Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Recommended Reading List of Short Stories 2018

This was a year that was improved so much by short fiction. Stories I could finish in the waiting room at the doctor's, or on the train ride to helping someone with their hardship. They fit into so many openings of life. And there were such strong developments in the field this year, especially the opening of Robot Dinosaurs, a magazine that brought frequently funny and uplifting stories to a field that too often neglects them.

If you want to keep up with short fiction, I strongly recommended following reviewers you trust, starting with A.C. Wise and Charles Payseur. I fell behind in reviewing short fiction this year, but never stopped reading.

So whether you're reading stories for awards, or reading to feel less alone in the universe, here are some things you shouldn't miss. These are more stories than can fit on any one ballot, but that's the fault of awards, not storytellers.

"After the Story Ends" by M.E. Garber at Galaxy's Edge

"And Yet" by A.T. Greenblatt at Uncanny Magazine

"A Study in Oils" by Kelly Robson at Clarkesworld

"Beneath Their Hooves" by Katharine Duckett at Pseudopod

"Birch Daughter" by Sara Norja at Fireside Magazine

"By Claw, By Hand, By Silent Speech" by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Merc Rustad at Uncanny Magazine

"Captain Carthy's Bride" by Karen G. Anderson at the Terra! Tara! Terror! Anthology

"The Crow Knight" by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam at Beneath Ceaseless Skies

"Dead Air" by Nino Cipri at Nightmare Magazine

"Debridement" by Conni Covington in the Survivor Anthology

"The Dinosaur Graveyard" by Aidan Moher at Robot Dinosaurs

"Don’t Pack Hope" by Emma Osbourne at Nightmare Magazine

"El is a Spaceship Melody" by Maurice Broaddus at Beneath Ceaseless Skies

"Fitting In" by Max Gladstone at Tor.com

"Flow" by Marissa Lingen at Fireside Magazine

"Girls Who Do Not Drown" by A.C. Buchanan at Apex Magazine

"Godmeat" by Martin Cahill at Lightspeed Magazine

"The House on the Moon" by William Alexander at Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction

"Humans Die, Stars Fade" by Charles Payseur at Escape Pod

"Hydraulic Emperor" by Arkady Martine at Uncanny Magazine

"I Frequently Hear Music in the Very Heart of the Noise" by Sarah Pinsker at Uncanny Magazine

"it me, ur smol" by Merc Rustad at their blog

"Jewel of the Vashwa" by Jordan Kurella at Apex Magazine

"Just One More Kitten GIF" by Effie Seiberg at Curious Fictions (also published in Galaxy's Edge in May 2018)

"Late Night at the Low Road Diner" by Frances Rowat at Liminal Stories

"Leviathan Sings to Me of the Deep" by Nibedita Sen at Nightmare Magazine

"Midnight at the Fountains of Bellagio" by Caroline Yoachim at Daily Science Fiction

"More Tomorrow" by Premee Mohamed at The Automata Review

"The Names of Women" by Natalia Theodoridou at Strange Horizons

"Overdue" by Dave Ring at The Disconnect (magazine requires you to turn off internet to read it)

"The Pull of the Herd" by Suzan Palumbo at Anathema Magazine

"Rapture" by Meg Elison at Shimmer

"Robo-Liopleurodon" by Darcie Little Badger at Robot Dinosaurs

"The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society" by T. Kingfisher at Uncanny Magazine

"Ruby, Singing" by Fran Wilde at Beneath Ceaseless Skies

"Salt Lines" by Ian Muneshwar at Strange Horizons

"Screw Your Courage to the Sticky Place" by Jenn Reese at Daily Science Fiction

"The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington" by Phenderson Djèlí Clark at Fireside Magazine

"She Still Loves the Dragon" by Elizabeth Bear at Uncanny Magazine 

"So, one of those tiny alien spaceships has flown into your house. Now what?" by Laura Pearlman at Nature

"STET" by Sarah Gailey at Fireside Magazine

"The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat" by Brooke Bolander at Uncanny Magazine

"Talk to Your Children About Two-Tongued Jeremy" by Theodore McCombs at Lightspeed Magazine

"Thirty-Three Percent Joe" by Suzanne Palmer at Clarkesworld

"The Utmost Bound" by Vivian Shaw at Uncanny Magazine

"Variations on a Theme from Turnadot" by Ada Hoffman at Strange Horizons

"Vault" by D.A. Xiaolin Spires ay Clarkesworld

"The Violet Hour" by Laurence Brothers at Galaxy's Edge

"You Can Make a Dinosaur, but You Can't Help Me" by Kellan Szpara at Uncanny Magazine

See anything you like? Have a story you particularly loved this year?


  1. Lots of different sites and magazines that offer short stories.
    Short stories can be read so much faster than a full novel. That's why the IWSG continues to put out an anthology of short stories every year.

  2. Megathanks.
    Short fiction requires incredible discipline on the part of the writer I suspect, but has sooo many rewards for the reader.


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