Cat Rambo, “The Immortality Game,” Fantasy June – remember those kids in high school? The ones who seemed to have it all worked out, who pretty much got anything they wanted, without any effort? I’m not sure I believe in those kids, even if they do turn up in every American high school story ever. But this is one of the best creepy explanations I’ve ever read which explains the phenomenon!
An Owomoyela, “Frozen Voice,” Clarkesworld July – a powerful story about a human family in the midst of alien invasion, touching upon several key themes of difference between the human and alien cultures: names, books, words. The image of humans tying books to themselves as armour to keep the aliens at bay is so vivid and memorable.
Genevieve Valentine, “Souvenir,” Strange Horizons August – a dark, surreal story which sets up clever magic-amongst-the-mundane worldbuilding, plus police procedural elements, plus complex relationships. I do love Valentine’s work.
Ken Liu, “Staying Behind,” Clarkesworld October. Yes, finally I get the Ken Liu thing! This is a gorgeous story about family dynamics in a crumbling society made up of those few who have opted out of the Singularity. It’s beautifully written and packs a hefty emotional wallop.