This is not a list of the “best” stories of 2022, which would be taking sides. All our writers are excellent, all our stories are spectacular! This is instead a list of the most-read stories. And it’s not technically all 2022, it covers the last year. So the period includes December 2021. But it’ll give you a chance to catch up and to see what tickled our readers’ fancy during this weird year.
10. The Triumphant return of NightMara! (August). The media often overlooks VR’s potential to create immersive entertainment that may one day compete with your home screen and movie theaters. Audere‘s favorite VR show is Nightmara, so the arrival of a new episode in August was cause for some rejoicing, and an interview with the show’s writer/director, Gianpaolo Gonzalez.
9. Alan N. Levy’s Prescient Iran/Russia Warning (February). The late, great thriller writer, Alan N. Levy, once envisioned a future world that looks much like 2022, especially the behavior of Vladimir Putin in Eastern Europe. Earlier this year, Alan’s editor reflected on the remarkable predictions embedded in Alan’s great novel, The Tenth Plague.
8. OpenAI: A Less Toxic Chatbot? (January). Because chatbots are just language prediction models, they don’t have a conscience. Some scientists are working on that.
7. Is the Future Artificial? (July). We looked at all the ways that life is getting less “real,” from VR and AR to women who marry robots, and what to expect next. It’ll only get weirder
6. Defending Sam Wainwright, of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (December). Is Sam Wainwright the real hero of It’s a Wonderful Life? Is Mary Bailey the real villain?
5. An NFT Painting Transformed by Its Owner’s DNA: The Evans Brothers Explain (January). This is exactly what it sounds like. When you buy this NFT painting, your DNA will individualize it. Read on.
4. What to do on New Year’s Eve (Virtual Reality Edition) (December). In late 2021, with the pandemic still creeping along, some New Year’s revelers chose to party in virtual reality, the safest way to avoid catching a deadly disease. Here are some of the things they did.
3. The White Goddess: A New Micro-Budget Thriller with an Engrossing Mythological Twist (March). A secluded cabin in the dead of winter, an accident in the snow, a man and a woman stranded. All on a shoestring budget. We love it!
2. Six Years after Bulletproof Stockings, Perl Wolfe is Still Singing (June). Ah, the joys of an iconic Chassidic girl band! How does one top a thing like that?
1. Smoking Girl (April). In this short story by Steven S. Drachman, the most read of the year, two nighttime co-workers forge a superficial, temporary friendship over a 3 am cigarette break.