Whimsically Tardy 2016 Reading Post

Posted on March 20, 2017 by

In 2016 I read approximately 120 stories and/or partial novels from students, pieces ranging in length from 1,000 words to 25,000, and wrote a critique for each and every one.  I also read over fifty stories, novelettes and novellas for the Heiresses of Russ 2016 anthology, which I co-edited with Steve Berman. Most of those, naturally, I read twice.

Because of the anthology, I was often very focused on short fiction, and read a lot of it online. I had promised myself that I would remember to record titles and authors and links, and I probably managed to do this a quarter of the time. When I list notable shorts, below, know that I may well have read and loved your story too… I just forgot to cut and paste the link into my master list.

Notable stories:

This is not a Wardrobe Door,” by A. Merc Rustad
Only their Shining Beauty was Left,” by Fran Wilde
Motherlands,” by Susan Jane Bigelow
No Matter Which Way We Turned,” by Brian Evenson
Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers, by Alyssa Wong
Madeline,” by Amal El-Mohtar
And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead,” by Brooke Bolander
The New Mother,” by Eugene Fischer
The Blood that Pulses in the Veins of One,” by JY Yang
Grandmother Nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds,” by Rose Lemburg
Fabulous Beasts,” by Priya Sharma
Over a Narrow Sea,” by Camille Alexa
A Million Future Days,” by Charles Payseur

Samples and Starts: Another new category for me, this year, was first chapters and samples of books I didn’t go on with. Usually these were non-fiction works with great concepts and line by line writing that wasn’t quite delicious enough to out-compete all the other brilliant non-fiction books out there.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective, by Kate Summerscale
The Winter Prince, by Elizabeth Wein
Accused, by Mark Giminez
Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made? by David Hughes
Morgue: A Life in Death, by Dr. Vincent DiMaio
The Human Factor: Revolutionizing the Way People Live with Technology, by Kim Vicente

Rereads:

When I am reading a lot of student work, I find new novels rather hard to tackle. Too much of my headspace is taken up, and so I reread. I didn’t record these very well either, in 2016. I know Tana French’s Broken Harbor and Faithful Place were among them, as was Minette Walters’ The Shape of Snakes.

And this is plenty for you all to chew on, so I’ll make a second post, soon, containing 20 new-to-me novel-length works I read in 2016!

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