written by David Steffen
Toasted Cake is back! After the last Best of Toasted Cake list for the year 2014, Tina Connolly decided to put her idiosyncratic podcast on hiatus. With a young child in the house and books on deadline, Tina needed to find more time. But she has missed it enough, and she has decided to run Toasted Cake for a school year run, and revived the podcast in September for that reason. So, this list covers the last few months before hiatus in 2015, the one story Toasted Cake slipped quietly into the feed in 2016, and the fall portion of the school year run of the revival, for a total of 35 stories considered for this list.
Toasted Cake has already raised author pay rates, so now pays at least 1 cent/word, which is also exciting. It sounds like Tina might want to run the podcast longer term if there’s some Patreon support, so if you love some weird flash fiction you might want to consider tossing in a couple bucks a month.
Toasted Cake did publish one of my own stories, my only original story published in 2017, “Cake, and Its Implications” published just before the end of the year, a funny flash story about an android who loves cake. But of course I don’t consider my own fiction for these lists.
Note that I did end up including a story that Toasted Cake reprinted that I originally published (#2 on the list). I decided to make the list one item longer than it would usually be to accomodate for this, so that a story I published wouldn’t bump another off the list.
Every short story that is eligible for Hugo nominations this year which were first published by Toasted Cake are marked with an asterisk (*).
Welcome back, Tina, and long live Toasted Cake!
1. “Un Opera nello Spazio (A Space Opera)” by Oliver Buckram
A space opera that’s an actual opera.
2. “St. Roomba’s Gospel” by Rachael K. Jones
A sentient Roomba lives in a church and tries to help preach the gospel to the congregation.
3. “Copy Machine” by Shane Halbach
What would you do if you could copy yourself?
4. “Carla at the Off-Planet Tax Return Helpline” by Caroline M. Yoachim
The story is exactly what the title sounds like. 🙂
5. “Beholder” by Sarah Grey
In a world where everything is defined by social media popularity, how do those of us who are less savvy get along?
6. “So You Have Been Claimed By a Magical Cat” by Beth Cato*
Also exactly what the title sounds like. 🙂
“Gunfight Over an 8-bit Rhythm Two-Step Skank at the O.K. Corral” by Ken Brady