As I predicted, this is way late thanks to WorldCon. All things can be blamed on WorldCon. The good thing about going was being at the Hugo ceremony to see many deserving writers and artists get their shiny rockets. It’s sort of a coincidence (but not exactly) that many of the Hugo Award winners also have fiction on my list below. A coincidence because I didn’t plan it that way, but not because it’s no surprise that I’d love their stories given their track record.
Last month I also did some novel reading. I finally finished Liar by Justine Larbalestier. If you haven’t read it yet, go now! It’s so good. I also read the last of the Midnighters books by Scott Westerfeld. I put it off a long time because I love the first two so much I didn’t want to be done with those characters.
September is already shaping up to be a great month, especially since there’s a new issue of Electric Velocipede out. Also, did you know they have a Kickstarter? They so do.
- Waiting for Beauty By Marie Brennan
So, this story. It’s fairly short, but even so I saw the ending coming pretty early. I’m not sure how I feel about what it says about Beauty and the Beast, and thus I’m not sure how I feel about the story as a whole. I’d welcome some discussion on it.
- The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species by Ken Liu
“Everyone makes books.” Not only do I just love this story for the glimpses into other worlds and other species, I also love that it made me start thinking about the kind of books exist in the worlds I create in fiction. Oddly, it’s not a question I generally ask myself, though you’d think it would be one of the first things to come to mind. Wouldn’t this make an excellent interview question for any writer? What kind of books do your characters create?
- Mantis Wives by Kij Johnson
I’m not entirely sure this is science fiction or fantasy, but it’s certainly speculative. Regardless, Johnson pulled me in with the descriptions of these intricate art pieces.
- Honey Bear by Sofia Samatar
This story is just sad! I feel like people who desperately want to be parents will appreciate it in particular.
- Fade to White by Catherynne M. Valente
Because I read the first paragraph of this story, got interrupted, then came back later, I didn’t remember that Cat wrote it until I got to the end and went back to read it again. I love, love, loved this and I already suggested it to the Tiptree jury. I really dug the way she played with gender roles and with the commentary on advertising and marketing slyly added in. It’s just a really good story, go read.
- The Bear with the Quantum Heart by Renee Carter Hall
At first, this story reminded me a lot of the movie A.I., but it did move beyond that. I’m including this on the list less because it’s a favorite story and more because I want to discuss it with people who’ve read it. Would love to read some reactions to the Kayla character.
- Love Might Be Too Strong a Word by Charlie Jane Anders
Charlie Jane spins a lot of cool stuff about gender in this with a little bit of commentary on the nature of love in the public square.
- Cotillion by Delia Sherman
I can’t decide which aspect of this I like best: the funny take on life as a Deb, the old-school New York, or the mythy aspects. As usual, Delia blends everything perfectly.
Visit my Favorite Fiction tag to see all the other short stories I’ve liked so far this year.