Strahan Best Of ToC

  • “Dreadful Young Ladies”, Kelly Barnhill (Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories)
  • “Okay, Glory”, Elizabeth Bear (Twelve Tomorrows)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander ( Publishing)
  • “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again”, Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, 11/31/18)
  • “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington”, P Djeli Clark (Fireside Magazine)
  • “Flint and Mirror”, John Crowley (The Book of Magic)
  • “An Agent of Utopia”, Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)
  • “The Bookcase Expedition”, Jeffrey Ford (Robots vs. Fairies)
  • “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth”, Daryl Gregory (
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies”, Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine)
  • “You Pretend Like You Never Met Me, and I’ll Pretend Like I Never Met You”, Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed,)
  • “When We Were Starless”, Simone Heller (Clarkesworld)
  • “The Woman Who Destroyed Us”, SL Huang (Twelve Tomorrows)
  • “Golgotha “, Dave Hutchinson (2001: An Odyssey in Words)
  • “The Storyteller’s Replacement”, N K Jemisin (How Long Till Black Future Month?)
  • “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society”, T. Kingfisher (Uncanny)
  • “Field Biology of the Wee Fairies”, Naomi Kritzer (Apex, 9/4/18)
  • “Meat and Salt and Sparks”, Rich Larson (
  • “Firelight”, Ursula K Le Guin (The Paris Review 225)
  • “The Starship and the Temple Cat”, Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • “Quality Time”, Ken Liu (Robots vs. Fairies)
  • “A Brief and Fearful Star”, Carmen Maria Machado (Slate)
  • “The Blue Fairy’s Manifesto”, Annalee Newitz (Robots vs. Fairies)
  • “The Staff in the Stone”, Garth Nix (The Book of Magic)
  • “Blessings”, Naomi Novik (Uncanny)
  • “Mother Tongues”, S. Qiouyi Lu (Asimov’s Science Fiction)
  • “Intervention”, Kelly Robson (Infinity’s End)
  • “Widdam”, Vandana Singh (F&SF)
  • “Yard Dog”, Tade Thompson (Fiyah #7)
  • “Olivia’s Table”, Alyssa Wong (A Thousand Beginnings and Endings)

Goodreads best sf of 2018

  • Vengeful, V.E. Schwab
  • Iron Gold, Pierce Brown
  • Vox, Christina Dalcher
  • Only Human, Sylvain Neuvel
  • Red Clocks, Leni Zumas
  • The Night Masquerade, Nnedi Okorafor
  • Persepolis Rising, James S.A. Corey
  • Artificial Condition, Martha Wells
  • The Oracle Year, Charles Soule
  • Head On, John Scalzi
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, Becky Chambers
  • Star Wars Thrawn: Alliances, Timothy Zahn
  • Severance, Ling Ma
  • The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Rosewater, Tade Thompson
  • Ball Lightning, Cixin Liu
  • Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Gone World, Tom Sweterlitsch
  • Revenant Gun, Yoon Ha Lee
  • The Consuming Fire, John Scalzi

1943 Retro Hugo eligible works

I searched on several other sites and tried to consolidate all the suggestions I could find for works first published in 1942, either personal recommendations or annotations from multiple anthologies.  Probably a better shot at picking the nominees here than in the regular Hugos.

After an Age, by Eando Binder (Amazing Stories, Nov)
The Sorcerer’s Ship, by Hannes Bok (Unknown Worlds, Dec.)
Gods of the Jungle, by Nelson S. Bond (Amazing Stories, Jun, Jul)
Rocket to the Morgue, by Anthony Boucher
The Undesired Princess, by L. Sprague de Camp (Unknown Worlds, Feb)
Solomon’s Stone, by L. Sprague de Camp (Unknown Worlds, June)
The Stranger, by Albert Camus
The Comet Kings, by Edmond Hamilton (Captain Future, Summer)
Beyond This Horizon, by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding, April, May)
The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis
(The Adventures of) Superman, by George Lowther
The Uninvited, by Dorothy Macardle
Lucky Bucky in Oz, by John R. Neill
Death and the Spider, by Norvell W. Page (as Grant Stockbridge)
Grand Canyon, by Vita Sackville-West
Donovan’s Brain, by Curt Siodmak
Second Stage Lensman, by E. E. Smith (Astounding, Nov ’41 – Feb ’42)
Darkness and the Light, by Olaf Stapledon (London: Methuen)
Islandia, by Austin Tappan Wright (New York: Farrar & Rinehart)

The Push of a Finger, by Alfred Bester (Astounding, May)
Hell Is Forever, by Alfred Bester (Unknown Worlds, Aug)
The Barrier, by Anthony Boucher (Astounding, Sept)
The Compleat Werewolf, by Anthony Boucher (Unknown Worlds, April)
Overthrow, by Cleve Cartmill (Astounding, Nov)
With Flaming Swords, by Cleve Cartmill (Astounding, Nov)
Nerves, by Lester del Rey (Astounding, Sept)
Waldo, by Robert A. Heinlein (as Anson MacDonald) (Astounding, Aug)
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, by Robert A. Heinlein (as John Riverside) (Unknown Worlds, Oct)
Recruiting Station, by A. E. van Vogt (Astounding, Mar)
Asylum, by A. E. van Vogt (Astounding, May)

Heritage, by Robert Abernathy (Astounding, Jun)
Runaround, by Isaac Asimov (Astounding, Mar)
Foundation, by Isaac Asimov (Astounding, May)
The Star Mouse, by Fredric Brown (Planet Stories, Spring)
Goldfish Bowl, by Robert A. Heinlein (as Anson MacDonald) (Astounding, Mar)
We Guard the Black Planet! by Henry Kuttner (Super Science Stories, Nov)
Design for Dreaming, by Henry Kuttner (Unknown Worlds, Feb)
Compliments of the Author, by Henry Kuttner (Unknown Worlds, Oct)
To Follow Knowledge, by Frank Belknap Long (Astounding, Dec)
There Shall Be Darkness, by C. L. Moore (Astounding, Feb)
Piggy Bank, by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore (as Lewis Padgett) (Astounding, Dec)
The Twonky, by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore (as Lewis Padgett) (Astounding, Sept)
The Elixir, by Jane Rice (Unknown Worlds, Dec)
Abyss of Darkness, by Ross Rocklynne (Astonishing Stories, Dec)
Jackdawn, by Ross Rocklynne (Astounding, Aug)
Mechanistria, by Eric Frank Russell (Astounding, Jan)
Tools, by Clifford Simak (Astounding, Jul)
QRM—Interplanetary, by George O. Smith (Astounding, Oct)
Medusa, by Theodore Sturgeon (Astounding, Feb)
The Hag Séleen, by Theodore Sturgeon and James H. Beard (Unknown Worlds, Dec.)
Cooperate-Or Else! by A. E. van Vogt (Astounding Apr)
The Weapon Shop, by A. E. van Vogt (Astounding Dec)
Rebirth: Earth, by A. E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull (as by E.M. Hull) (Astounding, Dec)
Breakdown, by Jack Williamson (Astounding, Jan)

Short Stories:
Robot AL-76 Goes Astray, by Isaac Asimov (Amazing Stories, Feb)
Victory Unintentional, by Isaac Asimov (Super Science Stories, Aug)
Letter to an Invisible Woman, by Hannes Bok (Unknown Worlds, Oct)
Jesus Shoes, by Allan R. Bosworth (Unknown Worlds, April)
Child of the Green Light, by Leigh Brackett (Super Science Stories, Feb)
Etaoin Shrdlu, by Fredric Brown (Unknown Worlds, Feb)
The Link, by Cleve Cartmill (Astounding, Aug)
Proof, by Hal Clement (Astounding, June)
The Wings of Night, by Lester del Rey (Astounding, Mar)
Crisis! by C. M. Kornbluth [as Cecil Corwin] (Science Fiction Quarterly, Spring)
Masquerade, by Henry Kuttner (Weird Tales, May)
The Sunken Land, by Fritz Leiber (Unknown Worlds, Feb)
The Hill and the Hole, by Fritz Leiber (Unknown Worlds, Aug)
The Phantom Slayer, by Fritz Leiber (Weird Tales, Jan)
The Hound, by Fritz Leiber (Weird Tales, Nov)
The Refugees, by Frank Belknap Long (Unknown Worlds, Feb)
Deadlock, by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore (as Lewis Padgett) (Astounding, Aug)
The Idol of the Flies, by Jane Rice (Unknown Worlds, June)
Not Only Dead Men, by A. E. van Vogt (Astounding, Nov)
Mimic, by Donald A. Wollheim (as Martin Pearson) (Astonishing Stories, Dec)
Storm Warning, by Donald A. Wollheim (Future Fantasy & SF, Oct)
The Embassy, by Donald A. Wollheim (as Martin Pearson) (Astounding, Mar)

2017 books to read

These aren’t necessarily the best books of the year, and I’m skewed towards SF anyway, but I would consider these the ones by better known authors with a lot of advance interest that mostly lived up to their expectations and that I would want to read anyway:

Provenance, by Ann Leckie
Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson
Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz
The Moon and the Other, by John Kessel
The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin
Walkaway, by Cory Doctorow
Tomorrow’s Kin, by Nancy Kress
Binti: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor
Babylon’s Ashes, by James S. A. Corey
The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi
Seven Surrenders, by Ada Palmer
Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
The Changeling, Victor LaValle

Strahan Year’s Best 2017 ToC

Here’s the table of contents for the next best-of anthology from Jonathan Strahan, due in April.  I added more details on the locations and tried to categorize between novelettes and short stories but on a few there wasn’t enough info so they just went to short story by default.  So far there isn’t any confirmation of the existence of forthcoming best-of’s from Rich Horton, Neil Clarke, or the “Best American” series.

“The Mocking Tower”, Daniel Abraham (The Book of Swords)
“Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue”, Charlie Jane Anders (Global Dystopias)
“My English Name”, R. S. Benedict (F&SF May-Jun)
“The Moon is Not a Battlefield”, Indrapramit Das (Infinity Wars)
“The Hermit of Houston”, Samuel R. Delany (F&SF Sep-Oct)
“The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine”, Greg Egan (Asimov’s Nov-Dec)
Crispin’s Model”, Max Gladstone ( Oct 4)
Come See the Living Dryad”, Theodora Goss ( Mar 9)
The Worshipful Society of Glovers”, Mary Robinette Kowal (Uncanny Jul-Aug)
“The Chameleon’s Gloves”, Yoon Ha Lee (Cosmic Powers)
“The Smoke of Gold is Glory”, Scott Lynch (The Book of Swords)
Concessions”, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali (Strange Horizons Mar)
The Secret Life of Bots”, Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld Sep)
A Series of Steaks”, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld Jan)
The Lamentation of their Women”, Kai Ashante Wilson ( Aug 24)

Short Story
Probably Still the Chosen One”, Kelly Barnhill (Lightspeed Feb)
“Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance”, Tobias Buckell (Cosmic Powers)
Though She Be But Little”, C.S.E. Cooney (Uncanny Sep-Oct)
“Bring Your Own Spoon”, Saad Z. Hossain (The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories)
“Babylon”, Dave Hutchinson, 2084
The Faerie Tree”, Kathleen Kayembe (Lightspeed Nov)
“Fairy Tale of Wood Street”, Caitlin R Kiernan (Sirenia Digest Jul)
“An Evening with Severyn Grimes”, Rich Larson (Asimov’s Jul-Aug)
Sidewalks”, Maureen McHugh (Omni, Winter)
The Martian Obelisk”, Linda Nagata ( Jul 19)
“Belladonna Nights”, Alastair Reynolds (The Weight of Words)
“Eminence”, Karl Schroeder (Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World)
“Confessions of a Con Girl”, Nick Wolven (Asimov’s Nov-Dec)
Carnival Nine”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies May)

Dozois Best of 2017 ToC

Since this book doesn’t come out until July, plenty of time to find most of these in their original publications.  I’ve attempted to categorize by length but a few of them don’t have enough info online to make that determination so I just guessed.

The Martian Job, Jaine Fenn (NewCon Press)
The Proving Ground, Alec Nevala-Lee (Analog Jan-Feb)
Prime Meridian, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Innsmouth Free Press)
Nexus, Michael F. Flynn (Analog Mar-Apr)

The Moon is Not a Battlefield, Indrapramit Das (Infinity Wars)
My English Name, R.S. Benedict (F&SF May-Jun)
We Who Live in the Heart, Kelly Robson (Clarkesworld May)
Night Passage, Alastair Reynolds (Infinite Stars)
Uncanny Valley, Greg Egan ( Aug 9)
Pan Humanism: Hope and Pragmatics, Jess Barber and Sara Saab (Clarkesworld Sep)
The Influence Machine, Sean McMullen (Interzone Mar-Apr)
There Used to be Olive Trees, Rich Larson (F&SF Jan-Feb)
Whending My Way Back Home, Bill Johnson (Analog Jan-Feb)
Death on Mars, Madeline Ashby (Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities)
A Series of Steaks, Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld Jan)

Short story
An Evening with Severyn Grimes, Rich Larson (Asimov’s Jul-Aug)
Vanguard 2.0, Carter Scholz (Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities)
Starlight Express, Michael Swanwick (F&SF Sep-Oct)
The Martian Obelisk, Linda Nagata ( July 19)
Winter Timeshare, Ray Nayler (Asimov’s Jan-Feb)
Dear Sarah, Nancy Kress (Infinity Wars)
The Dragon that Flew Out of the Sun, Aliette de Bodard (Cosmic Powers)
Waiting Out the End of the World in Patty’s Place Cafe, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld Mar)
The Hunger After You’re Fed, James S.A. Corey (Wired Jan)
Assassins, Jack Skillingstead and Burt Courtier (Clarkesworld Feb)
The Road to the Sea, Lavie Tidhar (Sunvault)
The Worldless, Indrapramit Das (Lightspeed Mar)
Zigeuner, Harry Turtledove (Asimov’s Sep-Oct)
Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance, Tobias Buckell (Cosmic Powers)
Canoe, Nancy Kress (Extrasolar)
The History of the Invasion Told in Five Dogs, Kelly Jennings (F&SF May-Jun)
Triceratops, Ian McHugh (Asimov’s May-Jun)
Mines, Eleanor Arnason (Infinity Wars)
Elephant on Table, Bruce Sterling (Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World)
Number Thirty-Nine Skink, Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s Mar-Apr)
The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon, Finbarr O’Reilly (Clarkesworld Oct)
The Residue of Fire, Robert Reed (Extrasolar)
Sidewalks, Maureen F. McHugh (Omni, Winter)

Campbell Memorial Award Finalists

This was announced in June:

The Medusa Chronicles, Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds (Saga)
Zero K, Don DeLillo (Scribner)
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson ( Publishing)
Into Everywhere, Paul J. McAuley (Gollancz)
Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)
Occupy Me, Tricia Sullivan (Gollancz)
Rosewater, Tade Thompson (Apex)
Central Station, Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
The Arrival of Missives, Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)
Alien Morning, Rick Wilber (Tor)
Underground Airlines, Ben Winters (Mulholland)
Azanian Bridges, Nick Wood (NewCon)

thoughts on best novellas

The list of eligible novellas for 2016 is necessarily short, and filtering through the various recommendations it’s hard to find consensus at any level.  The Nebulas picked 5 of their 6 nominees from, which means they were only available in book form, and the sixth was from F&SF.  Locus agreed with 4 of the 5 Tor offerings, and threw in one of their own, but picked a different F&SF story.  Gardner Dozois also picked that F&SF story, plus another one from the same magazine, which Rich Horton agreed with.  Meanwhile Locus only picked one Asimov’s story, but the Asimov’s reader’s poll picked their 5 favorites, which didn’t include that story, although Horton agreed with one of them.  Strahan’s Best Of doesn’t pick any novellas.  The Analog readers poll doesn’t have to worry about conflicting with any other list, since no one else picked any novellas from Analog.  So let’s run through the contenders:


“The Liar”, by John P. Murphy

A Nebula nominee, but not on the Locus list or any Best of’s.  This is a very well told ghost story, I don’t read a lot of this sort of thing so maybe it’s derivative or something, but on its own terms I thought it was very well paced, kept you guessing, and had a satisfying conclusion.

“The Vanishing Kind”, by Lavie Tidhar

Nebula nominee, also chosen by Horton and Dozois.  This is barely fantasy, an alternate history that with some minor alterations could be made into a 50’s noir story, but it was very well received and does a good job with the story at hand, very adept at capturing the mood and the spooky overtones of post-WW2 German-occupied London.

“The Further Adventures of Mr. Costello”, by David Gerrold

In Dozois’ best of, Gerrold’s folksy conversational style makes for an easy read, I didn’t find this story particular memorable for it’s length though.


“Einstein’s Shadow”, by Allen Steele

Asimov readers’ poll, but not Locus or any Best of’s.  Einstein in an alternate history where he is escorted to the U.S. in a blimp by the Nazis.  Out of the ordinary for Steele, a decent enough yarn but as with most alternate history I wonder what was the point.

“Lazy Dog Out” by Suzanne Palmer

Asimov readers’ poll and Horton’s best of, but not on the Locus list.   A decent hard sf story but not a standout for me.

“The Charge and the Storm”, by An Owomoyela

On the Locus list.  This one probably benefits from repeated reading, it’s difficult to gauge what the focus of the story should be, but the world the author creates is original.  This story didn’t make the reader’s poll, it’s definitely more challenging than those that did.

“What We Hold On To”, by Jay O’Connell

Asimov readers’ poll, but not Locus or any Best of’s.  This story maybe suffers from being less about the SF element and more about the protagonist who has to go through her dying mother’s possessions with the help of a “Nomad”.  Surprised this didn’t get more love from Locus.

“Choose Poison, Choose Life”, by Michael Blumlein

Asimov readers’ poll, but not Locus or any Best of’s.  I don’t recall one memorable thing about this story, but apparently some people liked it.

“Where There Is Nothing, There Is God” by David Erik Nelson

Asimov readers’ poll, but not Locus or any Best of’s.  This was kind of a fun time travel story with the protagonist repeatedly interfering in colonial New England to bring back valuable artifacts for his employers to sell.  The satisfying part is that his multiple trips start to create issues with causality.  Great title, too, again I would have thought Locus would go for this.

Stories I didn’t read, but somebody liked:

From the Locus list:

The Lost Child of Lychford, Paul Cornell
The Dream Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (also a Nebula nominee)
Hammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (also a Nebula nominee)
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (also a Nebula nominee)
This Census-taker, China Miéville
The Devil You Know, K.J. Parker
The Iron Tactician, Alastair Reynolds (also in Dozois’ Best of)
The Dispatcher, John Scalzi
Pirate Utopia, Bruce Sterling
A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (also a Nebula nominee)

also a Nebula nominee:

Runtime, by S.B. Divya ( Publishing)

So I’m going to go with the Tidhar, Murphy, Nelson and O’Connell stories

Rich Horton’s best of 2016

“Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan” by Maggie Clark, Analog
“All that Robot Shit” by Rich Larson, Asimov’s
“Project Empathy” by Dominica Phetteplace, Asimov’s
“Lazy Dog Out” by Suzanne Palmer, Asimov’s
“The Visitor from Taured” by Ian R. MacLeod, Asimov’s
“Openness” by Alexander Weinstein, Beloit Fiction Journal
“In Skander, for a Boy” by Chaz Brenchley, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
“Laws of Night and Silk” by Seth Dickinson, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
“Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” by Jason Sanford, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
“Rager in Space” by Charlie Jane Anders, Bridging Infinity
“Ozymandias” by Karin Lowachee, Bridging Infinity
“The Bridge of Dreams” by Gregory Feeley, Clarkesworld
“Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home” by Genevieve Valentine, Clarkesworld
“Things with Beards” by Sam J. Miller, Clarkesworld
“Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson, Clockwork Phoenix 5
“Between Nine and Eleven” by Adam Roberts, Crises and Conflicts
“Red of Tooth and Cog” by Cat Rambo, F&SF
“The Vanishing Kind” by Lavie Tidhar, F&SF
“A Fine Balance” by Charlotte Ashley, F&SF
“Empty Planets” by Rahul Kanakia, Interzone
“Fifty Shades of Grays” by Steven Barnes, Lightspeed
“I’ve Come to Marry the Princess” by Helena Bell, Lightspeed
“RedKing” by Craig deLancey, Lightspeed
“A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters” by A.T. Greenblatt, Mothershipship Zeta
“Dress Rehearsal” by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Now We Are Ten
“The Plague Givers” by Kameron Hurley, Patreon
“Gorse Daughter, Sparrow Son” by Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan, Strange Horizons
“The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory” by Carlos Hernandez, The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria
“Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was” by Paul McAuley,
“That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn,