I’ve tried to be a bit more pro-active this year with my short fiction recommendations, tweeting the stories I really enjoyed on the @lastshortstory account.* Because I have a full time job, a family, do two podcasts and enjoy things other than reading – such as playing Fifa 12 – there was no way I was ever going to read every short story published in any given month. But just so you know where my recommendations are coming from I thought I’d note what I am reading (in no particular order):
- Black Static (including the December 2011 / January 2012 edition);
- Interzone (though the first issue hasn’t arrived at my doorstep yet – possibly because it hasn’t actually been published);
- Fantasy and Science Fiction;
- Cemetery Dance (if I ever get hold of an issue);
- Strange Horizons;
- Subterranean Online (which I intend to read quarterly);
- Apex Magazine;
- Lightspeed Magazine; and
It comes to ten publications, and while they make up maybe 2% of the actual stories published in a given year, they are the source of most of the nominated and award winning stuff that doesn’t come from original anthologies (which I generally won’t be reading in full, but might cherry pick the odd story if time allows).
Anyway, enough justifications and explanations. Here’s my recommended reading for January:
Asimov’s Magazine (which includes stories in the January, February and March issues)
- Robert Reed, Murder Born (published in the February edition);
- Leah Cypess, Nanny’s Day (published in the March edition)
Fantasy and Science Fiction (January / February edition)
- Ken Liu, Maxwell’s Demons
- Megan Arkenberg, How Many Miles to Babylon
- Ken Liu, The Five Elements of the Heart Mind (yes, story number for two for Ken).
So there’s six stories for you to enjoy. Have a read and tell me what you think.*** Have I lost the plot? Am I possibly the greatest recommendation person ever? Or something possibly in between?
Also, is there something in January that I missed? Feel free to send through recommendations in the comments. As I said, I’m not going to read everything, but I’d like to be pointed in the direction of great writing, no matter where it’s published.
* And thanks for Peter Ball for suggesting that I hashtag the recs #mondy so people actually knew they were coming from me.
** Oh, and every Monday I’m also reading Rob Shearman’s One Hundred Stories blog – maybe not a magazine, but trust me this is some of the best fiction being published anywhere. The Nik Perring published in the first week of January is especially brilliant.
*** For those with a Kindle, it’s reasonably cheap (relative to your income) to subscribe to both Asimov’s and F&SF.