All the Short Stories I Published in 2022 (and some jokes)
Most of the stories are free! Come have a fiction or two.
Congratulations to anyone who made it this far in 2022. It has been a hectic, wild year and it’s not even over yet. Given what’s happened in the last month, who can say what plot twists lie in the weeks ahead?
This has been an amazing year in my career. I’m full of gratitude for what you helped me do. I won my first-ever Locus Award. I was nominated for a Hugo, and for two Nebulas on the same ballot. I signed with my brilliant agent Hannah Bowman, and sold my debut novel, SOMEONE YOU CAN BUILD A NEST IN.
I can tell you that I’ve been quietly working on other things that y’all are going to love. It’s going to be great to share them with you in 2023.
Another highlight of 2022 has been all the short fiction I’ve brought into the world. This has been one of my favorite publishing years. I broke into venues that were bucket list items for me: LeVar Burton Reads, Tordotcom, Escape Pod, and the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
And with each new story that I got to share, I heard from new and wonderful readers. There is nothing I love more in this storytelling business than finding my stories touch someone.
So as we wind down 2022, I’d like to ask you all a little question. Which of my short stories did you like the most this year?
Here’s a little refresher on every new story I published in 2022, complete with links for where to read them. Take it away, Bold Text.
THE GREAT READING LIST COMETH
FREE: “D.I.Y.” at Tordotcom. (~4,800 words)
Noah Byrne was a disabled boy who only ever wanted to go to wizarding school—but they turned him down when his medical debt meant he couldn’t afford it. Ever since then he’s stewed on the powers that control magic in his world, and how little they’re doing to address the drought in his home city. Together with an unlikely ally, Noah hatches a plan to change accessibility for learning magic not just for himself, but for everyone.
FREE: “Demonic Invasion or Placebo Effect?” at Sunday Morning Transport. (~2,900 words)
Demons are tired of being called a superstition. A pair of demonic academics use a small town in the U.S. as their laboratory to prove human imaginations don’t create demons, and that human faith has no effect on them. Unfortunately, some of their test results might just have started haunting their lab.
FREE: “The Coward Who Stole God’s Name” in Uncanny Magazine. (~4,400 words)
Sometimes popularity is its own superpower. Gavin Davenport is the most beloved man on Earth—even though not a soul can explain why they care about him. He invites a journalist to his private compound, to share the dark secret behind his fame. He wants to be exposed. But what will happen when the world learns the secret? What will happen to the journalist who tells the truth nobody wants to hear?
FREE: “The Ones Who Can’t Let It Go” in Nature Futures. (~900 words)
A comedy flash set so far in the future I had to write it in future tense. There’s only one guy left in this particular solar system, and no matter how much his daughter begs him to leave, he is set on his goal. He’s got a project that requires gathering all the loose matter in the galaxy. What is his master plan? You’ll have to read it to find out, but I can’t believe Nature let me get away with it.
ON SALE: “The True Meaning of Father’s Day” at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. (~900 words)
The story began as a dare: could I write a story that was entirely an argument between friends trying to pay the lunch check? But there’s a twist: the friends are all time travelers. Each devious friend has tried to sneak farther back in time than the next in order to get the check first. They might have hit a paradox before dessert.
ON SALE: “The Great Beyond Commands” in Unidentified Funny Objects 9. (~1,000 words)
A story told entirely through magical brainwashing spells. This mild-mannered academic wizard keeps getting accosted by the same assassin. He keeps casting spells to make the assassin forget him and go away, but somehow the assassin keeps coming back—each time, in even tighter pants. Experience the romcom of a wizard who just wants to be left alone, and the distressingly hot rogue who somehow keeps breaking magic spells to visit him again.
FREE: “Too Little, Too Little, Too Much” in Cossmass Infinities. (~3,200 words)
Lark is a little boy who keeps setting fires with his mind. He can’t help it; they spark up whenever he’s upset. But Lark can’t tell anyone why he lives every day in fear, because Father demands secrecy behind closed doors. This story is as dark as my fiction has ever gotten, and is about how children pass child abuse between each other, and the desperate hope it can be stopped before their world burns.
NOW DO THE VOTING! BRING DEMOCRACY TO THE ARTS!
That’s seven original stories in one year. If you’re following this newsletter, then you’ve already read some of my work. What story from my 2022 publications did you enjoy the most?
Ironically, Substack won’t let me make a poll with seven options. If you want to vote for any of the flashes (the stories that are 1,000 words or shorter), just pick the bottom option and drop a comment on this post. I’d love to hear which was your favorite! I
In fact, I’d love to read any of your feelings on how these stories affected you this year. Did one land particularly hard? And why was that?
I feel like I spread my wings a lot in terms of topics and tones across all these stories. I can’t pick my own personal favorite, but historically readers have an easier time doing that. It’s one of your great skills.
WHAT IF I WANT TO READ MORE, THOUGH?
If you’re still dying for more reads and listens, I had the following stories reprinted in 2022! Several of them were narrated and given podcast production for the first time.
FREE: "Open House on Haunted Hill" audio edition in LeVar Burton Reads
FREE: "The Tyrant Lizard (and Her Plus One)" AND "Alien Invader or Assistive Device?" in the same episode of Escape Pod
FREE: "The Tentacle and You" audio edition at Pseudopod
FOR SALE: "For Lack of a Bed" in Long List Anthology 8
I can’t thank you all enough for reading, commenting, sharing, nominating, and otherwise supporting my work. I wouldn’t be doing this without y’all.
OKAY BUT SHARE FUNNY PICTURES BEFORE YOU GO
Alright, Bold Text. Let’s have a laugh or two, shall we?
“Too Little…” was a pretty devastating read but I was very entertained by the demons. Having said that, “The Coward…” is one of the best short stories I’ve ever read so that got my vote.
From this year's stories, I love equally two stories, both of which brought me to tears - "D.I.Y" and "Too Little, Too Little, Too Much". Of the reprints, I love "Open House on Haunted Hill" and "For Lack of a Bed". I can't possibly narrow it down further than that. Thank you for these stories.