I’ve dedicated a lot of time to reading short fiction in this past year, and have posted my favorites out of the stories I’ve read each month (though usually on a bit of a delay). You can find my per-month lists just by selecting posts with the “short fiction” tag.
Today, while considering my final Hugo nominations, I have put together a list of my top favorites of each category. My weak point this year was novellas, of which I read very few. I’m hoping to find a way to fit more of these in my reading for the future, but we’ll see how that works out. Whether you’re planning to nominate short fiction for the Hugo awards or not, I would highly recommend checking these stories out. I’ve provided a link for where each story can be purchased or read for free online.
- Filtered by Leah Cypess (Asimov’s Science Fiction): Plenty of horrible things are happening in the world, and most of us are not aware of them. Why is this?
- Last One Out by K.B. Rylander (Fantasy & Science Fiction): Quiet story about one of the last surviving humans, and her legacy.
- Between Going and Staying by Lilliam Rivera (Fantasy & Science Fiction): For her own profit, how complicit is one person willing to be in the suffering inflicted on others, even those she loves?
- This is a Letter to My Son by KJ Kabza (Strange Horizons): Before her death, a mother records many videos for her child. A touching story about mortality and being true to yourself.
- That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn (Tor.com): A story about a relationship that helped two people on opposites sides of a war (between telepaths and non-telepaths) endure to reach peace.
- The Pigeon Summer by Brit Mandelo (Tor.com): A quiet ghost story about grief and making connections.
- Blood Grains Speak Through Memories by Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies): In a world where nanomachines enslave some humans to care for the land, one person struggles with her grief and the unfairness of the world.
- The Three Lives of Sonata James by Lettie Prell (Tor.com): An exploration of different forms of consciousness, as well as the meaningfulness of mortality.
- The Cavern of the Screaming Eyes by Jeremiah Tolbert (Lightspeed): If the world were like an MMORPG, it might not be a good thing.
- The Book of How to Live by Rose Lemberg (Beneath Ceaseless Skies): Just because something doesn’t profit the ruling class, doesn’t mean it’s worthless. A story of non-magical people in a fantasy land.
- Red in Tooth and Cog by Cat Rambo (Fantasy & Science Fiction): Self-repairing appliances have survived being trashed and built an ecosystem in a city park. Are they life, and are they worth preserving?
- Lost: Mind by Will McIntosh (Asimov’s Science Fiction): In a story of the more prosaic difficulties that might be involved in mind-uploading, a man struggles to reassemble the pieces of his wife’s mind.
- The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar (Fantasy & Science Fiction): A noir story in alternate history post-WWII London.
- The Liar by John P. Murhpy (Fantasy & Science Fiction): A small-town ghost story, with a protagonist who has the ability to lie things into being true. Happily, he generally uses this ability to help people.
- The Further Adventures of Mr. Costello by David Gerrold (Fantasy & Science Fiction): A man tries to bring progress to an alien world, but the human inhabitants don’t think he’ll succeed. If he does, what will that mean for their way of life?