We’ve reached the end of our Best of 2014 retrospective, and it’s time to reveal the story that we’ve chosen as our favorite. We loved so many stories last year, far more than appeared on our list, but one in particular had such an impact on us that it was an easy pick for Best of the Best.
It’s time to honor another great story that was a serious contender for Editor’s Choice but didn’t quite make it. Even though it lost out by a slim margin, it’s still an easy pick for our Best of 2014 list. How could we not love a story where an ostrich follows a guy around his entire life?
Our only regret in publishing today’s Best of 2014 story is that we didn’t wait until November to post it. Of course, when you’ve got a great story burning a hole in the slush pile, it’s much too hard to wait. So, back in July we published a story about the weirdest Black Friday sale anyone has ever seen.
One of the great things about speculative fiction is it can feel familiar, but also be completely new. Back in April, we published a story that felt like it could have been local folklore from a couple thousand years ago, but it also happened in a place that wasn’t necessarily of this world, either. It was a beautiful contradiction, and it’s one of the main reasons we chose it for our Best of 2014 list.
For the next installment of Best of 2014, we’re taking a short jaunt back to November. We published a story that felt overly simplistic at first, but as we read on, we discovered it had some real emotion hidden underneath. It was a perfect example of how authors can use all sorts of styles and tones to make us think about the human condition.
We’re throwing it back almost to the first story we published in 2014. This story had such a nice sense of scale — despite taking place almost exclusively inside a small cave — that we fell in love with it immediately. We also like a story that puts enemies in unlikely circumstances, forcing them to interact and see the world in a new perspective, which this story does with grace.
One of the nice things about looking back at the best stories of the previous year is that we can celebrate the ones that didn’t get the Editor’s Choice Award but still deserve to be lauded. Today’s story is a perfect example of this.
We’re kicking off the retrospective of the best stories from 2014 with one of the stories that surprised us most. First, a little background: We’re universally anti-vampire around here. No reason to go into the why and wherefore, partially because it’s probably obvious already. But the bottom line is that we really dislike vampire stories. So imagine our surprise when early in 2014 a tale crossed our inbox and instantly made us break our house rule.