There was a lot of good work done last year.
A great place to start is with the LOCUS Recommended Reading List, which just came out:
I am sure there are some terrific stories and books that did not make the list (there usually are), but still, you can't do better when it comes to a starting place.
And please note, in light of last year's controversies, that this is what a recommended reading list SHOULD look like. Not a slate of five, with the message (spoken or unspoken) "vote for these," but rather a long long list of quality work with the message, "here's some good stuff, things we like, take a look."
(I am, of course, gratified that so many stories from OLD VENUS made the list. LOCUS has always been kind to me. I point this out lest I be accused of bias. So I cannot pretend to be a completely disinterested party, but I do want to be honest and upfront. It should be said as well that, while I often share the enthusiasms of the LOCUS editorial staff and reviewers, and have found them to be on the whole a reliable guide, I do also disagree with their assessments from time to time. We all have our own tastes).
Just for the record, before the issue is raised, let me state loudly and definitively that I do not want any of my work to be part of anyone's slate, this year or any year. But I do feel, as I have said before, that a recommended reading list and a slate are two entirely different animals.
Meanwhile, I will continue making my own recommendations here from time to time, when I have the time and the energy. Both of which I find are in short supply these days.