2021 Recommended SFF List

Because it's never too early to pick out the good stuff, right?

Best Short Story

"Your Own Undoing," P H Lee, Apex Magazine January 2021. (This is a fantasy of a master sorcerer overcome, twisted and enslaved by her own student. But it's also a story about stories, the power a good story has over us, and how to both use the story and escape from its trap--by writing your own ending.)

"Mr. Death," Alix E. Harrow, Apex Magazine January 2021. (Alix E. Harrow is one of my favorite authors, and she knocks it out of the park here, with this beautiful story of a soul reaper who meets the one soul he can't bear to ferry across the river.) 

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

(I'm irritated as heck that Amazon split the fifth season of The Expanse over 2020 and 2021. This is the best season yet, and if it had dropped all at once I would have nominated the whole thing. As it is, of the five episodes shown in January, "Oyedeng" , "Hard Vacuum" and and "Winnepesaukee" are outstanding. "Nemesis Games," the finale, set everything in motion for the final season, bringing the protomolecule back in a big way [and dammit, that ass Marco Inaros isn't dead yet]. Dominique Tipper, Cara Gee and Wes Chatham are turning in stellar performances. If there was any justice, at least one of them would be nominated for an Emmy.)

WandaVision, Season 1 Ep 4, "We Interrupt This Program", Disney Plus. (Here we find out a lot about what is going on, and the narrative is given the clever conceit of the characters outside Wanda's bubble watching the same three episodes we in the audience have watched!! It's meta and funny, especially with the welcome presence of Darcy Lewis. But the final scene, showing just what Wanda did to Monica Rambeau, raises the stakes and from the looks of it, sends Wanda and everyone in Westview on a collision course with tragedy.)

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