is up, without author names yet, and once again I'm flabbergasted by the level of quality in these stories. By crotchety standards, almost every story is readable, about every other one is good
or at least very clever, and about one in four or five makes me jiggle with delight and amazement. Usually I don't do recs because they're so personal it seems kinda like a crapshoot. But this year there were some stories that were just so perfectly to my own tastes that it seems like I have to rec them. There are lots of other very very good
stories out there, but if you happen to be a clone of me, make sure you don't miss these ones!Mir Belledas Nancy Springer -- White Hart series
The story written for me, not-so-coincidentally a beautiful match to my tastes! I said, "if you can write smut in the author's style, WOW!" and that's what I got. A missing scene with enriching mention of other events throughout the book. Does an amazing job of capturing tone and voices (and language and culture) while going to a place Springer (probably) wouldn't have gone, or at least wouldn't have published. The Golden Ones Sarah Monette -- Melusine series
Mildmay and Felix beginning their exile after The Mirador. Perfect writing voices, rich visual/cultural references, gripping storyline, and a touch of m/m smut.A Light in the Darkness Martha Wells -- The Fall of Ile-Rien
Good characterizations, clever mystery plot, great use of the culture. Ilias and Tremaine after the trilogy. Not enough Giliead, but yay for including Nicholas! No smut in this one, just good clean fun.