forestofglory: Glasses and books (books)
"Extracurricular Activities" by Yoon Ha Lee A fun twisty story with spies and secret missions. It's set in the same world as Ninefox Gambit, but stands alone. I just love how the author sketches characters and societies with a few key details.

"And In Our Daughters, We Find a Voice" by Cassandra Khaw creepy dark little mermaid re-telling (content note: a human character with ambiguous gender traits is referred to as "it")
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My post about my favorite shorts of 2016 is up at Lady Business today. Please check it out, especially if you are nominating for awards this year.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I've finally started reading some 2017 short fiction (it only took an month an a half). I quite enjoyed "Microbiota and the Masses: A Love Story" by S.B. Divya Its a sweet story that features microbiology and ecological remediation. Anyways its nice to feel a bit less rushed about my short fiction reading.
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I'm experimenting with shorter but hopefully more frequent rec posts instead of the monthly round ups. We'll see how it goes.

Anyways I got a copy of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales ed. Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe out for the library and thought I should mention it here. Now I have been picking a choosing what to read in this, but everything has been really good. I especially liked "seasons of glass and Iron" by Amal El-Mohtar in which princess form two fairy tales rescue each other. But I also like the mix of things familiar fairy tales and unfamiliar, western and non-western, all kind of settings. Plus the stories have pretty capital letters and interesting author notes. Definitely check it out if you like fairy tales at all.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
A couple of tie in stories this month but I think they all stand alone quite well.

"Clover" by Charlie Jane Anders This happy queer story featuring cats is set in the same world a All the Birds in the Sky and does contain minor spoilers

"To Rise No More" By Marie Brennan Ada Lovelace story set in her Onyx Court world (the secret history with fae). No spoilers.

"The most important thing" by Marissa Lingen A very short story about how people experience history.

A.C. Wise has posted her annual meta awards eligibility post featuring all the author eligibility post and 2016 short fiction rec's she can find (so the post will keep growing). This great place to look for more awesome short fiction, and check and make sure you haven't missed anything form your favorite authors.

Have you read any good short fiction recently?
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Not doing an October short fiction rec post because I haven't read enough. However I am going to ramble around This month I've haven't been reading that much short fiction online. But I have been reading some short fiction in other ways.

I have an ebook version of People of Colo(u)r Destory Science Fiction and I am mostly done with the original fiction in it i just have a few flash pieces to good. So far I've liked almost everything. "A Good Home" by Karin Lowachee was especially good and is free online. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the issue.

I also finally finished reading An Alphabet of Embers I'm not sure why I put it down for a while but it was definitely worth picking up again.

I also read Comrade Grandmother and Other Stories by Naomi Kritzer, which was good, but not quite as excellent as her more recent work.

I've realized since the Tor.com novellas are produced in hard copy I can get them form the library and have put holds on several of them. I just got and read The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson which was ok but felt aimed at Lovecraft fans. (I'm not sure about all the Lovecraft inspired things I'm seeing lately but I did love "The Litany of Earth" and am looking forward to read a novella about the main character.)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I have few stories to share this month. It’s been a pretty good short fiction reading month. While I haven’t been reading quite a much as I’d like to I have read quite a bit quite a lot of which I enjoyed.

“How To Piss Off A Failed Super-Soldier” by John Chu I had not been paying attention to Booksmugglers’ publishing because the theme for this season is superheroes and I generally don’t like superheroes. (Too much solving systematic problems by punching people.) But apparently they are publishing a lot of the sweet family and romance focused stories I’m looking for. This is one of them.

Superior by Jessica Lack This is another really cute Booksmugglers’ Publishing story. It is an m/m romance between a superhero’s intern and a supervillain’s apprentice.

”The Art of Space Travel” by Nina Allan It’s 2047 and Emily works at hotel near Heathrow were two astronauts will soon be staying before they launch for Mars. I just adored this story about family and memory. I read it and thought “well that is going on my Hugo ballot for sure.” One of the best things I’ve read this year.

What short fiction have you enjoyed this month?
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Hello, I hope all of you have been having a easier July then I have been. I've been dealing with family medical stuff for the last week, and have had to do some extra care taking for my mother in law. She is great and doing very well, but wow is it a lot of work. Anyways I did read some short fiction before all this happened and I even have some cheerful fiction to recommend for once!

Kid Dark Against The Machine by Tansy Rayner Roberts This is a lose sequel to "Cookiecutter Superhero" in that it takes place in the same world and has a few character overlaps. However it stands on its own. This the cheerful short fiction I've been looking for, it is upbeat and warm, and just lovely.

I've started reading An Alphabet of Embers ed Rose Lemberg which is an anthology of very short pieces. So far I really like it. Many of the pieces are optimistic, the writing is consistently lyrical, and the illustrations are amazing. (Seriously I have paper copy so sometimes I just flip one open and stare for a bit.)

A Hundred and Seventy Storms by Aliette de Bodard Ok so this one isn't cheerful, but is is amazing so I wanted to include it too. Another Xuya story about people living around a very unpleasant planet. About family and sacrifice.

Have you read any good short fiction lately?
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Here are a few pieces of short fiction I read recently that I want to rec.

The Sound of Salt and Sea by Kat Howard A pretty and slightly creepy story. I liked the main characters attention to detail.

Whale-Oil By Sylvia V. Linsteadt I enjoyed this ecological themed story set in my home region of the San Fransisco bay area.

Mortal Eyes by Ann Chatham I had to stop reading this story in the middle to tweet about how the author got coppicing right, because I was very impressed. It is also a very good story, with a pregnant protagonist and fairies.

Not a short story or even SFF but I want to rec [personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan, which is the (fictional) memoirs of a Victorian courtesan. It is just lovey. It updates everyday and I always look forward to finding out what the characters are up to. If you need some sex positive domestic cheerfulness if your life The Comfortable Courtesan is for you.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
So it is almost the end of the month, which means it is time for short fiction recs. However right now I'm feeling a bit discouraged about this project. The Hugo finalist were announced last week, and the bigoted slaters were able to control most of the nominations. This year more than 4000 people nominated, and I had hoped that would make difference. I'm angry for the people who nominated for the 1st time this year, that they had such cruddy experience, and I hope they won't all be discouraged from nominating again.

Really though, I'm so sad for the stories I loved last year. It was such great year for short fiction and I really hoped to see some of my favorites be recognized. Or if my favorites couldn't be on the short list, I wanted the stories that beat them out to have done so because people loved them. And it feels self aggrandizing to admit it but part of the purpose of this project is to help people find fiction they love to nominate for the Hugos, and I was hoping to have some impact on the final ballot. Which is silly because only an handful of people read my recs.

Anyways I do have some recs, because this project is also about sharing things I love with my friends. I wish this set was a bit more cheerful, but I hope you enjoy them.

"Dragon Brides" by Nghi Vo A slightly creepy story about what happens a princess after she is rescued form a dragon.

"This Is a Letter to My Son" by KJ Kabza (content note: cancer death) A sweet domestic story in the near future, featuring a trans girl and her dead mother.

"A Salvaging of Ghosts" by Aliette de Bodard (Content note: death of an adult child) This story is so beautiful and sad, and lovey. You should read it especially if you liked The Citadel of Weeping Pearls.

"From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review" by Marie Brennan I adore The Memoirs of Lady Trent, this story takes place between volumes 3 and 4 and stands on its own though it does contain spoilers. It is in the form of exchange of letters in scientific journal.

Have you read any good short fiction lately? Recs for something cheerful would be especially appreciated just now.
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Hugo nominations end this Thursday so a lot of people I know are trying to read a lot 2015 short fiction. If that your goal this post won't help you. I did most of my 2015 story cramming in January and this month I've actuality been reading short fiction at reasonable pace. I've been feeling relaxed about it so as well as reading some current stuff I've been reading some of the slightly older stuff that I was meaning to get around but always drop in favor of new things. So here are a few recs.

Seven Cups of Coffee by A.C. Wise (content note: queer tragedy.) This story made me sit up and say wow! So lovely and sad, with an interesting time travel twist.

Between Dragons and Their Wrath by An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky This is another hard to read story about children living in area devastated by war, but it is hauntingly beautiful.

And one the older stories I read: The Nalendar by Ann Leckie This a fantasy story with some really interesting gods, and a great main character. This one isn't depressing.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Leap day means on more day to get my February short fiction rec post up and I need it because I haven't been reading that much short fiction this month. After doing a ton of short fiction reading for my favorates of 2015 post I decided to take a break form short fiction reading which ended up stretching well into February. But I've gotten back into reading things in the last week or so. Here are a few that I liked.

"The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar" by Rose Lemberg Another birdverse story, told in letters between craftspeople. I really liked the descriptions of the crafts and of the environments the characters live in.

"The Tomato Thief" by Ursula Vernon This story made me really want a tomato, and there won't be good ones here for months. Also I loved the bits about trains and the logistics of foodstuff. Anyways this story is sequel to "Jackalope Wives" but would read fine on its own. Grandma Harken is a lot of fun to read about.

I've also been reading A.M. Dellamonica's stories set in the same world as Child of a Hidden Sea. There are three so far, all prequels to the novel. I love getting to learn more about the world and the characters. The stories are in chronological order "Among the Silvering Herd", "The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti" and "The Glass Galago"

How has your short fiction reading been going lately?
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I read tons of short fiction in 2015, even more than in previous years. This has been a pretty great year for short fiction with great stories form authors I already loved and new to me authors. It has also been good to see many more people talking about short fiction on the internet this year. I hope to see even more of that in 2016.

This year I’ve tried to post few recommendations for stories every month, but now that the year is done I’m posting a list of my very favorites. For your convenience I’ve listed the stories by Hugo category, form shortest to longest.

Short Stories:

“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer
What if the internet was sentient and wanted to help people? This very cute story describes one way it could go.

“The Shape of my Name” by Nino Cipri
Time travel, family and figuring out ones identity all play a role in this beautiful story that I’ve been thinking about all year.

“Monkey King, Faerie Queen” by Zen Cho
The story of what happens when the Money King meets the Faerie Queen. Told in Cho’s wonderful voice with a lot of faithfulness to both sets of mythology.

“It Brought Us All Together” by Marissa K. Lingen
A story about dealing with grief and high school in a plague ridden world. Lingen continues to nail the complexes of relationships. Surprisingly not depressing given its subject matter.

“Pockets” by Amal El-Mohtar
This story is great because of the female friendships and also because when weird shit happens the characters try to understand what is going on using science.

“Even the Mountains Are Not Forever” by Laurie Tom
A wonderful story about history and different ways of preserving it, really struck a chord with my inner historian.

“Let's Have a Talk” by Xia Jia
This Xia Jia’s first story written in English and love that it deals with linguistics. It is also extremely cute.

“Forestspirit, Forestspirit” by Bogi Takács
I loved this story for its atmospheric description of a forest, interesting future tech, and awesome post-human neutrally gendered view point character.

“Points of Origin” by Marissa K. Lingen
So this year I became a parent, and I really wanted to read fiction about parenting but there is not much out there. This story is about people in their 80’s who unexpectedly must take care of children. There are a lot of details about the daily stuff. So even though the story is about people who are really different than me it was just what I wanted to be reading.

“The Crane Wife” by A. C. Wise
Beautifully written examination of the mythical animal bride story

“When we die on Mars” by Cassandra Khaw
A lovely story about sacrifice and found family.

Novettes:

“The Animal Women” by Alix E. Harrow
(content note: race in American, violence, attempted sexual assault.) I got really sucked into this story set in the US south about how women’s voices are repressed. It is pretty dark in places but had and ending I found hopeful.

“Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Wind” by Rose Lemberg
This story is set in Lemberg’s Birdverse which I’ve so far only read a few stories, but have really enjoyed those and plan to seek out more. Really enjoyed the complex culture and the family dynamics.

“Ballroom Blitz” by Veronica Schanoes A gender swapped punk retelling of the twelve dancing princesses, but what I really loved about this was how it portrayed characters’ mental health problems.

Geometries of Belonging By Rose Lemberg
Another Birdverse story, but set in a different country than “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Wind.” This one takes place on the edge of politics but also focuses on found family and healing. There is a character struggling with their gender identity.

“Sacred Cows: Death and Squalor on the Rio Grande” by A.S. Diev
The opening image of this grabbed me and then I was sucked in by the “New Gonzo journalism” voice.

“Fabulous Beasts” by Priya Sharma
(content note: domestic violence, rape, incest) I put off reading this story, even though multiple people recommended it to me because I thought it would be dark, and I was right, but this story was worth it.

Novellas:

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
This hit a lot of my worldbuidling favorites like strange bio-tech and descriptions of food. It was also just a really fun story that went in directions I didn't expect. I quite liked that the resolution focused on diplomacy not use of force. (But be warned that there is some horrific violence which the author is very effective at getting across how it makes our main character feel.)

Quarter Days by Iona Sharma A fun story set in post WWI magical London. While this London is similar to our own, the magic also makes some things really different. I liked how there were multiple magic systems in the same setting. I also liked the characters and how they interacted with each other.

The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard. (Asimov's Science Fiction Oct/Nov*) Set in De Bodard’s Xuya universe this story features a variety of complex characters trying to understand the disappearance of the Citadel of Weeping Pearls 30 years ago. I love de Bodard’s worldbuilding, especially the food details. I also enjoyed see the characters through eachother’s eyes. (This is very loosely a sequel to On a Red Station, Drifting but could be read on its own and doesn’t really spoil anything.)

*Back issues of Asimov's are unreasonably hard to get a hold of even if you are willing to pay money. However check and see if your library has this issue, or if you are eligible to nominate for awards you can contact the author for a copy.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
This month I've gotten more organized and found some time to read short fiction again. So here are a few rec based on what I've read recently.

"20/20" By Arie Coleman A story about doctors who travel back in time to fix medical mistakes. I loved the main characters dedication to saving lives.

"Points of Origin" by Marissa K. Lingen This story about older people who find themselves caring for children unexpectedly really resonated with me.

"When We Die on Mars" by Cassandra Khaw A lovely story about sacrifice and found family.

"The Animal Women" by Alix E. Harrow (content note: race in American, violence, attempted sexual assault.) A powerful story about a girl finding her voice.

I'm now working on finishing up the 2015 short fiction in on my to-read list. Is there anything you think I should be sure not to miss?
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I'm still not reading short fiction at the rate I was pre-baby, but I am reading some, and I have a few recs to share.

First up "The many media hypothesis" by Marissa Lingen What if you's form alternative universes showed up on your social media feeds? As alway Lingen is great at complex family relationships even in this short space. (Content Note: domestic violence.)

I'd also like to mention a novella Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, which hit a lot of my worldbuidling favorites like strange bio-tech and descriptions of food. It was also just a really fun story that went in directions I didn't expect.


Also this month I finished reading CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA ed. Zen Cho. I love Cho's work so when I heard she was editing an anthology I decided to check it out even though I generally dislike cyberpunk. Anyways, this book made me realize that I have no idea what cyberpunk is. Like I couldn't point any one story and say "not cyberpunk" but on the other hand I wouldn't have called most of these stories cyberpunk if I came across them in another context. Some of these stories felt like as non-Malaysian I didn't have the background to fully understand the worldbuilding, but I just kind of went with it. There were some good stories here and some not to my taste.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin and Pooh floating in a upturned  umbrella , with the word Ahoy in the corner (The Brain of Pooh)
So I've been trying to post some short fiction rec every month, but I had a baby on Oct 14 and have not been in the right mindset to read any short fiction all month. I'm slowly getting a bit more brain for non-baby things so I hope to have recs again next month.

In the meantime please tell me about any short fiction you are excited about in the comments. (So I can add to my ever growing to-read list.)
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Well the last month has not been great for my short fiction reading. I have read far fewer stories than I normally do.

Anyways I do have one rec. "A Short History of Migration in Five Fragments of You" by Wole Talabi Content note: Slave trade. This is a mostly historic story with a bit future at the end. I liked how it addresses the impact of the past on the present and future.

Also noteworthy: "Milagroso" by Isabel Yap I don't quite buy some of the world building in this one, but I'm happy see more fiction about food. It hit all the right emotional notes for me.

I've you want more recs Lady Business has just posted the Q2 Short Fiction survey results. Lot of things to check out!

Also I've just stared reading CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA ed. Zen Cho. I've only read two stories so far but I'm enjoying it. It's written for a Malaysian audience so I'm sure I'm missing stuff but that's ok.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Wind By Rose Lemberg This the first story form Lemberg’s birdverse that I’ve read. Really enjoyed to complex culture and the family dynamics.

”Ghost Champagne” by Charlie Jane Anders This is bit creepier than what I normal rec, but it totally hit me right in the feels.

“Her Pound of Flesh” by Cassandra Khaw A fun (and a bit creepy) deconstruction of rescue tropes. Features women rescuing other women who don’t want to be rescued and have their own ideas.

I’ve also been reading Cranky Ladies of History ed Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely, which is an anthology of historical fiction about non-conforming women. Most of the stories are historical fiction but a few are historical fantasy. I’m enjoying it so far.
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It’s time for more short fiction recs. Right now my to read folder is lot emptier than it was this time last month, but I expect it to expand again when August zines come out.

Before I get to my recs I wanted to mention that over at [community profile] ladybusiness there is round up of favorite short fiction form the first quarter for 2015. Worth checking out for recs. Also at the end of the post their link to their second quarter survey if you have stories you loved and want to share.

Anyways here some stories I read recently that I think are worth checking out:

”Sigrid Under the Mountain” by Charlotte AshleyNorse mythology(ish) story focusing on the lives of people who stay home while the heroes are of adventuring.

“It Brought Us All Together” by Marissa Lingen A story about dealing with grief and high school in plague ridden world. As always Lingen nails the emotional details. That makes it sound like a depressing story but it is really not.

“A Silly Love Story” by Nicole Cipri What it says on the tin. Sweet and heartwarming.

“Snakes” by Yoon Ha Lee A kinda creepy story featuring sisterhood and space.

Older story rec: "Mountain Ways" by Ursula K. Le Guin One of my favorite bits of Le Guin's Hanish universe is the planet O, which has complex four person marriages. This story is set there and explores what happens to people with different desires.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
So as long as I've been a reader I've been a reader of SFF but I didn't always love short SFF. I want to talk a bit about my history with short SFF and how I came to enjoy reading and recommending it.

When I was a teen online short fiction had not yet taken off, so the ways to access short fiction where the few remaining print magazines or anthologies which were mostly reprints. I did know that the magazines existed, as saw them for sale at my local SFF bookstore, but I never was moved to buy one.

I did buy and read a handful anthologies. I would read them like novels stopping in the middle of stories. (I hate doing this now.) I tended to choose anthologies based on themes. I remember their being lots of anthologies with titles like “magical cats” or “women with swords.” Anyway these were a bit hit or miss for me, I liked some of the stories, loved a few, but most didn’t move me.

Then in my late teens I decided I was going to read all the written fiction that had won both a Hugo and a Nebula award. I think as a way to expose myself to more older SF. Anyways for this project I included all the short fiction winners and tried to track them down. I generally found them in anthologies. Many were first published in print magazines, which were not easy to track down, but anthologies featuring re-prints were more accessible. Having got a hold of an anthology containing at least one piece of short fiction for my project I would generally read the whole thing. I still didn’t find a lot of short fiction I loved, possibly because these volumes were not very diverse.

I never quite finished the Hugo and Nebula award winning fiction project, but after it tailed off I went back to reading the occasional anthology. I was aware of online short fiction for a while before I started reading it. I was reluctant for a long time to read fiction on a computer screen, and I also didn’t have good way to fit reading short fiction into my reading routine.

What finally got me to start reading short fiction was becoming a Hugo voter. I thought I should really try to read at least a few pieces of short fiction and see if there was something I thought was award worthy to nominate. My first year I just read short fiction form other people’s best of the year list, but I found a few authors I wanted to follow also decided to try and keep up a bit more by following a few online magazines. So I stared reading some short fiction throughout the year, and I’ve slowly been following more authors and more magazines. More recently I’ve joined twitter and started getting recs that way as well.

I’m continuing to read short fiction not out of a sense of duty but because I’ve found that I really enjoy it. Right now reading short fiction is great way to find new and/or marginalized authors who are pushing the genre(s) in interesting directions. However the proliferation short fiction can also be really intimidating and overwhelming. So to try and help other people find the things that I enjoyed I’ve started posting recs here.

So that’s how I slowly became more involved in reading and rec'ing short fiction.

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