Tangent Online 2019 Recommended Reading List

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Tangent Online 2019 Recommended Reading List

As with previous years, this list is not meant as comprehensive, there being a number of items we didn’t see. As was the case with the last several years, we narrowed our focus (with some exceptions) to those stories published in professionally paying markets as defined by SFWA.

There are 372 stories on this year’s list (up 22 from last year’s 345): 313 short stories (up 36 from last year’s 277), 49 novelettes (down 4 from last year’s 53), and 10 novellas (down 5 from last year’s 15). As with any such list—especially ours with its ever-changing review staff—different reviewers bring different perspectives on how to approach stories and how they are measured; and of course the stories themselves are of varying “quality,” if such a thing as quality can be measured by any objective standard. However, it does seem as if each year has its own nebulous, general level of quality, with some years being commented upon in retrospect as great years for quality fiction and others not so much. There are just too many variables to nail down as to why any given year—or recommended reading list—has more or fewer stories placed on it by a different cast of reviewers, each of whom brings their individual set of standards to the fiction they read.

Such a list as the one below brings to it a rather broad cross section of the genre’s readership (i.e., that nameless reader at which short fiction venues are always aiming to attract). Some reviewers are relatively new to SF/F, while others have a long relationship with the genre but may not have experience at the reviewing end of the process. There are those who have read extensively for decades and who have experience at reviewing as well; there are a few currently selling writers who know from experience what goes into crafting a work of fiction, and there are those with an academic viewpoint with wide knowledge of the genre who bring a more critical approach to the fiction they review, and place on this list.

As is our custom, there are four sections to each length category. Those making the list in the short story, novelette, and novella lengths but having no stars, and those with either one, two, or three stars, according to how well the reviewer or reviewers valued a particular story. From time to time you will see more than a single reviewer’s initials following a given entry. We have placed the story in the category receiving the most stars. Thus, it is possible that while one reviewer placed a story on the list without any stars, another also placed it on the list but with one or more stars, thus elevating that story to the higher ranking. Where there are more than one reviewer’s initials following a story recommendation, they appear in no particular order, thus making it impossible to determine which of the reviewers provided this higher ranking. Conversely, it is also possible that each reviewer held the same opinion of any given story.

If a story is placed in an incorrect length category, please let us know and we’ll be happy to correct the oversight. Reviewers are free to place stories on this list from any of their reading during the year, and are not restricted to those venues covered here, nor to publications they have personally reviewed.

Of the publications we review, three closed shop this year for various reasons: Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, Apex, and Compelling Science Fiction. On the plus side, we began reviewing the following publications: Deep Magic, DreamForge, Unfit, Unreal, and Tales from the Magician’s Skull.

If you would like to review for Tangent Online, knowledge of the SF/F/H genres is a must, and reviewing experience is highly preferred. Interested parties may contact the editor at:  tangent.dt1@gmail.com. Please note that Tangent Online is a fanzine (eligible for Hugo award consideration in the fanzine category) and does not pay its contributors.

(Cover above for Future Science Fiction Digest #2, March 2019. Cover art by Luca Oleastri.)

2019 Reviewer names and initials

Jeffrey Abrams (JA), Christos Antonaros (CA), Richard Cartwright (RC), Kat Day (KD), Alex Granados (AG), Tara Grimravn (TG), Kevin P Hallett (KPH), Geoff Houghton (GWH), C. D. Lewis (CDL), Jason McGregor (JM), Michelle Ristuccia (MR), Chuck Rothman (CR), Seraph (S),Victoria Silverwolf (VS), Dave Truesdale (DT), Robert L Turner III (RLT), Mike Wyant, Jr. (MJW).

I wish to thank the reviewers for the time and energy they have devoted to reading and reviewing this year’s offerings. Without them, no Tangent Online and no Recommended Reading List; they’re the ones who make it all work. Thanks are also due those who sent material for review, and of course our loyal readership throughout 2019—our 26th year since that first, slim July/August 1993 print issue was mailed out.

Below are covers from original anthologies, or reprint collections which included original fiction making the list. Magazine covers (print and online) are interspersed throughout the list in no particular order.







Short Stories

“The Washer from the Ford” by Sean McMullen (F&SF, 1-2/219) F (CR)

“For the Wicked, Only Weeds Will Grow” by G. V. Anderson (Interzone, 1-2/19) SF (VS)

In the Fog, There’s Nothing But Grey” by Michelle Ann King (Black Static #67, 1-2/19) H (TG)

Why?” by Joy Kennedy-O’Neill (Galaxy’s Edge #36, 1-2/19) SF (KPH)

The Pulse of Memory” by Beth Dawkins (Apex #116, 1/19) SF (KPH)

“The Man Whose Left Arm Was a Cat” by Jennifer Lee Rossman (Diabolical Plots #47, 1/19) F (JM)

Eater of Worlds” by Jamie Wahls (Clarkesworld #148, 1/19) SF (JA)

La Orpheline” by Jordan Taylor (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #269, 1/17/19) F (TG)

Hunger and the Lady” by Peter McLean (Grimdark #18, 1/19) F (KPH)

“Boy Meets Witch” by Rebecca A. Coates (Skull & Pestle: New Tales of Baba Yaga, 1/19) F (VS)

“What It Sounds Like When You Fall” by Natalia Theodoridou (Nightmare #76, 1/19) H (JM)

“Thoughts and Prayers” by Ken Liu (Slate, 1/26/19) SF (JM)

Do Not Look Back, My Lion” by Alix E. Harrow (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #270, 1/31/19) F (TG)

Death’s Other Cousin” by Lisa Silverthorne (Fiction River #31: Feel the Love, 1/19) F (TG)

Loving Abby” by Angela Penrose (Fiction River #31: Feel the Love, 1/19) SF (TG)

“The Secret of Catnip” by Stefon Mears (Fiction River #31: Feel the Love, 1/19) F (TG)

“Painwise” by Robert Reed (Clarkesworld #149, 2/19) SF (VS)

“Knowing Me” by Eric G. Swedin (Trace the Stars, 2/19) SF (VS)

“Cycle 335” by Beth Buck (Trace the Stars, 2/19) SF (VS)

The Thing in the Pond” by John R. Fultz (Weirdbook Annual #2: The Cthulhu Mythos, 2/19) H (TG)

The Hutchinson Boy” by Darrell Schweitzer (Weirdbook Annual #2: The Cthulhu Mythos, 2/19) H (TG)

Smith’s Point” by Steven Brust and Skyler White (DreamForge Magazine #1, 2/19) F (TG)

Sing! & Remember” by Lauren C. Teffeau (DreamForge Magazine #1, 2/19) F (TG)

I Am Not As Young As I Once Was” by Jean Martin (DreamForge Magazine #1, 2/19) F (TG)

Adrianna in Pomegranate” by Samantha Mills (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #271, 2/14/19) F (TG)

“Quiet the Dead” by Micah Dean Hicks (Nightmare #77, 2/19) H (JM)

“The Crying Bride” by Carrie Laben (The Dark #45, 2/19) H (JM)

Local Senior Celebrates Milestone” by Mathew Claxton (Diabolical Plots, #48 2/19) SF (KPH)

“Safebuoys” by Wes Smiderle (Flash Fiction Online #65, 2/19) SF (VS)

“Quilting With the Rejects” by Megan Lee Beals (Flash Fiction Online #65, 2/19) F (VS)

“The Gatekeeper” by Marlane Quade Cook (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #39, 2/19) F (VS)

“Articulated Restraint” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor.com, 2/19) SF (VS)

The Boy Who Loved Drowning” by R.K. Duncan (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #272, 2/28/19) F (TG)

“Maiden’s Dance” by Rebecca Lyons ( Pulphouse  #5, Winter 2019) F (VS)

“The Prison-House of Language” by Elana Gomel (Apex #118, 3/19) SF (VS)

Self-Storage Starts with the Heart” by Maria Romasco Moore (Lightspeed #106, 3/19) F (KPH)

“The Starry Sky over the Southern Isle” by Zhao Haihong (Asimov’s, 3-4/19) SF (VS)

“The Lost Testament” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, 3-4/19) SF (DT)

Second Quarter and Counting” by James Van Pelt (Analog, 3-4/19) SF (KPH, JM)

Example” by Adam-Troy Castro (Nightmare #78, 3/19) SF (KPH)

The Roost of Ash and Fire” by David Walton (Future Science Fiction Digest #2, 3/19) SF (RLT)

An Itch” by Christopher Baker (Writers of the Future, 4/19) F (CDL)

The Care and Conservation of Unusual Properties” by Julia August (On Spec #110, Vol. 29, No. 3-4, 4/19) F


On the List” by Brad Preslar (On Spec #110, Vol. 29, No. 3-4, 4/19) SF (TG)

Elegy” by Sarah L. Johnson (On Spec #110, Vol. 29, No. 3-4, 4/19) F (TG)

What Cradles Us But Will Not Set Us Free” by Nin Harris (Strange Horizons, 4/1/19) H (TG)

“Professor Strong and the Brass Boys” by Amal Singh (Apex #119, 4/19) SF (VS)

Skyscrapers in the Sand” by Y. M. Pang (Clarkesworld #151, 4/19) SF (KPH)

“Why Aren’t Millennials Continuing Traditional Worship of the Elder Dark?” by Matt Dovey (Diabolical Plots

#50, 4/19) F (MJW)

The Girl and the House” by Mari Ness (Nightmare #79, 4/19) H (TG)

Tessellations, in a Greater Hand” by Artyv K (Strange Horizons, 4/8/19) H (TG)

The Memory Bank & Trust” by Patrick Hurley (Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores 4/19) F (TG)

“Painless” by Rich Larson (Tor.com, 4/19) SF (JM)

“Fire, Steel, and Flaming Pearls” by Kai Hudson (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) F (CR)

“Cry the Thousand Sentinels” by Brian Trent (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) SF (CR)

“Red Reckoning” by Jonathan Shipley (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) SF (CR)

“Don’t Wake the Dreamer” by KM Dailey (Deep Magic #64, Spring 2019) F (CR)

“The Disappearing Neighborhood” by Robert J. McCarter (Pulphouse #6, Spring 2019) F (VS)

Wild Ships” by Phoebe Wagner (Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, 5/19) SF (TG)

“The Royalty of Apartment Complex 417” by Alex Shvartsman (Galaxy’s Edge #38, 5-6/19) SF (VS)

“The Woman with a Thousand Faces” by Rachelle Harp (Galaxy’s Edge #38, 5-6/19) SF (VS)

“Move Forward, Disappear, Transcend” by A. T. Greenblatt (Clarkesworld #152, 5/19) SF (VS)

“What the Sea Reaps, We Must Provide” by Eleanor R. Wood (Diabolical Plots #51, 5/19) F (VS)

Beach People” by Joanna Parypinski (Black Static, 5-6/19) H (KPH)

Sacrificial Iron” by Ted Kosmatka. (Asimov’s, 5-6/19) SF (RLT)

“I See Punk Elephants” by Blake Jessop (DreamForge #2, 6/19) SF (JM)

“Pioneer” by Mark Gallacher (DreamForge #2, 6/19) SF (JM)

“Americans on the Moon” by Oleg Divov (Future Science Fiction Digest #3, 6/19) SF (VS)

Revival” by Lisa M. Bradley (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #279, 6/6/19) F (TG)

Silver Springs” by T.R. North (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #279, 6/6/19) F (TG)

Tales of the Flame” by Dirk Strasser (Aurealis #121, 6/19) F (TG)

Skinner Box” by Carole Johnstone (Tor.com, 6/19) SF (KPH)

“Into the Roots of the World, Bearing Light” by Jeremy A. TeGrotenhuis (InterGalactic Medicine Show

#69, 6-7/19) F (KD)

A Handful of Sky” by Elly Bangs (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #280, 6/20/19) F (TG)

The Loch” by Zannier Alejandra (Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline, 7/19) F (CDL)

Bonne Chance Confidential” by Jack Bates (Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline, 7/19) F (CDL)

Steel Dragons of a Luminous Sky” by Brian Trent (Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline, 7/19) F (CDL)

“Lies of the Desert Fathers” by Stewart Moore (Diabolical Plots #53, 7/19) SF (VS)

“The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of” by Christopher L. Bennett (Footprints in the Stars, 7/19) SF (VS)

“The Black Box” by James Chambers (Footprints in the Stars, 7/19) SF (VS)

“The Sound of Distant Stars” by Judi Fleming (Footprints in the Stars, 7/19) SF (VS)

Hard’s Watcher” by Kerry Nietz (Heroes of the Realm, 7/19) SF (KPH)

Let a Thousand Poppies Bloom” by Rick Norwood (Galaxy’s Edge #39, 7-8/19) SF (TG)

The Walking Man” by Lou J. Berger (Galaxy’s Edge #39, 7-8/19) SF (TG)

The Melody Lingers” by Christopher L. Bennett (Galaxy’s Edge #39, 7-8/19) F (TG)

The Everlasting Humming of the Earth” by Molly Gloss (F&SF, 7-8/19) F (KPH)

“All Tomorrow’s Parties” by Phoebe North (Analog, 7-8/19) SF (VS)

“A Wonderful Thing to Say” by Dan Reade (Analog, 7-8/19) SF (VS)

“Captain Zack & the Data Raiders” by Steve Rasnic Tem (Analog, 7-8/19) SF (VS)

“Glass Eyes in Porcelain Faces” by Jack Westlake (Black Static #70, 7-8/19) H (MJW)

“The Summer is Ended and We Are Not Saved” by Natalia Theodoridou (Black Static #70, 7-8/19) H


Can You Tell Me How to Get to Apocalypse” by Erica L. Satifka (Interzone #282, 7-8/19) SF/H (TG)

Heaven Looks Down on the Tomb ” by Gregor Hartmann (Interzone #282, 7-8/19) SF (TG)

Verum” by Storm Humbert (Interzone #282, 7-8/19) SF (TG)

Across the Bough Bridge” by Mackenzie Kincaid (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #281, 7/4/19) F (KPH)

Faêl” by Tobi Ogundiran (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #282, 7/18/19) F (KPH)

“Small Discrete Intervals from a Sample Size of One” by J. Steven York (Pulphouse #7, Summer 2019) SF


“Daisy’s Heart” by Robert J. McCarter (Pulphouse #7, Summer 2019) SF (VS)

“Acceptable Losses” by Dayle A. Dermatis (Pulphouse #7, Summer 2019) SF (VS)

“Neighbors and Little Thieves” by Monica Evans (Flash Fiction Online #71, 8/19) SF (VS)

“The Eye Eaters” by Matthew Bailey (Flash Fiction Online #71, 8/19) F (VS)

“Cerise Sky Memories” by Wendy Nikel (Flash Fiction Online #71, 8/19) SF (VS)

“Bury-Me-Not” by Katherine Heath Shaeffer (Flash Fiction Online #71, 8/19) F (VS)

“The Yorkshire Mammoth” by Harry Turtledove (Clarkesworld #155, 8/19) SF (VS)

“Then, Stars” by Michael Meyerhofer (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #41, 8/19) F (JM)

“The Skin of a Teenage Boy Is Not Alive” by Senaa Ahmad, (Nightmare #83, 8/19) H (MJW)

“Dead Waves” by Sean McCoy (Weirdbook #41, 8/19) F (JM)

“The Girl Who Loved Like Fire and the Blacksmith Who Was Afraid of His Heart” by Jennifer Bushroe (On

Spec #111, 8/19) F (VS)

“Hospice” by Leslie Brown (On Spec #111, 8/19) SF (VS)

Doing Well by Doing Good” by Chris Nuttall (Terra Nova, 8/19) SF (TG)

No Hypocritical Oath” by Rob Hampson (Terra Nova, 8/19) SF (TG)

Desertion” by Kacey Ezell (Terra Nova, 8/19) SF (TG)

Blood, Sweat, and Tears” by Chris Smith (Terra Nova, 8/19) SF (TG)

Wellington” by Alexander Macris (Terra Nova, 8/19) SF (TG)

“Esclados the Red” by Isaac E. Payne (DreamForge #3, 9/19) F (KD)

“The Specular Boy” by Hal Y. Zhang (DreamForge #3, 9/19) SF (KD)

“Revolutions Per Minute” by Josh Rountree (DreamForge #3, 9/19) F (KD)

“And Now His Lordship is Laughing” by Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons, 9/9/19) H (VS)

“Inheritance” by James Rowland, (Aurealis #124, 9/19) SF (MJW)

A Ladder to the Moon” by Naoko Awa (Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores 9/19) F (TG)

“The Answer That You Are Seeking” by Jenny Rae Rappaport (Lightspeed #112, 9/19) SF (KD)

Four Days” by David Carrico (The Chronicles of Davids, 9/19) F (TG)

The Seven Nipples of Molly Kitchen” by D.J. Butler (The Chronicles of Davids, 9/19) H (TG)

The Tyranny of Distance” by Dave Freer (The Chronicles of Davids, 9/19) SF (TG)

The Savage” by David Drake (The Chronicles of Davids, 9/19) SF (TG)

Treaty’s Imposter” by Marjorie King (Deep Magic #66, Fall 2019) SF (TG)

Forget-Me-Nots for the Potter’s Field” by Wendy Nikel (Deep Magic #66, Fall 2019) F (TG)

“News from an Alien World” by Sean Vivier (Analog, 9-10/19) SF (VS)

“Shut-Ins” by Christian Monson (Analog, 9-10/19) SF (VS)

“The Singing City” by Michael F. Flynn (Analog, 9-10/19) SF (VS)

Portrait of the Artist” by K. J. Parker (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #287, 9/26/19) F (MR)

Slingshot” by Aaron Rosenberg (In Harm’s Way, 10/19) SF (TG)

Medicine Man” by Robert E. Waters (In Harm’s Way, 10/19) SF (TG)

Sympathetic” by Eric V. Hardenbrook (In Harm’s Way, 10/19) SF (TG)

“The Planting Prayer,” by Caroline Diorio (Flash Fiction Online #73, 10/19) H (KD)

“Song Xiuyun” by A Que (Clarkesworld #157, 10/19) SF (MJW)

“The Stoker and the Plague Doctor” by Alex Acks (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H (CR)

“Blood Lust and Gold Dust” by Travis Heermann (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H (CR)

By That Much” by Joseph A. McCullough (Tales from the Magician’s Skull #3, 10/19) F (TG)

Five Death” by James Enge (Tales from the Magician’s Skull #3, 10/19) F (TG)

The Second Death of Hanuvar” by Howard Andrew Jones (Tales from the Magician’s Skull #3, 10/19) F


Water: A History” by KJ Kabza (Tor.com, 10/19) SF (KPH)

Rough Musick” by Joslyn Chase (Fiction River #32: Superstitious, 10/19) F (TG)

The Robin Club” by Ron Collins (Fiction River #32: Superstitious, 10/19) H (TG)

Sweet Sixteen” by Ryan M. Williams (Fiction River #32: Superstitious, 10/19) F (TG)

Three Breaths” by Lisa Silverthorne (Fiction River #32: Superstitious, 10/19) H (TG)

The Perils of Taking Table Selfies at a Con” by Annie Reed (Fiction River #32: Superstitious, 10/19) F


“The Great Mandini and the Dead Man’s Hand” by Kevin Wabaunsee (Strange Horizons, 10/14/19) F (VS)

Still Life” by Adam Stemple (Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, 10/19) H (TG)

Dead Run” by Aaron Michael Ritchey (Parallel Worlds, 10/19) SF (CDL)

Threshold” by Todd Fahnestock (Parallel Worlds, 10/19) F (CDL)

“Echo of the Siren” by Richard Zwicker (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #42, 11/19) F (VS)

“Your Future is Pending” by Matthew Kressel (Clarkesworld #158, 11/19) SF (VS)

“Whom My Soul Loves” by Rivqa Rafael (Strange Horizons, 11/11/19) F (VS)

“Inside the Body of Relatives” by Octavia Cade (Asimov’s, 11/12/19) SF (VS)

Don’t Come Looking” by Jack Westlake (Black Static, 11/12/19) H (KPH)

Point of Closest Approach” by Anthony George (Galaxy’s Edge #41, 11-12/19) SF (KPH)

Where the Train Goes” by K. G. Anderson (Galaxy’s Edge #41, 11-12/19) F (KPH)

“The Duchess of Drinke Street” by Tim Chawaga (Interzone #284, 11-12/19) SF (KD)

“Annotated Setlist of the Mikaela Cole Jazz Quintet” by Catherine George (Clarkesworld #159, 12/19) SF


The Thing About Heisenball” by Stewart C. Baker (Flash Fiction Online #75, 12/19) SF (TG)

Like Him with Friends Possess’d” by Allan Dyen-Shapiro (Flash Fiction Online #75, 12/19) SF (TG)

The Garden’s First Rule,” by Sheldon Costa (Strange Horizons, 12-2/19) F (MJW)

The Petals of the Godflower” by Kyle Kirrin (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #292, 12-5/19) F (KPH)

“Forged in Iron and Blood” by Jeanna Mason Stay (Deep Magic #67, Winter 2019) F (VS)

The Ghost of a Smile” by John Jos. Miller (DreamForge #4, 12/19) F (KPH)

Consequences of a Statistical Approach Towards a Utilitarian Utopia: A Selection of Potential Outcomes”

by Matt Dovey (Diabolical Plots #58, 12/19) SF (TG)

The Time Variance of Snow” by E. Lily Yu (Tor.com, 12/19) F (TG)

Dislocation Space” by Garth Nix (Tor.com, 12/19) SF (TG)

Motherhood” by Pat Murphy (Lightspeed #115, 12/19) SF (TG)

The Path of Pins and Needles” by KT Bryski (Lightspeed #115 12/19) F (TG)

End of the Sleeping Girls” by Molly Gutman (Lightspeed #115 12/19) F (TG)


Short Stories One Star

“To the Beautiful Shining Twilight” by Carrie Vaughn (F&SF, 1-2/19) F* (CR)

“The Province of Saints” by Robert Reed (F&SF, 1-2/19) SF* (CR, DT)

The Wordless Age” by Elly Bangs (Galaxy’s Edge #36, 1-2/19) SF* (KPH)

What You Won’t Remember” by Christopher Blake (Galaxy’s Edge #36, 1-2/19) SF* (KPH)

“All the Difference” by Leah Cypess (Asimov’s, 1-2/19) SF* (MJW)

Applied Linguistics by Auston Habershaw (Analog, 1-2/19) SF* (JM, CR)

“The Last Squirrel Keeper” by Shane Halbach (Analog, 1-2/19) SF* (CR)

“Forever” by Mary Soon Lee (Analog, 1-2/19) SF* (CR)

“Clockwork Cataclysm” by Edward M. Lerner (Analog, 1-2/19) SF* (CR)

“Lulu’s Friends” by Aimee Ogden (Analog, 1-2/19) SF* (CR)

“Temple Of Children” by Jennifer R. Povey (Analog, 1-2/19) SF* (CR)

“Soft We Wake” by S. B. Divya (Analog, 1-2/19) SF* (CR)

“The Moonstone in the Dust” by Carolyn Hine (Aurealis #117, 2/19) F* (KD)

“The Skinwalkers Ball” by Hammond Diehl (Strange Horizons, 3/4/19) F* (MJW)

True Faith and Allegiance” by Michael Gants (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF* (RC)

The Downeasters” by Brendan DuBois (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF* (RC)

“When Home, No Need to Cry” by Erin K. Wagner (Clarkesworld #150, 3/19) SF* (MJW)

“The Thing With the Helmets” by Emily C. Skaftun (Clarkesworld #150, 3/19) SF* (MJW)

“Cosmic Go” by Jeong Soyeon (Readymade Bodhisattva, 3/19) SF* (CR)

Playscape” by Diana Peterfreund, (F&SF, 3-4/19) F* (S)

The Unbearable Lightness of Bullets” by Gregor Hartmann (F&SF, 3-4/19) SF* (S)

Parenting License” by Leah Cypess (Analog, 3-4/19) SF* (KPH)

“Totenhaus” by Amanda J. Bermudez (Black Static #68, 3-4/19) H* (JM)

Dirt Coad Magic” by Carrie Callahan (Writers of the Future, 4/19) F* (CDL)

Boiled Bones and Black Eggs” by Nghi Vo (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #275, 4/11/19) F* (JA)

Abomination” by Michelle Birkette (Aurealis #119, 4/19) H* (JA)

“Foreign Bodies” by Melinda Brasher (Deep Magic #64, Spring 2019) SF* (CR)

“All Times, All At Once” by Laurie Tom (InterGalactic Medicine Show #68, 4-5/19) SF* (KD)

“The Fairy’s Bell” by Bruce Golden (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) F* (CR)

“Losing Face” by Matthew Reardon (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) SF* (CR)

“Behind the Purple Haze” by John A. Frochio (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) SF* (CR)

“Proving Pictures” by Tony Genova (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) F* (CR)

“The Thunderbird Photo” by Jennifer Lee Rossman (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) F* (CR)

“The Fulcrum” by Shannon McDermott (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) SF* (CR)

Paradigm Shift” by Eric Cline (Analog, 5-6/19) SF* (AG)

Our Fathers Find Their Graves in Our Short Memories” by Rebecca Campbell (Interzone, 5/19) SF* (KPH)

A Stone’s Throw” by Howard Andrew Jones, (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #40, 5/19) F* (S)

Trail of Ashes” by Caleb Williams (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #40, 5/19) F* (S)

Spoils of War” by Kacey Ezell (Noir Fatale, 5/19) SF* (RLT)

A Goddess in Red” by Griffin Barber (Noir Fatale, 5/19) F* (RLT)

Sweet Seduction” by Laurell K. Hamilton (Noir Fatale, 5/19) F* (RLT)

The Painter of Trees” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld #153, 6/19) SF* (JA)

“How to Confront the Sphinx Haunting Your Garden” by Alexei Collier (Flash Fiction Online #69, 6/19) F*


The Ceiling of the World” by Nicole Crucial (Diabolical Plots #52, 6/19) F* (KD)

“Long Hair” by Stefan Slater (InterGalactic Medicine Show #69, 6-7/19) F* (KD)

Sand Castles” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed #110, 7/19) F* (JA)

Accidents are Not Possible” by Sarah Van Goethem (Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline, 7/19) F* (CDL)

As The Spindle Burns” by Nellie K. Neves (Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline, 7/19) F* (CDL)

“A Sip of Pombé” by Gustavo Bondoni (DreamForge #3, 9/19) SF* (KD)

“Fire in the Sky” by Scott Paul Hallam (DreamForge #3, 9/19) F* (KD)

“All In” by Rajan Khanna (Lightspeed #112, 9/19) F* (KD)

Little Inn on the Jianghu” by Y.M. Pang (F&SF, 9-10/19) F* (S)

Under the Hill” by Maureen McHugh (F&SF, 9-10/19) F* (S)

Ghost Ships” by Michael Swanwick (F&SF, 9-10/19) F* (S)

Winter Wheat” by Gord Sellar (Asimov’s 9-10/19) SF* (MR)

Daily Bread” by E.A. Copen (Parallel Worlds, 10/19) F* (CDL)

Monsters” by Jim Butcher (Parallel Worlds, 10/19) F* (CDL)

“A Talk with My Mother” by Charlaine Harris (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H* (CR)

“Sunlight and Silver” by Jeffrey J. Mariotte (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H* (CR)

“The Relay Station at Wrigley’s Pass” by Derrick Ferguson (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H* (CR)

“The Spinners” by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H* (CR)

Consider the Monsters” by Beth Cato (Diabolical Plots #57, 11/19) F* (AG)

The Touches” by Brenda Peynado (Tor.com, 11/19) SF* (KPH)

“Shucked” by Sam J. Miller (F&SF, 11-12/19) F* (CR)

“A Hand at The Service of Darkness” by Gregor Hartmann (F&SF, 11-12/19) F* (CR)

Follow, Past Meridian” by Mark W. Tiedemann (Analog, 11-12/19) SF* (KPH)

Watching” by Tim Lees (Black Static, 11-12/19) H* (KPH)

Sky and the Wheelchair” by Nick DiChario (Galaxy’s Edge #41, 11-12/19) F* (KPH)

“She and I and We” by Timothy Mudie (Interzone #284, 11-12/19) SF* (KD)

A Possession of Magpies” by E. E. King (Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, 12/19) H* (S)

Library Timeby William A. Turley (On Spec #112, 12/19) SF* (KPH)


Short Stories Two Stars

The Ice Angel of Leningrad” by Eugene Morgulis (Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, 1/19) F** (DT)

“Fingers” by Frederick Gero Heimbach (Analog, 1-2/19) SF** (CR)

“The Fading Pages of a Short Story” by Bud Sparhawk (Analog, 1-2/19) SF** (CR)

Dem Bones” by Lavie Tidhar (Strange Horizons, 2/18/19) H** (CA)

Ham Sandwich” by Jody Lynn Nye (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF** (RC)

Alpha Gamers” by Griffin Barber (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF** (RC)

Knowledgeable Creatures” by Christopher Rowe (Tor.com, 3/19) SF** (CA)

The Damned Voyage” by John Haas (Writers of the Future, 4/19) F** (CDL)

A Harvest of Astronauts” by Kyle Kirrin (Writers of the Future, 4/19) F** (CDL)

“The Peddler’s Reward” by Carrie Anne Noble (Deep Magic #64, Spring 2019) F** (CR)

“Out of the Belly of Hell” by Max Sparber (InterGalactic Medicine Show #68, 4-5/19) H** (KD)

“The Ghost Train” by J. D. Blackrose (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) F** (CR)

“Running on Empty” by Arthur Carey (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) SF** (CR)

“The Sixth-Gun Conspiracy Letters” by Evan A. Davis (Hidden Histories, Spring/Summer 2019) SF** (CR)

The Gates of Paradise” by Edward M. Lerner (Analog, 5-6/19) SF** (AG)

Bonobo” by Robert Reed (Clarkesworld #153, 6/19) SF** (JA)

The Song of Black Mountain” by Darrell Schweitzer (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #40, 5/19) F** (S)

Worth the Scars of Dying” Patrick M. Tracy (Noir Fatale, 5/19) F** (RLT)

Between the Dark and the Dark” by Deji Bryce Olukotun (Lightspeed #109, 6/19) SF** (AG)

“To Know and Be Known” by Aimee Ogden (InterGalactic Medicine Show #69, 6-7/19) SF** (KD)

“The Chaos Crushers’ Day Off” by Alethea Kontis (InterGalactic Medicine Show #69, 6-7/19) F** (KD)

Ramps and Rocket” by Alicia K. Henderson (Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline, 7/19) F** (CDL)

Make This Water No Deeper” by Blake Jessop (Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline, 7/19) F** (CDL)

Things Forgotten on the Cliffs of Avevig” by Wendy Nickel (Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline, 7/19) F** (CDL)

“Pendulum” by Steven J. Dines (Black Static #70, 7-8/19) H** (MJW)

Entanglement” by Christopher Blake (Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, 8/19) SF** (AG)

“Sacrid’s Pod ” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed #112, 9/19) SF** (KD)

Nanny” by Les Johnson (People of the Stars, 9/19) SF** (KPH)

Homecoming” by Gardner Dozois (F&SF, 9-10/19) F** (S)

“Mr. Buttons” by Miyuki Jane Pinckard (Flash Fiction Online #73, 10/19) H** (KD)

“The Snow-White Heart” by Marie Brennan (Flash Fiction Online #73, 10/19) H** (KD)

“Pinkerton’s Prey” by Frog and Esther Jones (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H** (CR)

“Cookie” by Shane Lacy Hensley (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H** (CR)

Prisoner” by L. J. Hachmeister (Parallel Worlds, 10/19) SF** (CDL)

The Tragedy of John Metcalf” by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne (Parallel Worlds, 10/19) F** (CDL)

The Magpie and the Mosquito” by Josh Vogt (Parallel Worlds, 10/19) F** (CDL)

“All Electric Ghosts” by Rich Larson (Clarkesworld #157, 10/19) SF** (MJW)

When They Damned the Name of Oma Rekkai from Memory, I Danced” by Caias Ward (Infinite Lives: Short

Tales of Longevity, Fall 2019) SF** (GWH)

“Knit Three, Save Four” by Marie Vibbert (F&SF, 11-12/19) SF** (CR)

Wolves” by Edward Ashton (Analog, 11-12/19) SF** (KPH)

“Parasite Art” by David Tallerman (Interzone #284, 11-12/19) SF** (KD)

A Prayer to the Fundamental DOS” by Filip Wiltgren (Future Science Fiction Digest #5, 12/19) SF** (KD)

“Soul Searching Search Engines” by Rodrigo Assis Mesquita (Future Science Fiction Digest #5, 12/19) SF**


Hot Times in Shady Pines” by Gary Kloster (DreamForge #4, 12/19) SF** (KPH)


Short Stories Three Stars

“Survey” by Adam-Troy Castro (F&SF, 1-2/19) H*** (CR, DT)

The Fall from Griffin’s Peak” by Pip Coen (F&SF, 1-2/19) F*** (CR)

The King’s Mirror” by M. K. Hutchins (Strange Horizons, 1/21/19) F*** (S)

Starry, Starry Night” by John Ringo Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF*** (RC)

Spectrum” by Mike Massa (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF*** (RC)

Storming the Tower of Babel” by Sarah Hoyt (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF*** (RC)

Return to Mayberry” by Rob Hampson (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF*** (RC)

It Just Might Matter in the End” by Travis S. Taylor (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF*** (RC)

Inhale to the King, Baby! by Michael Z. Williamson (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF*** (RC)

The Cat Hunters” by Dave Freer (Voices of the Fall, 3/19) SF*** (RC)

Thanatos Drive” by Andrew Dykstal (Writers of the Future, 4/19) F*** (CDL)

“Schrodinger’s Grottoes” by Andrew Gudgel (InterGalactic Medicine Show #68, 4-5/19) SF*** (KD)

Bedtime Snacks for Baby” by Catherine George (Flash Fiction Online #68, 5/19) F*** (MR)

“The Two-Bullet War” by Karen Osborne (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #278, 5/23/19) F*** (MJW)

The Frost Queen” by Robert Buettner (Noir Fatale, 5/19) SF*** (RLT)

“Last Days at Rosewood House” by Sarah Grey (InterGalactic Medicine Show #69, 6-7/19) F*** (KD)

“For Sale: Veterinary Practice On Sigma 4; Certain Conditions Apply” by Jared Oliver Adams (InterGalactic

Medicine Show #69, 6-7/19) SF*** (KD)

Miles and Miles and Miles” by Andrew Pennn Romine (Lightspeed #110, 7/19) SF*** (JA)

“You Called Me” by Avra Margariti (Flash Fiction Online #73, 10/19) F*** (KD)

The Death of Fire Station 10” by Ray Nayler (Lightspeed #113, 10/19) SF*** (KPH)

“Dreamcatcher” by Marsheila Rockwell (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H*** (CR)

“El Jefe de la Comancheria” by Mario Acevedo (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H*** (CR)

“Six Weeks in the Life of a Cultural Documentations Officer” by Alexandra Seidel (Future Science Fiction

Digest #5, 12/19) SF*** (KD)

“Dead Worms, Dangling” by Joanna Parypinski (Nightmare #87, 12/19) H*** (KD)



“Seven Stops Along the Graffiti Road” by David Cleden (Interzone, 1-2/19) SF (VS)

All We Inherit” by Eric Schaller (Black Static #67, 1-2/19) H (TG)

“Teeth” by Jessamy Corob Cook (Skull & Pestle: New Tales of Baba Yaga, 1/19) F (VS)

“The Bloody Battle of Broccoli Plain” by Djuna (Readymade Bodhisattva, 3/19) SF (CR)

“The Elephant Idol” by Xavier Lastra (Cirsova #11, Spring 2019) F (VS)

The Archronology of Love” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed #107, 4/19) F (KPH)

“A Giant’s Rightful Due” by Amanda C. Davis (InterGalactic Medicine Show #68, 4-5/19) F (KD)

“Arctic Adagio” by DJ Cockburn (Annorlunda Books, 5/19) SF (VS)

“Monarch of the Feast” by Paul Di Filippo (Analog, 7-8/19) SF (VS)

“Seonag and the Seawolves” by M. Evan MacGriogair (Tor.com, 8/19) F (VS)

“La Molejera” by Marie Brennan (Cirsova, Vol. 2, #2, Fall 2019) H (VS)

Dave’s Head” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld #156, 9/19) SF (KPH)

Zeitgeber” by Greg Egan (Tor.com, 9/19) SF (KPH)

The Smallest of Things” by Catherine L. Smith (People of the Stars, 9/19) SF (KPH)

Bridging” by William Ledbetter (People of the Stars, 9/19) SF (KPH)

“On Her Shoulders” by Martin L. Shoemaker (Analog, 9-10/19) SF (VS)

“Dixon Parade” by Stephen Hargadon (Black Static #71, 9-10/19) H (VS)

“How Alike Are We” by Bo-Young Kim (Clarkesworld #157, 10/19) SF (MJW)

Naked, Stoned, and Stabbed” by Bradley Denton (Tor.com, 10/19) F (KPH)

Knee Deep in the Sea” by Melissa Marr (Lightspeed #114, 11/19) F (KPH)

“Selfless” by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s, 11-12/19) SF (VS)

“SeeApp” by James Van Pelt (Asimov’s, 11-12/19) SF (VS)

An Eye for an Eye” by Jerry Oltion (Analog, 11-12/19) SF (KPH)

“Appointment in Vienna” by Gabriel Murray (Clarkesworld #159, 12/19) F (VS)


Novelettes One Star

The Plot Against Fantucco’s Armor” by Matthew Hughes (F&SF, 3-4/19) F* (S)

Contagion’s Eve at the House of Noctambulous” by Rich Larson, (F&SF, 3-4/19) F* (S, JM)

Better” by Tom Greene (Analog, 3-4/19) SF* (KPH, JM)

“A Reminder of Old Earth” by Aaron Perry (Deep Magic #64, Spring 2019) SF* (CR)

The Brick” by Jeffrey Lyman (Heroes of the Realm, 7/19) SF* (KPH)

Girls Who Never Stood a Chance” by Deborah Coates (F&SF, 7-8/19) F* (KPH)

At the Bottom of the White” by Todd McCaffrey (People of the Stars, 9/19) SF* (KPH)

“A Geas of the Purple School” by Matthew Hughes (F&SF, 11-12/19) F* (CR)


Novelettes Two Stars

“Blue As Blood” by Leah Cypess (F&SF, 1-2/19) SF** (CR)

“Ring Wave” by Tom Jolly (Analog, 1-2/19) SF** (CR)

Singer-of-Truth” by Martin L. Schoemaker (Man-Kzin Wars XV, 2/19) SF** (CDL)

“She Sells Sea-Hells by the C Door” by Eric Del Carlo (Aurealis #117, 2/19) SF** (KD)

“Storm Between My Teeth” by Lim Taewoon (Readymade Bodhisattva, 3/19) SF** (CR)

“Our Banished World” by Kim Changgyu (Readymade Bodhisattva, 3/19) SF** (CR)

Postlude to the Afternoon of a Faun” by Jerome Stueart, (F&SF, 3-4/19) F** (S)

Demons from the Deep” by Adrian Cole (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #40, 5/19) F** (S)

Then, When” by Eric Del Carlo (Asimov’s, 9-10/19) SF** (MR)

American Gold Mine” by Paolo Bacigalupi (F&SF, 9-10/19) F** (S)

Erase, Erase, Erase” by Elizabeth Bear, (F&SF, 9-10/19) F** (S)

“Doth Make Thee Mad” by Jane Lindskold (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H** (CR)

“Not Fade Away” by Cliff Winnig (Straight Outta Deadwood, 10/17) H** (CR)

“How I Came to Write Fantasy” by Michael Libling (F&SF, 11-12/19) F** (CR)


Novelettes Three Stars

“Where Boats Go” by Kim Jung-hyuk (Readymade Bodhisattva, 3/19) SF*** (CR)

A Mate Not a Meal” by Sarina Dorie (Analog, 3-4/19) SF*** (KPH)

“One/Zero” by Kathleen Ann Goonan (Tor.com, 4/3/19) SF*** (MJW)

“Bird Thou Never Wert” by James Morrow (F&SF, 11-12/19) F*** (CR)

“The Vicious World of Birds” by Andy Stewart (F&SF, 11-12/19) F*** (CR)



The Green and Growing” by Erin K. Wagner (Aqueduct Press, 1/19) SF (KPH)

“Instantiation” by Greg Egan (Asimov’s, 3-4/19) SF (JM)

The Boy Who Was Mistaken for a Fairy King” by H.L. Fullerton (Annorlunda Books, 11/19) F (TG)

“The Flight of the Whisper King” by Bradley P. Beaulieu (Grimdark #20, 10/19) F (VS)


Novellas One Star

“The City of Lost Desire” by Phyllis Eisenstein (F&SF, 1-2/19) F* (CR, DT)

The Third Kzin” by Jason Fregeau (Man-Kzin Wars XV, 2/19) SF* (CDL)

Waterlines” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s, 7-8/19) SF* (KPH)


Novellas Two Stars

“The Savannah Problem” by Adam-Troy Castro (Analog, 1-2/19) SF** (CR)

The Work of Wolves” by Tegan Moore (Asimov’s, 7-8/19) SF** (KPH)

You Must Remember This” by Jay O’Connell (Analog, 11-12/19) SF** (KPH)


Novellas Three Stars

Of those novellas we saw this year, there were no 3-star recommendations.