Short fiction I recommended to my colleagues in 2020-2021

People who work in the field of library and information services are either (1) readers, (2) open-minded and willing to try something new, (3) polite enough to smile and nod if something’s not in their realm of interest, or (4) all of the above. So when I began sharing weekly recommendations for short fiction with my library colleagues, I figured that it might be of interest to those who were already into that sort of thing, but might also catch a few new readers.

The criteria I used when selecting which stories to recommend was based on my personal enjoyment of the story and the length of the story (I tried to include more flash fiction than not, as I thought that would encourage people more than longer stories). Some of the stories were old favourites of mine, while others were newly-published. All of these recommendations fall under the umbrella of science fiction and fantasy, with the occasional horror, because that’s the type of short fiction I read. Since I work with library folk, I found it appropriate to include a few library- and book-themed stories. I also tried to recommend some stories that used creative or uncommon styles, perspectives, devices, etc. that my colleagues may not have encountered before.

I did also try to steer clear of anything too scandalous or potentially offensive since I was recommending these stories to colleagues in a professional setting. This did mean that sometimes I would read and thoroughly enjoy, for example, a horror story, only to decide after a moment’s thought that no, it was perhaps a bit much for the workplace. (But, Emily, you say—the third story on your list has a Big Swear in it. Yes, I know. Sometimes you’ve got to risk it for the biscuit, kids.) Also, in related news, the growing trend for online magazines to include content warnings at the beginning of their stories earns a big thumbs-up from me.

Anyway, here’s the list of short fiction I recommended to my colleagues in 2020-2021:

Happy reading!

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