Annual Analysis of the Locus Recommended Short Story List

Now that Locus Magazine has published its recommended reading list for 2010, I can once again dig into my spreadsheets and take a look at how this year’s data reflects on the state of short stories. I’ve been monitoring the list’s short fiction category for a few years now and have always found the results interesting.

Some Quick Facts:

Final Standings:

7 – Asimov’s (+2)
7 – Clarkesworld (+2)
6 – Lightspeed (new)
5 – Tor.com (+4)
5 – Fantasy Magazine (+2)
4 – Strange Horizons (-1)
3 – Subterranean (+1)
3 – Apex (+3)
3 – F&SF (-1)
3 – Is Anybody Out There?
3 – Sprawl
2 – Zombies vs. Unicorns
2 – Wings of Fire
2 – Shareable
1 – 13 other markets

Observations:

  • This is the first year that there have been more stories selected from online venues than from books or print magazines.
  • Although the number of stories on the list increased by 111%, growth within the categories was not proportional. Online magazines increased their total by 212%, but anthologies/collections/chapbooks and print magazines respectively declined to 71% and 75% of last year’s figures.
  • Anthologies/Collections/Chapbooks spent the last four years at the top. This is their first decline since 2005.
  • Overall, print magazines continue to decline as a presence on the list. Three years ago, Asimov’s (alone) represented 25% of the entire list. That’s more than all of this (or last) year’s print magazines combined.
  • Notable publications absent in the short story category: Analog, Realms of Fantasy, and Interzone.
  • 38 stories are by women, giving them the majority. 20 of those stories were in online magazines. 12 stories were in print magazines. 18 in anthology/collection/chapbooks. (30 for men, 16 online magazines, 12 print magazines, 2 in a/c/c).

For the Visual People:

A Clarkesworld review worth sharing

The November issue of Locus Magazine has a very nice Clarkesworld Magazine review by Gardner Dozois:

The stories are usually elegant and well-crafted, many of them quite surreal, sometimes a bit perverse–mostly slipstream and fantasy, some horror, the occasional SF story. My favorites here last year were stories by Caitlin R. Kiernan and Elizabeth Bear. So far, my favorite this year is Jay Lake’s autumnal "The Sky That Wraps the World Round, Past the Blue and into the Black," an actual SF piece, although Jeff Ford’s "After Moreau," a revisionist postmodern take on the Wells’s classic, is quite good too, and there are also good stories here by Tim Pratt, Mary Robinette Kowal, Catherynne M. Valente, Stephen Dedmen, and others. Ironically for an online magazine that has no real physical existence, the covers are quite striking, some of the best I’ve seen in awhile. I particularly like the cover for Issue 19.

This is what the large-size Asimov’s should look like, but probably won’t.