Thursday, January 25, 2018

2016 SF/F Guide Jonathan Strahan


Best Stories

Novella


Novelette

(SF) The crew of the Themis colony write home about their struggles with a mission and a world that seems to be more than a little off.
Foxfire, Foxfire by Yoon Ha Lee  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 194
(Military Fantasy) Baekdo, a fox who wants to become human, needs one more kill to achieve his goal. A collapsing city in the middle of a civil war seems like a good place to do it but there are complications.
Number Nine Moon by Alex Irvine  Time: 26m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 01.02|16
(Competence SF) In the 2080s, Humanity is abandoning Mars, and Steuby and his companions think they can make money by looting the abandoned settlements at the last minute.
Red As Blood And White As Bone by Theodora Goss  Time: 31m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 05/04/16
(Historical Fantasy) In Eastern Europe between the wars, Klara works as a kitchen maid. One night she admits a woman she thinks is a lost fairy-tale princesses into the castle.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueStarlit Wood 2016
(Fairy Tale) Young Miryem supports her family lending money at interest, but things get difficult when someone from Faerie makes her an offer she can’t refuse.
The Art Of Space Travel by Nina Allan  Time: 42m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 07/27/16
(SF/Mainstream) The crew of the new Mars mission are coming to the hotel where Emily works, and her mom is starting to say strange things about her involvement with the last Mars mission.
The Future Is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueDrowned Worlds 2016
(Post Apocalypse) Teenage Tetley lives in a human settlement (one of the last) built on a miles-wide floating garbage dump. She explains why everyone hates her now.
The Great Detective by Delia Sherman  Time: 42m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 02/17/16
(Steampunk) In 1880s London, Sir Arthur's "Illogic Engine" has gone missing, so he seeks help from Mycroft Holmes.
The Visitor From Taured by Ian R. MacLeod  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Near-Future Hard SF) Lita learned Rob's obsession with alternate universes in college, but waning interest in science made it hard for him to explore it.
Those Shadows Laugh by Geoff Ryman  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Near-Future SF) The secretive parthenogenetic women of Colinas Bravas usually don't allow outsiders into their country, but they invite Ms. Vargas to fix a genetic problem with their children.
Touring with the Alien by Carolyn Ives Gilman  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 115
(SF) Months after mysterious aliens scattered their spacecraft across North America, no one has a clue what they want. Avery knows what one of them wants, though: it wants a tour.
You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay by Alyssa Wong  Time: 33m (Novelette)  IssueUncanny 10
(Historical Fantasy) In a magical Old West, young Ellis has a love for the desert and an affinity for dead things. Both of these attract unwelcome attention from strangers visiting from back East.

Short Story

A Salvaging of Ghosts by Aliette de Bodard  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 195
(Space Opera; Xuya) Thuy seeks her daughter's remains in the twisted parts of unreal space where salvagers pick over the remains of wrecked starships.
Elves Of Antarctica by Paul McAuley  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueDrowned Worlds 2016
(Near-Future SF) A refugee from a drowned island nation works on the Antarctic peninsula, where he studies mysterious stones with elven runes in his spare time.
Even the Crumbs Were Delicious by Daryl Gregory  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueStarlit Wood 2016
(Drug SF) In the middle of preparations for Tindal’s roommate’s funeral, two teenagers show up and start eating the psychotropic drugs off the wall.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: JStrahan+2
Fable by Charles Yu  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueThe New Yorker 05/30/16
(Slipstream Metafiction) Once upon a time a man’s therapist asked him to write a story about himself, his family, and the strange world he lived in, with its dragons and lawyers, witches and doctors, and the darkness closing in.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: JStrahan+2
Laws Of Night And Silk by Seth Dickinson  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 200
(High Fantasy) To defeat the armies of the Efficate, the Cteri train some of their children to be weapons of mass destruction.
Mika Model by Paolo Bacigalupi  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueSlate.com 04/26/16
(SF) A police detective tries to cope with an attractive female robot who confesses to murder.
Red Dirt Witch by N.K. Jemisin  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueFantasy 60
(Black Historical Fantasy) In the closing years of segregation, Emmaline uses her magic to help neighbors and protect her children, for trouble is coming.
Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueStarlit Wood 2016
(Fairy Tale) Tabitha has been walking a long time, trying to wear out seven pairs of iron shoes; Amira has been sitting alone on a glass hill that suitors try to climb.
Seven Birthdays by Ken Liu  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueBridging Infinity 2016
(Far Future SF) Mia marks her birthdays as powers of 7, which gives her lots of time to work out her issues with her mother.
Successor, Usurper, Replacement by Alice Sola Kim  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueBuzzfeed 10/25/16
(Horror) Four friends meet for a writer’s critique group, on a stormy night when a dangerous beast is on the loose outside.
Terminal by Lavie Tidhar  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 04/13/16
(Planetary SF) A vast fleet of "jalopies" carry individuals on a one-way trip from Earth to Mars. People do it for different reasons, some of which we learn about in this story.
The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight by E. Lily Yu  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 12
(Fairy Tale) A young, newly minted witch meets an equally green knight, and they go off together in search of dragons.
Things With Beards by Sam J. Miller  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 117
(Horror) Following a disaster in Antarctica, MacReady spends summer 1983 in New York and starts to wonder what he might have brought back with him.
Two's Company by Joe Abercrombie  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 01/12/16
(High Fantasy Humor) A warrior woman and a thief fleeing from the south meet a male warrior fleeing from the north in the middle of a bridge. Then it gets complicated.
Whisper Road (Murder Ballad No. 9) by Caitlín R. Kiernan  Time: 00m (ShortStory)  IssueSirenia Digest 125
Not reviewed by Rocket Stack Rank.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review []  Recommended By: JStrahan+2
You Make Pattaya by Rich Larson  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(SF Thriller) The narrator is a con man in near-future Thailand, and he has a scheme that might net him enough to retire.


Best Stories 2

Novella

A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson  Time: 1h:54m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 10/25/16
(Fantasy/SF) Young Aqib has a bright future as a noble, but he meets an enchanting foreigner who makes him consider risking everything.
Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire  Time: 2h:09m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 04/05/16
(Portal Fiction; Wayward Children) Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children helps kids who passed through a portal to another world and returned unable to cope with this one.
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle  Time: 1h:32m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 02/16/16
(Black Lovecraftian Horror) In 1924 Harlem, 20-year-old Tommy Tester plays bad jazz and runs minor scams. When an old man offers him $500 to play at his house, he knows there's a catch. It's just not what he expects.
The Devil You Know by K.J. Parker  Time: 1h:19m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 03/01/16
(Fantasy) The philosopher Saloninus makes a deal with the Devil. Except he approaches the Devil, not the other way around, and the Devil is worried it's a trick.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: JStrahan+2
The Dream-Quest Of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson  Time: 1h:59m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 08/16/16
(Fantasy) Vellitt Boe teaches math at a university in the dreamworld. When her star student elopes with a dreamer from the real world, she goes after them.
The Iron Tactician by Alastair Reynolds  Time: 1h:36m (Novella)  IssueThe Iron Tactician 2016
(Military SF) Merlin's starship is one of the best, but it needs repairs, and a derelict starship may have what he needs. Or he can try a binary system where an interplanetary war has raged for centuries.
The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar  Time: 1h:00m (Novella)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Alternate History) In 1950s London after the Nazi's won WWII, a German man tries to find a girl he used to love in response to her call for help.
This Census-Taker by China Miéville  Time: 1h:58m (Novella)  IssueThis Census-Taker 2016
(Post-Apocalypse) At age seven, the narrator thought he saw his father murder his mother. But did he?

Novelette

The Charge and the Storm by An Owomoyela  Time: 54m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 02|16
(SF) In a colony on an almost uninhabitable planet, the technologically-superior Su share power with the humans, but some humans want independence.

Short Story



Notable Stories


Novella


Novelette


Short Story



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