2022 Recommended SFF List

 

 

(I'm going to attempt to keep up with my magazine subscriptions this year, as otherwise they pile up in their folder until December comes and I'm panicking trying to read all of them. That's no way to appreciate a good story.)

Short Story 

"Lily, the Immortal," Kylie Lee Baker, Uncanny Magazine January/February 2022. (Not available online till 2/1; I'll have to fetch the link then.) (This is the quiet, thoughtful story of the forgotten girlfriend of a YouTube makeup vlogging queen whose channel and image is bought up by a corporation that resurrects her. This is a meditation on death and immortality, and the protagonist's powerful reason to reject the latter.)

"The Cure for Loneliness," M. Shaw, Apex Magazine January-February 2022. (This story is equal parts humor and horror, very much set in our time of pandemic and isolation. The author weaves the very real-world idea of a fungus that takes over ant brains, plants that are taking over the protagonist's apartment, an evolving philodendron that got its start after being stuck in a jar of pickle juice instead of water, and at the very end, the "bright people," angels or aliens that use the protagonist's mutated plants to break into our world. The story swings towards horror at the end, similar to the fungus-zombie movie The Girl With All the Gifts.) (Also not available online till February; link forthcoming.)

Novella

Where the Drowned Girls Go, Seanan McGuire (4 of 5 stars, full review here). (This is volume #7 of the Wayward Children series, but it can be read and understood even if you haven't read any of the previous volumes. These stories of children who don't fit in and find Doors leading to alternate worlds are a combination of updated fairy tales with teeth and commentary on the unrealistic expectations society and/or parents place on many children, especially girls.)

Dramatic Presentation Short

The Expanse, Amazon Prime, Season 6 Ep 5, "Why We Fight." (This show is ending, dammit, but this penultimate episode slowed down and concentrated on the characters and their motivations--not only for this final season, but the show as a whole. Cara Gee, as Camina Drummer, and Shohreh Agdashloo, as Chrisjen Avasarala, are outstanding.)

The Expanse, Amazon Prime, Season 6 Ep 6, "Babylon's Ashes." (And now it's over, but it went out with a bang, with a hair-raising action, a magnificent comeuppance for the villain, and a lovely final scene with Holden and Naomi that summed up the entire series.)

Fan Writer

Doris V. Sutherland has been writing insightful analyses of SFF and comics for some time, and I'd love to see her work recognized more this year. 

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