Top science fiction short stories published in September by Joe Stech

Join me, my friends, in revisiting the halcyon days of September 2022, back when it wasn't already dark by 5pm here in Colorado! These are the top 5 stories out of the 34 I read that were released that month.
Oh, and side note: I'll be at AWS re:Invent this year (in my role as a cloud architect, unrelated to science fiction). I know some of you readers are tech people, so please feel free to respond to this email if you'd like to meet in real life at re:Invent! OK, now back to the reviews:
  1. Quandary Aminu vs The Butterfly Man, by Rich Larson (published by
  2. Timekeepers' Symphony, by Ken Liu (published by
  3. Inheritance, by Hannah Yang (published by Analog)
  4. The Rebel Feed, by Ted Rabinowitz (published by Analog)
  5. Eminence, by Karl Schroeder (published by
There were so many amazing stories this month that it was difficult to pick a favorite, but that distinction goes to Quandary Aminu vs The Butterfly Man by Rich Larson. The story was ridiculously entertaining: what are some of the emergent motivations of a bioengineered hyperintelligent creature designed exclusively for murder? The story just barrels along while holding together perfectly.
Timekeepers' Symphony by Ken Liu is almost not a short story, but it is certainly art. The piece is essentially a beautiful series of essays on the perception of time. As someone who reads a lot of short fiction, I mostly enjoyed it because it is both unique and contains concepts that aren't generally touched upon in fiction.
Inheritance by Hannah Yang is a beautifully constructed story about the relationship between a mother and daughter, told with snippets of memory. It had echoes of "The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling" by Ted Chiang. As a father of two young children I'm extra susceptible to stories like this.
The Rebel Feed by Ted Rabinowitz was super fun. I'm generally a sucker for stories about finance and economics, and when you combine those elements with ethically compromised entrepreneurs on an extraterrestrial human colony it's just like catnip for me.
Eminence by Karl Schroeder is the best science fiction story about cryptocurrency that I've read to date. It's more difficult than it seems to write a crypto story that isn't pure garbage, and this one was fantastic.
There were so many good stories this month that I kind of want to just keep writing, but I realize that a lot of the value in reviews like this is concision, so I'll restrain myself.
As always I want to point out that the magazines that publish these stories operate on a shoestring budget and immense amounts of passion, and if you've been meaning to get a subscription to support their work you should go do it right now!

Final order of business — charity shirts!

csf shirt mock-up
Shirts have arrived, and I'll be mailing them out this week! I still have a few, so if you live in the US and want one just paypal $30 to and mention the size you want. I'm donating all proceeds to BookGive, a literacy charity. This is the last time I'll be mentioning these shirts for a while.

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