Saturday, January 27, 2018

2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction Authors

Continuing our analysis of the best science fiction and fantasy short fiction from 2016, we turn our attention to authors. Remember that in this context "best" just means "most-recommended by sources Rocket Stack Rank tracks."

Using the scores for 887 stories from the 2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction article and grouping the stories by author, here are the top authors by average score in 2016.

Top five authors with at least 2 stories by average score:
  • Score 21; Stories 3; Avg Score 7.0: Sam J. Miller
  • Score 14; Stories 2; Avg Score 7.0: Alastair Reynolds
  • Score 14; Stories 2; Avg Score 7.0: N.K. Jemisin
  • Score 23; Stories 4; Avg Score 5.8: Alyssa Wong
  • Score 11; Stories 2; Avg Score 5.5: Peter S. Beagle
  • Click here for a sortable table of 602 authors
For this analysis, a top author needed at least two stories to stand out because, as the pie chart shows, only 25% of authors had more than one story among the 887 surveyed.

Honorable mention goes to Rich Larson who had 15 stories with an average score of 2.3.

There are several different ways to create this list, but we think this is the best one. Here are a set of other rankings and an explanation of our thinking.

Top five authors by total score:
  • Score 34; Stories 15; Avg Score 2.3: Rich Larson
  • Score 23; Stories 4; Avg Score 5.8: Alyssa Wong
  • Score 21; Stories 3; Avg Score 7.0: Sam J. Miller
  • Score 17; Stories 4; Avg Score 4.3: Carrie Vaughn
  • Score 17; Stories 5; Avg Score 3.4: An Owomoyela
  • Click here for a sortable table of 602 authors
To some degree this ranking rewards quantity over quality, so we next considered average score.

Top five authors by average score:
  • Score 15; Stories 1; Avg Score 15.0: Ian R. MacLeod
  • Score 14; Stories 1; Avg Score 14.0: Amal El-Mohtar
  • Score 13; Stories 1; Avg Score 13.0: Carolyn Ives Gilman
  • Score 13; Stories 1; Avg Score 13.0: Victor LaValle
  • Score 10; Stories 1; Avg Score 10.0: Kai Ashante Wilson
  • Click here for a sortable table of 602 authors
Every author here had just one "home run" story in the 887 surveyed, and this list was too similar to the best novella, novelette and short story lists in the first article to be interesting. :-)

That's when we made the pie chart (above) and saw a focus on authors with two or more stories made the list more exclusive and a better measure of broad quality.

For completeness, here are the rankings with minimum requirements of 3 to 5 stories.

Top five authors at least 3 stories by average score:
  • Score 21; Stories 3; Avg Score 7.0: Sam J. Miller
  • Score 23; Stories 4; Avg Score 5.8: Alyssa Wong
  • Score 14; Stories 3; Avg Score 4.7: Nina Allan
  • Score 17; Stories 4; Avg Score 4.3: Carrie Vaughn
  • Score 12; Stories 3; Avg Score 4.0: Dale Bailey
  • Click here for a sortable table of 602 authors
Top five authors with at least 4 stories by average score:
  • Score 23; Stories 4; Avg Score 5.8: Alyssa Wong
  • Score 17; Stories 4; Avg Score 4.3: Carrie Vaughn
  • Score 14; Stories 4; Avg Score 3.5: Suzanne Palmer
  • Score 17; Stories 5; Avg Score 3.4: An Owomoyela
  • Score 13; Stories 4; Avg Score 3.3: Catherynne M. Valente
  • Score 13; Stories 4; Avg Score 3.3: Ken Liu
  • Click here for a sortable table of 602 authors
Top five authors with at least 5 stories by average score:
  • Score 17; Stories 5; Avg Score 3.4: An Owomoyela
  • Score 34; Stories 15; Avg Score 2.3: Rich Larson
  • Score 13; Stories 6; Avg Score 2.2: Seanan McGuire
  • Score 11; Stories 5; Avg Score 2.2: Aliette de Bodard
  • Score 11; Stories 5; Avg Score 2.2: Caroline M. Yoachim
  • Click here for a sortable table of 602 authors

The Top 20% Gets the Most Love

Looking at the quintile distribution by author shows that the top 20% of authors got the vast majority of favorable attention from reviewers, anthologies, and awards.

Sorting the 602 authors by score and adding up scores by quintile, we see that the top 20% of authors (#1-120) got 72% of the points, whereas the bottom 40% of authors (#361-602) got 0 points. The average score is 1.9 (1,165 points/602 authors).


Authors Table

  • Click on a table header to sort that column.
  • Click on an author name to see RSR reviews of their stories. Note the Recommended By list in the reviews are old (not the +2 and +1 style) and incomplete (missing Eugie, Locus, Sturgeon, BASFF, CPayseur, and some GDozois and RHorton +1s). Stale recommendations will be fixed when we move to WordPress and can use dynamic database-generated posts. For now, see the 2016 best novellasnovelettes, and short stories tables for up-to-date lists of recommendations.
  • If the author link is short a story or two, it probably means it wasn't among the 830 stories reviewed by RSR but was included in the 887 stories scored because it was listed in the 5 awards or 5 year's best anthologies. You should be able to find those missing stories by looking in the 2016 best novellas, novelettes, and short stories tables.

AuthorStoriesScoreAverage
Grand Total88711651.3
Rich Larson15342.3
Alyssa Wong4235.8
Sam J. Miller3217.0
An Owomoyela5173.4
Carrie Vaughn4174.3
Ian R. MacLeod11515.0
Lavie Tidhar7152.1
Robert Reed9151.7
Alastair Reynolds2147.0
Amal El-Mohtar11414.0
N.K. Jemisin2147.0
Nina Allan3144.7
Suzanne Palmer4143.5
Carolyn Ives Gilman11313.0
Catherynne M. Valente4133.3
Ken Liu4133.3
Seanan McGuire6132.2
Victor LaValle11313.0
Dale Bailey3124.0
Dominica Phetteplace7121.7
Aliette de Bodard5112.2
Caroline M. Yoachim5112.2
Paul McAuley4112.8
Peter S. Beagle2115.5
Ted Kosmatka4112.8
Jeremiah Tolbert3103.3
Kai Ashante Wilson11010.0
Kij Johnson2105.0
Nick Wolven4102.5
Sarah Pinsker7101.4
Fran Wilde294.5
Gord Sellar294.5
Karl Bunker294.5
Naomi Novik294.5
A. Merc Rustad284.0
Adam-Troy Castro482.0
Brooke Bolander188.0
Genevieve Valentine382.7
Jason Sanford382.7
Ursula Vernon284.0
Yoon Ha Lee284.0
Alex Irvine177.0
Geoff Ryman177.0
Mercurio D. Rivera471.8
Will McIntosh273.5
Charlie Jane Anders561.2
China Miéville263.0
Margaret Ronald263.0
Steven Barnes166.0
Theodora Goss263.0
Cassandra Khaw351.7
Cat Rambo451.3
Debbie Urbanski252.5
E. Lily Yu351.7
Jack Skillingstead551.0
Karin Lowachee252.5
Lois McMaster Bujold155.0
Nnedi Okorafor252.5
Alexander Weinstein144.0
Alice Sola Kim144.0
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam144.0
Brian Evenson441.0
C.W. Johnson242.0
Craig DeLancey144.0
David Erik Nelson144.0
David Gerrold441.0
Esther M. Friesner341.3
G.V. Anderson144.0
Helena Bell144.0
Indrapramit Das144.0
James Patrick Kelly144.0
James Van Pelt441.0
Jay O'Connell144.0
Joe Abercrombie144.0
John P. Murphy144.0
Joseph Allen Hill144.0
JY Yang341.3
K.J. Parker242.0
Lettie Prell341.3
Maggie Clark242.0
Margaret Killjoy242.0
Mary Anne Mohanraj242.0
Matthew Hughes341.3
Nin Harris341.3
Paolo Bacigalupi144.0
Paul Cornell242.0
Priya Sridhar144.0
Rachael K. Jones242.0
Robert R. Chase341.3
Rose Lemberg242.0
Samantha Henderson144.0
Samantha Murray242.0
Sara Saab144.0
Seth Dickinson144.0
T.R. Napper242.0
Tegan Moore242.0
Thoraiya Dyer341.3
Tony Pi144.0
Ada Hoffman133.0
Adrian Tchaikovsky133.0
Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan133.0
Alexandria Baisden133.0
Bao Shu133.0
Barbara Krasnoff133.0
Benjanun Sriduangkaew430.8
Charlotte Ashley231.5
Chi Hui133.0
David Cleden133.0
Delia Sherman133.0
Derek Künsken133.0
E. Catherine Tobler630.5
Eleanor Arnason133.0
Gregory Feeley133.0
Ian McHugh133.0
Isabel Yap231.5
Jennifer Giesbrecht133.0
José Pablo Iriarte133.0
Kameron Hurley231.5
Karen Lord133.0
Kat Howard530.6
Matthew Claxton133.0
Michael F. Flynn133.0
Michael Libling231.5
Nalo Hopkinson231.5
P. Djèlí Clark133.0
S.B. Divya231.5
Sofia Samatar231.5
Wil McCarthy133.0
Zhang Ran133.0
A.M. Dellamonica221.0
A.T. Greenblatt320.7
Ada Hoffmann122.0
Adam Roberts122.0
Albert E. Cowdrey320.7
Alexander Jablokov221.0
Alexis A. Hunter221.0
Allen M. Steele221.0
Arlan Andrews Sr.320.7
Beth Cato122.0
Betsy Phillips221.0
Bill Johnson122.0
Bogi Takács122.0
Bruce McAllister221.0
Bruce Sterling122.0
Bryony Pearce122.0
C. Stuart Hardwick122.0
Caitlín R. Kiernan320.7
Carlos Hernandez122.0
Carmen Maria Machado221.0
Carole Johnstone122.0
Carrie Laben122.0
Charles Yu122.0
Chaz Brenchley122.0
Conor Powers-Smith122.0
Daniel Baker122.0
Darcie Little Badger122.0
Daryl Gregory122.0
David D. Levine122.0
Dayo Ntwari122.0
Desirina Boskovich122.0
Evan Dicken122.0
Ferrett Steinmetz122.0
Gay Partington Terry122.0
Genevieve Cogman122.0
Greg van Eekhout122.0
Gregory Benford221.0
Gregory Norman Bossert221.0
Gu Shi122.0
Gwendolyn Clare122.0
Haralambi Markov122.0
Ian Creasey320.7
Ian McDonald122.0
James Beamon122.0
Jay Werkheiser420.5
Jeffrey Thomas122.0
Jeremy Sim122.0
John C. Wright122.0
John Scalzi122.0
John Schoffstall122.0
K.B. Rylander122.0
Kali Wallace221.0
Karla Schmidt122.0
Kathe Koja122.0
Kelly Stewart221.0
Ken Wharton122.0
Laurie Penny221.0
Leigh Bardugo122.0
Madeline Ashby122.0
Marc Laidlaw221.0
Maria Dahvana Headley320.7
Martin L. Shoemaker320.7
Matthew Bailey122.0
Melissa Scott122.0
Meredith Debonnaire122.0
Michelle Ann King122.0
Nadia Bulkin122.0
Nathan Hillstrom122.0
Nisi Shawl320.7
Oliver Buckram122.0
Pat Murphy122.0
Rachel Swirsky221.0
Rahul Kanakia122.0
Rajnar Vajra221.0
Ray Nayler122.0
Russell Nichols122.0
Ryan W. Norris122.0
S. Qiouyi Lu122.0
S.N. Dyer122.0
Sandra McDonald420.5
Shane Halbach122.0
Shariann Lewitt122.0
Simon Guerrier122.0
Stephen Baxter221.0
Stephen Cox122.0
Steven Popkes122.0
Stix Hiscock122.0
Sunil Patel122.0
Susan Palwick221.0
Tamara Vardomskaya221.0
Tochi Onyebuchi122.0
Vajra Chandrasekera221.0
Walter Dinjos122.0
William Ledbetter122.0
Yosef Lindell122.0
Xia Jia122.0
A Que111.0
A.C. Wise111.0
Abhinav Bhat111.0
Adrienne Celt111.0
Alexander Marsh Freed111.0
Alice Hoffman111.0
Alter S. Reiss210.5
Angela Slatter111.0
Arkady Martine210.5
Benjamin C. Kinney210.5
Bennett North111.0
Betsy James111.0
Bradley P. Beaulieu111.0
Brendan DuBois210.5
C.S. Lane111.0
Caighlan Smith210.5
Carlie St. George111.0
Chen Qiufan111.0
Christopher Shultz111.0
Claude Lalumière111.0
Constance Cooper111.0
Cory Doctorow111.0
Courtney Bird111.0
David Prill111.0
Dennis Danvers210.5
Edward M. Lerner210.5
Ekari Mbvundula111.0
Eric James Stone111.0
Erica L. Satifka111.0
Gabriel Murray111.0
Gardner Dozois111.0
Garth Nix111.0
Gray Rinehart210.5
Guy Haley210.5
Harmony Neal111.0
Helen Stubbs111.0
Ian Sales 111.0
J.T. Sharrah111.0
Jacob A. Boyd111.0
James Alan Gardner111.0
James L. Cambias111.0
James Morrow111.0
Jaymee Goh111.0
Jennifer Campbell-Hicks111.0
Jennifer Hykes111.0
Jennifer Marie Brissett210.5
Jilly Dreadful111.0
Jonathan Carroll111.0
Josh Malerman111.0
Juliette Wade111.0
K.J. Kabza210.5
Karen Russell111.0
Keith Brooke111.0
Kenneth Schneyer111.0
Kristine Kathryn Rusch310.3
Larry Niven210.5
Laura Pearlman111.0
Leah Cypess210.5
Lisa Mason111.0
Liu Yang111.0
Louise Marley111.0
Luo Longxiang111.0
M.K. Hutchins111.0
Malcolm Devlin210.5
Marie Brennan310.3
Marie Vibbert210.5
Marjorie M. Liu111.0
Mark Niemann-Ross111.0
Mary Pletsch111.0
Matthew Kressel111.0
Melissa Marr111.0
Micah Dean Hicks111.0
Nancy Fulda111.0
Nancy Kress210.5
Naru Dames Sundar210.5
Nghi Vo210.5
Onu-Okpara Chiamaka111.0
P. Djeli Clark111.0
Pamela Sargent111.0
Pat Cadigan111.0
Pat MacEwen111.0
Phyllis Eisenstein111.0
Rachel L. Bowden111.0
Ray Cluley111.0
Rebecca Ann Jordan111.0
Rebecca Schiff111.0
Rick Wilber111.0
Rudy Rucker210.5
Ryan Row210.5
Samuel Marzioli111.0
Sarah Frost111.0
Sean McMullen111.0
Sean Williams210.5
Shauna O'Meara111.0
Sheree Renee Thomas111.0
Shira Lipkin111.0
Sieren Damsgaard Ernst111.0
Stephen King111.0
Stephen S. Power111.0
Tedd Roberts111.0
Terry Bisson111.0
Thomas M. Waldroon210.5
Tim Pratt111.0
Todd McCaffrey111.0
Tristina Wright111.0
Tyler Keevil111.0
Vandana Singh111.0
Wang Yuan111.0
Wole Talabi111.0
A.J. Hartley100.0
Aaron Canton100.0
Adam Flynn100.0
Aidan Moher100.0
Alec Austin100.0
Alex Bledsoe200.0
Alex Dally MacFarlane100.0
Alexandra Manglis100.0
Alix E. Harrow100.0
Aliya Whiteley300.0
Allen Stroud100.0
Alvaro Zinos-Amaro200.0
Amy DuBoff100.0
Anaea Lay100.0
Andrew Barton100.0
Andrew F. Sullivan100.0
Andrew Fraknoi100.0
Andrew Kozma100.0
Andrew Neil Gray100.0
Andy P. Smith100.0
Andy Remic300.0
Angie Hodapp100.0
Anil Menon100.0
Ann Chatham100.0
Anthony R. Cardno100.0
Ashley Bevilacqua Anglin100.0
Barbara A. Barnett100.0
Bethany Gilton100.0
Bo Balder100.0
Brad R. Torgersen300.0
Brandon H. Bell100.0
Brian Herbert100.0
Brian Hodge100.0
Brian K. Hudson100.0
Brian Trent100.0
Brit Mandelo200.0
Bud Sparhawk100.0
C.A. Hawksmoor100.0
Carl Frederick100.0
Carrie Cuinn100.0
Charles Payseur100.0
Chen Hongyu100.0
Chikodili Emelumadu100.0
Chinelo Onwualu100.0
Chris DeVito100.0
Chris Kluwe100.0
Christina De La Rocha100.0
Christopher Barzak100.0
Christopher Fowler100.0
Christopher L. Bennett100.0
Christopher Nuttall100.0
Christopher Rowe100.0
Cixin Liu100.0
D.K. Thompson100.0
Dan Malakin100.0
Dan Reade100.0
Daniel Polansky100.0
Daniel Rosen100.0
Daniel Thron100.0
Darin Bradley100.0
Dave Creek200.0
David Drake100.0
David Farland100.0
David K. Yeh100.0
David L. Clements100.0
David Nickle100.0
David Tallerman100.0
Dean Wells100.0
Dean Wesley Smith100.0
Diana Rose Harper100.0
Douglas F. Warrick200.0
E.J. Swift100.0
E.K. Wagner100.0
Effie Seiberg100.0
Elaine Cuyegkeng100.0
Eliot Fintushel100.0
Elisabeth R. Adams100.0
Emily Devenport100.0
Emily Foster100.0
Eric Brown100.0
Eric Choi200.0
Eric Del Carlo100.0
Eric Schwitzgebel100.0
Fábio Fernandes100.0
Frank Wu100.0
Gabriela Santiago100.0
Garrett Ashley100.0
Gavin Smith100.0
Gemma Files100.0
Genevieve Williams200.0
George Zebrowski100.0
Georgina Bruce100.0
Glen Hirshberg100.0
Greg Kurzawa100.0
Gregor Hartmann100.0
Grey Rollins100.0
Gwendolyn Kiste100.0
Gwyneth Jones100.0
Harry Turtledove100.0
Henrietta Hartl100.0
Howard V. Hendrix200.0
Isha Karki100.0
J. Craig Wheeler100.0
J.A. Christy100.0
J.B. Park100.0
J.D. Moyer100.0
J.L. Forrest100.0
J.M. Sidorova100.0
Jack McDevitt100.0
Jack Nicholls100.0
Jack Schouten100.0
Jacqueline Koyanagi100.0
Jaine Fenn100.0
James C. Glass100.0
James Gunn200.0
James Sallis100.0
Janet Edwards100.0
Jed Brody100.0
Jeffrey Ford300.0
Jenn Grunigen100.0
Jennifer Fallon100.0
Jennifer Rohn100.0
Jerry Oltion100.0
Jo Zebedee100.0
Joe M. McDermott200.0
John Chu100.0
John F. Allen100.0
John Shirley100.0
Jon Richards100.0
Jonathan Edelstein100.0
Jordan Kurella100.0
Joseph Tomaras100.0
Julie Novakova100.0
June Oldfather100.0
Justin Barbeau100.0
K.M. Ferebee100.0
K.T. Bryski200.0
Karin Tidbeck300.0
Kathleen Ann Goonan100.0
Kathleen Baldwin100.0
Kathryn Blume100.0
Keith Ferrell100.0
Kelly Cowley100.0
Kelly Robson100.0
Kelly Sandoval200.0
Ken Hinckley100.0
Kevin Jared Hosein100.0
Kiini Ibura Salaam100.0
Kristen Simmons100.0
Kristi DeMeester200.0
Kristin Landon100.0
Kurt Fawver100.0
L.E. Modesitt Jr.100.0
Larry Correia100.0
Laura Lam100.0
Leena Likitalo100.0
Leo Vladimirsky100.0
Les Johnson100.0
Lezli Robyn100.0
Lilliam Rivera100.0
Linden A. Lewis100.0
Lindsay Redifer100.0
Lisa Allen-Agostini100.0
Luke Nolby100.0
M. Fenn100.0
Maggie Slater100.0
Margo Lanagan100.0
Mari Ness100.0
Marianne J. Dyson100.0
Mario Acevedo100.0
Mário de Seabra Coelho100.0
Marisela Navarro100.0
Marissa Lingen100.0
Martin Cahill100.0
Mary A. Turzillo100.0
Mary Robinette Kowal100.0
Matt Wallace300.0
Matthew S. Henry100.0
Max Gladstone200.0
Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff100.0
Melissa F. Olson100.0
Mercedes Lackey100.0
Michael Anthony Ashley100.0
Michael Blumlein100.0
Michael Brookes100.0
Michael R. Underwood200.0
Mike Allen100.0
Mike Buckley100.0
Minister Faust100.0
Minsoo Kang100.0
Mishell Baker100.0
Monica Byrne100.0
Muri McCage100.0
N.J. Schrock100.0
Natalia Theodoridou100.0
Neil Williamson100.0
Nelly Geraldine Garcia-Rosas100.0
Nick T. Chan100.0
Nik Abnett100.0
Norman Spinrad100.0
Octavia Cade100.0
Paul Graham Raven100.0
Pear Nuallak100.0
Peter F. Hamilton100.0
Peter Wood100.0
Philip A. Suggars100.0
Philip Schweitzer100.0
Priya Sharma100.0
R. Neube100.0
Rachel Armstrong100.0
Raphael Ordoñez100.0
Rebecca Campbell100.0
Robert Scherrer100.0
Robert Sharp100.0
Robert Thurston100.0
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz100.0
Ron Collins100.0
Rose Biggin100.0
Rosemary Claire Smith100.0
Ruthanna Emrys100.0
S.E. Jones100.0
Sabrina Vourvoulias100.0
Sara Norja100.0
Sarah Brooks100.0
Sarah Gallien100.0
Sarah McCarry100.0
Sarah Porter100.0
Sarah Tolmie100.0
Sarina Dorie100.0
Sean Bensinger100.0
Sean Monaghan100.0
Sean Vivier100.0
Shawn Scarber100.0
Shveta Thakrar100.0
Siobhan Carroll100.0
Stefon Mears100.0
Stephanie Burgis100.0
Stephanie Osborn100.0
Stephen Case100.0
Stephen Graham Jones400.0
Stephen L. Burns100.0
Stephen R. Wilk100.0
Stirling Davenport100.0
Susan Lanigan100.0
Susana Vallejo100.0
Sylvia Linsteadt100.0
T.S. Bazelli100.0
Tade Thompson200.0
Tamara Romero100.0
Tara Isabella Burton100.0
Terence Taylor100.0
Teresa Naval100.0
Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría100.0
Terry Boren100.0
Thomas R. Dulski100.0
Tim Akers100.0
Tim C. Taylor100.0
Tom Hadrava100.0
Travis Heermann100.0
Tricia Sullivan100.0
Una McCormack100.0
Usman Malik100.0
W. Michael Beachy100.0
Warren Hammond100.0
Will Ludwigsen100.0
Willow Palecek100.0
Yakos Spiliotopoulos100.0
Yukimi Ogawa300.0

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