What I Read & Wrote in 2020

As so many have said, it’s been difficult to even consider making a 2020 summary/eligibility post! I’ve been struggling, as so many have. At the same time, much of what you see on the surface of publishing has happened over the course of many years’ work, and this year is no different. (PS, this utterly weird year’s not done, nor is my reading, or writing!)

I’ve also been teaching, and teaching during the current era is a lot. It is also a joy, as it gives me a chance to share my love for genre, for approaching the topic from both academic and creative directions, and for working within a community of writers and students to bring new work to readers. Much of my reading this year has been spent diving deep into different places where I want to know more. A huge shout-out here to Philly Poet Laureates Yolanda Wisher and Trapeta Mason for their fall 2020 Rosenbach Museum class, Black Women Writing: Short Stories.

A mostly-regular summary of reading is part of what I do, and have done for several years, on my Patreon pages. I also keep track of most of my novel & nonfiction reading on Goodreads, still. That’s over here. The list includes spectacular reads like Darcie Little Badger’s Elastoe, Shveta Thakrar’s Star Daughter, Sam J. Miller’s The Blade Between, Elizabeth Bear’s Machine, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic, Micaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds, Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun, Ashley Blooms’ Every Bone A Prayer (my NPR Review is here), CL Polk’s The Midnight Bargain, and David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s Winter Counts.

And, lastly, what I wrote this year can fit in a thimble:

  • An Explorer’s Cartography of Already-Settled Lands: A short story, edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, with beautiful artwork by Cinyee Chiu. A series of maps, and discoveries.

  • “Welcome to the Underhill Cinema”: A short story, edited by Ashley King and the students of Western Colorado University’s MFA Program For Writers (publishing concentration, Executive Editor, Kevin J. Anderson), for the Monsters, Movies, and Mayhem anthology.

  • Machina: A serial audio production about the race to bring AI to Mars. Lead author: Fran Wilde. Co-written with Malka Older, Curtis Chen, and Martha Wells. Edited by Marco Palmieri and Julia Rios. Narrated by Natalie Naudus.

  • “Rhizome, by Starlight”: A short story, edited by Tsana Dolichva, for the Rebuilding Tomorrow anthology.

  • Ninth Step Station, Season 2: A serial audio production about a near-future, post-Event Tokyo, and the two detectives trying to solve crimes within it. Lead author: Malka Older. Co-written with Curtis Chen, Jacqueline Koyanagi, and Fran Wilde. Edited by Julian Yap.


I’m looking forward to diving into this year’s reading lists, especially as featured at A.C. Wise’s roundup post and this fantastic list from NPR.  

Now you — what have you been reading?


  1. Hi! Great to hear from you. Despite a reasonably lengthy list of things read I feel like I’m really behind, perhaps because I’ve only read about 40 novels. Losing a 30 minute subway ride each way, 8-10 business trips and a half-dozen con trips cuts down the reading time. (As does a hyperactive kindergartener.) Also a lot of things I would normally have acquired walking around Sally Kobee’s table going “I want that…I want that…I want that” haven’t been bought yet.

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