Posted in History

Favorite Short Stories of 2016


In addition to the 52 stories in the Deal Me In challenge, I read 70+ other short stories throughout the year. Picking a top 10 was tough! In some cases, I rated a story high after reading it, but in retrospect I couldn’t remember much about it. Others, while lower rated, left a definite impression.

Here are my top 10, in no particular order:

From Deal Me In

“Pate de Foie Gras” by Isaac Asimov – I didn’t care for many of the stories in Asimov’s Mysteries, but this take on the goose that lays golden eggs is really fun. – Review

“Smee” by A. M. Burrage – “Smee” was on my list because Jay said it was good. Jay did not lie. It’s hook is haunting. – Review, Read

“The Daemon Lover” by Shirley Jackson – Shirley Jackson writes about the fears of being a single woman too well. – Review

From 24 in 48

For the 24 in 48 Readathon in July, I cleared my backlog of bookmarked stories and found some gems.

“Monkey King, Faerie Queen” by Zen Cho – Just sheer adventurous fun. Review, Read

“Multo” by Samuel Marzioli – Up there with “Smee” for this year’s creep-factor award. Review, Read

“The Tomato Thief” by Ursula Vernon – I’ve loved Ursula Vernon’s art for a long time, but I really hadn’t read any of her fiction. I really enjoy her deadpan humor and talking animals. Review, Read

The Rest

“The Green-Eyed Boy” by Peter S. Beagle – This is a Schmendrick story, so of course it’s going to make my top ten. I never did much of a review of it, but I enjoyed it, maybe especially because it adds to The Last Unicorn mythology in a sideways manner, which is probably for the best.

“The Book Seller” by Lavie Tidhar – Likewise, I feel like I’m cheating a little to include “The Book Seller” on this list because it is part of Tidhar’s Central Station which I read in full later in the year. But it’s a science fiction story with books. How can I not? Review, Read

“Cruel Sistah” by Nisi Shawl – Music and horror go *so* well together. Review, Read

“This is a Letter to My Son” by K. J. Kabza – Lovely and heart-breaking. About as good as near-future fiction can get. Review, Read


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

3 thoughts on “Favorite Short Stories of 2016

  1. Thanks for the interesting list of stories. I’m a real fan of short stories myself, and always enjoy hearing of new stories and authors I may have otherwise missed.

  2. I’m glad that you liked “Smee.” It’s been one of my go-to recommendations for quite awhile now, and I still haven’t had any complaints. I probably read as many ‘extra-curricular’ short stories in 2016 as you did, counting 24 in 48, and a book club book I’m reading right now (Ron Rash’s “Something Strange and New”) not to mention my short story “book” club I started at work.

    I will try to plunder at least one of these titles for one of my wild cards in 2017.

    I’ve also been thinking about doing my “supposed to be Annual” Shorties awards again this year for my favorites. Hmm…

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