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Monday, November 23, 2020

Outstanding High Fantasy of 2019

Here are 35 outstanding high fantasy stories from 2019 that were finalists for major SF/F 🏆awards, included in "year's best" SF/F 📙anthologies, or recommended by prolific 👍reviewers in short fiction (see Q&A). That's 35 out of 330+ best SF/F stories from 2019. A story's score is the sum of the +n points in it's "Recommended By" list (click the Details link to see the awards, year's best, and reviewers and the points).

For our purposes, we define "high fantasy" as a fantasy story that takes place in a secondary world. That is, something like Lord of the Rings, where Middle Earth is clearly not in the past or future of our world.

We've included portal fantasies, provided the destination is a secondary world.

Observations:
Click the links to highlight the stories discussed.
  • 26 are free online (highlighted in default view), 14 have podcasts.
  • Among đź“špublications, it should be no surprise that Beneath Ceaseless Skies has the most high fantasy stories here with 14 stories (40%). Analog, Clarkesworld and Interzone had none.
  • Among ️️✒️authors, 2 stories are by Sarah Gailey.
  • High fantasy stories make up 6% of SF/F 🏆awards finalists with 6 stories out of 99 total award-nominated stories from the 2019 Best SF/F. The only major winner was "Silver in the Wood" for the World Fantasy Award.
  • High fantasy did worse (3%) among "year's best" đź“™anthologies with 4 stories out of 122 total included stories from the 2019 Best SF/F. Rich Horton's anthology has 3 stories listed here.
  • They did best (11%) among prolific đź‘Ťreviewers with 12 stories out of 105 total award-worthy stories from the 2019 Best SF/F. A.C. Wise thought 5 of the 12 were award-worthy.
  • As for RSR, we recommended 13 stories (2 award worthy), were neutral on 17 stories, and only recommended against 5 stories (view by RSR rating).

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