Monday, November 20, 2023

All the Short Stories John Wiswell Published in 2023

2023 is ticking down to a close. As I’m wrapping up the final touches on my debut novel, I’m also looking back on all the short fiction I got to share with you folks this year. I got late word from an editor that the final story of mine that *was* going to be published this year will now be coming out next year. Having things wrapped up makes a boy nostalgic.

I'm proud of all my weirdo fictional children. Each story I published this year did something totally different. 

I'm curious, though. Do you, dear reader, have a favorite?

Here are the contenders:

"Bad Doors" at Uncanny Magazine

Everywhere Kosmo goes, a mysterious burgundy door appears, as though stalking him and demanding he open it. He tries to avoid the terrors he’s sure lies behind it. Everyone in his life tells him not to worry about it, but none of them are taking this new outbreak seriously—something the news is calling “COVID-19.”

"So You Want to Kiss Your Nemesis" at Lightspeed Magazine

The Intimate Blade is a unique blacksmith shop. They sell the weapons you’ll need to propose to that special nemesis in your life—to win the duel, and maybe tip their chin up with the tip so they have to look you in the eyes. They’ve just gotten a new customer in dire need of help.

"Irresponsibly Human" at Small Wonders

For their senior thesis project, an alien student plans to conquer the planet Earth. They view this planet as backwards and ridiculous—come on, social media is still legal there—but they run into more problems than they expected. Especially with how delicious their new humanoid form is.

"The Three O'clock Dragon" at Tordotcom

Liza is the only dragon in Prosperity City, a long scaly creature who rules the rails. It’s a good life, if a lonely one. It’d be better if the military stopped hunting her. Soon Liza gets an idea: if she runs for mayor, she can call off the military goons. She quickly learns the current mayor has more enemies than just a dragon.

So which is your favorite? Has something from one of these stories stuck with you the longest? I’m always curious how this sort of thing breaks down.


  1. I look forward to your work with immense anticipation - and you have never, ever let me down. And yes, I am greedily awaiting your novel too.

    1. Thanks E.C.! I can't wait for you to meet my monster. :)

  2. I've just discovered your writing through a Polish translation of DIY and I'm really thankfull for this handy list, because damn, I need this kind of prose!


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