Navigating Short Fiction

Resources and links from my lecture, “Navigating the Ocean of Short Fiction.”

Here is the complete Powerpoint presentation (Hebrew).

Tools

Calibre: Manages your EBook library, and lets you tweak ebooks and convert file formats.

GrabMyBooks: Compile your own anthology by picking multiple web pages and bundling them into a single ebook.
Great for making your own collections — by author, magazine, or just “a few pieces that caught my eye”.
Works best on Firefox.

Send to Kindle: Browser plugin from Amazon to send an article directly to your Kindle.

Rocket Stack Rank: Quick index to a huge swath of currently published fiction.

Reviewers

Quick Sip Reviews (Charles Payseur): In-depth reviews of lots of short fiction.

Monthly Roundup (Maria Haskins) and Words for Thought (A.C. Wise): Recommendations for several notable stories every month.

Rocket Stack Rank: Capsule reviews of current stories.

Storyological: Podcast discussing short stories, new and old.

Squee & Snark: Online short story discussion club.

Get Ye To A Magazine

Magazines are the backbone of SF/F short fiction – and the perfect way to get a regular fix of fiction, in a style and taste that you enjoy!

This list was compiled in October 2017. Please comment if you’ve got a correction, an update, or an additional suggestion!

Starting Points for Toe-Dippers

If you don’t know where to start, and especially if you’re just dipping your toe into short fiction, here are a few magazines I’d recommend as good starting points.
(These few are personal recommendations. There are lots of other excellent options!)

My top recommendation is The Magazine of Fantasy & Science FictionF&SF is how I first got into short fiction, and it’s still my absolute favorite. Every issue has a great variety of stories, all of very different strengths and styles. To me, this encapsulates the joy of reading short fiction – a constant stream of short, focused, powerful experiences.
Particularly recommended if you’d like something with a print edition – this is basically getting a good 260-page anthology shipped to your doorstep every other month.

If you’d rather an ezine, two I’d particularly recommend starting with are Clarkesworld and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Clarkesworld leans more towards science fiction; BCS leans more towards fantasy. Both magazines are free online; are friendly to newcomers; offer audio alongside many of their stories, and are all-around excellent.

Magazines With A Focus

Every magazine is unique, with its own style and voice. Some magazines are hard to pin down – distinct, but in a way that’s hard to describe until you’ve experienced them and become acquainted. But some magazines have some fairly straightforward elements that set them apart – and those are worth knowing; that might be just the thing that whets your interest in them.

Analog: Frequently features Hard SF.

Black Static: British/United Kingdom horror and dark fantasy.

Fiyah: Black SFF.

Intergalactic Medicine Show: Oriented towards YA (Young Adult); guarantees PG-13 rating at most.

Glittership: LGBTQ SF&F.

Interzone: British/United Kingdom science fiction.

Omenana: Speculative fiction by writers from across Africa and the African Diaspora.

Samovar: Translated fiction.

Huge List O’ Magazines

Every magazine has its own style and nature. Those can be hard to pin down, so please don’t give these extremely brief descriptions any more weight than they deserve. My goal here isn’t to perfectly capture the essence  of each publication. My goal is that readers new to magazines will have an easy time homing in on a few publications that seem most suited to their own tastes.

Analog: (Features hard SF) Print; ebook.

Apex: Free online; audio; ebook.

Asimov’s: (Primarily SF) Print; ebook.

Black Static: (British horror and dark fantasy) Print; ebook.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies: (Primarily fantasy) Free online; ebook; audio.

Clarkesworld: (Primarily SF) Also includes one translated story every issue. Free online; audio; ebook.

The Dark: (Horror and dark fantasy) Free online; audio; ebook.

Escape Pod: Free audio.

Interzone: (British SF) Print; ebook.

Lackington’s: (Experimental) Old issues free, new issues paid.

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet: (Whimsical; experimental) paid ebook.

Lightspeed: (SF) Free online; audio; ebook.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Print; ebook.

Nightmare: (Horror and dark fantasy) Free online; audio; ebook.

Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show: (Tends towards Young-Adult; guarantees PG-13) Paid online.

Samovar: (Translated science fiction and fantasy) Free online; audio.

Shimmer: (Contemporary fantasy) Free online; ebook.

Strange Horizons: Free online; audio; ebook.

Tor.com: Free online; line of (paid) novellas.

Uncanny: (Progressive SF/F) Free online; audio; ebook.

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