Five years ago, C of The Middle Shelf floated the idea of a jury-based award given by a panel of bloggers to their pick of the best works of genre fiction each year. Fast forward to 2022 and our fifth annual Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards will be bigger and more chaotic than ever, with more categories, more nominees and more opinions. Buckle up, it’s time to say hello to our 2022 panel and subjective shortlist!

It’s a truth rarely acknowledged that I get more out of SFnal short stories than fantasy. Novellas, on the other hand, are a favourite of mine regardless of genre. The best have just enough world-building to support their plot, and focus on characters and situation to deliver a thrilling adventure or emotionally resonant ride (or both! Both is good) – for today’s Fantastic Five, I’m sharing some favourites…

I’ve been making steady progress on my Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards shortlists, thanks in part to traveling a lot this past month. There’s nothing quite like the enforced downtime of flying to motivate me to inhale books I’ve been looking forward to or bull through ones I haven’t. Today I’m looking back at the fantasy novellas in a Wyrd and Wonder cross-over.

Book cover: Book of Night - Holly BlackCharlie Hall never met a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. She’s trying to distance herself from her past, but going straight isn’t easy. Now everyone wants to lay hands on a secret that will grant them control of the shadow world – and who better to steal it than Charlie?