Life in Fiction 2016: Highlights as a Reader & a Writer

wp-1480451168053.jpg2016 was a rough year personally, and, uh, also, existentially. Prince died! And David Bowie! and… racist misogynist fascists took over the US government.

So I read a lot of fiction, this year. And it helped me a lot. And I believe that in the coming years, we’ll need fiction more and more.

If you’re in an award-nominating kind of mood, or are desperate to escape this disappointing reality, or are just looking for something awesome to read, here’s my round-up of the best stories written by other people that I read in 2016. I’ve also included the two pieces I’m proudest of, from 2016 – conveniently located in two separate award categories:

Short Story: Clarkesworld, Issue 117, June 2016

“Things With Beards”

Semi-sequel to The Thingusing John Carpenter’s gnarly monster to tell a story of AIDS, gay liberation, police brutality, & passing.  Locus said “The story is a tangle of metaphors that knot perfectly together. …joins others of Miller’s, such as last year’s ‘‘The Heat of Us’’, as a startling and intelligent engagement with queer history through a science fictional lens.” And Peter Watts, author of “The Things,” said “It’s fucking amazing… TWB can’t seem to go for a single paragraph without making some new, visceral, political observation/metaphor.” 

Novelette: Nightmare Magazine, Issue 40, January 2016

Angel, Monster, Man

sketch5220376-1.jpgIt’s the height of the AIDS crisis. Three friends, gay men overwhelmed with rage and sadness, who’ve inherited suitcases and boxes and garbage bags full of unpublished work from fellow writers killed by the virus, invent Tom Minniq: a collective pseudonym under which to publish all that orphaned work. Tom becomes a literary superstar, but he doesn’t stay on the page. And he starts acting out their anger in ways that they couldn’t anticipate, and can’t control.

And here are my favorite stories from the past year [list in formation]:

Posted on: November 30, 2016, by : Sam J. M.