Favorite Stories of 2017

In 2015, with no real plan or expectations in mind, I set myself the New Year’s resolution of reading a short story every day. I wanted to be more involved in the field of short fiction, and better aware of what was going on at different markets (other than my own). Also, if you’re going to try to write short fiction, you should really do yourself a favor and try to read some of it too.

For the past two years, I’ve been pretty good about keeping to the resolution. I miss some days, and some days I forget to write down whichever story I’ve read. But altogether this year, I read at least 339 short stories, which isn’t half bad. And moreover I really liked about half of them. That’s not say the other half were bad stories–those happen, but they’re mercifully rare–but these 151 were my favorites.

Just going by the numbers, for me the top three venues were Uncanny, Lightspeed, and Escape Pod, while the authors whose names appeared most often were A. Merc Rustad, A.C. Wise, and Adam-Troy Castro.

Anyway, here in (roughly) alphabetic order are all the stories I really liked in 2017:

  1. “A Wound Like an Unplowed Field” by Max Wynne (Lightspeed)
  2. “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time” by K.M. Sparza (Uncanny)
  3. “Whatever Tower, However High” by Julia K. Patt (Escape Pod)
  4. “A Cure for Ghosts” by Eden Royce (Fireside Fiction)
  5. “A Lumberjack’s Guide to Dryad Spotting” by Charles Payseur (Flash Fiction Online)
  6. “Ad Infinitum” by Kate Heartfield (Daily Science Fiction)
  7. “Alexandria” by Monica Byrne (F&SF)
  8. “All the Songs the Little Birds Sing” by T.D. Walker (Luna Station Quarterly))
  9. “An Abundance of Fish” by S. Qiouyi Lu (Uncanny)
  10. “An Equal Share of the Bone” by Karen Osborne (Escape Pod)
  11. “An Unearned Death” by Marissa Lingen (F&SF)
  12. “And No Torment Shall Touch Them” by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s)
  13. “And Then There Were (N-One)” by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny)
  14. “And With Her Went the Spring” by Caroline Ratajski (Nightmare)
  15. “Angels of the Blockade” by Alex Acks (Tor.com)
  16. “Attending Your Own Funeral: An Etiquette Guide” by Erika L. Satifka (Daily Science Fiction)
  17. “Auspicium Melioris Aevi” by JY Yang (Uncanny)
  18. “Beetle-Cleaned Skulls” by J.E.Bates (Escape Pod)
  19. “Big Girl” by Meg Elison (F&SF)
  20. “BlueBellow” by Alexis Pauline Gumbs (Strange Horizons)
  21. “Bodies Stacked Like Firewood” by Sam J. Miller (Uncanny)
  22. “But Only Because I Love You” by Molly Tanzer (Nightmare, reprint)
  23. “Cake Baby” by Charlie Jane Anders (Lightspeed)
  24. “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian (The New Yorker)
  25. “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny)
  26. “Cold Print” by Ramsey Campbell (Pseudopod)
  27. “Crossing” by A.C. Wise (PodCastle)
  28. “Crow Girl” by Lynette Mejia (Daily Science Fiction)
  29. “Crown of Thorns” by Octavia Cade (Clarkesworld)
  30. “Daddy’s Girl” by Jennifer R. Donohue (Syntax & Salt)
  31. “Daisy” by Eleanor Arnason (F&SF)
  32. “Dipso and the Crow” by Rich Larson (Mythic Delirium)
  33. “Down and Out in R’lyeh” by Cathrynne M. Valente (Uncanny)
  34. “Drift Right” by Wendy Wagner (Pseudopod)
  35. “Elemental Love” by Rachel Swirsky (Uncanny)
  36. “Evil Opposite” by Naomi Kritzer (F&SF)
  37. “eyes I dare not meet in dreams” by Sunny Moraine (Tor.com)
  38. “Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny)
  39. “Flowers for the Moon” by Clio Yun-Su Davis (Luna Station Quarterly)
  40. “Given Sufficient Desperation” by Bogi Takács (Escape Pod, reprint))
  41. “Glasswort, Ice” by Emily B. Cantaneo (Lackington’s)
  42. “God-Ray” by Gregory Norman Bossert (Saturday Evening Post)
  43. “Goddess, Worm” by Cassandra Khaw (Uncanny)
  44. “Holding the Ghosts” by Gwendolyn Clare (Escape Pod)
  45. “How the 576th Annual Pollen Festival Blossomed My Budding Career” by S. L. Saboviec (Flash Fiction Online)
  46. “I Built This City for You” by Cassandra Khaw (Uncanny)
  47. “If a Bird Can Be a Ghost” by Allison Mills (Apex)
  48. “In the Blind” by Sunny Morraine (Clarkesworld)
  49. “Infinite Love Engine” by Joseph Allen Hill (Lightspeed)
  50. “James, In the Golden Sunlight of the Hereafter” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed)
  51. “Jonathan’s Heaven Has Many Cats” by Rachael K. Jones (Lackington’s)
  52. “Later, Let’s Tear Up The Inner Sanctum” by A. Merc Rustad (Lightspeed)
  53. “Longing for Stars Once Lost” by A. Merc Rustad (Lightspeed)
  54. “Making Us Monsters” by Sam J. Miller and Lara Elena Donnelly (Uncanny)
  55. “Marta Ranunculus Wolf Calf” by Gillian Barlow Graham (Lackington’s)
  56. “Maybe Look Up” by Jess Barber (Lightspeed)
  57. “Milla” by Lorenzo Crescentini and Emanuela Valentini (trans. Rich Larson) (Clarkesworld)
  58. “Never Truly Yours” by Marion Deeds (Podcastle)
  59. “Next Station, Shibuya” by Iori Kusano (Apex)
  60. “Nilda” by Junot Diaz (This Is How You Lose Her)
  61. “Nozizwe and Almahdi” by J.R. Dawson (Escape Pod)
  62. “On Grief and the Language of Flowers: Selected Arrangements” by Damien Angelica Walters (Mythic Delirium)
  63. “Paradox” by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny)
  64. “Phase Day: A Log of the Journalistic Career of Amaltua Obon” by Kara Dennison (Devilfish Review)
  65. “Probably Still the Chosen One” by Kelly Barnhill (Lightspeed)
  66. “Promises of Spring” by Caspian Gray (Nightmare)
  67. “Red Kelly Owns the Moon” by Shaenon K. Garrity (Escape Pod)
  68. “Remote Presence” by Susan Palwick (Lightspeed)
  69. “Reversion” by Nin Harris (Clarkesworld)
  70. “Rings” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (F&SF)
  71. “Rising Star” by Stephen Graham Jones (Uncanny)
  72. “Rocket Surgery” by Effie Seiberg (Escape Pod)
  73. “Run” by C.R. Hodges (Escape Pod)
  74. “Secret Keeper” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Nightmare)
  75. “Seven Kinds of Baked Goods” by Maria Haskins (Luna Station Quarterly)
  76. “Seven Permutations of My Daughter” by Lina Rather (Lightspeed)
  77. “Sex After Fascism” by Audie Shushan (Luna Station Quarterly)
  78. “Shades of Infinity” by Heather Morris (Shimmer)
  79. “Shape Without Form, Shade Without Color” by Sunny Moraine (Tor.com)
  80. “Silenced” by Melissa Mead (Daily Science Fiction)
  81. “Snow, Blood, Fur” by Theodora Goss (Daily Science Fiction)
  82. “So Sings the Siren” by Annie Neugebauer (Apex)
  83. “Soliloquy in a Cheap Diner Off Route 66” by James Beamon (Apex)
  84. “Some Cupids Kill With Arrows” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Uncanny)
  85. “Some Remarks on the Reproductive Strategy of the Common Octopus” by Bogi Takács (Clarkesorld)
  86. “Stealing Tales” by Mari Ness (Daily Science Fiction)
  87. “Still Life With Abyss” by Jim Grimsley (Asimov’s)
  88. “Still Tomorrow’s Going to Be Another Working Day” by Amy Griswold (F&SF)
  89. “Straight Lines” by Naru Dames Sundar (Escape Pod, reprint)
  90. “Sun, Moon, Dust” by Ursula Vernon (Uncanny)
  91. “Taking Notes on the Varietals of the Southern Coast” by Gwendolyn Clare (F&SF)
  92. “Terra Nullius” by Hanuš Seiner (translated by Julie Nováková) (Strange Horizons)
  93. “Texts from the Ghost War” by Alex Yuschik (Escape Pod)
  94. “That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn (Escape Pod, orig. Tor.com)
  95. “The All of Nothing Days” by Gus Moreno (Pseudopod)
  96. “The Better Part of Drowning” by Octavia Cade (The Dark)
  97. “The Birding: A Fairy Tale” by Natalia Theodoridou (Strange Horizons)
  98. “The Bone Plain” by Karin Tidbeck (Uncanny)
  99. “The Bridgegroom” by Bo Balder (Clarkesworld)
  100. “The Care of House Plants” by Jeremy Minton (F&SF)
  101. “The Dark Birds” by Ursula Vernon (Apex)
  102. “The Desert Cure” by Daniel Ausema (Mythic Delirium)
  103. “The First Stop Is Always the Last” by John Wiswell (Flash Fiction Online)
  104. “The Greatest One-Star Restaurant in the Whole Quadrant” by Rachael K. Jones (Lightspeed)
  105. “The History of the Invasion Told in Five Dogs” by Kelly Jennings (F&SF)
  106. “The House at the End of the Lane Is Dreaming” by A. Merc Rustad (Lightspeed)
  107. “The Joy of Baking” by Holly Lyn Walrath (Luna Station Quarterly)
  108. “The Ladder-Back Chair” by Barbara Krasnoff (Mythic Delirium)
  109. “The Lamentation of Their Women” by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com)
  110. “The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon” by Finbarr O’Reilly (Clarkesworld)
  111. “The Lies I’ve Told to Keep You Safe” by Matt Dovey (Daily SF)
  112. “The Lily Rose” by Emily B. Cataneo (The Dark)
  113. “The Lion” by Mari Ness (Daily Science Fiction)
  114. “The Man in the Crimson Coat” by Andrea Tang (Apex)
  115. “The Names of the Sky” by Matthew Claxton (PodCastle)
  116. “The Ones Who Know Where They Are Going” by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s)
  117. “The Quiltmaker” by Mike Allen (Apex)
  118. “The Regression Test” by Wole Talabi (F&SF)
  119. “The Scholast in the Low Waters Kingdom” by Max Gladstone (Tor.com)
  120. “The Stars and the Rain” by Emily McCosh (Flash Fiction Online)
  121. “The Stars That Fall” by Samantha Murray (Flash Fiction Online)
  122. “The Three-Tongued Mummy” by E. Catherine Tobler (Apex)
  123. “The Toymaker’s Daughter” by Arundhati Hazra (F&SF)
  124. “The Water and the World” by Premee Mohamed (Mythic Delirium)
  125. “The Weight of Sentience” by Naru Dames Sundar (Shimmer)
  126. “The White Fox” by L.P. Lee (PodCastle)
  127. “The Whole Crew Hates Me” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed)
  128. “The Wind You Touch When You Run” by James Beamon (Escape Pod)
  129. “The World Is Full of Monsters” by Jeff VanderMeer (Tor.com)
  130. “These Constellations Will Be Yours” by Elaine Cuyegkeng (Strange Horizons)
  131. “This Is How I Wish to Be Restored” by Christie Yant (Lightspeed)
  132. “To Budapest With Love” by Theodora Goss (Uncanny)
  133. “Two Ways of Living” by Robert Reed (Clarkesworld)
  134. “Vegetablemen in Peanut Town” by August Marion (Escape Pod)
  135. “Water Like Air” by Lora Gray (Flash Fiction Online)
  136. “Wave-function collapse” by Filip Wiltgren (Daily Science Fiction)
  137. “We Are Not These Bodies, Strung Between The Stars” by A.C. Wise (Pseudopod)
  138. “We Are Turning on a Spindle” by Joanna Parypinski (Nightmare)
  139. “Welcome to Astuna” by Pip Coen (Apex)
  140. “Wendy, Darling” by A.C. Wise (Daily Science Fiction)
  141. “What I Told My Little Girl About the Aliens Preparing to Grind Us Into Hamburgers” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed)
  142. “When Dooryards First in the Lilac Bloomed” by B. Morris Allen (Lackington’s)
  143. “When First He Laid Eyes” by Rachael K. Jones (reprinted at Pseudopod)
  144. “Which Super Little Dead Girl™ Are You? Take Our Quiz and Find Out!” by Nino Cipri (Nightmare)
  145. “While the Black Stars Burn” by Lucy A. Snyder (Apex)
  146. “Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?” by Matthew Kressel (Nightmare)
  147. “With Cardamom I’ll Bind Their Lips” by Beth Cato (Uncanny)
  148. “Women’s Work” by Amelia Aldred (Flash Fiction Online)
  149. “Yosemite” by D.S. McNab (Escape Pod)
  150. “You and Me and Mars” by Sandy Parsons (Luna Station Quarterly)
  151. “You Will Never Know What Opens” by Mair Ness (Lightspeed)

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