Short fiction I read in January 2012

Here is the short fiction I read in January. For a second time, I made my goal of averaging 1 story/day, although the spread isn’t particularly even. As always, bold titles are recommended.

  1. Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Malcolm Jameson (as by Colin Keith) (Astounding December 1941). [1/2/2012]
  2. Bullard Refeclts by Malcolm Jameson (Astounding December 1941). [1/3/2012]
  3. Joe Steel by Harry Turtledove (Year’s Best Science Fiction, 21st Annual Edition). [1/4/2012]
  4. Action Comics #5: “Rocket Song”. [1/5/2012]
  5. Operation Successful by Robert Arthur (Astounding December 1941). [1/6/2012]
  6. Homo Saps by Webster Craig (Astounding December 1941). [1/7/2012]
  7. Defense Line by Vic Phillips (Astounding December 1941). [1/8/2012]
  8. Breakdown by Jack Williamson (Astounding January 1942). [1/10/2012]
  9. Soup King by Colin Keith (Astounding January 1942). [1/11/2012]
  10. Ernesto by Alec Nevala-Lee (Analog, 3/12). [1/12/2012]
  11. Beauty in the Night by Robert Silverberg (Year’s Best Science Fiction,15th Annual Edition). [1/15/2012]
  12. Marrow by Robert Reed (Year’s Best Science Fiction,15th Annual Edition). [1/16/2012]
  13. Dumb as Dirt by Garth Upshaw (Daily SF, 1/17/2012). [1/17/2012]
  14. Georgia On My Mind by Charles Sheffield (Georgia On My Mind and Other Places).  [1/17/2012]
  15. The People of Pele by Ken Liu (Asimov’s 2/12). [1/17/2012]
  16. How Many Miles to Babylon? by Megan Arkenberg (Lightspeed, 1/12). [1/17/2012]
  17. My Father’s Singularity by Brenda Cooper (Year’s Best Science Fiction, 28th Annual Edition). [1/17/2012]
  18. A Delicate Balance by Kevin J. Anderson (Analog, 4/12). [1/18/2012]
  19. Blood Music by Greg Bear (Year’s Best Science Fiction, 1st Annual Edition). [1/18/2012]
  20. Even the Queen by Connie Willis (Year’s Best Science Fiction, 10th Annual Edition). [1/18/2012]
  21. Mechanistria by Eric Frank Russell (Astounding 1/42). [1/18/2012]
  22. The Mountain to Mohammed by Nancy Kress (Year’s Best Science Fiction, 10th Annual Edition). [1/19/2012]
  23. A Long Night’s Vigil in the Temple by Robert Silverberg (Year’s Best Science Fiction, 10th Annual Edition). [1/19/2012]
  24. Graves by Joe Haldeman (Year’s Best Science Fiction, 10th Annual Edition). [1/19/2012]
  25. Birth Day by Robert Reed (Year’s Best Science Fiction, 10th Annual Edition). [1/19/2012]
  26. The Invaders by L. Ron Hubbard (Astounding, January 1942). [1/22/2012]
  27. Fugitive From Vangard by Norman L. Knight (Astounding, January 1942). [1/22/2012]
  28. Visiting Planet Earth by Eric Brown (Daily SF, 1/30/12). [1/30/2012]
  29. Five Elements of the Heart Mind by Ken Liu (Lightspeed, January 2012). [1/30/2012]
  30. The Long Con by Megan R. Engelhardt (Daily SF, 1/31/2012). [1/31/2012]
  31. There Shall Be Darkness by C. L. Moore (Astounding February 1942). [1/31/2012]
  32. The Sorcerer of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett (Astounding February 1942). [1/31/2012]

As you can see, I’ve been working my way through stories I’ve missed in the 80s and 90s by going through Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best volumes and picking and choosing stories that I think I should have read (but until now, hadn’t). Of the old stuff, Jack Williamson’s “Breakdown” was the best, a real surprise and a terrific story. Moving into the 80s and 90s, it’s a tougher call but I’ll give the edge to Robert Silverberg’s “Beauty in the Night” over Robert Reed’s “Marrow.” For stuff published in 2012 dated issues, I give the nod to Ken Liu’s “Five Elements of the Heart Mind” in the January Lightspeed. Great story that pushes most of my science fiction buttons.

And as always, if you are looking for inexpensive entertainment, a subscription to one of the many terrific science fiction and fantasy magazines out there is cheaper than an evening out at the movies.