Short fiction reviews

About a year ago, Jim Van Pelt started a topic at the Rumor Mill to discuss and point to reviews of short speculative fiction.

I recently came across a couple of new sources of such reviews, and it occurred to me that it would be worth putting together a list of such sources. I'm looking only at online venues here (not listing print publications such as Locus or The Fix that review short sf). Most of the following links were posted in the Rumor Mill topic at one time or another.

  • Tangent Online still posts reviews. (And it looks like they've fixed the longstanding server errors that used to appear on their pages.) There used to be further discussion on the related newsgroup, sff.publishing.tangent-online (you may need to log in to read that), but that hasn't happened so much lately.
  • Bluejack has been writing intelligent and insightful reviews of short sf each month at Internet Review of Science Fiction.
  • Matt Cheney at The Mumpsimus regularly reviews short sf; he also regularly posts thoughtful and insightful commentary about all sorts of things related to sf.
  • Rich Horton reads an astonishing amount of short sf. He posts various things to his newsgroup, sff.people.richard-horton, most notably (for the purposes of this list) his year-end summaries of magazines; you can see his 2003 summaries at the Speculative Literature Foundation. He also posts occasionally to sff.discuss.short-fiction (which, sadly, doesn't get much traffic otherwise).
  • Cheryl Morgan occasionally reviews short fiction at Emerald City. (Aside: your 'zine is now the 2nd or 3rd result when you Google for the phrase Emerald City, Cheryl. Nifty!)
  • Shortform is a new LJ community devoted to discussing and reviewing short fiction, especially short sf.
  • Claude Lalumière has been reviewing various Year's Bests in his blog.
  • AndyHat's journal includes short fiction reviews.
  • Patrick Samphire has been reviewing short fiction for a few months now.
  • SF Site occasionally reviews magazines and story collections; for example, they recently ran reviews of The Third Alternative #38 and the Spring 2004 issue of Interzone (the last one edited by David Pringle).
  • Best SF reviews print magazines and some Year's Bests.
  • Infinity Plus reviews all sorts of things, including short story collections and anthologies.
  • Daniel E. Blackston reviews short fiction (often in less-well-known venues) every month or two in Firebrand Fiction.
  • Simon Owens posts occasional reviews of short fiction, and sometimes long fiction too. (Looks like some of the reviews there are by other people, too? I'm not sure.)
  • Ahmed A. Khan was reviewing stories he particularly liked, but it looks like that site hasn't been updated lately.
  • Whispers of Wickedness reviews short fiction, especially horror.
  • And, of course, the Strange Horizons reviews department regularly reviews short story collections and anthologies, among other things.
  • Finally, no reviews here, but Richard Cissée does give ratings for stories he likes (or at least he used to do so) at Free Speculative Fiction Online.

I have a feeling I'm missing something obvious, but I think this'll do for now.

10 Responses to “Short fiction reviews”

  1. Eric Marin

    Thank you, Jed, for this list. It’s great for readers and for small ‘zine publishers seeking out reviews. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Cheryl Morgan

    2nd or 3rd? Damn! It was first a few months ago. See what winning a Hugo does for you!

    There is actually a regular column devoted to short fiction in Emerald City. The problem is that I don’t like short fiction very much. I don’t think I’m the right person to be writing that column.

  3. D

    Found this site by coming backwards from Whispers of Wickedness, just wanted to say thanks for the plug ๐Ÿ™‚ and that the comments in the forums are also kind of mini-reviews of each story.I think it’s one of the few online places where you can get online feedback and discussion on every story posted. The official review section is having a particularly good spell as it’s now run by Peter Tennant (of TTA fame)with about 14 people willing to do reviews. Hope some of you will come visit. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. D

    P.S. Eric and Cheryl, I checked out your sites and they’re cool, more than happy for you to come over to the Whispers forums and give them a plug, if you’d like to. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Niall Harrison

    Hi Jed–thanks for the link to shortform. It’s early days yet, but hopefully we can provide some useful coverage.

  6. Martin

    SF Site has dedicated pages for several of the magazines:

    The Third Alternative
    Spectrum SF
    Electic Velocipede

    The Alien Online also reviews magazines.

  7. Jed

    Cool! Thanks for all the additions and further comments. I’m particularly pleased to see Alien Online’s page—I went over there yesterday looking for their magazine reviews, I clicked the “Zines” button in their reviews section, and I got a page saying there weren’t any reviews in that section. But now when I go there the whole list appears, so it must’ve just been just a transient network or server failure of some kind.

  8. Martin

    Glad to be of help. The way The Alien Online is set up if you click on Reviews or Features or whatever you only see items added in the last 28 days. You have to go to Archive to see all the site’s content. This isn’t exactly intuitive and I know the editor plans to do something about when he does the next redesign.

  9. Ahmed A. Khan

    Thanks for the plug, Jed. And yes, I am falling behind in my reviews (he adds shame-facedly, whatever that is). One of these days…




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