Up for the 2020 shinies! Jinni, trapeze master, devadasi, printer’s devil, tiger-man & assorted bestitudes!

The hoary winds of winter are here, as are the reminders for all the wonderful and numerous works great science fiction and fantasy that were published round the year. As always, I would love for you to read my two most recent stories, always mainly for your entertainment and also if you’re voting for the awards.

As always, especially if you’re a new and/or international SFF reader (hi, my friends from India!), I would love for you to consider voting for the awards if you’re able. You don’t need to have an expert’s opinion on all the award categories; not all voters do, and the awards benefit from the opinions of a wider range of readers. The Locus Awards which open for voting in February are a free online vote, and the Hugo Awards can be voted for online with the purchase of a Supporting Membership to the award year’s WorldCon (which is different every year, but for 2020 it’s ConZealand). I’ll be really glad if you take some time to familiarize yourself with these processes and participate in them, because your presence in the fandom makes me feel more visible. Voting for my works is absolutely optional to this. If you’d like a handy and frankly awesome list of the books by other authors that I enjoyed this year, don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of this post.

And now for these two:

His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light (7521 words, Tor.com)

Eligible for: Novelette at the Hugo, Nebula, Locus Awards; Short story (no separate novelette category) for the World Fantasy Awards

binu, shezhad
If you’ve only ever read one story by me, you’ve probably read “His Footsteps, Through Darkness and Light.” I received my first ever royalty statement for this novelette! A professor in Pakistan is teaching it in her graduate class! Someone very kindly put it on the Nebula suggested reading list months before I even wrote an award eligibility post! More cool news that’s currently TBA but soon, very soon!

And, uh, look, we all know that drawing isn’t my strongest suit but I love these boys, ok? Both Binu and Shehzad were characters in my other stories before. They’ve come a long way, grown up in ways I didn’t expect and taken me by surprise.

Karen Burnham’s review in Locus Magazine

Charles Payseur’s review in Quick Sip Reviews

Maria Haskins’ review on her blog

A lot of friends and strangers tweeted me lovely things about “His Footsteps,” I don’t think I can link to all the tweets. Because it was a Tor.com ebook it ended up on Amazon and Goodreads, so there are reviews there too. Here are a few more mentions from Marissa Lingen’s list of favourite early-2019 stories, Holly Amos’ reading list on Poetry magazine, and Fran Wilde’s list of favourite reads from 2019.


Malotibala Printing Press (6305 words, Nightmare Magazine)

Eligible for: Short story at the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and World Fantasy Awards

My second story of the year is a nested ghost story in a printing press in a city that’s old now, but was young and growing at the time. The late chapbook printer Udayan and the tiger-man Noru are also characters from my earlier stories, they are all in the same world though the itinerant circus is far from this story.

Paula Guran’s review on Locus Magazine

Maria Haskins’ review on her Barnes and Noble SFF column

Charles Payseur’s review in Quick Sip Reviews

Again from Maria Haskins, in Curious Fictions

Annnnd finally, here are some other works I enjoyed/am currently reading/looking forward to read before the end of the year! 2019 for me was lot of travel and mostly reading book-length volumes on the road, so I’m still trying to fill in my list of favourite short stories. I’m also still reading longer works so my eventual nominations may not be from only these books, but in the meantime if you want to catch up with my reading and/or need holiday gift ideas:

  • Ancestral Night by Elizebeth Bear
  • …and Other Disasters by Malka Older (short story collection)
  • Babu Bangladesh by Numair Atif Choudhury
  • Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
  • The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older
  • A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Catfish Lullaby by A.C. Wise
  • The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
  • Desdemona and the Deep by C.S.E. Cooney
  • The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  • Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang (short story collection)
  • The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz
  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  • The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday by Saad Z. Hossain
  • Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
  • The History of Soul 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff
  • The Iron Codex by David Mack
  • The Killing Light by Myke Cole
  • The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
  • The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull
  • A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
  • Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
  • Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  • Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri
  • The River Twice by Brenda E. Clough
  • Riverland by Fran Wilde
  • The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson
  • Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
  • Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
  • A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker
  • Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
  • Unraveling by Karen Lord
  • Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

And at the end of that list I leave you with my wishes for a happy winter and many joyous/thrilling/heartbreaking/reaffirming hours of reading and lots of new stories to love! :)

1 thought on “Up for the 2020 shinies! Jinni, trapeze master, devadasi, printer’s devil, tiger-man & assorted bestitudes!”

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