Blue Ribbon

Today’s reprint has particularly good timing! Lightspeed is running a story of mine that has never been available online before, Blue Ribbon. (It previously appeared in Analog and in Year’s Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction.) Why is this good timing?

Well, for non-Americans, it’s a story to enjoy on a Tuesday, okay, sure. For most Americans, it’ll be something to ease you back into your work week after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Who could argue with that kind of timing? I hope you enjoy it!

But for those of you who are missing your State Fair now that it’s over. For those of you who were 4H kids in particular. Yes, this is my story of 4H kids in space. It’s not the perky tale of “and then I won the prize, hurray!” that that thumbnail might suggest, but I’m pretty proud of it all the same. And the day after the State Fair seems like just the right time for it to be more broadly available for the first time.

You know: the thing with stories I’ve liked lately

And maybe a poem or two or a hundred. And you can chime in, because even things from a particular magazine do not mean I’ve read all of that magazine.

What to Expect from the Large Hadron Collider as a college roommate, by Betsy Aoki (Uncanny)

Search History, by K. T. Bryski (Daily SF)

Junebug’s Magical Magnificent Mercurial Barbershop, by Malon Edwards (Fireside)

A Late Quintessence, by Justin Howe (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Regarding the Robot Raccoons Attached to the Hull of My Ship, by Rachael K. Jones and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

Packing, by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny)

elemental haiku by Mary Soon Lee

Red Bark and Ambergris, by Kate Marshall (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

The Stars That Fall, by Samantha Murray (Flash Fiction Online)

Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex)

For Now, Sideways, by A. Merc Rustad (Diabolical Plots)

Sun, Moon, Dust, by Ursula Vernon (Uncanny)

Auspicium Melioris Aevi, by JY Yang (Uncanny)

Stories I liked this time around

It’s time again for another batch of: short stories I liked since the last time I posted about some short stories! As always, this makes no pretense of being exhaustive. The appearance on this list of a story does not mean that I’ve read everything else a magazine puts out–so feel free to recommend your own favorites in the comments. Sharing around good stories is the entire point.

The Cold, Lonely Waters, by Aimee Ogden (Shimmer)

The Scholast in the Low Waters Kingdom, by Max Gladstone ( (Is there a bonus for using “water” or “waters” in your title? Well. In your story, yes, so in your title, probably. Why be coy about this? Water. It’s a family thing.)

The Robot Who Liked to Tell Tall Tales, by Fei Dao (Clarkesworld) (Translated by Ken Liu)

Some Remarks on the Reproductive Strategy of the Common Octopus, by Bogi Takacs (Clarkesworld)

2067: Transcript of Found Audio Interview, by Adrienne Maree Brown (Riverwise)

A Burden Shared, by Jo Walton (

That Lingering Sweetness, by Tony Pi (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

They Will Take You From You, by Brandon O’Brien (Strange Horizons)

Short stories I’ve liked: earliest 2017

As always, I make no pretense of having read everything–even everything in the magazines I’ve read some of–so this is not some kind of “top ranking” or “better than,” it’s just stuff I’ve read and liked. Feel free to recommend things you’ve read and liked in the comments.

The Compassion of the Pheasant Lord, Leena Likitalo (Lackington’s)

Her Hands Like Ice, KT Bryski (Bracken)

Prosthetic Daughter, Nin Harris (Clarkesworld)

Suddenwall, Sara Saab (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

With Cardamom I’ll Bind Their Lips, Beth Cato (Uncanny)

Crown of Thorns, Octavia Cade (Clarkesworld)

The Last of the Minotaur Wives, Brooke Bolander (