Sunday, April 5, 2009

My "best of the year" picks: 2009

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.

  1. [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.
  2. [ff] Helstrom's "aka Daniel"; download; 365tomorrows, 18 April 2009: This AI would rather not have human rights!
  3. [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?
  4. [ss] Joshua Ferris' "The Valetudinarian"; download; The New Yorker, 2 August 2009; non-genre, humor: All the lonely old man needed was shock therapy!
  5. [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!
  6. [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.
  7. [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.
  8. [ss] Paul Carlson's "Mirror Girl"; download; Abyss & Apex, #31 (Q3 2009); electronic consciousness: A little girl gets to grow up in a hurry...
  9. [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...
  10. [ff] Nancy Kress' "Exegesis"; download; Asimov's, April/May 2009; humor: How language evolves with time...


  1. Fiction originally published during 2009.
  2. My "best of the year" 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006 picks.
  3. Anthologies that collect the "best fiction originally published during 2009": Dozois', Horton's, Strahan's.
  4. Awards that recognize the "best fiction originally published during 2009": Aurealis (Australia), BSFA (UK), Million Writers Award (global, for online short fiction).
  5. 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.
  6. Clarkesworld's "best of 2009", selected via their readers' poll.
  7. Locus recommended reading list for fiction originally published during 2009.
  8. Rachel Swirsky's selections from 2009 & 2008 from the point of view of Nebula Award 2009 nominations: short stories, novelettes, novellas.
  9. 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.
  10. "Best of" lists.
Legend: ss = short story; ff = flash fiction.