After a whirlwind August (more travel and projects than either of your trusty reviewers can count) we’re back at the very end of September. The deluge of excellent short spec fic means that sometimes I don’t have time to cover some of my favorites in as much depth as I’d like with a busy schedule, and it especially means compiling year-end best-of lists is going to be extremely daunting. So I’m taking this opportunity to talk briefly–very briefly!–about ten or so of my favorites up to this point. I’m only including things published before August; I’ll do another at the end of the year, and a roundup post. But it’s easy to forget things that come in January and April, even if they’re lovely, and none of these should be overlooked. This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list; I’m sure I’ve forgotten some work I’ve loved. But it gets a conversation started about what I’m enjoying and what, if anything, binds these works together.
“The Blood That Pulses in the Veins of One”, JY Yang, at Uncanny
“The Blood That Pulses in the Veins of One” feels very much a spiritual successor to Arkady’s curated alien recommendation list; it also feels very close, thematically if not in structure, to Lynnea Glasser’s Coloratura. I wanted to keep thinking about communion as consumption, and about questions of voice and perspective and alienation in short fiction, and so I chose JY Yang’s story of capture, dissection, and cannibalism.
Games about writing; writing about playing games. The second themed review exchange. Two rec lists; two reviews.