The polls are closed and the votes tallied and we’re ready to announce our readers’ choice for the Best Fantasy Story of 2008. Thank you everyone who participated int he poll and particularly those of you who commented on the stories themselves.
Because there were so many great stories to choose from, there were a lot of contenders for the top spot. Four stories pulled ahead of the pack and deserve special mention before we get to our winner:
On the Finding of Photographs of My Former Loves by Peter M. Ball
This story resonated a lot of our readers and left them with little more to say than “Brilliant” and “This moved me to tears.”
The Shadow in the Mirror by Mari Ness
Willow Fagan said it best: “I think it’s really interesting how, despite the haziness of the setting, the story held my attention and seemed solid, even as so much of the story was about ephemeral things like dreams, memories, shadows. This made it a very interior story, and the vagueness of the external world reinforced that almost all of that world didn’t much matter to the narrator…”
Watermark by Michael Greenhut
“I really love how much this story accomplishes in so little space” editor Cat Rambo remarked, which was a sentiment often echoed in praise for this short and powerful story.
Keepity Keep by Carole Lanham
One of the commenters called it brilliant and said “It bounced along, slowly growing darker.” “The ending is surprisingly dark,” said another, “but perfect nonetheless.”
And finally, the best story of 2008 as chosen by our readers:
Erased by Elena Gleason
A year ago my boyfriend became invisible.
I woke up early one morning to an empty space beside me, the sheet and pillow still indented from where he’d slept. I reached out a hand to see if his pillow was still warm and accidentally poked him in the eye.
“Ow!” he shouted. “What was that for?”
“Sorry.” I quickly drew my hand back under the covers.
“Whatever, babe, go back to sleep.” He hauled me up next to him, arm reaching around to anchor me to his chest, and pulled up the blankets. The sight of myself being held by air was disconcerting, breasts molded by an arm that didn’t seem to exist. I closed my eyes. It almost felt like normal; the only thing that made it different was the knowledge that if I opened them, my sight would contradict the sensation of him holding me close.
Congratulations Elena, the honor is well deserved. (And your chocolate will soon be in the mail!)
As to the winner of the reader contest, that prize goes to commenter wealhtheow who left contributions in Cockatrice Girl Meets Statue Boy, Bones, and Notes on the Untimely Death of Ronia Drake.
Thanks again for voting and commenting everyone!