Thursday, December 30, 2021

Quick Sip Reviews 2021 Recommended Reading List

Greetings and welcome to the Quick Sip Reviews 2021 Recommended Reading List! The purpose of this is fairly straightforward--to share with everyone the stories that I enjoyed most from my coverage of 2021 SFF short fiction. To make things as easy as possible, I've included links where possible to where to read or purchase the stories either individually or as part of a larger issue. If I've made an error of any sort in the author name, title, or publication details, please feel free to reach out to correct me. Thanks!

The works this year come from all over the short SFF realms, 100 total from 40 different publications and 98 different authors. Only two authors, Jen Brown and Marika Bailey, appear on the list more than once (each has two stories), and Strange Horizons leads the pack of publications, placing seven stories on the list. Two novellas appear, as well as thirteen novelettes, 78 short stories, and seven flash fiction works. So yeah, far and away more short stories than anything else, but that also makes sense given what I read, where the vast majority is short stories (I covered 1157 short stories, 112 novelettes, and 19 novellas). And randomly, this year saw more letters of the alphabet represented but missed authors with last names beginning with E, Q, and U (though one of the translators of one of the stories did have a surname beginning with U). 

If you want to find my thoughts on these stories, you can do a search in the browser version of the site for the author and title and it should bring you to the appropriate post. Or you can head over and become a patron, as all of these works were featured in my third year of Sip of the Week, my weekly recommendation posts sent directly to patrons of all levels.


Illusions of Freedom”, Oluwatomiwa Ajeigbe (Baffling Magazine) (short story/flash)
Paper Suns”, Kemi Ashing-Giwa (Anathema) (short story)

Deep Music”, Elly Bangs (Clarkesworld) (short story)
Daughters With Bloody Teeth”, Marika Bailey (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) (short story)
The White Road: Or How a Crow Carried Death Over a River”, Marika Bailey (Fiyah) (short story)
Mulberry and Owl”, Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny) (novelette)
A Short Story in Seven Looks”, Sarah Turi Boshear (Pseudopod) (short story)
Bandit, Reaper, Yours”, Jen Brown (Baffling Magazine) (short story/flash)
To Rise, Blown Open”, Jen Brown (Anathema) (short story)
Deadbeat”, Jacob Budenz (Baffling Magazine) (short story/flash)

A House Is Not a Home”, L Chan (Clarkesworld) (short story/flash)
Peristalsis”, Vajra Chandrasekera (The Deadlands) (short story)
Arisudan”, Rimi B. Chatterjee (Mithila Review) (novella)
Nine-Tailed Heart”, Jessica Cho (khōréō magazine) (short story)
The Captain and the Quartermaster”, C.L. Clark (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) (short story)
A Minnow, or Perhaps a Colossal Squid”, C. S. E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez (Mermaids Monthly) (short story)
Whatever Happened to the Boy Who Fell Into the Lake?”, Rob Costello (F&SF) (short story)

Synesthesia”, Devin DeMarco (Lackington's) (short story)
A Gift from the Queen of Faerie to the King of Hell”, Cara Masten DiGirolamo (Fantasy) (short story)

The Carnival Job”, Mark Finn (Heroic Fantasy Quarterly) (novelette)
Fanfiction for a Grimdark Universe”, Vanessa Fogg (Translunar Travelers Lounge) (short story)

Diamonds and Pearls”, JL George (Fireside Magazine) (short story)
Questions Asked in the Belly of the World”, A. T. Greenblaat (Tor) (novelette)
All the Open Highways”, Alexis Gunderson (The Deadlands) (short story)

Shandy”, Gabrielle Emem Harry (Omenana) (short story)
An Exploration of Nichole Otieno's Early Filmography (1232-1246)”, Kola Heyward-Rotimi (Strange Horizons) (novelette)
Broad Dutty Water: A Sunken Story”, Nalo Hopkinson (F&SF) (novelette)
Sía”, Lizz Huerta (Lightspeed) (short story)

Flight”, Innocent Chizaram Ilo (Fantasy) (short story)

Ensign” by Soyeon Jeong, translated by Paige Aniyah Morris (Samovar) (short story)
In Case You're the One to Devour a Star”, Tamara Jerée (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) (short story)
Mysteries of the Visiocherries”, Rio Johan (Samovar) (short story)
I Was a Teenage Space Jockey”, Stephen Graham Jones (Lightspeed) (short story)

“To Exhale Sky”, Shingai Njeri Kagunda (Baffling Magazine) (short story/flash)
Blood in the Thread”, Cheri Kamei (Tor) (short story)
The Listener”, Sim Kern (The Future Fire) (novelette)
Now You See Me”, Justin C. Key (Lightspeed) (novelette)
AP Practical Literary Theory Suggests This Is A Quest (Or: What Danny Did Over Spring Break)”, Isabel J. Kim (Cast of Wonders) (short story)
Lies I Never Told You”, Jaxton Kimble (Diabolical Plots) (short story)
Let the Buyer Beware”, Michelle Ann King (Kaleidotrope) (short story)
To Rest and To Create”, LA Knight (Fiyah) (short story)

Twenty Thousand Last Meals on an Exploding Station”, Ann LeBlanc (Mermaids Monthly) (short story)
Mouth & Marsh, Silver & Song”, Sloane Leong (Fireside Magazine) (short story)
From Witch to Queen to God”, L. D. Lewis (Mermaids Monthly) (short story)
The Office Drone”, Nic Lipitz (Future Science Fiction Digest) (short story)
The Loneliness of Former Constellations”, P.H. Low (Strange Horizons) (short story)
Returning the Lyre”, Mary E. Lowd (Kaleidotrope) (short story)
My Mother's Hand”, Dante Luiz (Contelación) (short story)

Armed With Such Stories, I Roamed Into The Woods”, Evan Marcroft (Cast of Wonders) (short story)
Wives at the End of the World”, Avra Margariti (The Future Fire) (short story)
Haja Hoje”, Anna Martino (Strange Horizons) (short story)
Breath”, S. A. McKenzie (Prismatica) (short story)
Haunted Hills Community and Country Club”, Lincoln Michel (F&SF) (short story)
Let All the Children Boogie”, Sam J. Miller (Tor) (short story)
The General's Turn”, Premee Mohamed (The Deadlands) (short story)

Cadaver Dogs”, B. Narr (Nightmare) (short story)
The Lake, the Valley, the Border Between Water and Wood, and the End of Things”, Watson Neith (Translunar Travelers Lounge) (short story)
Worn”, Ada Nnadi (GigaNotoSaurus) (novlette)

Him Without Her and Her Within Him”, Aimee Ogden (Zooscape) (short story)

My Mirror, My Opposite”, Y.M. Pang (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) (short story)
Between Zero and One There Is Infinity”, Shari Paul (Clarkesworld) (novelette)
AITA for Using My Side Hustle to Help My Boyfriend Escape the Clutches of Death?”, Aimee Picchi (Flash Fiction Online) (short story/flash)
Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather”, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny) (short story)
A Study in Ugliness”, H. Pueyo (The Dark) (short story)

Throw Rug”, Aurelius Raines II (Apex) (short story)
Sorry We Missed You!”, Aun-Juli Riddle (khōréō magazine) (short story)
One Hundred Seconds to Midnight”, Lauren Ring (Escape Pod) (short story)
Delan at the Shrine”, Dora Dee Rogers (Decoded Pride) (novelette)
The Steel Magnolia Metaphor”, Jennifer Lee Rossman (Escape Pod) (short story)

Welcome, Karate”, Sarah Saab (The Dark) (short story)
Not Poppy, Nor Mandragora”, Jane Sand (Fusion Fragment) (novelette)
Old People's Folly”, Nora Schinnerl (Future Science Fiction Digest) (short story)
The Art and Mystery of Thea Wells”, Alexandra Seidel (Diabolical Plots) (short story)
The Center of the Universe”, Nadia Shammas (Strange Horizons) (short story)
All Worlds Left Behind”, Iona Datt Sharma (khōréō magazine) (short story)
It is a Pleasure to Receive You”, Ziggy Schutz (Clarkesworld) (short story)
Ocean's 6”, Elsa Sjunneson (Mermaids Monthly) (short story)
According to Leibniz (maybe this isn’t what he meant); or, Rasharelle Little: Goddess of Postal Worker NBs”, Isana Skeete (Strange Horizons) (short story)
The Patron God of Tawn”, Dustin Steinacker (GigaNotoSaurus) (short story)
First Leaf”, Elise Stephens (Fiyah) (short story)
All in a Day's Work”, Jade Stewart (Fiyah) (short story)
Innocent Bird”, Rachel Swirsky (Lightspeed) (short story)

Root Rot”, Fargo Tbakhi (Apex) (short story)
Heart Shine”, Shveta Thakrar (Uncanny) (short story)
Dreamports” by Tlotlo Tsamaase (Apex) (novelette)

The Burning Girl”, Carrie Vaughn (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) (novelette)
Everyday Creatures”, Juan Diego Gómez Vélez, translated by Eliana González Ugarte (Contelación) (short story)
Dr. Ormeau's Botanical Menagerie”, Morgan L. Ventura (Lackington's) (short story)
The Plus One”, Marie Vibbert (F&SF) (short story)

This Shattered Vessel, Which Holds Only Grief”, Izzy Wasserstein (Apex) (short story)
Constellations Are Unrecognizable Here”, Andrew Joseph White (Strange Horizons) (short story)
Diamond Cuts”, Shaoni C. White (Uncanny) (short story)
More Sea Creatures to See”, Aliya Whitely (Shoreline of Infinity) (short story)
A Manslaughter of Crows”, Chris Willrich (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) (novella)
Jenny Come Up the Well”, A.C. Wise (PodCastle) (short story)

Shi Shou”, E. A. Xiong (Strange Horizons) (short story)

The Enchanted Gardener”, Jessica Yang (GigaNotoSaurus) (short story)
Deal”, Eris Young (Escape Pod) (short story)
Little Monsters”, E. Lily Yu (Tor) (novelette)

A Sunrise Every 90 Minutes”, Victoria Zelvin (Flash Fiction Online) (short story/flash)


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