Size / / /

'Tis the season for the announcement of Year's Best short fiction tables of contents (and for all manner of other best-of-the-year lists, but let's ignore those for now). Over the past few weeks we've had the contents for Jonathan Strahan's Year's Best SF and Fantasy 6, Gardner Dozois' Year's Best SF 29, and Rich Horton's Year's Best SF and Fantasy 2012. That leaves the Hartwell/Cramer volumes, and Ellen Datlow's Year's Best Horror, and probably a couple of others that I'm not thinking of right now; but I thought it would be fun to see what patterns, if any, are emerging.

Overall 78 stories have been selected to fill 95 slots, with 15 stories being selected for more than one volume and 2 being selected for all three volumes. So the best of the best so far are:

  • "A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong" by KJ Parker (Subterranean; in Strahan/Horton)
  • "After the Apocalypse" by Maureen F. McHugh (After the Apocalypse; in Strahan/Dozois)
  • "Canterbury Hollow" by Chris Lawson (F&SF; in Horton/Dozois)
  • "Digging" by Ian McDonald (Life on Mars; in Strahan/Dozois)
  • "Ghostweight" by Yoon Ha Lee (Clarkesworld; in Horton/Dozois)
  • "Martian Heart" by John Barnes (Life on Mars; in Horton/Dozois)
  • "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" by E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld; in Strahan/Horton)
  • "The Choice" by Paul McAuley (Asimov's; in Strahan/Horton/Dozois)
  • "The Dala Horse" by Michael Swanwick (Tor.com; in Strahan/Dozois)
  • "The Invasion of Venus" by Stephen Baxter (Engineering Infinity; in Strahan/Dozois)
  • "The Man Who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson (Asimov's; in Strahan/Horton/Dozois)
  • "The Smell of Orange Groves" by Lavie Tidhar (Clarkesworld; in Horton/Dozois)
  • "What We Found" by Geoff Ryman (F&SF; in Strahan/Dozois)
  • "Woman Leaves Room" by Robert Reed (Lightspeed; in Strahan/Horton)
  • "Younger Women" by Karen Joy Fowler (Subterranean; in Strahan/Horton)

In total that's 5 overlaps between Strahan and Horton, 6 between Dozois and Horton, and 7 between Strahan and Dozois. Also of note is the fact that Catherynne M. Valente appears with a different story in each volume -- "The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland, For a Little While" (Tor.com) in Horton, "White Lines on a Green Field" (Subterranean) in Strahan, and "Silently and Very Fast" (WSFA Press/Clarkesworld) in Dozois. Asimov's is the most-reprinted venue, as I think it has been for the past few years, with 9 different stories selected (and both of the triple-reprint stories came from Asimov's, of course); F&SF is close behind with 8 reprints, followed by Eclipse 4 on 6. What else? Of the 78 stories reprinted, 45 (58%) were by men; Horton has the lowest proportion of stories by men, 41%, and Dozois has the highest, 80%.

And, of course, we're delighted that Rich Horton selected two Strange Horizons stories for his book: "Widows in the World" by Gavin Grant, and "The Last Sophia" by C.S.E. Cooney. Congratulations to them, and to all the other authors being reprinted.

(And personally speaking I'm also pleased that Horton has also picked up the title story from Nina Allan's The Silver Wind. And for yet another perspective, see Lois Tilton's review of 2011 short fiction.)



Niall Harrison is a reader and fan.
Current Issue
23 May 2022

My family and I / lived and dined / and enjoyed sunny picnics / and celebrated Christmas / with the bones inside us / silently howling
Would the rightful owners of these 17 bodies please turn up to claim them?
The Myriad Drumbeats of Afrofuturism: Decolonizing Stargate (Part Two) 
By sheer coincidence I ended up watching Stargate 1, Season 1 last month; not thoroughly, but my daughter’s nanny, Yacine Diouf, got really into it. Which allowed me to appreciate it differently, seeing how she really enjoyed it. Also, I’m in Senegal, and Yacine is Senegalese. She’s not caught into all the racial paranoia that’s almost second nature in the United States. It’s good to remember that sometimes—all the time actually—a show is there to be enjoyed before it is dissected. With that said ... Part I looked at the most evident imbalance in SG1 S01—its overreliance on colonial and
Stories from the Radio 
Upstairs, the prime minister is meeting with all the party members because they are worried about how to save themselves. As in, just themselves and no one else.  Because they are selfish fucks.
Writing While Disabled 
"When I can't move, I write, and those two things are deeply connected."
Monday: The Body Scout by Lincoln Michel 
Monday: To Climates Unknown: An Alternate History of a World Without America by Arturo Serrano 
Monday: Someone in Time: Tales of Time-Crossed Romance edited by Jonathan Strahan 
Issue 16 May 2022
Issue 9 May 2022
Podcast: 9 May Poetry 
Issue 2 May 2022
By: Eric Wang
By: Sara S. Messenger
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sara S. Messenger
Issue 18 Apr 2022
By: Blaize Kelly Strothers
By: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Blaize Kelly Strothers
Podcast read by: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Apr 2022
Issue 4 Apr 2022
Issue 28 Mar 2022
Issue 21 Mar 2022
By: Devin Miller
Art by: Alex Pernau
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
Issue 14 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
Issue 7 Mar 2022
Load More
%d bloggers like this: