photograph of Bones, by Robin Husen (Daily SF). A completely different story but also about perspectives. Seeing the world differently is beautiful.

The Girl With Golden Hair, by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Beneath Ceaseless Skies). Great expectations, terrible queens, centaurs. And implication.

Spider’s Ink, by Jason S. Ridler (Beneath Ceaseless Skies). Rarely do I really like a story that I have to warn people might gross them out a little, but this is one: there’s some quite vivid visceral stuff here. That’s not the point, though, the point is much deeper, so if you can get through the initial bit, this is another story full of rebellion and politics, unreliability and non-simple endings.

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Points of Origin

Today’s new story is on Points of Origin.  For those of you who managed to find the copy of Analog that had “Blue Ribbon” in it, it’s the same universe, but none of the same characters, so there’s no requirement of reading one for the other or vice versa.  And it’s got grandparents and ice skating and rocks.  Oh, and Mars.  And the Oort Cloud.  And stuff.

Go, read, enjoy!