The Best SF Short Story Award 2016 (aka The Third All-Time Annual Best SF Short Story Award) got underway in early 2016. However, Lifetm got in the way. In a good way, as rather than spending a lot of time reading Short SF, I got off my ass and researched, and skilled up my brewing skills (which were non-existent prior to 2016) and I fast-tracked myself into setting up a licenced nano-brewery and started commercial brewing. All of which means that the Best SF Short Story Award 2016 came up well short of having enough candidates to make it a viable proposition. So scroll down for those stories that I did read in the early part of 2016 and put forward for my later consideration. Authors on the list below, rest assured that there is an alternate universe/brane in which you *did* actually win the Best SF Short Story Award 2016.
For the record, the winner of the Best SF Short Story Award 2015 was Bao Shu for his ‘What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear’ which appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction’s March/April 2015, and the winner of the Best SF Short Story Award 2014 was Michael Swanwick for his ‘Passage of Earth’ from Clarkesworld #91, April 2014.
Sandra McDonald. The Adjunct Professor’s Guide to Life After Death. (Asimovs October/November 2016) – an academic with ‘lived experience’ of death, tells a story that features a lot of compassion, and emotion.
Robert Reed. Empty. (Asimovs December 2016). A clever story featuring AIs and humanity’s destination, and some bigger issues.
Yoon Ha Lee. The Cold Inequalities. (Meeting Infinity, 2015) – an elegant updating of an SF classic.
Carolyn Ives Gilman. Touring with the Alien. – (Clarkesworld Magazine #115, April 2016) – An excellent road trip story, with a difference.
Margaret Ronald. And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices. – (Clarkesworld Magazine #117, June 2016.) – A clever structure, mix of human and societal analysis, and an altogether different type of First Contact.