Wider horizons

Strange Horizons is running a fund drive, and the $10K reward is my short story, Wrap Me in Oceans Wide! It’s full of undersea cities and environmental peril; I hope you enjoy it.

The fund drive is still going on even though my story has been unlocked. Selfishly, I’m a lot more excited about the higher tier rewards, since I’ve already read my stories. It’s also reminded me that the magazines I like and write for that aren’t in the middle of a fund drive still get read more when I have a subscription, whether it’s in ebook form or print, so…maybe think about whether that works well for you too.

But whatever your situation is, this story is available for free and you can go read it right now if you like. Or later. Please do.

Short stories I’ve liked sorta-recently

I had a big chunk of time when I just wasn’t reading short stories much, and when I asked for recommendations from that time I got very little. So as usual, please, if there’s stuff you’ve been enjoying, give me links in the comments. (And while it’s fine to link to stuff from 2018 and before in the interest of a good read, what I’m mostly interested in with these posts is recent-ish fiction–this-year-ish mostly.)

(Also a poem or two might sneak in, you never know.)

Chen Qiufan, Coming of the Light (Broken Stars)

John Chu, Probibilitea (Uncanny)

Tiny Connolly, A Sharp Breath of Birds (Uncanny)

Nicky Drayden, The Rat King of Spanish Harlem (Fiyah Issue 9)

Meg Elison, Hey Alexa (Do Not Go Quietly)

Theodora Goss, The Cinder Girl Burns Brightly (Uncanny)

Rachael K. Jones, Oil Under Her Tongue (Do Not Go Quietly)

Cassandra Khaw, What We Have Chosen to Love (Do Not Go Quietly)

Jonathan Kincaid, The Ishologu (Fiyah Issue 9)

Karen Osborne, The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power (Uncanny)

Charles Payseur, Undercurrents (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Nibedita Sen, Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island (Nightmare)

Fran Wilde, The Unseen (Fireside)

Xia Jia, Goodnight Melancholy (Broken Stars)

Caroline Yoachim, A Wedding Gown of Autumn Leaves (Daily Science Fiction)

Cool short stories by other people: early 2019

As always, I make no claims of having read comprehensively in this amazing field, so if there are other stories you want to recommend, please feel free!

Morgan Al-Moor, The Beast Weeps With One Eye (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Elizabeth Bear, Deriving Life (Tor.com)

John Chu, Beyond the El (Tor.com)

A. T. Greenblatt, Give the Family my Love (Clarkesworld)

Alex E. Harrow, Do Not Look Back, My Lion (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Mimi Mondal, His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light (Tor.com)

A. Merc Rustad, With Teeth Unmake the Sun (Lightspeed)

Lavie Tidhar, Venus in Bloom (Clarkesworld)

Eugenia Triantafyllou, We Are Here to Be Held (Strange Horizons)

Ginger Weil, The Day Our Ships Came In (Daily SF)

Fran Wilde, A Catalog of Storms (Uncanny)

John Wiswell, The Tentacle and You (Nature Futures)

Readers choose *two*!

Analog magazine runs a reader’s choice poll called AnLab every year. This year I had one story each place in the categories of Short Story and Novelette. You can see the full list here! Analog provides links to most of these stories (all the ones the authors consented to have on the internet), so you can read all sorts of my peers doing good things.

And! The novelette on the list was reprinted in Clarkesworld last month, but this is the first internet appearance of the short story! I hope you enjoy Finding Their Footing as much as the Analog readers did.

Stories I’ve liked in 2018

The Glow-in-the-Dark Girls, by Senaa Ahmad (Strange Horizons)

The House on the Moon, by William Alexander (Uncanny)

The Oracle and the Sea, by Megan Arkenberg (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Psychopomps of Central London, by Julia August (The Dark)

The Velvet Castles of the Night, by Claire Eliza Bartlett (Daily Science Fiction)

She Still Loves the Dragon, by Elizabeth Bear (Uncanny)

Mountaineering, by Leah Bobet (Strange Horizons)

The Feather Wall, by Octavia Cade (Reckoning)

To This You Cling, With Jagged Fingernails, by Beth Cato (Fireside)

The Mansion of Endless Rooms, by L. Chan (Syntax and Salt)

By the Hand That Casts It, by Stephanie Charette (Shimmer)

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again, by Zen Cho (B&N SF&F)

Odontogenesis, by Nino Cipri (Fireside)

Octopus, by Martha Darr (Fiyah)

Court of Birth, Court of Strength, by Aliette de Bodard (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Forest Spirits, by Michael J. DeLuca (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Bondye Bon, by Monique Desir (Fiyah)

Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse, by S. B. Divya (Uncanny)

Rapture, by Meg Elison (Shimmer)

Thunderstorm in Glasgow, July 25, 2013, by Amal El-Mohtar (Fireside)

Time, Like Water, by Amal El-Mohtar (The Rubin)

The Word of Flesh and Soul, by Ruthanna Emrys (Tor.com)

Carboundum > /Dev/Null, by Annalee Flower Horne (Fireside)

The Things That We Will Never Say, by Vanessa Fogg (Daily Science Fiction)

Stet, by Sarah Gailey (Fireside)

Furious Girls, by Juliana Goodman (Fiyah)

A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies, by Alix E. Harrow (Apex)

The Guitar Hero, by Maria Haskins (Kaleidotrope)

Ten Things I Didn’t Do, by Maria Haskins (Pseudopod)

Periling Hand, by Justin Howe (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

More Sea Than Tar, by Osahon Ize-Iyamu (Reckoning)

Five Functions of Your Bionosaur, by Rachael K. Jones (Robot Dinosaur Fiction)

Midnight Burritos With Zozrozir, by Rachael K. Jones (Daily Science Fiction)

When I Was Made, by Kathryn Kania (Robot Dinosaur Fiction)

Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying, by Alice Sola Kim (Tin House)

The Thing About Ghost Stories, by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny)

A House by the Sea, by P.H. Lee (Uncanny)

The Coin of Heart’s Desire, by Yoon Ha Lee (Lightspeed)

Robo-Liopleurodon!, by Darcie Little Badger (Robot Dinosaur Fiction)

A Complex Filament of Light, by S. Qiouyi Lu (Anathema)

The Foodie Federation’s Dinosaur Farm, by Luo Longxiang (translated by Andy Dudak) (Clarkesworld)

A Cradle of Vines, by Jennifer Mace (Cast of Wonders)

Object-Oriented, by Arkady Martine (Fireside)

Ava Paints the Horses, by Ville Meriläinen (Cast of Wonders)

More Tomorrow, by Premee Mohamed (Automata Review)

The Thing in the Walls Wants Your Small Change, by Virginia Mohlere (Luna Station Quarterly)

The Chariots, the Horsemen, by Stephanie Malia Morris (Apex)

Cerise Sky Memories, by Wendy Nikel (Nature)

Birch Daughter, by Sara Norja (Fireside)

Blessings, by Naomi Novik (Uncanny)

drop some amens, by Brandon O’Brien (Uncanny)

Don’t Pack Hope, by Emma Osborne (Nightmare)

Even to the Teeth, by Karen Osborne (Robot Dinosaur Fiction)

The Bodice, the Hem, the Woman, Death, by Karen Osborne (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

50 Ways to Leave Your Fairy Lover, by Aimee Picchi (Fireside)

I Frequently Hear Music in the Very Heart of Noise, by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny)

The Court Magician, by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed)

Canada Girl Vs. The Thing Inside Pluto, by Lina Rather (Flash Fiction Online)

it me, ur smol, by A. Merc Rustad

The Sweetness of Honey and Rot, by A. Merc Rustad (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Tamales in Space, and Other Phrases for the Beginning Speaker, by Gabriela Santiago (Strange Horizons)

An Aria for the Bloodlords, by Hannah Strom-Martin (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Sonya Taaffe’s די ירושה (Uncanny)

Four-Point Affective Calibration, by Bogi Takács (Lightspeed)

Spatiotemporal Discontinuity, by Bogi Takács (Uncanny)

Yard Dog, by Tade Thompson (Fiyah)

My Name Is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I Am Beautiful, by Monica Valentinelli (Uncanny)

Dear David, by Yael van der Wouden (Long Leaf Review)

Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Memphis Minnie Sing the Stumps Down Good, by LaShawn M. Wanak (Fiyah)

Unplaces: An Atlas of Non-existence, by Izzy Wasserstein (Clarkesworld)

Small Things Pieced Together, by Ginger Weil (Robot Dinosaur Fiction)

Abigail Dreams of Weather, by Stu West (Uncanny)

Disconnect, by Fran Wilde (Uncanny)

Ruby, Singing, by Fran Wilde (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

The Sea Never Says It Loves You, by Fran Wilde (Uncanny)

In the End, It Always Turns Out the Same, by A.C. Wise (The Dark)

Fascism and Facsimiles, by John Wiswell (Fireside)

Last batch of short fiction enjoyed from 2018

I’m going to do a comprehensive post of all my short fiction recs from 2018 later this week, but meanwhile here’s the year-end stuff.

The Glow-in-the-Dark Girls, by Senaa Ahmad (Strange Horizons)

The Feather Wall, by Octavia Cade (Reckoning 3)

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again, by Zen Cho (B&N SF)

Forest Spirits, by Michael J. Deluca (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

The Word of Flesh and Soul, by Ruthanna Emrys (Tor.com)

Ten Things I Didn’t Do, by Maria Haskins (Pseudopod)

More Sea Than Tar, by Osahon Ize-Iyamu (Reckoning 3)

Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying, by Alice Sola Kim (Tin House)

The Thing About Ghost Stories, by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny)

Ava Paints the Horses, by Ville Meriläinen (Cast of Wonders

Birch Daughter, by Sara Norja (Fireside)

Don’t Pack Hope, by Emma Osborne (Nightmare)

An Aria for the Bloodlords, by Hannah Strom-Martin (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

My Name Is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I Am Beautiful, by Monica Valentinelli (Uncanny)

2018 year in review (the writing version)

Years are too big a thing for me to fit in one post, so expect the post about other people’s work later this week. This is just the stuff I published and how I feel about it.

Because the reprint of one of the print stories went live today, you have an internet copy available for you to read, hurrah! That’s Left to Take the Lead, originally in Analog and now appearing in Clarkesworld. Other Analog stories in 2018 included “The Jagged Bones of Sea-Saw Town,” “Finding Their Footing,” and “Two Point Three Children.” Of those, “Left to Take the Lead” and “Finding Their Footing” take place in the same universe, which they also share with several previous stories.

“The Jagged Bones of Sea-Saw Town” was one of the stories inspired by my 2016 trip to Sweden. Another was Objects in the Nobel Museum, 2075, which appeared in Daily Science Fiction. The stories inspired by this summer’s travel are just starting to come clear in my head, so it’ll be interesting to see where those go in the next few years.

The next cluster of stories was in Nature. They published Say It With Mastodons, Seven Point Two, and My Favorite Sentience. Usually Nature-length stories are my way of working out science fictional ideas without letting myself get sidetracked, and that was true here, but “Say It With Mastodons” was also an example of my recent musings about collaborative partnership/collaborative romance, and I’m very proud of it.

Uncanny Magazine was also a good home for my writing this year. I did more essays this year than I have in ages, and I liked doing it. Developing that nonfiction voice is definitely on my radar for next year. Work in Uncanny included the essays Hard Enough, The Seduction of Numbers, the Measure of Progress, and Malfunctioning Space Stations. They also published two of my short stories, Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage and This Will Not Happen to You.

“This Will Not Happen to You” was in their special Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction issue, and it was the second of my stories in 2018 that dealt with disability more directly and more personally than I’ve ever done before. The first was Flow, which found its home in Fireside Magazine. I am so grateful to them for every detail of that, for understanding that story and wanting to give it an outlet and for its beautiful commissioned illustration and all of it. “Flow” was personal. It was terrifying. And it was so very much worth doing.

What else has been going on with my writing in 2018? Well, I finished a novel whose provisional title is The Broken Compass, although I have a whole page of alternate titles in my notebook. (I’m pretty sure that’s a good title, but it remains to be seen whether it’s a good title for this book.) My astute and energetic beta readers and agent will help me continue to revise this thing, and meanwhile I’ve made a start on a new novel project as well.

I finished nine short stories–this is why I don’t write year-end posts in November, because two of those were in the last week of the year. I’ve also got several stories waiting in the wings to come out in the early months of 2019, and I’m writing more essays, as I said I would.

To tell the truth, I’m not that great at looking back on things I’ve done with pride. I’m working on that. This year has helped. But I’m much, much better at looking forward to things I’m going to learn to do better, and this year has helped with that even more. Excelsior.