Cheffo’s Favourites of 2015

Your typical “Best of” list seem to run at least 10 entries and are put out by people who read widely, and with a critical eye. In 2015 I read more widely, and with a more critical eye. I read stories recommended by others, stories by writers whose work I enjoy and stories featured in “White Whale” publications where I aspire to be published.

There are a lot of really talented people writing really good stories. Sometimes I found myself wallowing. Why bother?  I am no where near as talented. Thing is … I need to write and I want to write as well as they do. The only way there is to read, write and improve at both. Self-pity has no place in that process.

Rather than ring off 10 stories that I learned a lot from, I started making a list of stories that I enjoyed as a reader and respect-the-hell-out-of as a writer. They all show creativity, precision and relevance in a way that is deeply affecting. Go read them.

FavStories2015
EVEN IN THIS SKIN by A.C. Wise Shimmer
HUNGRY DAUGHTERS OF STARVING MOTHERS by Alyssa Wong Nightmare Magazine
FABULOUS BEASTS by Priya Sharma Tor.com
THE THREE RESURRECTIONS OF JESSICA CHURCHILL by Kelly Robson Clarkesworld
THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS by Rebecca Jones-Howe Cease, Cows

Notice anything interesting?

All 5 are written by women, including women of varying skin tone and varying orientations. This was not intentional. I didn’t make a plan for 2015 to read more work by any particular group.

This list is an organic result of reading what people I respect promoted and recommended in 2015.

I certainly have stories to make the list longer, but I’m going to stop at the point where I recognized the pattern. A point I wouldn’t have stopped at if the top 5 were all written by straight white men.

Diversity in my reading may not be perfect, but it’s getting better.

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