2021 Best SF/F

Update 11/9/23: Tagged 31 TOC/46 HM stories from πŸ“™Neil Clarke's year's best science fiction anthology (click link to highlight).
Update 11/9/22: Tagged 2 πŸ†World Fantasy Award winners (click link to highlight).
Update 10/30/22: Tagged 2 πŸ†Shirley Jackson Award winners (click link to highlight).
Update 10/19/22: Tagged 3 πŸ†Asimov's Readers' Award winners (click link to highlight).
Update 9/30/22: Tagged 4 (out of 15) πŸ†Shirley Jackson Award finalists (click link to highlight).

Every month, on the 1st, we add the most recommendedπŸ‘ stories from the previous month's ratings to our Year-To-Date (YTD) list, grouped by story length and current score (must be 2 or more). This is our annual library.

After year's end, during the three-month award nomination season, the YTD list becomes the SF/F Ballots list and story scores are updated as “year’s best” anthologiesπŸ“™ and award finalistsπŸ† are announced. For some awards and the Locus Recommended Reading List, we’ll create an annotated list of the finalists sorted by latest score to help people choose stories to read.

After most nominations close in March, the SF/F Ballots list becomes the Best SF/F list and story scores continue to be updated until November when the last award winners (World Fantasy) are announced. During this time, we’ll produce themed selections of outstanding storiesπŸš€✨πŸŒˆπŸ“š with final scores from the annual library.

1. Year-To-Date

2/1/22: 100% done (✓84/84)
Next Update:

Recommendations By010203040506070809101112
πŸ‘ABrown+2 πŸ‘ABrown+1
πŸ‘KBurnham+2 πŸ‘KBurnham+1
πŸ‘MHaskins+2 πŸ‘MHaskins+1
πŸ‘PGuran.r+2 πŸ‘PGuran.r+1
πŸ‘RHorton.r+2 πŸ‘RHorton.r+1
πŸ‘STomaino+2 πŸ‘STomaino+1
πŸ‘Tangent+2 πŸ‘Tangent+1
Note: KBurnham and PGuran are a month behind because they review online stories (which generally have no advance copies) for a print magazine with a one month lead time.

2. SF/F Ballots

Here are links to ballots for various SF/F awards, 5 that are open to all, and 4 that are open to members of a convention or association. Highlighted awards are currently open for voting.

The magazine-specific awards come with a longlist link to all stories published by each magazine, with blurbs to help you remember the ones you've read and scores to guide further reading.

For the general awards, see the outstanding stories at the 2021 YTD page, grouped by length (novella, novelette, short story), by publication, by new writer (year 1, year 2), or by author.

A. Open to All

B. Open to Members
Here are some helpful aggregation lists for Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form (Metacritic's Best 50 Movies - search for Sci-Fi or Fantasy), and Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form (Metacritic's Best TV Shows). GoodReads Choice Awards 2021 is also useful for science fiction novels, fantasy novels, and graphic novels.

C. Jury-Only

3. Best SF/F

11/9/23: 100% complete (πŸ†39/39; πŸ“™8/8; πŸ‘24/24; 71/71)
Next Updates:

Clicking on a completed award/year's best/reviewer link will highlight the stories whose score was increased by that award/year's best/reviewer.

1. General AwardsFinalistsWinners
2. Subgenre AwardsFinalistsWinners
British FantasyπŸ†₂BFantasy+2πŸ†₂BFantasy+3
Shirley JacksonπŸ†₂SJackson+2πŸ†₂SJackson+3
World FantasyπŸ†₂WFantasy+2πŸ†₂WFantasy+3
3. Readers AwardsFinalistsWinners
Reading ListπŸ†πŸ†₃ReadingList+2πŸ“˜
4. Year's BestHonorable MentionTable of Contents
Best American SF/FπŸ“™₁BASFF+1πŸ“™₁BASFF+2
Jonathan Strahan Sep (Discontinued)
Neil ClarkeπŸ“™₁NClarke+1πŸ“™₁NClarke+2
5. Subgenre BestHonorable MentionTable of Contents
Allan KasterπŸ“™₂AKaster+1
Ellen DatlowπŸ“™₂EDatlow+1
Paula Guran (F)πŸ“™₂PGuran.F+1
Paula Guran (DF&H)πŸ“™₂PGuran.DF+1
6. ReviewersRecommendedAward Worthy
Alex BrownπŸ‘ABrown+1πŸ‘ABrown+2
A.C. WiseπŸ‘ACWise+1πŸ‘ACWise+2
Karen BurnhamπŸ‘KBurnham+1πŸ‘KBurnham+2
Maria HaskinsπŸ‘MHaskins+1πŸ‘MHaskins+2
Paula GuranπŸ‘PGuran+1πŸ‘PGuran+2
Rich HortonπŸ‘RHorton.r+1πŸ‘RHorton.r+2
Sam TomainoπŸ‘STomaino+1πŸ‘STomaino+2
Library JournalπŸ‘LibraryJournal+1πŸ“˜πŸ‘LibraryJournal+2πŸ“˜
Kirkus ReviewsπŸ‘Kirkus+1πŸ“˜πŸ‘Kirkus+2πŸ“˜
Publishers' WeeklyπŸ‘PW+1πŸ“˜πŸ‘PW+2πŸ“˜

Eric Wong
Updated Thursday November 9, 2023

13 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Apex also had Reader's Choice Awards for story and cover (voting was Jan 12-19): https://apex-magazine.com/blog/story-and-cover-of-the-year-2021/

  2. The novelette O2 Arena on Galaxy's Edge made the BSFA shortlist but that wasn't reflected in your latest update.

    1. Thanks for the heads up, I've added it. Congratulations for being a finalist for the BSFA and Nebula awards.

  3. In the Garden of Ibn Ghazi by Molly Tanzer (F&SF Mar/Apr 2021) is now online in Apex 130 (Mar 2022): https://apex-magazine.com/issue-130/in-the-garden-of-ibn-ghazi/

  4. Sentient Being Blues by Christopher Mark Rose from Asimov's Mar/Apr 2021 is now online at Escape Pod 802.

  5. Asimov's has Billie the Kid by Rick Wilber listed as a novelette.

    1. Thanks for the correction, it's now fixed.

  6. "Three Tales from the Blue Library" by Sofia Samatar is now online at Lightspeed 149 (Oct 2022).

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. https://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/three-tales-from-the-blue-library/

  7. The Music of the Siphorophenes by C.L. Polk (F&SF Mar/Apr 2021) is now online at Uncanny 53 (Jul/Aug 2023): https://www.uncannymagazine.com/article/the-music-of-the-siphorophenes/