Some notable SF/F/H short fiction from 2014
February 3, 2015 9:10 PM   Subscribe

Locus Magazine has published its 2014 Recommended Reading List. has given its Best SF Short Story Award for 2014. Tables of contents have been announced for The Year's Best Science Fiction, Thirty-Second Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois, Year's Best Weird Fiction, Volume Two edited by Kathe Koja and Michael Kelly, and The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Nine edited by Jonathan Strahan. And several writers have called out their favorite stories of the year too, e.g. Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado and Sofia Samatar, Usman Malik, and Fran Wilde, Michael R. Underwood, Tina Connolly, and Beth Cato. Quite a few of these short fiction selections from 2014 have been published online in full.

Charlie Jane Anders, "The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick." Lightspeed, June 2014 ("Women Destroy Science Fiction!" special issue); reprinted at [LM]
Eleanor Arnason, "The Scrivener." Subterranean, Winter 2014. [JS; LM]
Dale Bailey, "The End of the End of Everything.", April 23, 2014. [LM; UM]
Jessica Barber, "Coma Kings." Lightspeed, February 2014. [GD]
Elizabeth Bear, "Covenant." Slate, September 11, 2014. [GD; JS; LM]
Elizabeth Bear, "This Chance Planet.", October 22, 2014. [FW; LM]
Helena Bell, "Lovecraft." Clarkesworld, October 2014. [UM]
Holly Black, "Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)." Lightspeed, September 2014. [JS; LM]
Aliette de Bodard, "The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile." Subterranean, Spring 2014. [GD; LM]
Richard Butner, "Circa." Interfictions Online #3, May 2014. [UM]
Richard Bowes, "Sleep Walking Now and Then.", July 9, 2014. [FW; LM; UM]
Chaz Brenchley, "The Burial of Sir John Mawe at Cassini." Subterranean, Spring 2014. [GD]
Siobhan Carroll, "The Year of Silent Birds." Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 9, 2014. [FW]
Dario Ciriello, "Free Verse." Free Verse and Other Stories, Panverse, 2014. [KL]
C. S. E. Cooney, "Witch, Beast, Saint: an Erotic Fairy Tale." Strange Horizons, July 21, 2014. [LM]
Julio Cortázar, "Headache.", September 3, 2014 (first English translation). [K&K]
Tom Crosshill, "The Magician and Laplace's Demon." Clarkesworld, December 2014. [KL; LM; UM]
Amanda C. Davis, "Loving Armageddon." Crossed Genres, July 2, 2014. [K&K]
Amal El-Mohtar, "The Truth About Owls." Strange Horizons, January 26, 2015 (originally published in Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios (eds.), Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press, 2014). [JS; LM]
Ruthanna Emrys, "The Litany of Earth.", May 14, 2014. [LM]
K. M. Ferebee, "The Earth and Everything Under." Shimmer #19, 2014. [FW; K&K]
Jeffrey Ford, "The Prelate's Commission." Subterranean, Winter 2014. [LM]
Karen Joy Fowler, "Nanny Anne and the Christmas Story." Subterranean, Winter 2014. [K&K; LM]
Max Gladstone, "A Kiss with Teeth.", October 29, 2014. [TC; previously on MeFi]
Kathleen Ann Goonan, "A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star.", July 20, 2014. [LM]
Theodora Goss, "Cimmeria: From the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology." Lightspeed, July 2014. [JS; LM]
Nicola Griffith, "Cold Wind.", April 16, 2014. [JS]
Shane Halbach, "Copy Machine." Flash Fiction Online, June 2014. [KL]
Maria Dahvana Headley, "The Tallest Doll in New York City.", February 14, 2014. [FW; LM]
Kat Howard, "The Saint of the Sidewalks." Clarkesworld, August 2014. [LM]
Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen, "Where the Trains Turn.", November 19, 2014. [LM]
N. K. Jemisin, "Stone Hunger." Clarkesworld, July 2014. [FW]
Xia Jia, "Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, Joy." Translated by Ken Liu. Clarkesworld, September 2014. [KL; UM]
Xia Jia, "Tongtong's Summer." Translated by Ken Liu. Clarkesworld, December 2014 (originally in Neil Clarke (ed.), Upgraded, Wyrm Publishing, 2014). [KL]
Rachael K. Jones, "Makeisha in Time." Crossed Genres #20, August 2014. [BC]
Stephen Graham Jones, "Chapter Six.", June 11, 2014. [LM]
Vylar Kaftan, "Ink of My Bones, Blood of My Hands." Beneath Ceaseless Skies, June 12, 2014. [FW]
Caitlín R. Kiernan, "Bus Fare." Subterranean, Spring 2014. [K&K]
Ellen Klages, "Caligo Lane." Subterranean, Winter 2014. [LM]
Jay Lake, "West to East." Subterranean, Summer 2014. [GD; LM]
Rich Larson, "The Air We Breathe is Stormy, Stormy." Strange Horizons, August 11, 2014. [K&K]
Yoon Ha Lee, "Combustion Hour.", June 18, 2014. [FW; LM; UM; previously on MeFi]
Yoon Ha Lee, "The Contemporary Foxwife." Clarkesworld, July 2014. [LM; previously on MeFi]
Yoon Ha Lee, "Wine." Clarkesworld, January 2014. [LM; previously on MeFi]
Rose Lemberg, "A City on Its Tentacles." Lackington's, Winter 2014. [SS]
Kelly Link, "I Can See Right Through You." McSweeney's Quarterly 48, 2014. [LM]
Ken Liu, "Reborn.", January 29, 2014. [UM]
Ken Liu, "The Long Haul, From the ANNALS OF TRANSPORTATION, The Pacific Monthly, May 2009." Clarkesworld, November 2014. [GD; JS; LM]
Carmen Maria Machado, "Observations About Eggs from the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa." Lightspeed, April 2014. [K&K; SS]
Carmen Maria Machado, "The Husband Stitch." Granta, October 28, 2014. [K&K; UM; SS]
Usman T. Malik, "Resurrection Points." Strange Horizons, August 4, 2014. [FW; K&K; KL]
Usman T. Malik, "The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family." Medium, October 22, 2014 (originally in Michael Bailey (ed.), Qualia Nous, Written Backwards, 2014). [JS; KL; LM]
Tim Maughan, "Four Days of Christmas." Vice, December 24, 2014. [JS; LM]
Sandra McDonald, "Selfie." Lightspeed, May 2014. [LM]
Sam J. Miller, "Kennth: A User's Manual." Strange Horizons, December 1, 2014. [CMM]
Mary Anne Mohanraj, "Communion." Clarkesworld, June 2014. [GD]
Sunny Moraine, "So Sharp That Blood Must Flow." Lightspeed, February 2014. [K&K]
Sunny Moraine, "What Glistens Back." Lightspeed, November 2014. [UM]
John P. Murphy, "Still Life, With Oranges." Lakeside Circus, January 6, 2014. [KL]
Anna Noyes, "Becoming." Guernica, November 3, 2014. [CMM]
An Owomoyela, "And Wash Out by Tides of War." Clarkesworld, February 2014. [LM]
Susan Palwick, "Weather." Clarkesworld, September 2014. [GD]
K. J. Parker, "Heaven Thunders the Truth." Beneath Ceaseless Skies, October 2, 2014. [LM]
K. J. Parker, "I Met a Man Who Wasn't There." Subterranean, Winter 2014. [JS; LM]
K. J. Parker, "The Things We Do For Love." Subterranean, Summer 2014. [LM]
Richard Parks, "The Manor of Lost Time." Beneath Ceaseless Skies, June 26, 2014. [LM]
Richard Parks, "The Sorrow of Rain." Beneath Ceaseless Skies, October 2, 2014. [LM]
Shannon Peavey, "Dogs From Other Places" (audio only). Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, Issue 38, March 2014. [UM]
Robert Reed, "Pernicious Romance." Clarkesworld, November 2014. [LM]
Alastair Reynolds, "The Last Log of the Lachrimosa." Subterranean, Summer 2014. [LM]
Mary Rickert, "The Mothers of Voorhisville.", April 30, 2014. [FW; LM; UM]
Sofia Samatar, "How to Get Back to the Forest." Lightspeed, March 2014. [CMM; LM]
Kelly Sandoval, "The One They Took Before." Shimmer #22, November 2014. [UM]
John Scalzi, "Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome.", May 13, 2014. [MU]
Veronica Schanoes, "Among the Thorns.", May 7, 2014. [LM]
Karl Schroeder, "Jubilee.", February 26, 2014. [GD]
Lewis Shiner, "The Black Sun." Subterranean, Summer 2014. [LM]
Alex Shvartsman, "Icarus Falls." Daily Science Fiction, September 23, 2014. [KL]
Vandana Singh, "Wake-Rider." Lightspeed, December 2014. [LM]
Michael Swanwick, "Passage of Earth." Clarkesworld, April 2014. [BN (winner); GD; LM]
Rachel Swirsky, "Grand Jeté (The Great Leap)." Subterranean, Summer 2014. [GD; JS; KL; LM]
Bogi Takács, "This Shall Serve as a Demarcation." Scigentasy: Gender Stories in Science Fiction and Fantasy #6, July 5, 2014. [SS]
Anna Tambour, "The Walking-Stick Forest.", May 21, 2014. [LM]
Natalia Theodoridou, "The Eleven Holy Numbers of the Mechanical Soul." Clarkesworld, February 2014. [KL]
E. Catherine Tobler, "Migratory Patterns of Underground Birds." Clarkesworld, May 2014. [FW]
Jeremiah Tolbert, "In the Dying Light, We Saw a Shape." Lightspeed, January 2014. [BN]
Harry Turtledove, "The Eighth-Grade History Class Visits the Hebrew Home for the Aging.", January 8, 2014. [BC]
Genevieve Valentine, "The Insects of Love.", May 28, 2014. [FW; JS; LM]
Damien Angelica Walters, "The Floating Girls: A Documentary." Jamais Vu 3, September 2014. [KL; UM]
Damien Angelica Walters, "The Serial Killer's Astronaut Daughter." Strange Horizons, January 6, 2014. [BC]
LaShawn M. Wanak, "21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One)." Strange Horizons, February 3, 2014. [FW; TC]
Peter Watts, "The Colonel.", July 29, 2014. [GD; LM]
Kai Ashante Wilson, "The Devil in America.", April 2, 2014. [JS; LM; UM]
Alyssa Wong, "Santos de Sampaguitas" (also, part two). Strange Horizons, October 13, 2014. [UM]
Alyssa Wong, "The Fisher Queen." F&SF, May/June 2014. [KL; UM]
Jy Yang, "Patterns of a Murmuration, in Billions of Data Points." Clarkesworld, September 2014. [UM]
Isabel Yap, "A Cup of Salt Tears.", August 27, 2014. [K&K; UM]
Caroline Yoachim, "Five Stages of Grief After the Alien Invasion." Clarkesworld, August 2014. [BN; KL; TC]

Initials correspond to names mentioned in the lede. Additional stories are collected in Some of the Best from 2014. Forthcoming annual anthologies with as-yet-unannounced contents include two edited by Paula Guran (The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2015 and The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas: 2015), plus The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2015 edited by Rich Horton, The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 7 edited by Ellen Datlow, and The Year's Illustrious Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Nisi Shawl.
posted by Monsieur Caution (28 comments total) 172 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Iridic at 9:29 PM on February 3, 2015

posted by slater at 9:30 PM on February 3, 2015

Hugo nominations are now open. Just sayin'.
posted by sourcequench at 9:38 PM on February 3, 2015

The Evil League of Evil also has Hugo nomination suggestions.
posted by 445supermag at 9:41 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Awesome post, thank you thank you thank you.
posted by zardoz at 9:53 PM on February 3, 2015

I googled so you don't have to: the H is for Horror.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:57 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't think Daniel Abraham gets nearly enough attention. He's the only one on Locus' recommended list for both Science Fiction and Fantasy, for example. I buy everything he does sight unseen.

Not sure what I think should win the Hugo this year. There is a bunch of good stuff but not necessarily one or two novels which stand far ahead of the rest like occasionally happens. I'm still of the opinion that the 2000 Hugos (at least for Best Novel) contains the best slate we're likely to see in our lifetimes.
posted by Justinian at 10:02 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I got some great replies to this ask.
posted by Artw at 10:02 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

How did I miss that AskMe? Cool.

I keep bouncing off the Leckie. I'm awful, I know.
posted by Justinian at 10:05 PM on February 3, 2015

The Hugo Nominations that 445supermag posted are idiosyncratic. That's my polite way of saying it.
posted by Justinian at 10:11 PM on February 3, 2015

Oh, it's that bunch from last year who backed a nazi. Yeah, probably not worth paying attention to.
posted by Artw at 10:33 PM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Excellent post. Note that among the recommended first novels is Corinne Duyvis' Otherbound: Holland representing, yo.

On a sadder, puppier note, In File 770 Kameron Hurley explains why these rightwinger really are so het up on winning a Hugo:
A single award win may not turn a book into a bestseller, but it helps bring a poorly performing book into the midlist. The Nebula Award nomination for God’s War was worth about 1,000 sales to me. The Clarke Award nomination garnered nearly 3,000 sales in the UK alone (for a book that had been out 7 months in the UK and sold only 300 copies there up to that point!).
Moreover, she points out that the advances for the books in her current World Breaker epic fantasy series went from $7,000 for each of the first two, to $20, 000 for the third one: So when people tell me that Hugos don’t matter, awards don’t matter, and promotion don’t matter, you can imagine the $13,000 face I make.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:34 PM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

I've been led to believe that the puppies folk are mostly nominating stuff they think is deserving. From a rather diverse array of authors. There is also the overt attempt at rocking boats. But it doesn't seem to be a complete stunt.
posted by ericales at 10:54 PM on February 3, 2015

Those diverse authors mostly run the gamut from middle aged white guy to old white guy.

It's clearly a stunt. The nominees include Gannon, Correia, Kloos, Kratman, Wright, and Card. It's obvious that their only criteria was "would this nomination piss off the evil feminazi SJWs". Not that Wright and Card, at least, aren't legitimate authors but taken in context it's clear what the goal is.
posted by Justinian at 11:16 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ian A.T.: the H is for Horror.

Good title.

And merci, Monsieur Caution!
posted by bryon at 11:36 PM on February 3, 2015

Just want to draw attention to Makeisha in Time in the middle of that list, because I want to see Rachael get nominated for something and win it in her first year as a writer.

If I can never be the bride, I can damned well work hard at being always the bridesmaid. :-P

Also, you can hear a cool audio version of "The Litany of Earth" at The Drabblecast, where I am Managing Editor. My powers of pestering Norm to buy things are nearly without limit (except when he doesn't listen to me).
posted by Scattercat at 11:44 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Justinian: "Those diverse authors mostly run the gamut from middle aged white guy to old white guy.
It's clearly a stunt.

So it's not about ethics in SciFi?
posted by signal at 3:39 AM on February 4, 2015

posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:25 AM on February 4, 2015

I just the other week listened to Makeisha in Time, which I found to be excellent, if rather depressing. I also enjoyed The Contemporary Foxwife. But damn, I have for a lot of reading to do.
posted by happyroach at 6:55 AM on February 4, 2015

I've been going through something of a dark period with SF lately, and worry that what has been a lifelong pleasure is turning anhedonic. Which means a large list of new short fiction is absolutely what I need to poke the embers and see what sparks remain. Thanks very much for this...
posted by Devonian at 7:17 AM on February 4, 2015

Excellent compilation!!

Question: Is the split of "Weird Fiction" from "Horror/Fantasy" valid or a marketing flourish?
posted by Renoroc at 9:11 AM on February 4, 2015

What a wonderful gift! Thank you, Monsieur Caution, for hours upon hours of SF/F/H reading.
posted by Lighthammer at 10:06 AM on February 4, 2015

Question: Is the split of "Weird Fiction" from "Horror/Fantasy" valid or a marketing flourish?

Genres are all marketing flourishes!
posted by Artw at 10:31 AM on February 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Any list that has Caitlin Kiernan on it is a list worth reading.
posted by Kitteh at 10:53 AM on February 4, 2015

What an awful, awful thing to do. And each of those links is clickable, you say? Well, it's not like I had deadlines or anything...

Seriously, what an amazing compilation post!
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:24 AM on February 4, 2015

Off to write a scraper that filters out the H's (personal preference) and pipes them into an ebook format and auto uploads to the kindle.
posted by sammyo at 12:27 PM on February 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Five Stages of Grief After the Alien Invasion is an absolute killer. Need to go sob for a while now.
posted by Leon at 6:53 AM on February 6, 2015

The Nebula nominees have just been announced and the following stories from this list are in it:

“Sleep Walking Now and Then,” Richard Bowes ( 7/9/14)
“The Magician and Laplace’s Demon,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 12/14)
“The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado (Granta #129)
“The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family,” Usman T. Malik (Qualia Nous)
“The Mothers of Voorhisville,” Mary Rickert ( 4/30/14)
“Grand Jeté (The Great Leap),” Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’14)
“The Devil in America,” Kai Ashante Wilson ( 4/2/14)
“The Fisher Queen,” Alyssa Wong
posted by MartinWisse at 4:34 AM on February 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

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