Hello! Each year for nearly a decade, I’ve posted mostly bi-annual lists (this one’s from July) of some of my reading, as well as projects I’ve worked on. It gives me a chance to look back at the year, my reading and work, and what has struck me as especially powerful. This is the final 2018 version — however, the list is, as always, incomplete, sometimes spelled funny, and not in any order except category…*
(*Want to see more complete deep lists? Be a patreon for $1 a month or more and my reading journals are open to you.)
So! Reading suggestions – both mine and others. Whether you’re a SFWA member or not, you should absolutely check out the recommended Nebula reading list for many more than I can list here. Same goes for the Hugo Spreadsheet, organized by Renay, and the Hugo wiki here. I’ll add more lists as I can. (And this list might shift as I realize which things are in the wrong categories. It happens.)
– Empire of Sand, Tasha Suri
– In the Vanisher’s Palace, Aliette de Bodard
– The Mere Wife, Maria Dahvana Headley
– Circe, Madeline Miller
– Tess of the Road, Rachel Hartman
– Black Wings Beating, Alexander London
– The Book of M, Peng Shephard
– Witchmark, C.L. Polk
– Blanca & Roja, Anna-Marie McLemore
– Fire Dance, Ilana C. Myers
– Implanted, Lauren C. Teffeau
– The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal
– Future Home of the Living God, Louise Erdrich
– Blackfish City, Sam Miller
– Blood, Water, Paint, Joy McCullough
– The Girl in the Grove, Eric Smith
– Bluecrowne, Kate Milford
– Tess of the Road (again, a lot)
– The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo
– Head On, John Scalzi
– The Spy with the Red Balloon, Katherine Locke
– Under the Pendulum Sun, Jeannette Ng
– The Black God’s Drums, P. Djeli Clarke
– The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard
– Umbernight, Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld)
There is a note from my great-grandmother in the book on my worktable, they tell me. I haven’t opened it.
– The Emotionless, In Love, Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
Colton sat on the wagon’s seat behind his two horses, his boots resting on the armored footboard.
– Fire Ant, Jonathan Brazee
– The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander (Tor.com)
– The Barrens, Stephanie Feldman (F&SF)
– Dead Air, Nino Cipri (Nightmare)
– The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections, Tina Connolly, Tor.com
–She Still Loves the Dragon, Elizabeth Bear (Uncanny)
“The knight-errant who came seeking you prepared so carefully. She made herself whole for you. To be worthy of you. To be strong enough to reach you, where you live, so very high.”
– One for Sorrow, Two For Joy, LaShawn Wanak (Fireside)
She studied the picture of the boy the parents had sent her: eyes bright, smile shining, arms thrown over a Labrador.
– Carborundum Dev/Null, Annalee Flower Horne (Fireside) [^CW]
“Sandra,” my house told me, as our subdivision’s street lights blinked on, “you have a message I am unable to read aloud.”
– By Claw By Hand By Silent Speech, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry & A. Merc Rustad (Uncanny)
When I decided to study paleontology in college and graduate school, it was because the world of bones is silent.
– The Hydraulic Emperor, Arkady Martine (Uncanny)
The Hydraulic Emperor is nine minutes and twenty-seven seconds long.
– Carouseling, Rich Larson (Clarkesworld)
Ostap is putting the finishing touches on a cartoon tardigrade when Alyce calls him.
– The War of Light and Shadow in Five Dishes, Siobhan Carroll (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
Leu was in the chicken coop when the wall was breached. At the very moment of which I speak, he was facing down Black Dragon, the largest and most homicidal of the barracks’s surviving hens.
– Speak Easy, Suicide Selkies, E. Catherine Tobler (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
They say that when you go to the sky-reflected ocean and strip yourself as bare as the day you were born, the water will take you in. It will hurt—don’t fool yourself.
– Asphalt River Mother Child, Isabel Yap (Strange Horizons)
The girl does not come to Mebuyen, so Mebuyen goes to the girl.
She is standing ankle-deep in the river, looking down, her mouth open.
– Gasping, Brandon O’Brien (Apex)
– A Moment Before Breaking, (The Devil and the Deep – Horror), A.C. Wise
– The Root Cellar, Maria Haskins (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
Grandma’s root cellar looks like a barrow in the gloaming: door facing north, yawning wide beneath the hill. Lintel so low it makes me crouch, threshold so high it makes me stumble.
– The House on the Moon, Will Alexander (Uncanny)
Castle Jordan stands in a place that makes sense according to the logic of castles. It has a good view of a remote area, the better to spot siege-minded armies on the march.
– Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage, Marissa Lingen
I did not remember how I had gotten encased in a cherry tree. Though fragrant, this was inconvenient.
–Jewel of the Vashwa, Jordan Kurella (Apex)
But the truth did not happen that way.
– By The Hand that Casts It, Stephanie Charrette (Shimmer)
If there was one thing Briar Redgrave hated most about her current profession, it was the clients.
– Sour Milk Girls, Erin Roberts (Clarkesworld)
The new girl showed up to the Agency on a Sunday, looking like an old dishrag and smelling like sour milk.
– Origin Story, T. Kingfisher (Apex)
The last of the fairies worked in a charnel house, taking apart the beasts that came dead under her hands. In her youth, she had been the last and least of three; now she was the only living one, and even fairies must earn their keep.
– The No One Girl and the Flower of the Farther Shore, E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld)
Once there grew, in the dust and mud of a village in China, a girl who had only her grandmother to love, and then her grandmother died and was buried and she had no one at all. With no money to patch up the walls and lay new tiles on the roof, the small, smoky home that the two of them had shared slumped around her in the rain, and the little garden ran to nettle and thorn.
– Four-Point Affective Callibration, Bogi Takàcs (Lightspeed)
Of course I can be angry.
– Tank, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots)
The tank hates revolving doors. They’re petrified watching the doors whoosh by, trying to imagine anyone getting into the convention center through these things.
– And Yet, A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny)
– Conservation Laws, Vandana Singh (Uncanny)
I met Gyanendra Sahai for the first time in the bowels of the Lunar Geological Institute, in front of a display case containing an old-fashioned, heavy-built moonsuit.
= I Frequently Hear Music in the Very Heart of Noise, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny)
Just before midnight on January 3, 1924, Ira Gershwin sat on a barstool at the Ambassador Billiard Parlor, reading the New York Tribune’s amusements section while his brother George shot pool with Buddy DeSylva.
– The Kite Maker, Brenda Peynado, Tor.com
You’ve never seen a kite fly until you’ve seen an alien fly one. Dragonfly wings on their backs trembling with anticipation, these deep sighs from their purple mouths as they’re unrolling the spool.
– The Moonapple Menagerie, Shveta Thakrar, Toil & Trouble
– The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington, Phenderson Djèlí Clark
Anthologies, Collections, Graphic Novels & PIcture Books
– A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman, eds
– The Complete Illustrated Earthsea, Ursula LeGuin & Charles Vess
– Robots Vs. Fairies, Navah Wolfe & Dominik Parisien, eds
– Infinity’s End, Jonathan Strahan, ed *
– Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry & Dominik Parisien, eds *
– Who Will Speak For America, Stephanie Feldman & Nathaniel Popkin, eds *
– Unbroken, Marieke Nijkamp, ed.
– My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (2017)
– On a Sunbeam, Tillie Walden
– The Girl with a Dragon Heart, Stephanie Burgis
– Where Ocean Meets Sky (picture book), Terry & Eric Fan
– ALL OF SHIMMER MAGAZINE
– All of FIYAH Lit Mag
– The Underwater Ballroom Society, Stephanie Burgis & Tiffany Trent, eds.
– The Tangled Tree, David Quammen
– Strapless, Deborah Davis
– Sick, Porochista Khakpour
– The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II, Svetlana Alexievich
-“The Final, Terrible Voyage of the Nautilus,” May Jeong
– Whereas, Layli Long Soldier
– Night Sky with Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong
– If They Come for Us, Fatimah Ashgar
– The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur
– The Killing Floor, Ai
– “The Year We Got Rid of Our Ghosts,” Ali Trotta
– “Octavia’s Letter to Marcus Anthony,” Cassandra Khaw
– “Drop Some Amens,” Brandon O’Brien
– “Persephone in Hades,” Theodora Goss
A Cathedral of Myth and Bone by Kat Howard (OH MY GOSH YOU ALL); Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear; A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine; Empress of Forever, Max Gladstone; Ninth Step Station, Malka Older, Curtis Chen, J. Koyanagi, and me. (more coming from me below); Here and Now and Then, Mike Chen; Sal & Gabi Break the Universe, Carlos Hernandez
– “Ruby, Singing,” Beneath Ceaseless Skies, September 27
Yes, I went walking with him near the Deaf King Inn.
There are some in Quadril who will call that my first mistake.
They’d be wrong, my child. It was my fifth.
– “Choose Wisely,” Fireside, December
– “Disconnect,” Uncanny, October (Update: this is a novelette!)
Even in her dreams, Izze always felt pulled in too many directions.
Essays & Drawings
We Will See You Now (Uncanny)
The Linguistics of Disability, or: Empathy over Sympathy (Uncanny)
You Wake Up Monstrous (Fireside, December)
Keeping Time (Clarkesworld)
A Brief Parable (Clarkesworld)
On Teaching My Daughter To Rescue Herself First (Washington Post) (CW)
A Museum of Errant Critters (Terrible Minds)
All the Voices of the Odyssey (Tor.com)
Near Future Worldbuilding Strategies (Tor.com)
“The Sea Never Says it Loves You” (Uncanny)