I read a lot of short fiction in 2016. A lot. Maybe it was because I was trying to avoid the real world news (or the fake world news), but I found it a welcome respite and easily accessible, whether in print or on my phone. Books are a sabbatical from reality, whereas short fiction is like a weekend retreat. I come up from a book gasping for air, disoriented from what's going on (and I love it), but after a short piece, I open the door back into the real world with a head full of new imaginings.
I wanted to share with you some of my favorite short fiction of 2016, now that it's officially gone in all corners of the globe. I say some cause I'm sure I've forgotten a great piece or three over my 366-day binge. Maybe in 2017 I'll remember to keep a Field Notes notebook filled with my favorites so they don't fall through the cracks of my memory.
So here goes an incomplete list, in no particular order:
"You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay" - Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine)
"Blood Grains Speak Through Memories" - Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
"Seven Cups of Coffee" - A.C. Wise (Clarkesworld)
"Only Their Shining Beauty Was Left" - Fran Wilde (Shimmer)
"The Jeweled Nawab Jungle Retreat" - Priya Sridhar (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
"Ash" - Susan Palwick (Fantasy & Science Fiction)
"A Sense of Taste" - Chloe N. Clark (Drunken Boat)
"The Death of Paul Bunyan" - Charles Payseur (Lightspeed Magazine)
"The Recovered Journal of Marius Vladimirescu, Last of the Clown Hunters" - Andrew Wilmot (Turn To Ash, Volume 1)
"The Orangery" - Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
"Toppers" - Jason Sanford (Asimov's)
"A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers" - Alyssa Wong (Tor.com)
"More Heat Than Light" - Charlotte Ashley (Fantasy & Science Fiction)
"Chimera" - Gu Shi (Clarkesworld)
"If I Could Give This Time Machine Zero Stars, I Would" - James Wesley Roberts (Unidentified Funny Objects)
"Hula-Hoop Heart" - Dan Stout (Saturday Evening Post)
"A Place You Know" - Chloe N. Clark (Smokelong Quarterly)
And there you have it. Like I said, I'm probably missing some. I read so much ... so much. But what I really want to say is, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" This is one of my favorite days of the year as it fills me with such hope with its possibility and potential and chili. Can't beat that.