Noted Short SF Markets: 2017

The following is a list of short fiction markets which had 2017 short stories, novelettes, or novellas selected for a Clarke, Dozois, Horton, or Strahan annual or which appeared on the final ballot of the Hugos or Nebulas. They are sorted by number of selections (not individual stories, which sometimes have multiple selections).

This is a variant of “The Splintered Mind: Top Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazines 2017.” This only tabulates six factors over one year rather than the many factors over many years of the original. That version helps flatten out fluky peaks and valleys but this provides an instant snapshot of major accolades. (This version also includes whatever venue the stories come from while that version focuses on magazines.) I’d thought about doing this before but stumbling over that finally got me to do it.

Magazines (113)

  1. Asimov’s (17)
  2. Clarkesworld (17)
  3. (17)
  4. Uncanny (15)
  5. F&SF (11)
  6. Analog (7)
  7. Lightspeed (7)
  8. Beneath Ceaseless Skies (5)
  9. Omni (4)
  10. Strange Horizons (3)
  11. Apex (2)
  12. Boston Review [non-SF] (2)
  13. Diabolical Plots (1)
  14. Fantastic [defunct] (1)
  15. Interzone (1)
  16. McSweeney’s [non-SF] (1)
  17. Mothership Zeta [defunct] (1)
  18. Wired [non-SF] (1)

For what it’s worth, before moving on to the anthologies and other sources, I’ll give my take on the list. Long analysis, short: I think the list is a generally fair indicator. Of the top eleven zines, I didn’t cover the four printzines and include Compelling, Flash Fiction Online, Nature, and Nightmare instead but the other seven, based on the stats recorded in “Annual Summation: 2017,” are the same.

Long: While I cover them now, I hadn’t started covering Analog, Asimov’s, or F&SF last year. If I had, they’d have obviously ranked highly. Otherwise, of the venues represented in my “Web’s Bests” and based on the percentage of stories I recommended per venue, my top seven include this list’s top five webzines. Compelling and Flash Fiction Online are the two that aren’t on this list. (I tend to like “plausible” SF more than a lot of people and, while I recognize the limitations of flash, I tend to be more susceptible to its charms than the big editors and awards.) Of the five remaining zines on the list which are SF and are not defunct, I didn’t cover Interzone or Omni, but of the three webzines, Apex and Strange Horizons are also in my next three. The exception is that I didn’t recommend anything from Diabolical Plots but did from Nature (which is always flash and often “plausible”/hard SF). Finally, I did include one story from Nightmare in Web’s Best Fantasy though it had the lowest percentage of recommendations of any such zine. (I’m not the biggest horror fan.)

In addition to Diabolical Plots, other zines I covered without picking anything for my “bests” were Fantastic (defunct), Grievous Angel, and Terraform, though the first made the above list and the latter two managed one or more recommendations.

Anthologies (34)

  1. Infinity Wars (7)
  2. Extrasolar (6)
  3. Cosmic Powers (5)
  4. Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities (4)
  5. Chasing Shadows (2)
  6. Sunvault (2)
  7. The Book of Swords (2)
  8. 2084 (1)
  9. Infinite Stars (1)
  10. The Djinn Falls in Love (1)
  11. The Expanding Universe, Vol. 3 (1)
  12. The Weight of Words (1)
  13. Where the Stars Rise (1)

Of the anthologies, I only reviewed Infinity Wars for Tangent and belatedly reviewed Visions, Ventures, Escape Velocities for this blog. I wish I could evaluate the list better but am restricted to those two.

As a military SF anthology, Infinity Wars has limitations but, for a general reading experience, it was very good. I recommended five of its fifteen stories. The big editors selected five as well but the only overlap was that I recommended and Neil Clarke selected “In Everlasting Wisdom” and “ZeroS.” For what it’s worth, Greg Hullender and I both recommended “Weather Girl” and “Command and Control” while I recommended “Heavies” and he recommended “Conversation with an Armory.” Not putting myself on a plane with Greg or the big editors but between us, we especially liked nine of the fifteen stories. Obviously a good anthology.

From VVEV, while I gave “Mozart on the Kalahari” an honorable mention, I only mildly recommended “Death on Mars” (which was all Greg Hullender recommended and which was one of the two selections of both Clarke and Dozois) but it was certainly a serious, substantial anthology. Since Clarke and Dozois picked different stories for their other selection, this had three noted stories of seven.

Other (16)

  1. Publishing (9)
  2. Patreon (2)
  3. Innsmouth Free Press (1)
  4. NewCon Press (1)
  5. NobleFusion (1)
  6. Sirenia Digest (1)
  7. Tender (1)


  • 2018-03-14: Posted.
  • 2018-03-15: Added paragraphs about my takes on the zine and anthology lists.
  • 2018-03-17: Added links to my “Annual Summation” and RSR‘s review of Infinity Wars.
  • 2018-03-31: Replaced last year’s Hugo ballot with this year’s, since it was announced today.

One thought on “Noted Short SF Markets: 2017

  1. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 3/21/18 Where In The Scroll Is Pixel Sandiego? | File 770

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