The Locus Recommended Reading List for 2008 has been published. For the last two years (2006, 2007), I’ve taken a close look at the short story portion of the list and given a summary of my findings.

The 2008 list contains 50 short stories, which is 7 less than last year, but still more than the year before (45). There are twenty-four different markets are represented, up from twenty-one in 2007. The number of markets on the list with two or more stories is 14 (58%), which is up from last years 11 (52.4%).

Seven stories (14%) were selected from the four online markets are represented (Clarkesworld, Fantasy,, and Abyss & Apex). This is the same number of online markets as last year, but a slightly higher percentage. Of these, Clarkesworld was the only market to repeat from last year’s list. (The number of stories appears to be the same as well, but to be certain, I need to go back and see how many of Subterranean’s stories from last year were actually online vs print.) Among others, three significant online magazines, Subterranean, Baen’s Universe, and Orson Scott Card’s Intergalatic Medicine Show, did not appear on this year’s list.

With print magazines, F&SF maintains the top spot, while Asimov’s continues to drop. Two years ago, Asimov’s stories claimed 25% of the list. Today, they have 8%. Analog, the current leader in terms of subscriptions and sales in the US, once again failed to place a single short story. Realms of Fantasy has also dropped off the list.

Half of this year’s stories are from anthologies or collections, which is up considerably from last year’s 39%. This represents 14 markets (58%) in 2008 and 9 markets (42.9%) in 2007. This will likely fuel the continued debate over whether or not magazines have lost their position as the place to find the best new short fiction.

This is how things fell out by market:

7 – F&SF (-1)
4 – Asimov’s (-4)
4 – Eclipse Two (-3 in comparison to Eclipse One)
3 – Del Rey Book of SF / Fantasy
3 – Postscripts (+2)
3 – Solaris Book of New SF
2 – Clarkesworld (-1)
2 – Dreaming Again
2 – Extraordinary Engines
2 – Fantasy (+2)
2 – Interzone (+1)
2 – The Serial Garden
2 – (new)
1 – 10 Other Markets