I am beyond thrilled to announce that my stories This Village, published in Uncanny Magazine and Bonesoup, published in Strange Horizons are on the 2022 Locus Recommended Reading List! There are so many of my favorite authors and stories on that list. It’s always a pleasure to be included among them.

The Locus Awards are open for anyone to vote and even write in their own choices from last year! If you’d like to vote for the stories you loved last year here is the link. I would be honored if you considered my stories for the Locus Award.

And while we are on the subject, did you know that Uncanny Magazine is running their yearly Uncanny Magazine 2022 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll and you can vote up to three of your favorite Uncanny stories! My flash piece This Village is one of the stories in the Poll. If you connected with this little story I would love if you voted for it.

Most of all lists are a great opportunity to discover new and amazing short stories. But there are some really cool stories that might not turn up on lists this year. So please keep looking for the stories that might speak to you. They are still out there, waiting 🙂


Happy New Year everyone!

This took a while but I feel I read more stories this year perhaps. As always my wish is to read more and there are still stories I have my eye on to read but haven’t yet gotten around to. Please enjoy this imperfect list in the hope that you’ll find something you love in there.

Ribbons, by Natalia Theodoridou, in Uncanny (January)

This story is both down to earth and very mythical. There is a harshness to this world, but also a deep tenderness to fight off the loneliness.

Sonskins, by Dare Segun Falowo, in Baffling Magazine (January)

Ahhhh there is a kind of surreal body horror imagery that just hits the right buttons for me, and this is one of those cases. This story is devastating and devastatingly beautiful. Who does a body belong to? Can you change a person by forcing their body to act a certain way. These questions cut deep in the story.

The Needle Eye Bridge, by Millie Ho, in The Puritan (January)

This is a touching account of loss. Loss of family, loss of culture, and loss of a childhood that is connected to a place. I really loved how Millie wrote about migration and trying to figure out how to reconnect with ones roots after so much time has passed.

The Aftertastes, by Daria Lavelle, in The Deadlands (January)

This was a gut punch. Food had the power to redeem you or destroy you in the afterlife, and the game is rigged. But what if someone with compassion started cooking the food of the souls?

Dick Pig, by Ian Muneshwar, in Nightmare (January)
This is a super original take on both haunted house and cosmic horror and all via Grindr app. As always with Ian’s stories, the prose is sto strong and flows so fast you barely notice the length.

She Calls, by Nelly Geraldine Garcia-Rosas, in Apparition Lit (January)

This is such a mesmerizing story! It grabs you and pulls you in and you swim until you reach Her! If you want to feel the rain against your cheeks this story is for you!

Dissent: A Five-course Meal (with Suggested Pairings), by Aimee Ogden, in Lightspeed (January)

An entire revolution unfolds in front of our eyes in less than a thousand words. And its taste is pungent and bitter, but ultimately sweet. Because no matter how much the protagonist has lost during the course of the story, they haven’t lost themselves.

A Record of Our Meeting with the Grand Faerie Lord of Vast Space and Its Great Mysteries, Revised, by A.T. Greenblatt, in Beneath Ceaseless Skies (February)

I love a good time travel story as much as I love stories with unusual structures and Aliza manages to blend both seamlessly in this enchanting story with an equally enchanting Faerie Lord.

Neunet, by Sharang Biswas, in Lightspeed (February)

A company that uses human brains as computers and the people who offer themselves (or are offered by others) for the job. Oh, this story wrecked me. Read it when you want to feel deep existential emotions and also need a good cry.

Intimacies, by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko, in Strange Horizons (February)

A fascinating vision of a world where humans and hippocampi collide over the nature and the truth of intimacy. I loved this story when I read it. The biology and world building are stunning but the two main characters take the cake.

Girl Oil, by Grace P. Fong, in (February)

This is a gutting story about trying to fit in a world that very few people actually do. Usually those who have the power. And what the desire to fit in seamlessly can do to bodies.

When We Were Gods, by Isha Karki, in Lightspeed (February)

Isha’s stories are latticeworks of prose. They have texture and thickness and demand all your senses to be experienced. This was one of the most mind-bending stories we read during the workshop.

Douen, by Suzan Palumbo, in The Dark (March)
A heartbreaking story of a child ghost that asks for the same thing every child does: to be loved and accepted. The sadness of this piece is palpable. It’s a gut-punch of emotions.

Embroidery of a Bird’s Heart, by Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas, in Strange Horizons (March)

This story is like a warm hug, or a favorite relative returning from the dead to have lunch with you every Saturday. Heartbreaking and yet quietly hopeful, and full of love.

How to Make a Spell Jar, by EA Crawley, in Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth (March)

I love this story so much. It gave me the warm feeling only stories with so much empathy do. Every character here is deeply understood and loved for who they are. Just a perfect comfort read.

Small Offerings for a Small God, by Virginia M Mohlere, in Luna Station Quarterly (March)

A beautiful and poignant story about the meaning of spirituality and the possibility of redemption. This is a nuances and complex story and I love, love, love the ending.

The Alternity of Dead Universes, by Monte Lin, in Kaleidotrope (April)
The ideas in this one are mind blowing. The combination of lyrical language and funny dialogue make for a moving, heartwarming story about fitting in and finding home, even when you are a sentient dead universe.

An Urge to Create Honey, by Martin Cahill, in Clarkesworld (April)

Bee-like aliens who can consume and change you but for your own good? I bow to Marty for managing to create a really alien perspective while also infusing it with great compassion and making it really feel like homecoming. Like a parent’s love.

Beginnings, by Kristina Ten, in Fantasy Magazine (April)

This story broke me in the most subtle way. If you want a shot of fairytale heartbreak, but before that a beautiful beginning then read this.

A Sword Has One Purpose, by Phoebe Barton, in Lightspeed (April)

This was such a fun story full of turns and excitement, and (possibly) a very happy ending. It also featured fighting Nazis!

The Travel Guide to the Dimension of Lost Things, by Effie Seiberg, in Podcastle (April)

Effie just stepped on my heart while also melting it. A wrenching and yet hopeful story on living with depression.

Coming Through in Waves, by Samantha Murray, in Strange Horizons (April)
This story examines the themes of memory and adaptation and self from different perspectives. Samantha is giving each expression of the theme the love it deserves.

Me and Seed Sheself, by Celeste Rita Baker, in Khōréō (May)

Celeste is one of those authors who can infuse as story with warmth and life and make anthropomorphic inanimate objects have the depth and the personality of fully-fleshed out human being. This story is not exception and I love it for that exact reason.

Your Eyes, My Beacon: Being an Account of Several Misadventures and How I Found My Way Home, by C.L. Clark, in Uncanny (May)

This story fed my current OFMD withdrawal and I am so thankful for it. A sapphic story about a pirate with commitment issues and a selfless but guarded light keeper. C.L. is a master worldbuilder and I just love all the elements they seed throughout and how well the characters are sketched. So good!

The Fruit of the Princess Tree, by Sage Tyrtle, in Apex (May)

Another one that wrecked me. A tree heavy with princesses blooms every spring and dies every winter. This story did not hold back on the gut punches. It went all the way and examined femininity as a performance and a survival tactic in every which way. Including the really bleak ones.

The Grief Portal, by Aun-juli Riddle, in Apparition Lit (May)

And after all the heartbreak it would be wonderful if there was a secret portal with a guide to help you find your self again. This story is meditative and calm and before you realize it, you are already feeling more hopeful by the end. Beautiful!

Two Hands, Wrapped in Gold, by S.B. Divya, in Uncanny (May/June)

This is an amazing retelling of Rumpelstiltskin! It feels so original, fleshed out, and real. It’s heartbreaking and hopeful and most of all it’s a whole journey!

The Bones Beneath, by Vanessa Fogg, in Podcastle (June)

Vanessa has a talent for creating great emotions in very short spaces and this is no exception. How does it feel when your neighbor has done horrible things that you were too afraid to stop? How can the victims of a civil war move on when they live side by side with the oppressor? How can you honor old friends, who died a horrible and unfair death? Vanessa does an amazing job of navigating all of these with nuance.

Feeding on the Thamirabarani Metro, by M. L. Krishnan in Fractured Lit (June)

This is a very short story that’s filled to the brim with rage and hurt and hunger and all wrapped up in gorgeous prose.

An Old Man Cometh and He Is Overgrown, by Lyndsie Manusos, in Lightspeed (July)

I love this story! Such lush worldbuilding and deep characterization. The ending crushed me.

Serenissima, by E. Lily Yu, in Sunday Morning Transport (July)

A rich story about the importance of legacy and finding a place in the world away from others’ expectations. Also sacred gulls and the taste of sun itself.

The Morning House, by Kate Heartfield, in Podcastle (July)

What does it mean to draw strength from your own self on bad days, when there is nothing else to reach for? This is what this story is exploring and it does so wonderfully. It’s quiet story that drips melancholy and love with every phrase. It leaves you warm inside and reminds you to be a little kinder to yourself. Especially on bad days.

Whole, by Somto Ihezue, in Cossmass Infinities (July)

Such a gorgeous prose, like seriously amazing prose that you feel in your bones. This story is mythic and intimate, raw and tender and has just the perfect ending.

Migratory Patterns of The Modern American Skyscraper, by Derrick Boden, in Clarkesworld (August)

I love a flash that can pack so much in such a small space. This is a fable about migrating skyscrapers, a sharp critique on late-stage capitalism and gentrification, but also a hopeful story of community where marginalized people find a way to build their own unique culture between the cracks.

The Green Man’s Wife, by Archita Mittra, in Tasavvur (August)

This story packed so many emotions and lush worldbuilding as the protagonist descends to the world of the Fay and the Green Man. There were so many turns to this story and the prose didn’t let me put it down.

Wanderlust, by LP Kindred, in Anathema Magazine (August)
This is such a warm and lush love story that spans multiverses. It comes for your heart and doesn’t let go.

D.I.Y., by John Wiswell, in (August)

This was one of the most hopeful stories I have read in quite a while. Loved the two protagonists and the ending left me cheering. Treat yourself with it!

Raindrop Doughnuts for Women Raining Inside, by Jana Bianchi, in Translunar Travelers Lounge (August)

I would call this story soft sci-fi. This is a kind of ghost story and a kind of time travel story. Reading old recipes written by generations past is a type of time travel. The trick is always what we are going to add to the recipe for the generations to come. Just lovely!

Elsewhere, Elsewhen, by L. Chan, in Giganotosaurus (August)

Is there a way to colonize and exploit the concept of time? The sheer ingenuity of the premise blows my mind. This story is only around 6k and it feels like I just read a whole novel. A lesson on the interplay of worldbuilding and plotting.

A Dervish among the Graves of Ghazni, by Tanvir Ahmed, in The Deadlands (September)

This is such an original story of love that beats death! If you like the tale of Orpheus and Euridice, you will find much to love in this completely fresh story that has a bittersweet ending. Just spellbinding!

The Weight of It All, by Jennifer Hudak, in Fantasy Magazine (September)
This story by pulls exactly zero punches when it comes to talking about ED. It’s also very tender and hopeful in a way that feels real and possible.

The Inheritance of Dust and Leather, by Jenny Rae Rappaport, in Lightspeed (September)

This is a heartbreaking, yet unexpected retelling that contemplates what happily ever after really means when looking like monster was never really the curse.

The Probability of One, by Jen Brown, in Fantasy Magazine (September)

A mind-blowing and time-bending story. It’s doing so much in such a little space. Builds up and brings crushing down empires, somewhere, somewhen…

12 Things a Trini Should Know Before Travelling to a Back in times Fete™, by R. S. A. Garcia, in Strange Horizons (October)

This story was such a journey! I love time travel stories that also say so much about the realities of the past and our society and still manage to be hopeful and full of humanity.

Sharp Things, Killing Things, by A.C. Wise, in Nightmare Magazine (October)

This is another example of how A.C. Wise makes the reality disintegrate around you so fast you never know what hit you. Heartbreaking and unforgettable, like a haunting.

This Excessive Use of Pickled Foods, by Leora Spitzer, in Khoreo (October/November)

A sweet (and salty!), funny, yet melancholic story about diaspora, anti-assimilation, empathy, and finding a new place and new way to be yourself.

What Are We If I Stay, by K.S. Walker, in Baffling Magazine (October)

This is a story about portals and the sudden change they can bring. Sometimes that change might be hopeful and sometimes there might be something else going on. That ending had me looking for more!

The Black and White, by Aigner Loren Wilson, in Fantasy Magazine (October)

This story doesn’t hold back when it comes to messy family relationships, identity, and the slow healing that comes when people face the past together, pick up the pieces and create something new.

Rabbit Test, by Samantha Mills, in Uncanny (November)

This story wasn’t just a gut-punch. It was several gut-punches. Sam knows how to take a story to lengths and depths few writers can. It’s an amazing skill to have. Go read it!

Rapunzel House, by K.C. Mead-Brewer, in The Rumpus (November)

When KC read us the first part of this story, we were left hungry for the rest. I finally got to read the whole story and all I have to say is: don’t miss on this wildly imaginative descent into the Rapunzel House. You won’t be able to put it down.

Immaculate, by Avra Margariti, in Seize the Press (November)

This is a great example of how Avra can write the type of body horror that feels delicious and beautiful, but hides under your skin like a splinter.

Sister, Silkie, Siren, Shark, by M. A. Blanchard, in Strange Horizons (November)

This story is sharp and threatens to break your heart from the start. It’s melancholy in all the right places. It comes from the salt of the ocean with a breath of hope for wind.

Last Stand of the E. 12th St. Pirates, by L.D. Lewis, in Lightspeed (December)

What a gut punch at the end! A powerful story about people trying to survive in a world that’s drowning literally and metaphorically by injustice.

Our Heartstrings Howl the Moon, by Eleanna Castroianni, in Strange Horizons (December)

Read this story if you want to cry today and also learn about the kid-grabbing practices in Greece during the civil war and afterwards. It captures the freedom and helplessness of the children group perfectly.

Skin, by Isha Karki, in khōréō (December) This story is so, so tactile in the way is shows how sometimes we peel the many layers of ourselves, in the fear that the wrong people might see the truth of us. Just a lovely heartbreak.

L’Homme de Houbigant, by Jonathan Louis Duckworth and Joe Koch, in The Deadlands (December)

This was a weird as hell (pun intended) story, with prose so baroque and exquisite, you can almost ignore the perfumed man’s wax mask. Almost. Read it and travel to a surreal and beautiful nightmare

Two of my stories made it on the Locus and Nerds of a Feather recommended reading lists! Also I’ll be on a Stabbycon panel!

I am thrilled to announce that both my novella The Giants of the Violet Sea and my short story How the Girls Came Home are on the Locus Recommended Reading List! It has been a privilege to have two things on this list. I still can’t believe it! 

This means that the Locus Awards are open for anyone to vote and even write in their own choices from last year! If you’d like to vote for the stories you loved last year here is the link. I would be honored if you considered any of my stories. 

Furthermore, The Giants of the Violet Sea is on the 2022 Nerds of a Feather Hugo Awards Recommended Reading List fot the novella category! Nerds of a Feather is a 2021 Hugo Award Winner for Best Fanzine and an awesome site all around so being included on their list makes me swell with joy. Check out their list and recommendations to discover new writers! 

Finally, I will be taking part in StabbyCon this year! StabbyCon is an online convention organized by Reddit’s r/Fantasy community and the programming is super cool! I will be on the panel Putting Your Heart on the Page: Writing from the Margins (Short Stories) with Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, Johannes T. Evans and John Wiswell. An awesome group of people who I am sure will have many interesting things to say. Our panel will be help on Feb 7th, 12pm EST | 5pm GMT.

Come and asks us some questions and check out all the other interesting discussions happening between Jan 31st and Feb 11th! 


This time I made the small effort to add a few words alongside the stories. There might be typos but I did my best. Thank you so much for your words everyone ❤

The Unrepentant, by Derrick Boden, in Escape Pod, (January)

This is such a roller-coaster of story. Packed with action and twists, it is also a sharp commentary on a bleak future that seems not too far off.

My Mother’s Hand, by Dante Luiz, in Constelación (January)

This is an amazing story about witchcraft, identity and bodily autonomy. A man’s hand is possessed by his witch mother’s ghost. I really loved the worldbuilding and the way the possession progresses. The ending is both cathartic and triumphant.

There, in the Woods, by Clara Madrigano, in The Dark (January)

A disturbing story about going back to a place that made you uncomfortable as a child. About feeling powerless as you slowly lose the things that shaped your identity as an adult. The feeling of doom stays with you for a long time after.

Secrets of the Kath, by Fatima Taqvi, in Strange Horizons (January)

This is a story of many layers that slowly peel away one after the other to reveal the ugly core of oppression. But the puppets know, just like the earth knows and all the women before. And now it’s the protagonist’s turn to know and to act.

From Witch to Queen and God, by L. D. Lewis, in Mermaids Monthly (January)

A gorgeous anti-colonial take on the Sea Witch with amazing characters and very smart solutions to the problems that arise. The ending was chef’s kiss.

Laughter among the Trees, by Suzan Palumbo, in The Dark (February)

A story about immigration and what it means to not fit in, but also sibling rivalry and survivor’s guilt. All these themes are woven masterfully into this chilling horror story.

The Antagonizer, by Gardner Mounce, in Hobart (February)

This one is a surreal take on the already surreal and bleak office culture. The sharp commentary is not lost but neither is the tender core of the story. 

Fanfiction for a Grimdark Universe, by Vanessa Fogg, in Translunar Travelers Lounge (February)

I just love stories inside stories, and this one is so satisfying because it offers so many different version of what this story could be in another place and another time, and what it ultimately becomes. The sweetness that reveals itself under the hard armor of war and desolation.

The Taste of Your Name, by Amal Singh, in Translunar Travelers Lounge (February)

A very strong issue of TTL! This story was a sensory feast and made me so hungry! I just love all the descriptions of taste. It is bittersweet story, but ultimately full of hope that love and family can be in balance like the tastes in a favorite dish.

The Mathematics of Fairyland, by Phoebe Barton, in Lightspeed (February)

A wonderful mix of fairytale and science fiction in way that makes the story feel fresh and compelling. It’s full of heartache and grief and how far one can go for love.

We Are Not Phoenixes, by John Wiswell, in Fireside (March)

This is such an emotional but also delicate story about end-of-life care. It’s compassionate and full of meditations on disability and how magic can being people a little closer and make life a little brighter.

Colors of the Immortal Palette, by Caroline M. Yoachim, in Uncanny (March) – novelette

I just love how this story is sectioned according to a specific color that lends its qualities to the entire period it titles. The historical details and the vividness of each period left me breathless. A story about who gets to really be immortalized through art and what representation means. Just gorgeous.

The Center of the Universe, by Nadia Shammas, in Strange Horizons (March)

This is such a smart story in a way that feels organic. It takes tropes and twists them around to reveal the wound that’s been bleeding all this time. It’s about who gets to be the protagonist of their own life. In the world we live in, many people don’t even get the chance to tell their own stories the way they chose to. Really powerful stuff that will stay with me. 

All Worlds Left Behind, by Iona Datt Sharma, in Khōréō (April)

This story rings so devastatingly true. It’s a portal story but also a diaspora story. People as the only connection one has to certain places that might become lost in time as generations come and go. Heart-rending and hopeful!

Jenny Come Up the Well, by A.C. Wise, in PodCastle (April)

This had such a beautiful imagery. Mythical creatures and humans band together to break free from injustice and intolerance. I am so glad about that ending! It was a rollercoaster to get there and it felt so well-deserved.

A House Is Not a Home, by L Chan, in Clarkesworld (April)

If “There will come soft rains” was both more optimistic and complicated and there was the moving PoV of the abandoned house, it would be this story. So, so smart!

Eighteen Days of Barbareek, by Rati Mehrota in Uncanny (April)

What an amazing piece. It drew me in from the first sentence. Dry humor contrasted with a ghastly war imagery and a bitter conclusion that still leaves a sliver of hope sneak in at the end.

Forward, Victoria, by Carlie St. George, in The Dark (April)

This is a horror story with a breakneck rhythm. It grabs you from the start like a slasher movie (and it’s a big nod to slasher movies) and you keep reading transfixed, even though you can see how things might play out. Even though you know things always play out like this in horror movies. Brilliant.

Unnamed, by Monte Lin, in Cast of Wonders (April)

This is a story of names and idenity but also a story about finding your place in complicated and confusing world, especially as a young person. The author builds the characters so fast and deaftly, and we can’t help but share the sense of dissoriantation and ftustration the protagonist goers through. The ending is so movign because it comes full circle. 

Bride, Knife, Flaming Horse, by M.L. Krishnan, in Apparition Lit (April)

This is such an amazing story, subverting tropes unapologetically with a sharp sense of humor. I just love the uncompromising protagonist who gets what she deserves at the end.

“The White Road; or How a Crow Carried Death over a River” by Marika Bailey, in FIYAH (April)

Broadfeather the crow is in search of a name of her own. So she leaves the nest in search of one. What happens after is a tale of immense pain. A story of reclaiming names and lives stolen. It’s bleak but also hopeful and full of amazing worldbuilding.

Like Birdsong, the Memory of Your Touch, by Izzy Wasserstein, in Fantasy Magazine (May)

This story is written in a stream of consciousness style that really blurs the lines of past, present and future. I read it in one breath. One breath was all it took for the entire world and a relationship to unfold and end in front of my eyes in the most poignant and chilling ways.

Peristalsis by Vajra Chandrasekera in The Deadlands (May)

Like Nadia Shamma’s story, Peristalsis asks questions about whose narrative this is. Who are the characters and who are the spectators. Or is everything part of a larger scheme of things that neither characters or spectators can see, and they are all being pushed along a dead narrative, until the end of the Universe? Gorgeous prose.

Blood in the Thread, by Cheri Kamei, in (May)

This is a retelling of “The Crane Wife” and what a retelling it is! Georgeous prose that waves the original tale with the modern version about a make up artist and her actress lover and it elevates both in one heartbreaking and poignant conclusion. There is so much emotion here. 

Balfour in the Desert, by Fargo Tbakhi, in Strange Horizons (May)

Balfour and his companion chase an elusive creature through the desert. The Englishman, Balfour, is the PoV for most of the story, but is he really someone to root for? And is the creature the real danger here? This piece does amazing things with its metaphors and symbolisms. The author captures the greed of the protagonist as such an innate quality to him, that he literally feels like himself only when he takes and destroys. The caring nature, hopelessness and righteous anger of his companion is so pulpable, that any victory, however small, feels like the biggest triumph. 

To Rise, Blown Open, by  Jen Brown, in Anathema (May)

A nuanced and complicated super hero story about trauma and complicated relationships but also about change and perhaps the hope of healing. So full of emotions.

Bones in It, by Kristina Ten, in Lightspeed (May)

“Give me something with bones in it!”

Wow, this story could have gone so dark. And it is dark if you really think about it. But Kristina keeps the tone and the prose light with her masterful humorous prose and her keen eye for irony. In her hands, the story becomes whimsical and mythical, but so very grounded it could just as well have happened to someone you know. 

Oh, and please call me tenured professor. 

Proof by Induction by José Pablo Iriarte, in Uncanny (May/June)

This is a story of family and self-acceptance. The protagonist struggles with themselves first and foremost and then with the father or the peers. What they gain in the end is a quietly triumphant love for one’s self and hope for the future.

Unseelie Brothers, Ltd. by Fran Wilde, in Uncanny (May/June) – novelette

This was such a wonderfully fresh take on a few fairytales, and the important of sacrificing parts of yourself in order to gain your heart’s desire. Is it worth it? This is an answer one can only give for themselves. Plus show stopping magical dresses!

A Welling Up, by Natalia Theodoridou, in Strange Horizons (June)

This story is hypnotizing and inescapable. There is a lingering sadness in it that draws you in. It will remind you that people can be vert similar but also far apart, like tiny islands in the ocean.

All This Darkness, by Jennifer R. Donohue, in Apex (June)

The mines are closing and the adults are too preoccupied with finding a way to pay the bills. But their children still crave their missed chance. The chance to enter the mountain and go deep inside its belly. This is a surreal story that’s both dark and charming with a very effective prose.

Three for Hers, by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko, in Podcastle (June)

I love a tale of revenge as much as the next person. But this is so much more. The worldbuilding here is amazing, especially when it comes to the rules of the Margrave and how firm but also slippery they can be. Because for those who hold the power there aren’t really any rules.

Data Migration, by Melanie Harding-Shaw, in Strange Horizons (July)

A very effective and realistic depiction of a near-future environmental Apocalypse. What makes this story stand out and become really extraordinary is the way the author handles the form by taking advantage of negative space and the fact that the protagonist tries against all odds to hold on to hope as well as pass it on.

The Child Feast, by Kaitlyn Zivanovich, in Pseudopod (July)

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, and how you seemingly succeed, you can’t really save your child from the witch’s house. This is horror. Real, tangible, inescapable horror. Very well-written and heartbreaking story

Our Days of Tear-stained Glass, by Avra Margariti, in Baffling Magazine (July)

I just love this piece and the poetry it carries within each sentence! A fabulous story about loving impossible things and persisting, even if those things are giant mermaids with shipwrecks wedges between their sharp teeth!

Across the River, My Heart, My Memory, by Ann Leblanc, in Fireside (July)

This story took some unexpected turns from the get-go but we slowly piece together the image of an unusual community of people and their legacy, still looking out for each other ever after they lose their human form. And even when they are treated with cruelty, they still strive for community and improvement.

Mushroom Head, by Marla Bingcang, in Apparition Lit (July)

If grotesque beauty and fungi horror had a child this would be it. This is a horror tale were the language and the description take center stage, and offer a chilling sensory experience. It is also the tale of a family’s desperation and hunger, and there is another horror tale hidden inside the first one like a matryoshka doll of terror.

Faithful Delirium, by Brent Lambert, in Beneath Ceaseless Skies (July)

A powerful story about religious fanatisism and the pain and destruction it can cause to meet a pointless goal. That plot twist was everything. Chilling.

Cocoon, by H. Pueyo, in Strange Horizons (August)

A beautifully rendered and gutting piece of flash that deals with dementia. You feel the sadness and the tenderness of the piece from the first line to the last.

Before the Haze Devours You, by Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas, in Lightspeed (August)

How can someone fit so much worldbuilding, pain and redemption in such a short space? This is a bit over flash-length but it’s tense and emotional and everything in space!

Immolatus, by Lyndsie Manusos, in The Dealands (August)

I love a ghost bride story and this one does not disappoint, especially when there is delicious revenge. The descriptions of the ghost bride corpses and how they find each other are chilling!!!

A Guide to Snack Foods After the Apocalypse, by Rachael K. Jones, in Diabolical Plots (September)

Well, this was terrifying. I love the structure of this piece and how the distraction of rating snacks adds to the real horror of what is happening. Also that ending!

Sía, by Lizz Huerta, in Lightspeed (September)

Liz Huerta can’t write a story that won’t have me hooked from start to end. Have you ever thought of what would happen if ancestors got another chance to fight each other and try to right part of the wrongs of colonialism? This story is both hilarious and heartbreaking and combines so many truths and concepts in a brilliant way. But it’s also a story with warmth and the value of family, of someone who knows you intimately and looks out for you even after death.

Questions Asked in the Belly of the World, by A. T. Greenblatt, in Tor (September)

This story examines a society were everyone can and should be an artist but also an art critic. A society that those who can’t produce art or discuss it are considered redundant. This story hit hard with its message and the world-buidling was strangely wonderful.

Down in the Aspen Hollow, by Kristiana Willsey, in Uncanny (September/October)

If there is one person can take a murder ballad and breathe new life into it, that’s Kristiana. This is such an enchanting tale of heartbreak and slow, delicate revenge, that feels right in the way it feels in ancient stories.

Mulberry and Owl, by Aliette De Bodard, in Uncanny (September/October)

A story about the aftermaths of war and whether reconciliation can truly happen. I loved the back and forth between Thuỷ and Owl, and the idea that survival can be its own kind of atonement or revenge.

Hold Your Breath, by K.C. Mead-Brewer, in Uncharted (October)

Oh my, this is a very creepy story. A house It’s a story wrapped around a thick mist of expectations about oneself, about sex, about the things we leave behind before we enter the world as adults and about what kind of humans we are going to be from now on.

Those Virtues, Those Poisons, by Martin Cahill, in Beneathe Ceaseless Skies (October)

A deeply emotional story. It literally goes through the entire spectrum of the MC’s emotions, and it does so eloquently. A journey of self-exploration with the self as the main antagonist. Giant serpent is a giant plus for me too!

Small Monsters, by E. Lily Yu, in Tor (October)

This is a story full of monsters. It’s strange and beautiful, ponderous and vivid, dark and tender and it hides a great truth inside. It’s the kind of story that I aspire to write in the future.

Caw, by WC Dunlap, in Nightmare (October)

Lovely body horror. Like “The Birds” but more terrifying and with themes of trust and group dynamics. In a life and death situation would you trust a stranger or choose darkness?

Not Quite What We’re Looking for Right Now, by Jana Bianchi, in Fireside (October)

A very short but very smart piece about art and how it can impact real people. This flash takes full advantage of its format and it manages to be really funny while saying something important.

Sorry We Missed You! by Aun-Juli Riddle, in Khōréō (November)

This is such a wonderful and quiet story. It unfolds delicately, with a great warmth that makes the grief underneath a little sweeter and more bearable. Because family and love can be found in a bowl of potato noodles even when you are planet-hoping. 

What Floats In a Flotsam River by Osahon Ize-Iyamu, in Strange Horizons (November)

This gorgeously surreal story has a strong environmental message but also a deeply social one. A message about the power of the masses and the importance of working as a group in order to achieve any kind of meaningful change, but also the importance of individual expression and validation. 

For Want of Milk, by Grace P. Fong in Uncanny (November/December)

This story was both hard and soft in all the right places. I love where Grace took the story. I did not see it coming but it made perfect sense!

The Cold Calculations, by Aimee Ogden, in Clarkesworld (December)

This story is far greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not about rage for me (it has that too for obvious reasons). It is about wanting to change something and making the effort to do so. Even if it’s something seemingly small and insignificant. Like the ending to a story.

Writing You, by Sharang Biswas, in Lightspeed (December)

Flaying your boyfriend has never been done so beautifully. Two people make plans on how to mourn the passing of their lover in their own personal way. The language really shines here and reverbarates with musicality, but it’s the end that will get you like a small knife in the ribs. 


Using Unreliable Narration to Create Voice, by Priya Chand, in SFWA blog (February)

Seduced by the Ruler’s Gaze: An Indian Perspective on Seth Dickinson’s Masquerade, by Sid Jain, in Uncanny (March)

Death and Wednesday, by Suzan Palumbo, in The Deadlands (May)

Un/Reliable: Reflections in The Drowning Girl, by Jordan Kurella, in Mermaids Monthly (June)

WWXD: A Warrior’s Path of Reflection and Redemption, by C.L. Clark, in Uncanny (July/August)

The Bad Dad Redemption Arc Needs to Die, by Nino Cipri, in Uncanny (July/August)

We Are the Mountain: A Look at the Inactive Protagonist, by Vida Cruz, in Fantasy (August)

Worldbuilding with Legs: Incorporating Insects into Your Stories, by Premee Mohamed, in Fantasy (October)

Liminal Spaces: Shelters and Cells, by Avra Margariti, in Strange Horizons (November)

Creating Character Arcs in Games Writing, by Natalia Theodoridou, in SFWA blog (December)

My Country Is a Ghost on Locus Recommended Reading List

Super chuffed to announce that My Country Is a Ghost is on the Locus Recommended Reading List along with many fabulous stories that you should definitely check out!

This also means that the Locus Awards are open for anyone to vote and even write in their own choices from last year! If you’d like to vote for the stories you loved last year here is the link!


Thank you all for your wonderful little lights that made me feel a little bit less alone ❤


Short stories:

Mother Love, by Clara Madrigano, in The Dark (January)

The AI That Looked at the Sun, by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko, in Clarkesworld (January)

The Imperishable Birds, by Vajra Chandrasekera, in Fireside (January)

Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse, by Rae Carson, in Uncanny Magazine (January)

You Perfect, Broken Thing, by C.L. Clark, in Uncanny Magazine (January)

Hustle, by Derrick Boden, in EscapePod (February)

White Noon, by Aidan Doyle, in Podcastle (February)

Rat and Finch Are Friends, by Innocent Chizaram Ilo, in Strange Horizons (March)

Never a Butterfly, nor a Moth With Moon-painted Wings, by Aimee Ogden in Beneath the Ceaseless Skies (March)

Georgie in the Sun, by Natalia Theodoridou, in Uncanny (March/April)

Girl Clothes, by M. L. Krishnan, in Sonora Review (April)

A Moonlit Savagery, by Millie Ho, in Nightmare (April)

An Explorer’s Cartography of Already Settled Lands, by Fran Wilde, in (April)   

A Promise of Dying Embers, by Jordan Kurella, in Diabolical Plots (April)

Glass Bottle Dancer, by Celeste Rita Baker, in Lightspeed (April)

Caring For Dragons and Growing a Flower, by Allison Thai, in PodCastle (April)

Have Your #hugot Harvested at This Diwata-owned Café, by Vida Cruz, in Strange Horizons (May)

Open House on Haunted Hill, by John Wiswell, in Diabolical Plots (June)

The Sinkhole that Ate Los Angeles, by Gardner Mounce, in Lowestoft Chronicle (June)

Bring the Bones That Sing, by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, in Diabolical Plots (July)

Baba Yaga and the Seven Hills, by Kristina Ten, in Lightspeed (July)

Tara’s Mother’s Skin, by Suzan Palumbo, in PseudoPod (August)

What Lies Within, by Isha Karki, in Augure Magazine (August)

Weaving in the Bamboo, by Eliza Chan, in Translunar Travelers Lounge (August)

An Incomplete Account of the Case of the Bird-Talker of Yaros, by Eleanna Castroianni, in Fireside (August)

Slipping the Leash, by Dan Micklethwaite, in Podcastle (August)

A Voyage to Queensthroat, by Anya Johanna Deniro, in Strange Horizons (August)

Heartsob Playplayplay Promisegift, by Monte Lin, Cossmass Infinities (September)

The Dreadnought and the Stars, by Phoebe Barton, in Glitter + Ashes, Neon Hemlock (September)

A Layer of Catherines, by Elisabeth R. Moore, in Strange Horizons (October)

The Angel Finger, by K. C. Mead-Brewer, in CRAFT Literary (October)

Teeth Long and Sharp as Blades, by A. C. Wise,  in PseudoPod (October)

Ask Not What the Penguin Horde Can Do for You, by Noah Bogdonoff, in Strange Horizons (October)

To Look Forward, by Osahon Ize-Iyamu, in Fantasy Magazine (November)

Winter’s Heart, by Vanessa Fogg, in Hexagon Magazine (December)

Tiny House Living, by Kristiana Willsey, in Fantasy Magazine (December)



The Shadow Prison Experiment, by Caroline M. Yoachim, in Lightspeed (August)

City of Red Midnight: A Hikayat, by Usman T. Malik, in (October)

The Little Witch, by M. Rickert, (October)

An incomplete list of fabulous stories I’ve read this year (by publication month).

This year has been a roller-coaster for me. I went to Clarion West (a thing that seemed impossible just a year ago) and just recently moved back to Greece.

Needless to say I fell a little behind with my short story reading but what comforts me is that there are endless amazing stories out there so it wouldn’t be possible for me to read them all. For that I am thankful for all the year’s-end lists people are compiling because they will help me find more great stories!

I hope you find something you’ll love in this one.

Poems Written While, by Natalia Theodoridou, in Uncanny (January)

Dustdaughter, by Inda Lauryn, in Uncanny (January)

The Thing, With Feathers, by Marissa Lingen, in Uncanny (January)

The Daddy Thing, by K. C. Mead-Brewer, in Electric Literature (January)

The Message, by Vanessa Fogg, in The Future Fire (February)

The Crafter at the Web’s Heart, by Izzy Wasserstein, in Apex (February)

Give the Family My Love, by A. T. Greenblatt, in Clarkesworld (February)

The Archronology of Love, by Caroline M. Yoachim, in Lightspeed (April) – Novelette

Where the Rain Mothers Are, by Rafeeat Aliyu, in Strange Horizons (April)

Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island, by Nibedita Sen, in Nightmare (May)

Therein Lies a Soul, Osahon Ize-Iyamu, in The Dark (June)

The House Wins in the End, by L Chan, in The Dark  (July)

The Brightest Lights of Heaven, by Maria Haskins, in Fireside Magazine (July)

Ahura Yazda, the Great Extraordinary, by Senaa Ahmad, in Lightspeed (July)

1078 Reasons“, by Aidan Doyle in Translunar Travelers Lounge (August)

How the Trick Is Done, by A.C. Wise, in Uncanny (August)

And Now His Lordship is Laughing, by Shiv Ramdas in Strange Horizons (September)

Shelter, Sustenance, Self, by Aimee Ogden in Fireside (September)

The Silent Flowers of the Magician’s Garden, by Eleanna Castroianni in Beneath Ceaseless Skies (September)

A Square of Flesh, A Cube of Steel, by Phoebe Barton in Analog (September/October)

Failsafe, by Tim Chawaga in Escape Pod (October)

Personal Rakshasi, by Suzan Palumbo in Fireside Magazine (November)

A Tour of the Galesburg Glass Museum, by Kristina Ten in Cosmonauts Avenue (December)

The Garden’s First Rule, by Sheldon Costa in Strange Horizons (December)

An incomplete list of my favorite short stories I’ve read this year (by publication month).

It has been an amazing year for short fiction and I feel like I have learned so much writing-wise just by reading these stories. Thank you people!

Sour Milk Girls, by Erin Roberts, in Clarkesworld

The Court Magician, by Sarah Pinsker, in Lightspeed

We Head For the Horizon and Return with Bloodshot Eyes, by Eleanna Castroianni, in Podcastle

Unplaces: An Atlas of Non-existence, by Izzy Wasserstein, in Clarkesworld

The Triumphant Ward of the Railroad and the Sea, by Sara Saab, in Shimmer

And Yet, by A.T. Greenblatt, in Uncanny Magazine

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy, by LaShawn M. Wanak, in Fireside

Strange Waters, by Samantha Mills, in Strange Horizons

Now Watch My Rising, by A. Merc Rustad, in Fireside

Leviathan Sings to Me in the Deep, by Nibedita Sen, in Nightmare

Tank!, by John Wiswell, in Diabolical Plots

Quietly Gigantic, by K.C. Mead-Brewer in Strange Horizons

Every Good-Bye Ain’t Gone, by Eden Royce, in Strange Horizons

The Pull of the Herd, by Suzan Palumbo, in Anathema

The Stories We Tell about Ghosts, by A.C.Wise, in  The Dark

Jewel of the Vashwa, by Jordan Kurella, in Apex Magazine

In the Garden Watching Nim Noms, by Osahon Ize-Iyamu, in Omenana

The Fainting Game, by Nino Cipri, in PseudoPod

The House of Illusionists, by Vanessa Fogg, in Liminal Stories

When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven, by Vajra Chandrasekera, in Liminal Stories

It’s Easy to Shoot a Dog, by Maria Haskins, in Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Find On Your Body the Bruise, by Maricat Stratford in Shimmer

The Names of Women, by Natalia Theodoridou, in Strange Horizons

Toothsome Thing, by Chimedum Ohaegbu, in Strange Horizons

Mouths, by Lizz Huerta, in Lightspeed

On the Day You Spend Forever with Your Dog, by Adam R. Shannon, in Apex Magazine