My Favorite Fiction from September 2012
This month, the list is rather long. This explains my lateness in putting up this post (sort of… I’m also lazy!). I discovered a cache of new magazines this month, thus adding greatly to the number of stories I read and liked.
Several weeks ago I lamented about the fact that there weren’t many markets for long stories such as novellas and novelettes. As a result, people kept suggesting markets to me. I was reminded that Electric Velocipede takes longer stuff, and introduced to GigaNotoSaurus and The Red Penny Papers, which both take novelettes. I’ll put up a post later this week with a longer list.
As always, I welcome any discussion of these stories in the comments. let me know if you liked them or not and why an feel free to tell me I’m wrong and have bad taste! Also, consider dropping a comment where the option is available on the original stories.
- Breaking the Frame by Kat Howard
There are a million post modern, female centric takes on fairy tales out there, but I particularly like the frame (hahaha) Howard uses for this story. At first I was not down with the cliched relationship at the beginning, then I realized the author was doing that for more than just hipster irony. Highly recommended.
- Cutting by Ken Liu
Stories that require a particular kind of layout can be difficult to do well without seeming gimmicky. No surprise that this is not the case for Ken Liu. Short and amazing.
- The Last Supper by Scott Edelman
This is one of the best zombie stories I’ve ever read. I’m not that into zombies, so my view may be skewed. However, I love the POV here and how Edelman is able to bring all this tension and foster engagement with a character that should be really boring and tedious.
- muo-ka’s Child by Indrapramit Das
Touching first contact story that takes a different angle than most. Again, I really like stories where the aliens are SO very alien.
- Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance by Carrie Cuinn
I had no idea where this story was going when I started, but I loved where it ended up. Funny and touching.
- The Harpy by Laura Heron
Another story that hits many of my kinks. Kinks include dudes who leave their wives for younger women getting what they deserve. Also: women finding their crone power.
- Sexagesimal by Katharine E.K. Duckett
Duckett’s vision of the afterlife pulled me in, but the ending is what completely sold me on this story.
- The 17th Contest of Body Artistry by Alex Dally MacFarlane
Obviously, I’m a fan of stories that take some format other than a straight up narrative, so this one hits my kink in that arena. Plus, it’s just very good and once again has me thinking about aspects of my own worldbuilding. The things that can be revealed about a culture from such things as an art contest and how people react to it is many and varied. Lovity love.
- Night’s Slow Poison by Ann Leckie
A story about a boring 6 month trip through dead space on a small ship might be super boring itself in the hands of a less skilled author. Instead, Leckie nails it.
- Secrets of the Sea by Jennifer Marie Brissett
Touching story that centers on a father/son relationship. Its all blendy with the SF and fantasy, though perhaps if you ask Jenn she would say it’s all SF.
- Garlic Squash by Nicki Vardon
This one is just a lot of fun, especially for those of you tired of people falling in love with sexy vampires. They are not sexy!
- On Higher Ground by Annie Bellet
Normally, I don’t care for stories about sports or where the protagonist is super interested in a sport. But, I have to admit that the author’s descriptions of skiing were so beautiful that I almost wanted to go out and learn to ski. People who are fans of high class sports and the ridiculousness corporateness of them will like this.
- Je me souviens by Su J. Sokol
Trigger warning: rape and child abuse. This one got a little rambly in the middle, but really resonated with me in the end. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between the father and son. I also like that it can be read as speculative or not.
- Heaven Under Earth by Aliette de Bodard
The story as a whole didn’t do it for me as much as I hoped it would in the beginning and middle bits. I am very much enamored with the worldbuilding and the gender politics at play. Would love to discuss such with other folks who read this.
- The Fourth Exam by Dorothy Yarros
Political intrigue! I’m not usually a fan of that, but this pulled me in. Unfortunately, the story feels more like the backstory to a fantastic novel about a political coup and the bureaucrats caught in the middle of the struggle than a standalone. At the end I felt very much like I’d read a prologue.
Visit my Favorite Fiction tag to see all the other short stories I’ve liked so far this year.