As promised in part 1 of my year-end wrap-up, I now present part 2, covering my favorite short fiction from 2012. Unfortunately, I’m much worse at keeping track of short fiction, so I’ll like miss many things. I apologize in advance. Nonetheless, in no particular order, I give you my favorite short fiction from 2012 (most of which was published this year in case you’re looking for things to consider award-wise):
Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream by Maria Dahvana Headley in Lightspeed Magazine
Fade to White by Catherynne M. Valente in Clarkesworld Magazine
A Silly Love Story by Nicole Cipri in Daily Science Fiction
(To See Each Other) Whole Against the Sky by E. Catherine Tobler in Clarkesworld Magazine
The Suicide’s Guide to the Absinthe of Perdition by Megan Arkenberg in Lightspeed Magazine
After Compline, Silence Falls by M. Bennardo in Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Our Town’s Monster by Paul Tremblay in ChiZine
Immersion by Aliette de Bodard in Clarkesworld
Splinter by Shira Lipkin in Apex Magazine
Calamari Curls by Kage Baker in The Book of Cthulhu
And that’s about the point where I failed to write anything else down. Oops. But the list above should give you a good starting point if you’re looking for fabulous short fiction to read.
Mostly, this is a post about books. Shocking, right? I bet you had no idea I like books. It’s not like I ever talk about books or anything. It’s not like I obsessively acquire them, or want to fill every room in my house with them, or sleep curled up around a pile of them or anything. Not at all. So on that note, in no particular order, I present you with a list of books, some old, some new, which constitutes my officially unofficial Bestest Reads of 2012.
Kraken by China Mieville
I am a fan of China Mieville. He has an amazing knack for re-inventing his writing style from book to book, not to mention the fact he’s insanely prolific. Kraken may be one of my favorites of his so far. Squid cults! Living ink! Folding men! London-mancers! Glass angels! I could go on, but I’m afraid I’d be cited for abuse of exclamation points! Suffice it to say, I loved the world-building, the richness of the language, the dense, tanglyness of the prose, and the way even throw away concepts mentioned in a line or two seemed like they could open up into entire novels or stories of their own.
Last Call by Tim Powers
Last Call hit so many of my fictional weakness, it’s almost like it was written just for me: the gritty, noirish feel, unconventional systems of magic with deep roots in history and mythology, compelling, down-on-their luck characters, beautiful turns of phrase, and a pitch-perfect voice all the way through. Parts of it reminded me of another of my favorite books, Barth Anderson’s The Magician and the Fool, which, now that I’ve read both, I could very easily see having been inspired by Last Call. As the best books do, Last Call managed to be both completely satisfying, and leave me wanting more.