skip to Main Content
Home of the world's leading Science Fiction magazine

2022 in Review

by Sheila Williams

Welcome to my year-end round up of the work that appeared in Asimov’s in 2022. Please feel free to use this essay to help jog your memory when considering stories to vote for in this year’s Readers Award poll. The essay may also be helpful when considering nominees for the Hugo, Nebula, and other awards. Writers rely on reader feedback, and nominating and voting for awards is one way to signal your appreciation of their material.


I’m reversing my usual order this year, and beginning with the short story. With forty tales in the magazine, this length was well represented in 2022. The short story is often where we find authors that are new to Asimov’s, and that was the case again this year. Among our exciting newcomers was Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki. Oghenechovwe appeared in May/June 2022 with a  new powerful story about a cruel financial decision that ensures a “Destiny Delayed.” Authors in the same issue included Andrea Kriz and her powerful alternate history story about the lead-up to the Second World War, “The Leviathan and the Fury,” and Vikram Ramakrishnan, who gave us a beautiful tale about a boy and his new life on Mars in “The Abacus and the Infinite Vessel.” Other short stories in the May/June issue included James Van Pelt’s tale about the fortunes of a brew master whose search for missing Martian teens upends his life at “The Waylost Café,”  Bruce McAllister’s tale about a young boy and his unusual experience catching a “First Fish,” and Alice Towey’s story about UFOs, a first date, and “The Lights that No One Else Can See.”

Another captivating new voice belonged to Jendayi Brooks Flemister. Jendayi began our year with “Welcome Home,” a story about the unexpected consequences of a smart house, in our January/February 2022 issue. She returned later in the year with an eerie tale about a Japanese brothel “BAKEHAFU OK” in our September/October issue. Joel Armstrong, who was also new to our magazine, joined her in the Jan/Feb issue with his moving tale about a cemetery and “The Roots of Our Memories.” The issue was rounded out by three other short stories. Stephanie Feldman gave us a terrifying tale about how some bad decisions lead a young woman into “The Boyfriend Trap,” Joel Richards spun a light hearted story about a high school reunion that eventually allows for “Unmasking Black Bart,” and Tom Purdom looked at a stressful situation that occurs on an inhabited asteroid and considered how to resolve it in “Long-Term Emergencies.” Tom also wrote a short story about “The Long Revenge of Chenda Sebalko” for our November/December 2022 issue. Here, revenge takes place over such a long time that it certainly seems exquisitely cold.

Arie Coleman’s first story for Asimov’s appeared in our March/April 2022 issue. This was a clever tale about survival dependent on how “The Magpie Stacks Probabilities.” March/April witnessed the return of a number of our long-time writers as well. Steve Rasnic Tem gave us a bittersweet generational tale that asked “Do You Remember?” Leah Cypess offered a very short and funny tale about “Offloaders.” After far too long an absence from our pages, Marta Randall returned with an eventful fantasy about “Sailing to Merinam.” Paul McAuley spun a tale about an eccentric interstellar traveler who bestowed us with “Maryon’s Gift,” and Pete Wood investigated a mysterious North Carolina “Quake.” Pete also provided us with an amusing short story about what happens when “The Extraterrestrials Are Coming! The Extraterrestrials Are Coming!” in out September/October 2022 issue. A final short story in our March/April issue was about what constitutes “The Gold Signal” and how orbital junk could ruin our chances for a viable space program. It was by renowned SF author Jack McDevitt and his coauthor Larry Wasserman. Jack also delivered a story about a mysterious interstellar visitor and “Cosmic Harmony” for our July/August 2022 issue.

July/August was another issue well represented by short stories. Jonathan Sherwood returned to our pages after his own long absence with a complicated tale about time, alternate reality, and “Retrocausality.”  Paul Melko, who had also been away too long, returned with a bittersweet story about what it truly means to be “Ugly.” Annika Barranti Klein offered us an unsettling story about a group of young people awakened too early from hibernation on a journey into “The Big Deep.” K.A. Teryna penned a chilling tale about a “Tin Pilot”  who must avoid a golem hunt. The story was translated from Russian by Alex Shvartsman. New Zealand author Octavia Cade offered us a poignant story about climate change, heartbreak, and “Pollen and Salt.” Michael Swanwick revealed the immense complications that can result from trying to use time travel to salvage a relationship in “Reservoir Ice.” Michael looked at time travel from a very different perspective in his January/February 2022 short story “The Beast of Tara.” This story presented us with an entirely new time travel complications.

The last two issues of the year held their fair share of short tales as well. Marissa Lingen appeared in our September/October 2022 issue with an amusing story about girl scouts, a famous actor, and some “Bonus Footage.”  Lia Swope Mitchell wrote an intriguing tale set in the past that reveals some “Island History.” Geoffrey A. Landis penned a droll story about a genie who divulges “The Rules of Unbinding.” Horror and resilience are two aspects of Susan Palwick’s tale about a young woman and her professor who await what could be the end of the world in “Sparrows,” and Rich Larson investigated what it takes to create an evil villain in “The Rise of Alpha Gal.” Rich had another short story in our May/June 2022 issue. “30” was a tale about a man frozen by the ability to witness more successful versions of himself.

Returning to Asimov’s for our November/December 2022 issue after his own long hiatus, Nick Mamatas gave us a story about a post-climate changed Cyprus that is “Drowned in the Sun.” Michael Cassutt investigated a moral crisis and a “Flicker” of life in our upper atmosphere. M. Bennardo’s remarkable tale about “Forty-eight Minutes at the Trainview Café” is a stark and all-too believable depiction of life after uploading to a simulation. An exploited laborer’s courage is evident in Ray Nayler’s story about what it takes to rescue an old woman from “The Empty,” and Michèle Laframboise gave us a seasonal tale about catastrophic events that separate people on Earth from those on our natural satellite in “I’ll be Moon for Christmas.” Both Michèle and Ray also published novelettes in our 2022 issues.


Indeed, Michèle’s January/February novelette, “October’s Feast,” was the first of two novelettes by this Canadian author to appear in Asimov’s in 2022. “October’s Feast” was explores determining whether a new planet has the ability to produce edible food for human settlers. Ian Creasey’s January/February novelette, “Fasterpiece,” considered whether time travel could effectively buy a person more productive time on the job, and whether this is exploitive even when the job is to create art. After his own very long absence for Asimov’s, A.A. Atanasio returned to our pages with a scary deep-space voyage over the “River of Stars, Bridge of Shadows.” This novelette had some interesting twists and left us hoping he writes a new story for us soon.

The first of Ray Nayler’s two 2022 novelettes appeared in our March/April issue. His moving tale about the “Mender of Sparrows” was another story that brought unexpected turns. Christopher Mark Rose provided the March/April cover story.  His “Venus Exegeses” looked at love and deceit above this greenhouse planet. In William Ledbetter’s tale about “The Short Path to Light” a man attempts to save the AI cortex of his ship from a priest who represents a different agenda. Much hangs in the balance in this tense tale. The aforementioned author Michael Cassutt also had a March/April novelette. In “Aurora” a long since retired administrator returns to her post to help bring back the crew of a disabled spacecraft. In the first of his two 2022 novelettes, Will McIntosh spun a hilarious, if also dire, story about “Dollbot Cicliy.” In an economically uneven society, Cicily realizes that she’s the model for a best-selling sexbot. She also figures out how to use the situation to her advantage.

While Ursula Whitcher had previously published a poem in Asimov’s, her May/June 2022 novelette, “The Last Tutor,” was her first story for the magazine. This tale is about a complex human society on a distant planet, and a young student’s attemp to rebel against a tyranical system and a terrifying mother. In “Coyoteland,” Evan Marcroft imagines a desperate trip across some of the countries in a fractured land that once comprised the United States. One soon realizes that there are two meanings to “The Wine-Dark Deep” when Lena Ke’ Aloha made an interesting new discovery about octopuses. This novelette was Sheila Finch’s second Asimov’s tale concerning the cephalopod researcher. Rod Garcia y Robertson thrilled us with his latest story about Commander Amanda James. In “Silverado,” the new adventures in the outer Solar System had a decidedly Wild Western feel to them. Zack Be’s novelette “Meryl’s Cocoon” considered who would be attending live musical entertainment in the not too distant future. Robert Reed offered a new way of looking at time and space in a mindblowing novelette about the “Necklace of Memory.” In our final May/June 2022 novelette, Kristine Kathryn Rusch offered us a delightful, if also somewhat heartbreaking, talltale about “Rocket Girls” and their exploits. The May/June issue was so packed with novelettes, that we didn’t have room for a novella, but Kris brought us something much longer in a couple of later issues.

Megha Spinel’s first story for Asimov’s appeared in our July/August 2022 issue. This novelette took us backward and forward in time so that we could understand “The Secret of the Silphium.” Michèle Laframboise’s second novelette, “Screaming Fire,” about aliens with exquisite hearing (and very loud babies), was a thriller from start to finish. Robert R. Chase brought us an ingenious tale about the “Goblin Market.” This story mixed compassion with conniving and intrigue. Will McIntosh’s second novelette of the year, “Work Minus Eighty,” was set in the same milieu as his January 2009 Hugo-Award-winning story, “Bridesicle.” Once again, the dead are at the mercy of the living, but one can hope that decency will prevail. Eldar Zakirov created the July/August 2022 cover art for “Work Minus Eighty.”

Our annual slightly spooky September/October issue was chock full of eerie tales. We were very happy to welcome Alastair Reynolds back to Asimov’s. Alastair’s unsettling novelette about “Things to Do in Deimos When You’re Dead,” considered entities that must cope with existence after their bodies have been accidentally destroyed. The novelette was both sad and uplifting. Greg Egan provided us with an amazing story about how to cope with an ever-shifting reality in “Solidity.” Eileen Gunn delivered a brutal novelette about a woman whose resolve to protect her daughter isn’t limited by her death. Eleanor Arnason enchanted us with a tale about an Icelandic girl, a possible werewolf, and a very impressive “Grandmother Troll.”

Our November/December 2022 issue included a first story for Asimov’s by Rajan Khanna. This multi-layered novelette revealed just how difficult first contact and human relationships are “When the Signal Is the Noise.” James Maxey returned after a very long absence to tell the lovely tale of a man coping with the death of his wife and the mystery of the “Lonely Hill.” Suzanne Palmer’s cover novelette told the impressive story of survival on a spaceship after a terrible accident. Multiple viewpoints and revelations astound in a deeply moving tale in which one hopes to keep from “Falling off the Edge of the World.” The evocative cover art was by Maurizio Manzieri. Lastly, Nick Wolven treated us to a mystery about a climate activist who keeps drifting into dreams of the future where she is told that, “It’s Time to Wake UP!”


Nick Wolven also added a stunning novella to our January 2022 issue. “Snowflake” was a nuanced tale that revealed the secrets of a touring rock group. The story employed one of the most sympathetic unreliable narrators I’ve encountered, because the narrator didn’t seem to comprehend their complicity. Our January/February 2022 cover story by Sean Monaghan was the wonderful novella about the vibrant ecology on an alien planet and the miracle of “Goldie.” This was a poignant tale of human relationships and human and alien relationships as well. The lovely cover art for the story was by Dominic Harman.

Our March/April 2022 novella, “Blimpies,” by Rick Wilber, told a story of alien intrigue and human resolve. It was set in Rick’s S’hudonni universe, and it employed multiple twists that defied our expectations. A second novella by Rick appeared in our July/August 2022 issue. “The Goose” was a thrilling alternate history story set in Hollywood during the Second World War. It revisited ace baseball player Billie the Kid, along with the mysterious Eddie Bennett, the enigmatic woman from the future, and Howard Hugh’s amazing wooden airplane, which is known as the Spruce Goose.

 Kristine Kathryn Rusch set out to deliver a novella to us. As I mentioned earlier in this essay, it turned into something much longer. Although Kris was trepidations when she delivered it to us, I decided that The Court Martial of the Renegat Renegades would work well as a two-part novel. The story wove threads from some of the author’s previous tales together into an exhilarating work of fiction. In this story, the not very trustworthy crew of the Renegat find themselves dragged into the future and awaiting court martial for mutiny. The first half of the tale concerned the lead up to the trial. It appeared in our September/October 2022 issue. The second half told the tale of the actual trial. It was published in our November/December 2022 issue. The two parts to this novel will appear on the Reader’s Award ballot under novella/novel as one entry.

I hope this essay has helped remind you of your favorite tales. 2022 was a wonderful year in fiction and I’m thrilled that we had the chance to publish so many entertaining and insightful tales. Let the authors know what you though by voting for their stories and be sure to send along your comments. I will incorporate as many as possible into an upcoming 2023 editorial!

Back To Top
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop