Friday, December 11, 2020

Short Story Recommended Reading List for 2020

Welcome, citizens of the internet, to my big old Short Story Recommended Reading list! Despite all the time we've spent staring at our devices, many of us are behind on our reading. Magazines piled up, and tabs overflowed until browsers crashed. What was good in short fiction this year?

I'll tell you what was good. I'm making a list, and I'm checking it twice. The following list is what I'd strongly recommend checking out from the twenty-or-so publications I've perused in 2020. The list encompasses many authors from many countries and walks of life, and just as many different kinds of stories.

Please, tell me what you loved in the comments.

“5:37” by A.P. Howell at Translunar Travelers Lounge

“Across the Ice” by Ada Hoffman at Strange Horizons 

"After the Monster” by Marissa Lingen at Daily Science Fiction

“All the Turns of the Earth” by Matthew Claxton at Analog Magazine and Curious Fictions

“Amber” by Sandra M. Odell at Daily Science Fiction

“Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson at Uncanny Magazine

“A Being Together Among Strangers” by Arkady Martine at Uncanny Magazine

NOVELETTE: “Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” by A.T. Greenblatt at Uncanny Magazine 

“Caihong Juji” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires at Robot Dinosaurs

“A Complete Transcript of [REDACTED]’s Video Channel, In Order of Upload” by Rhiannon Rasmussen at Diabolical Plots 

"Dresses Like Elephants" by Meg Elison at Uncanny Magazine

“The Eight-Thousanders” by Jason Sanford in Asimov’s

"Fight Some Crime, Or I'll Tell Mom" by Rachael K. Jones at Daily Science Fiction

“Flashlight Man” by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor at Nightmare Magazine

"For Every Jack" by R.K. Duncan at

"The Goatkeeper’s Harvest" by Tobi Ogundrian at The Dark

“Halogen Nightmares” by Anatoly Belilovsky in Nature Futures

“Hearts in the Hard Ground” by G.V. Anderson at

“A Hench Helps Her Villain, No Matter What” by Izzy Wasserstein at Escape Pod

“How the Emperor of All Space and Every World Awoke to the True Nature of Reality and Why it Didn’t Matter” by P.H. Lee at Escape Pod

“It Is A Beautiful Day On The Internet, And You Are A Horrible Bot” by Aimee Ogden in the If There’s Anyone Left Anthology

“It Is Not From Heaven” by Jonathan Edelstein at Beneath Ceaseless Skies

NOVELETTE: “Last Wishes” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires at Clarkesworld

"Magnificent Maurice, or the Flowers of Immortality" by Rati Mehrotra at Lightspeed

“Mist Songs of Delhi” by Sid Jain at Podcastle

"Mother Love" by Clara Madrigano in The Dark

"My Country Is a Ghost" by Eugenia Triantafyllou at Uncanny Magazine

"Nothing But Flowers" by Katharine Duckett in the Rebuilding Tomorrow anthology

"Once Again, the American People Have Misunderstood My Election Entrail-Reading Methodology" by Matthew Dessem in Slate Magazine

“The Ones Who Got Away From Time and Loss” by Andrea Kriz at Nature Futures

“On Lore” by Tamara Jerée at Fireside Magazine

"Quietly Gigantic" by K.C. Mead-Brewer at Strange Horizons

“The Ransom of Miss Coraline Connelly” by Alix E. Harrow at Fireside Magazine 

“Scallop” by J.L. Akagi at Strange Horizons

NOVELETTE: “A Stick of Clay, in the Hands of God, is Infinite Potential” by Neon Yang at Clarkesworld

"The Swarm of Giant Gnats I Sent After Kent, My Assistant Manager" by Marissa Lingen at Translunar Travelers Lounge

“Tara’s Mother’s Skin” by Suzan Palumbo at Pseudopod

“Teeth Long and Sharp as Blades” by A.C. Wise at Pseudopod

"Texts from the Ghost War" by Alex Yuschik at Escape Pod

“The Vampire of Kovacspeter” by P.H. Lee at Ligthtspeed

“To Look Forward” by Osahon Ize-Iyamu at Fantasy Magazine

“Where You Linger” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam at Uncanny Magazine

“White Noon” by Aidan Doyle at Podcastle

“Yo, Rapunzel!” by Kyle Kirrin at Podcastle


  1. When time (and my unread towers) allow it I will assuredly come back and check out your list (probably more than twice).
    I should add that some of your own short stories have delighted me this year.
    Thank you - on both counts.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, EC. I'm so glad my stories have entertained you. I hope to keep that up next year!


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