Recommended Reading – January 2012

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;
  • Asimovs;
  • 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
  • Clarkesworld**

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

Lightspeed

Strange Horizons

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.

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