What I loved reading in 2015

Feels weird doing this at the tail end of January, but better late than never.

 

Short Stories

Two of the stories I recommended for Autistic Book Party were also among my general favorites for the year. These are Rose Lemberg’s Birdverse stories, “Grandmother Nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds” and “Geometries of Belonging“.

Other favorites from the year include:

Heather Clitheroe, “Wild Things Got to Go Free“.

S.L. Huang, “By Degrees and Dilatory Time“.

Naomi Kritzer, “Cat Pictures Please“.

Kelly Link, “The Game of Smash and Recovery“.

Carmen Maria Machado, “Descent“.

Sam J. Miller, “When Your Child Strays From God“.

 

Long Poetry

By far the best long poem I read in 2015 was “Long Shadow” by Rose Lemberg. Here are other ones I very much enjoyed:

Theodora Goss, “Lady Winter“.

Theodora Goss, “Snow White Learns Witchcraft“.

Theodora Goss, “Swan Girls“.

Rose Lemberg, “archival testimony fragments / minersong“.

M. Sereno, “Adarna“.

This list makes my reading habits look much more limited and selective than they actually were. It’s my favoriting habits that were selective this year. I suppose I have particular tastes.

 

Short Poetry

Kayla Bashe, “Changeling Manifesto“.

Theodora Goss, “The Stepsister’s Tale“.

Peter Medeiros, “Dronin’“.

Virginia M. Mohlere, “Where Secrets Are Placed“.

Alyssa Wong, “For the Gardener’s Daughter“.

Some stories that I liked in 2014

I really, really fell off the fandom wagon in 2014. I haven’t even tried to keep up with things (even the thing I like!) in a fair or balanced manner.

But not all of 2014 was doom and gloom, and I did read a few things here and there that I really, really liked. Especially in the first 1/3 or so of the year.

So here’s a totally-incomplete-and-biased list of these things, in case you want more story recs. ๐Ÿ˜€

Seth Dickinson, “Morrigan in the Sunglare
Barry King, “Something In Our Minds Will Always Stay
Yoon Ha Lee, “The Bonedrake’s Penance
Yoon Ha Lee, “Wine
Rose Lemberg, “Stalemate
An Owomoyela, “And Wash Out by Tides of War
Merc Rustad, “How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps”
Benjanun Sriduangkaew, “Golden Daughter, Stone Wife
Bogi Takรกcs, “This Shall Serve as a Demarcation”
Ursula Vernon, “Jackalope Wives

Of these, I am especially fond of Merc’s story and I think it should be nominated for things. So, y’know, those of you who have actual nomination privileges at various places should get on that or something. ๐Ÿ˜€

(I managed to keep up a little bit better with poems than stories, so poems will get their own separate post, later.)

How To Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps, by Merc Rustad

In case you missed it on Twitter yesterday, I have to gush and squee right now about this story by my writing friend Merc Rustad.

I have a conflict of interest here because Merc and I beta (and alpha) read each other’s stories a lot, and are generally fans of each other, but this is my favorite story of everything I’ve ever seen from em, published or otherwise. I am glad Scigentasy picked it up, because it IS very much about gender identity, and about finding the people whose friendship and support will keep you alive.

There’s some other stuff in there. (Which is why it needs a Trigger Warning not just for gender/species dysphoria, but for suicidal ideation andย  a brief scene of psychological abuse.) If anyone is in a reviewing/discussing mood, I would love to see someone analyze the story from a mental health / social impairment / disability perspective, because I think there’s a lot about that hidden in the story, too. Due to my conflict of interest & general lack of distance, I don’t think that person should be me this time around.