Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Quick Sip Reviews 2020 Recommended Reading List

Hello and welcome to the 2020 Quick Sip Reviews Recommended Reading List. List every year, I read A Lot of fiction this year, and this list represents what are my favorites from what I've reviewed on the blog. Meaning, for this at least, no works are considered that I didn't read and review. Lists like this are always limited. There's no way for one person to read all that comes out. I do what I can, though, and I find a lot of stories that I want to celebrate. Hence, the list!

As of now, there are 104 stories from 98 authors and spread over 34 different publications/publishers. 4 authors (C.L. Clark, Anya Johanna DeNiro, R.B. Lemberg, and Gabriela Santiago) appear twice on the list, and one (John Wiswell) appears thrice. The publications with the most placements are Strange Horizons and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, each with 8. There are far and away more short stories on the list than anything else (with 83), but there's also 7 novellas and 14 novelettes. And, completely messing with my wanting things to be neat and orderly, there were no authors represented on the list with last names beginning with Q, U, X, Y, or Z this year. Alas. 

For ease of use I've sorted the list by author's last name to the best of my abilities, and added little breaks for each used letter. I've included the publication but not the specific dates and I'm hoping the links are all more or less accurate. Not all stories are available for free online, but the links should take you to where you can purchase a copy or similar for those that aren't. I've also tried to put award distinction for length after each, but those should always be confirmed with the publication or author's official statement. I welcome corrections, and you can reach out via twitter, in the comments, or with an email to 

If you want more information on these stories, or want to see my reviews (I have reviewed or will review all of these on QSR), just copy the title and author and past into the search bar of the blog and it should come up. There was simply too much to get to to make comments for every story on the list.

2020 has been rough. But the fiction has been amazing, and has been a lot of how I've coped with...everything. So it is my supreme joy to present this list and honor the stories that have helped get me through these difficult times. A list of this nature can never be fully complete, though, and I do want to thank everyone out there writing and helping to put stories out in the world, from authors to first readers to editors to proofreaders and beyond. Thank you. And cheers!


If You Take My Meaning” by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor) Novelette
Assailing the Garden of Pleasure” by Daniel Ausema (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly) Short Story

Glass Bottle Dancer” by Celeste Rita Baker (Lightspeed) Short Story
One Last Stand for the Cold Blooded Chaos Society” by Megan Lee Beals (Translunar Travelers Lounge) Short Story
Sela, Thief” by Zabe Bent (Breathe Fiyah) Short Story
The Bend of Water” by Tiah Marie Beautement (Omenana) Short Story
Hustle” by Derrick Boden (Escape Pod) Short Story
The Legacy of Alexandria” by Maurice Broaddus (Apex) Novelette
Tiger’s Feast” by KT Bryski (Nightmare) Short Story
Even the Clearest Water” by Andi C. Buchanan (Fireside) Short Story
Zombie Capitalism” by Tobias S. Buckell (Terraform) Short Story

An Incomplete Account of the Case of the Bird-Talker of Yaros” by Eleanna Castroianni (Fireside Magazine) Short Story
Weaving in the Bamboo” by Eliza Chan (Translunar Travelers Lounge) Short Story
The Translator, at Low Tide” by Vajra Chandrasekera (Clarkesworld) Short Story
Velvet” by Nino Cipri (Baffling Magazine) Short Story
Forgive Me, My Love, for the Ice and the Sea” by C.L. Clark (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) Short Story
You Perfect, Broken Thing” by C.L. Clark (Uncanny) Short Story
Nine Words for Loneliness in the Language of the Uma’u” by M. L. Clark (Clarkesworld) Novella
Call Them Children” by Wenmimareba Klobah Collins (The Dark) Short Story
Emergent” by Rob Costello (The Dark) Short Story
Strange Things Done” by Tori Curtis (PodCastle) Short Story

Dégustation” by Ashley Deng (Nightmare) Short Story
A Voyage to Queensthroat” by Anya Johanna DeNiro (Strange Horizons) Short Story
City of a Thousand Feelings by Anya Johanna DeNiro (Aqueduct Press) Novella
Red_Bati” by Dilman Dila (Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora (Volume One)) Short Story
Stone and Steel by Eboni Dunbar (Neon Hemlock) Novella
Clever Jack, Heavy with Stories” by R.K. Duncan (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) Short Story

Familiar Face” by Meg Elison (Nightmare) Short Story
Miss Bulletproof Comes Out of Retirement” by Louis Evans (GigaNotoSaurus) Short Story

The Breaking” by Vanessa Fogg (Mithila Review) Short Story

The Transition of Osoosi” by Ozzie M. Gartrell (Fiyah Literary Magazine) Novelette
The Book of Drowned Sisters” by Caspian Gray (Nightmare) Short Story
How Did it Feel to be Eaten?” by Amit Gupta (Escape Pod) Short Story

Queens of Noise by Leigh Harlen (Neon Hemlock) Novella
Finding the Center” by Andrew K Hoe (Diabolical Plots) Short Story
Across the Ice” by Ada Hoffmann (Strange Horizons) Short Story
Those Wo Remembered” by Lush Horizon (Speculative City) Short Story
The Cat Lady and the Petitioner” by Jennifer Hudak (Translunar Travelers Lounge) Short Story
Words We Say Instead” by Brit E. B. Hvide (Uncanny) Short Story

Where You Go” by Somto O. Ihezue (Omenana) Short Story
Rat and Finch are Friends” by Innocent Chizaram Ilo (Strange Horizons) Short Story
Salt and Iron” by Gem Isherwood (PodCastle) Short Story
Forwarded as Received” by Osahon Ize-Iyamu (The Dark) Short Story

The Future in Saltwater” by Tamara Jerée (Anathema) Short Story
Do Not Fear, For The Work Will Be Pure” by Michael Johnstone (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly) Short Story

Everquest” by Naomi Kanakia (Lightspeed) Short Story
Mariska and Major” by Damini Kane (PodCastle) Short Story
What Lies Within” by Isha Karki (Augur) Short Story
All the Daughters of My Father’s House” by Gwen C Katz (Glittership) Short Story
Small Magics” by Juliet Kemp (Flash Fiction Online) Short Story
One Hand in the Coffin” by Justin C. Key (Strange Horizons) Novelette
Your Rover Is Here” by LP Kindred (Fiyah) Short Story
The Ashes of Vivian Firestrike” by Kristen Koopman (Glittership) Short Story

How Quini the Squid Misplaced His Klobučar” by Rich Larson (Tor) Novelette
The Mermaid Astronaut” by Yoon Ha Lee (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) Short Story
The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg (Tachyon Publications) Novella
To Balance the Weight of Khalem” by R.B. Lemberg (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) Novelette
The Currant Dumas” by L.D. Lewis (Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World that Wouldn't Die) Short Story

Mother Love” by Clara Madrigano (The Dark) Short Story
Twinning” by Geoff Manaugh (Terraform) Novelette
Of Roses and Kings” by Melissa Marr (Tor) Novelette
Ghost Collecting” by Sheila Massie (Flash Fiction Online) Short Story
Secret Keepers” by Dafydd McKimm (Flash Fiction Online) Short Story
Magnificent Maurice, or the Flowers of Immortality” by Rati Mehrotra (Lightspeed) Short Story
Kiki Hernández Beats the Devil” by Samantha Mills (Translunar Travelers Lounge) Short Story
20th Century Hotel” by Tomihiko Morimi, translated by Emily Balistrieri (Samovar) Short Story
The Old Ones, Great and Small” by Rajiv Moté (Diabolical Plots) Short Story

Great Gerta and the Mermaid” by Mari Ness (Lightspeed) Short Story
Keeping Time with the Joneses” by Wendy Nikel (Flash Fiction Online) Short Story

The Many Lives of an Abiku” by Tobi Ogundiran (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) Short Story
Breath Of The Sahara” by Inegbenoise O. Osagie (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) Short Story

Stretch” by Shari Paul (The Dark) Short Story
These Wondrous Sweets” by Tony Pi (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) Novelette
Two Truths and a Lie” by Sarah Pinsker (Tor) Novelette
What the Marsh Remembers” by B. Pladek (Lackington's) Short Story

This Soil Still Gives” by Natasha Ramoutar (Augur) Short Story
A Complete Transcript of [REDACTED]’s Video Channel, In Order of Upload” by Rhiannon Rasmussen (Diabolical Plots) Short Story
Thin Red Jellies” by Lina Rather (GigaNotoSaurus) Short Story
Body, Remember” by Nicasio Andres Reed (Fireside) Short Story
Bromelia” by Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez (Strange Horizons) Short Story

Le Gardin Animé (1893)” by Victoria Sandbrook (GigaNotoSaurus) Novella
Escaping Dr. Markoff” by Gabriela Santiago (The Dark) Short Story
Martian Cinema” by Gabriela Santiago (Strange Horizons) Short Story
A Galactic History of the Asmodean Fire Hoof” by Alexandra Seidel (Lackington's) Short Story
Love Laws and a Locked Heart” by Tamoha Sengupta (Fantasy) Short Story
Heard, Half-Heard, in the Stillness” by Iona Datt Sharma (Anathema) Short Story
Only the Messenger” by Emily C. Skaftun (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) Novelette
Last Wishes” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires (Clarkesworld) Novelette
The Oldest Solution” by Priya Sridhar (Strange Horizons) Short Story
Monsters Never Leave You” by Carlie St. George (Strange Horizons) Short Story
Where You Linger” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Uncanny) Novelette

Tea with the Earl of Twilight” by Sonya Taaffe (Nightmare) Short Story
Power to Yield” by Bogi Takács (Clarkesworld) Novella
Auntie Cheeks” by Renée Jessica Tan (Flash Fiction Online) Short Story
Caring For Dragons and Growing a Flower” by Allison Thai (PodCastle) Short Story
Your Name is Oblivia” by Vincent Tirado (Fiyah) Short Story
The River of Night” by Tlotlo Tsamaase (The Dark) Short Story

Single Malt Spacecraft” by Marie Vibbert (Lightspeed) Short Story

Please Don’t Let Go” by Jo Lindsay Walton (Fireside) Short Story
To Sail the Black” by A.C. Wise (Clarkesworld) Novelette
8-Bit Free Will” by John Wiswell (PodCastle) Short Story
Gender and Other Faulty Software” by John Wiswell (Fireside Magazine) Short Story
Open House on Haunted Hill” by John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots) Short Story


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you sincerely for including my story in your list – and for all that you do and have done reviewing SFF short fiction!

    — Michael Johnstone