My picks follow, in no particular order. OK, there is an order - I normally add new entries at the bottom; so the list is generally in order that I found the stories.
Where I'm aware of an online copy, I link that. Where I have a separate post on a story, link on title goes there. Links on author, publisher, or editor fetch more matching fiction. Non-genre entries are clearly marked.
Here is some background information, & how I pick the stories. More "best of 2009" lists at the bottom.
- [novella] Edward M Lerner's "Calculating Minds"; download; JBU, #18 (April 2009): Scamsters have compromised software critical for interstellar commerce (in intellectual property) with aliens.
- [ff] Helstrom's "aka Daniel"; download; 365tomorrows, 18 April 2009: This AI would rather not have human rights!
- [ss] Salman Rushdie's "In the South"; download; The New Yorker, 18 May 2009; non-genre: How would life look like if we're lucky enough to live to an old age?
- [ss] Joshua Ferris' "The Valetudinarian"; download; The New Yorker, 2 August 2009; non-genre, humor: All the lonely old man needed was shock therapy!
- [ss] Ken Liu's "Single-Bit Error"; download from publisher's site, author's site, or as part of a larger package at Manybooks; Suman Harihareswara & Leonard Richardson (Eds)' "Thoughtcrime Experiments"; religion: Faith = hardware error in brain!
- [ss] Kurt Vonnegut, Jr's "Confido"; Playboy (US), September 2009: Now no one need be lonely!
While this story was written early in Vonnegut's career, it got published for the first time in 2009 only.
- [ss] Christopher Feliciano Arnold's "Light, Sweet Crude"; Playboy (US), October 2009; non genre: Wealth creation by creating physical assets vs by manipulating numbers in a database are contrasted.
- [ss] Paul Carlson's "Mirror Girl"; download; Abyss & Apex, #31 (Q3 2009); electronic consciousness: A little girl gets to grow up in a hurry...
- [ff] Hans Patrick Griesser's "What's More Affordable than Free?"; download (need to click "Read More..." link at the bottom of page & then scroll down to see this story); Medgadget, 7 December 2009; health care: Future of heath care - as internet & smart phones start interacting with health care networks...
- [ff] Nancy Kress' "Exegesis"; download; Asimov's, April/May 2009; humor: How language evolves with time...
- Fiction originally published during 2009.
- My "best of the year" 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006 picks.
- Anthologies that collect the "best fiction originally published during 2009": Dozois', Horton's, Strahan's.
- Awards that recognize the "best fiction originally published during 2009": Aurealis (Australia), BSFA (UK), Million Writers Award (global, for online short fiction).
- Rich Horton's "best of 2009" short fiction selections from various magazines & anthologies in the form of "yearly summaries" for 2009 - one post per magazine. For some of his lists, I have annotated versions with download links too: Abyss & Apex magazine, Jim Baen's Universe.
- Clarkesworld's "best of 2009", selected via their readers' poll.
- Locus recommended reading list for fiction originally published during 2009.
- Rachel Swirsky's selections from 2009 & 2008 from the point of view of Nebula Award 2009 nominations: short stories, novelettes, novellas.
- Blue Tyson's "The Best New Stories of 2009". What I've linked here is a 30 March 2009 version; I assume it will be updated as the year proceeds.
- "Best of" lists.