Saturday, December 22, 2018

Outstanding SF/F by People of Color 2017

In the spirit of Lightspeed Magazine's famous People of Color Destroy Science Fiction series, here are 59 stories by 47 people of color that had scores of 2+ from RSR's 2017 Best SF/F list. That list contains the 287 most-recommended stories out of 842 covered, so the 59 stories by people of color make up around 21% of the best of 2017.

Some stories not reviewed by RSR are in the Best SF/F list because they were award finalists πŸ†, included in year's best anthologies πŸ“™, or recommended by other prolific reviewers πŸ‘ (see Q&A for SF/F awards, year's best anthologies, and prolific reviewers followed).

Readers asked us to make it easy for them to find good stories written by authors with diverse racial backgrounds, and that’s what this list is meant to accomplish (author identity plays no role in our ratings). This is the second year we've done this list (2015-2016).

Please leave a comment if you see a story by a person of color in our 2017 Best SF/F list that isn't included here, or if a story here isn't by a person of color. We browsed author bios on the web to identify people of color but with hundreds of authors to look up, it's easy to make mistakes. Thank you.


  1. 40 are free online, and 21 have podcasts (click links to highlight them).
  2. The default Length/Rating view shows RSR reviewed 45 of the 59 stories (76%), recommended 18 of the 45 (40% ★★★★★ or ★★★★☆), and only recommended against 6 of the 45 (13% ★★☆☆☆ or ★☆☆☆☆).
    1. Compared to other prolific reviewers πŸ‘, RSR's 18 recs is more than STomaino's 8 and JMcGregor's 6.
    2. Among Year's Best anthologies πŸ“™, JStrahan and PGuran tied with 10, followed by GDozois, NClarke and RHorton with 8, then BASFF with 7.
    3. Among awards πŸ†, Locus had the most with 13, followed by Hugo (8), Nebula (5), Sturgeon and World Fantasy (4), Shirley Jackson (3), Eugie (2), and British Fantasy and British Science Fiction Association with 1 each.
  3. The Length/Score view shows the top scoring novella is "The Black Tides of Heaven" by JY Yang, novelette is "A Series of Steaks" by Vina Jie-Min Prasad, and short story is "Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance" by Tobias S. Buckell. (The top score for novellas is typically less than the other two lengths because there's room for few of them in year's best anthologies and they're usually not covered by prolific short fiction reviewers.)
  4. The Publication/Length view shows the top three magazines with the most stories here are Lightspeed (6), Clarkesworld (5), and Tor Novellas (5), out of 29 magazines, anthologies, collections, and singles.
  5. The New Writer/Score view shows 9 stories by Campbell Award-eligible writers (15%).
  6. The Author view shows Aliette de Bodard and JY Yang with the most stories here (3 each) out of 47 authors.

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