Tangent Online Recommended Reading List 2011

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Tangent Online 2011 Recommended Reading List

As with previous years, this list is not meant as comprehensive, there being several items we were not able to acquire and there are always the few stray stories published in non-traditional venues which we did not see. Also, this year we narrowed our focus to only those stories published in professionally paying markets as defined by SFWA (5c/wd.).

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. Quite often 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 merely 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 for any length category. Where there are more than one reviewer’s initials following a story recommendation, they appear in no particular order.

There are approximately 151 stories on this year’s list, many of the reviewers seemingly a bit more stingy (or discriminating) with their recommendations than on past lists. If a story is placed in a wrong length category, please let us know and we’ll correct the oversight.

(The cover above is there simply because I liked it. Cover art by Aurelia Shaw for Panverse Three.)

Reviewer names and initials:

Bob Blough (BB), Dave Truesdale (DT), Carole Ann Moleti (CAM), Joseph Giddings (JG), Colleen Chen (CC), Kevin R. Tipple (KRT), Chuck Rothman (CR), Caroline E Willis (CEW), Jo-Anne Odell (JO), Richard Jones (RJ), John Sulyok (JS), Sherry Decker (SD), Robert Waters (RW), Richard Aphron (RA), Matthew Nadelhaft (MN), Daniel Woods (DW), Steven H Silver (SS), Nader Elhefnawy (NE), Dario Ciriello (DC).

My heartfelt appreciation goes to the ever-changing and evolving review staff who spent much time and energy reviewing for Tangent Online in 2011. Without them there would be no magazine and no list. Thank you, everyone.

Short Stories:

“Julie is Three” by Craig Delancey (Analog, 3/11) SF (BB)
“Astronomic Distances, Geologic Time” by Bud Sparhawk (Analog, 3/11) SF (BB)
“Christ the Painter” by Allen Ashley (Postscripts 24/25, 3/11) SF (DT)
“Paradise Last” by Bill Pronzini & Barry N. Malzberg (F&SF, 1-2/11) H (DT)
“Botanical Exercises for Curious Girls” by Kali Wallace (F&SF, 3-4/11) SF (DT)
“The Sandal Bride” by Genevieve Valentine (Fantasy, 3/11) F (BB)
“Perfection” by Jay Garmon (Redstone SF #11, 4/11) SF (DT)
“Time Considered as a Series of Thermite Burns in No Particular Order” by Damien Broderick (Tor.com, 5/25/11) SF (BB)
“Sturdy Hands And A Heart of Oak” by Ian Tregillis (Tales from The Ur-Bar, 3/11) F (CAM)
“Where We Are Is Hell” by Jackie Kessler (Tales from The Ur-Bar, 3/11) F (CAM)
“Old Habits” by Nalo Hopkinson (Eclipse 4, 6/11) H (DT)
“The Man in Grey” by Michael Swanwick (Eclipse 4, 6/11) F (BB)
“Going Places” by Ray Vukcevich (Like Water for Quarks, 4/11) SF (JG)
“Younger Women” by Karen Joy Fowler (Subterranean Online, Summer 2011) F (BB)
“Queen of Atlantis” by Sarah Brees Brennan (Subterranean Online, Summer 2011) F (CC)
“Their Changing Bodies” by Alaya Dawn Johnson (Subterranean Online, Summer 2011) H (CC)
“Digging” by Ian McDonald (Life on Mars, 4/11) SF (RW, BB)
“Attlee and the Long Walk” by Kage Baker (Life on Mars, 4/11) SF (BB)
“The Old Man and the Martian Sea” by Alistair Reynolds (Life on Mars, 4/11) SF (BB)
“You Have Been Turned Into a Zombie By a Friend” by Jeremiah Tolbert (Fantasy,  6/11) F/ SF (KRT)
“The Widow and the Xir” by Indrapramit Das (Apex, 7/11) SF (CR)
“Crossroads” by Laura Anne Gilman (Fantasy, 8/11) F (CEW)
“The Corpse Painter’s Masterpiece” by M. Rickert (F&SF, 9-10/11) F (CC)
“The Angel Azrael Rode Into the Town of Burnt Church on a Dead Horse” by Peter Darbyshire (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #76, 8-25/11) F (JO)
“To the Gods of Time and Engines, a Gift” by Dean Wells (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Oct. 20, 2011) F (JO)
“Sweeping the Hearthstone” by Betsy James (Realms of Fantasy, 10/11) F (RJ)

“Eight” by Corinne Davis (Strange Horizons, Nov. 14, 2011) SF (SD)
“’Run,’ Bakri Said” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Asimov’s, 12/11) SF (BB)

Short Stories One Star:

“Canterbury Hollow” by Chris Lawson (F&SF, 1-2/11) SF* (BB)

“Fish Cakes” by Ray Vukcevich (Welcome to the Greenhouse, 2/11) SF* (NE)
“That Creeping Sensation” by Alan Dean Foster (Welcome to the Greenhouse, 2/11) SF* (NE)
“The Time of His Life” by Scott William Carter (Realms of Fantasy, 2/11) F* (JO)
“Snake in the Grass” by W. R. Thompson (Realms of Fantasy, 8/11) F* (JS)
“The Ifs of Time” by James Stoddard (F&SF, 3-4/11) F* (DT)
“Cael’s Continuum” by Preston Grassmann (Bull Spec #5, Spring 2011) F* (SD)
“Harry’s Mermaid” by Steve Vernon (On Spec, Spring 2011) F* (JO)
“First Principle” by Nancy Kress (Life on Mars, 4/11) SF* (BB, RW)
“Martian Heart” by John Barnes (Life on Mars, 4/11) SF* (BB)
“The Dead Man’s Child” by Jay Lake (Like Water for Quarks, 4/11) SF* (JG)
“The Old Man’s Best” by Bud Sparhawk (Analog, 5/11) SF* (CEW)
“Dying Young” by Peter M. Ball (Eclipse 4, 6/11) SF* (JG)
“Slow as a Bullet” by Andy Duncan (Eclipse 4, 6/11) F* (BB, DT)
“The Nine Tailed Cat” by Michael J. DeLuca (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #70, 6/11) F* (JG)
“The Good Daughter” by Aaron Polson  (Triangulation:  Last Contact, 7/11) SF* (CR)
“Ocean Daughters” by Jaime Lee Moyer (Triangulation:  Last Contact, 7/11) F* (CR)
“The Fish of Lijiang” by Chen Quifan (Clarkesworld #59, 8/11) SF* (DT)
“Aisle 1047” by Jon Armstrong (F&SF, 9-10/11) SF* (CC)
“The Odor of Sanctity” by Ian Creasey (Asimov’s, 9/11)SF * (JS)
“Messengers from the Stars Will Come to Help Us Overcome the Obstacles That Hold Us Back From Achieving Our True Potential.” by Grady Hendrix (Strange Horizons, 9-12/11) F* (RJ)
“A Box of Thunder” by Lewis Shiner (Strange Horizons, 9-19, 2011) F* (RJ)
“Join” by Liz Coleman (Lightspeed #16, 9/11) SF* (RA)
“The Guide” by Eva Langston, (Altered States, 10/11) F* (CR)
“A Very Old Story” by Mark Pearson (Altered States, 10/11) F* (CR)
“Night Is Nearly Done” by Adam McOmber (Altered States, 10/11) SF* (CR)
“I Am Thinking of You in the Spaces Between” by Shira Lipkin (Apex, 10/11) F* (RJ)
“Second Childhood” by Jerry Oltion (Realms of Fantasy, 10/11) F* (RJ)
“The Butterfly Man”  by Paul Kane (The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, PS Publishing, 10/11) F* (CC)
“Time, Like Blood, on My Hands” by Eric Del Carlo (Redstone #19, 12/11) SF* (MN)
“The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Her Field-General, and Their Wounds” by Seth Dickinson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #85, 12-29/11) F* (JG)

Short Stories Two Stars:

“Into the Gathering Dark” by Darrell Schweitzer (Black Gate #15, Spring 2011) F** (KRT)
“Boumee and the Apes” by Ian McHugh (Analog, 5/11) SF** (CEW)
“The Sacrifice” by Michelle M. Welch (Realms of Fantasy, 4/11) F** (CEW)
“The Strange Case of Madeleine H. Marsh (Aged 14 ½)” by Von Carr (Realms of Fantasy, 4/11) H** (CEW)
“Isabelle’s Garden” by Naomi Kritzer (Realms of Fantasy, 8/11) F** (JS)
“Simulacrum” by Ken Liu (Lightspeed #8, 1/11) SF** (BB)
“Perfect Lies” Gwendolyn Clare (Clarkesworld #54, 3/11) F** (JO)
“The Crane Method” by Ian R. MacLeod (Subterranean Online, Spring 2011) F** (BB)
“Petra” by Greg Bear (Like Water for Quarks, 4/11) SF** (JG)
“A Special Child” by James Glass (Like Water for Quarks, 4/11) SF** (JG)
“Fields of Gold” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse 4, 6/11) SF** (BB)
“Wahala” by Nnedi Okorafor (Life on Mars, 4/11) SF** (BB)
“In the Garden of the Night” by Siobhan Carroll (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #74, 7/11) F** (SD)
“Eziekiel” by Desmond Warzel, (Triangulation:  Last Contact, 7/11) SF**  (CR)
“Norms” by Cynthia Ward (Triangulation:  Last Contact, 7/11) SF**  (CR)
“The Charnel Pit” by Stephen Gaskell (Triangulation:  Last Contact, 7/11) F** (CR)
“The Rugged Track” by Liz Argall (Strange Horizons, August 1 & 8/11), F** (CR)
“The Man Inside Black Betty” by Sarah Langan (F&SF, 9-10/11) SF** (CC)
“D.O.C.S.” by Neal Barrett Jr. (Asimov’s, 9/11) SF** (JS)
“Danilo” by Carol Emshwiller (Asimov’s, 9/11) SF** (JS)
“Frank” by Betsy Phillips (Apex #28, 9/11) H** (CC)
“Day One” by Matthew Costello (Tor.com, 9/11) H** (CEW)
“The Day the Pod Landed” by Jeff Cross (Redstone SF #16, 9/11) SF** (JO)
“iTime” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Redstone SF #17, 10/11) SF** (CR)
“Staying Behind” by Ken Liu (Clarkesworld 10/11) SF** (BB)
“The Countable” by Ken Liu (Asimov’s, 12/11) SF** (BB)
“The Parting Glass” by Andrew Penn Romine (Lightspeed #19, 12/11) SF** (JS)

Short Stories Three Stars:

“Roundelay” by Paula R. Stiles (Black Gate #15, Spring 2011) F*** (KRT)
“Purging Cocytus” by Michael Livingston (Black Gate #15, Spring 2011) F*** (KRT)
“Tying Knots” by Ken Liu (Clarkesworld 1/11) SF*** (BB)
“The Swan Troika” by Richard Parks (Realms of Fantasy, 2/11) F*** (JO)
“To See Infinity Bare” by Rudy Rucker & Paul Di Filippo (Postscripts 24/25, 3/11) F*** (JO)
“The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (F&SF, 3-4/11) F*** (DT)
“Playing for Amarante“ by A. B. Treadwell (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 3-24/11) F*** (JO)
“Eskragh” by Martin McGrath (Albedo One, #39 early 2011) H*** (CEW)
“The Nearest Thing” by Genevieve Valentine (Lightspeed #15, 8/11) SF*** (JG)
“The World is Cruel, My Daughter” by Cory Skerry (Fantasy, 8/11) H*** (CEW)
“God in the Machine” by Charles Patrick Brownson (Triangulation:  Last Contact, 7/11) SF*** (CR)
“In Ruins” by J M Odell  (Triangulation:  Last Contact, 7/11) F*** (CR)
“The Fountain and the Shoe Store” by Paul Steven Marino (Strange Horizons, Sept. 5, 2011) F*** (RJ)
“Grandma Said” by R. Neube (Asimov’s, 9/11) SF*** (JS)
“Lessons from a Clockwork Queen” by Megan Arkenberg (Fantasy, 9/11) F*** (CEW)
“The Beancounter’s Cat” by Damien Broderick (Eclipse 4, 6/11) SF*** (BB, DT)


“The Tomb of the Pontifex Dvorn” by Robert Silverberg (Subterranean Online, Winter 2011) F (BB)
“Home Sweet Bi’Ome by Pat McEwen (F&SF, 1-2/11) SF (DT)
“The Bird Cage” by Kate Wilhelm (F&SF, 1-2/11) SF (BB)
“The Bogle” by Albert E. Cowdrey (F&SF, 1-2/11) F (DT)

“The California Queen Comes A-Calling” by Pat McEwen (Welcome to the Greenhouse, 2/11) SF (NE)
“Master of the Aviary” by Bruce Sterling  (Welcome to the Greenhouse, 2/11) SF (NE)
“The Bridge” by George Guthridge (Welcome to the Greenhouse, 2/11) SF (NE)
“True North” by M.J. Locke (Welcome to the Greenhouse, 2/11) SF (NE)
“Purple” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, 3/11) SF (RW)
“Rutger and Baby Do Jotenheim” by Esther M. Friesner (F&SF, 9-10/11) F (CC)
“Stuff” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s, 12/11) SF (BB)
“Tourists” by James Patrick Kelly (Eclipse 4, 6/11) SF (BB)

Novelettes One Star:

“The Ghiling Blade” by Matthew Corradi (F&SF, 1-2/11) F* (DT, BB)

“FarmEarth” by Paul di Filippo (Welcome to the Greenhouse, 2/11) SF* (NE)

“What We Found” by Geoff Ryman (F&SF, 9-10/11) F* (CC)
“They That Have Wings” by Evangeline Walton (F&SF, 10-11/11) F* (RJ)
“Antiquities and Tangibles” by Mike Pratt (Subterranean Online, Fall 2011) SF* (CR)

Novelettes Two Stars:

“An Uprising of One” by Jamie McEwen (Black Gate #15, Spring 2011) F** (KRT)
“The Taste of Promises” by Rachel Swirsky (Life on Mars, 4/11) SF** (BB)
“Jak and the Beanstalk” by Richard A. Lovett (Analog, 7-8/11) SF** (JG)
“White Lines on a Green Field” by Catherynne Valente (Subterranean Online, Fall 2011) SF** (CR)
“Balfour and Meriwether in The Vampire of Kabul” by Daniel Abraham (Subterranean Online, Fall 2011) SF** (CR)
“Lee at the Alamo” by Harry Turtledove (Tor.com, 9/11) AH** (CEW)

Novelettes Three Stars:

“Anise” by Chris DeVito (F&SF, 9-10/11) SF*** (CC)
“Ephemera” by Steve Rasnic Tem (Asimov’s, 12/11) SF*** (BB)
“The Vicar of Mars” by Gwyneth Jones (Eclipse 4, 6/11) SF*** (BB, DT)


“The Alchemist” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Subterranean Press, 1/11) F (BB)
“Kiss Me Twice” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, 6/11) SF (KRT)
“Rampion” by Alexandra Duncan (F&SF, 5-6/11) F (DT)
“The Ants of Flanders, A Tale of Five Adventures” by Robert Reed (F&SF, 7-8/11) SF (SD)
“Stealth” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Asimov’s, 10-11/11) SF (DW)

Novellas One Star:

“Show Trial” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Subterranean Online, Spring 2011) F* (BB)
“Water to Wine” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Subterranean Online, Spring 2011) SF* (BB)
“The Outside Event” by Kit Reed (Asimov’s, 10-11/11) SF* (DW)
“Martian Chronicles” by Cory Doctorow” (Life on Mars, 4/11) SF* (BB)

Novellas Two Stars:

“The Night Children” by Alexander Gordon Smith (Tor.com, 9/11) H** (CEW)
“All About Emily” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s, 12/11) SF** (BB)

Novellas Three Stars:

“Coordinated Attacks” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Analog, 7-8/11) SF*** (JG)
“The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” by Ken Liu (Panverse 3, 9/11) SF*** (SS, DT)
“SHAKA II” by Mike Resnick (Subterranean Online, Fall 2011) SF*** (CR, DT)

“The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s, 10-11/11) SF*** (DC)



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