Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 2015 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 6; Estimated Time: 3h:45m (68K words)
Recommended By Stories: 10; Estimated Time: 4h:13m (76K words) -> Due
Total Stories: 40; Estimated Time: 14h:57m (269K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy


Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Kritzer  Time: 11m (3K words)  IssueClarkesworld 100
Entertaining tale of a modern search engine that achieves real artificial intelligence by accident and decides it wants to be helpful to people.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 RHorton NClarke
Ether by Zhang Ran  Time: 48m (15K words)  IssueClarkesworld 100
One dreary day follows another for the underemployed, middle-aged narrator until a mysterious figure in black fleeing the police stops to trace a figure in the palm of his hand.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 LTilton
Farewell Blues by Bud Webster  Time: 45m (14K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
In 1937, Juney Walker was a young man playing the blues with a band in the Louisiana bayou. He played with a man named Jake Fell, who could play to raise the dead--and one time did. A very moving story.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Forgiveness by Leah Cypess  Time: 13m (4K words)  IssueAsimov's 02|15
A high-school girl's abusive boyfriend comes back to school equipped with an anti-violence chip. No one understands how despite everything she still loves him.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 KTB
On the Night of the Robo-Bulls and Zombie Dancers by Nick Wolven  Time: 1h:10m (21K words)  IssueAsimov's 02|15
In a nightmarish near-future New York where wake-up pills mean no one ever sleeps, Gabriel investigates strange behavior by his financial trading company's AIs.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:5
Prisoner of Pandarius by Matthew Hughes  Time: 35m (11K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
In this amusing tale, Raffalon the Thief accepts a job from Cascor, a minor magician who wants him to steal an unknown object from Cascor's former employer.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4

Rating: 3 -> Average

After by Ron Collins  Time: 01m (500 words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Short-short, in which a mechanical problem traps a crew member outside the spaceship and the rest of the crew try desperately to save him/her.
An Immense Darkness by Eric James Stone  Time: 10m (3K words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Antonio's project has developed a way to make virtual copies of living human brains, and now that's all he has left of his fiancee.
Blue Ribbon by Marissa Lingen  Time: 14m (4K words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Out in the Oort cloud, teen-age Tereza and her sister just won a 4H club competition, but when the kids try to return to the space station, no one answers.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFEP
Brigas Nunca Mais by Martin L. Shoemaker  Time: 24m (7K words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
The surprising tale of how Nick Ames, the famous, no-nonsense captain on the Earth-Mars run, had such a disastrous first wedding that there was no marriage.
Ghost Colors by Derek Künsken  Time: 12m (4K words)  IssueAsimov's 02|15
Brian is haunted by a second-hand ghost who, in life, had been a paleontologist loved Brian's aunt. Brian doesn't mind him, much, but his new girlfriend says the ghost has to go.
He Came From a Place of Openness and Truth by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam  Time: 20m (6K words)  IssueLightspeed 56
Teenage Ben doesn't understand why he's attracted to Mikey. He never like guys before, and there's something really odd about Mikey.
History's Best Places to Kiss by Nik Houser  Time: 21m (7K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
Amusing time-travel story in which a couple decide that disrupting their own wedding would be cheaper than getting a divorce.
Jubilee: A Seastead Story by Naomi Kritzer  Time: 24m (7K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
Beck is a teen-age girl who lives on Seastead, a collection of offshore platforms claiming independence from the US. Their organization has collapsed, and do-gooders from the mainland are trying to help deal with a couple of epidemics.
Karma Among the Cloud Kings by Brian Trent  Time: 25m (8K words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Preema is a Jain, sworn to kill no life, working on a gas giant planet extracting hydrogen for starships. The Jains have a menial job, collecting debris, but something about the debris bothers Preema.
Kia and Gio by Daniel José Older  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueTor.com 01/06/15
In present-day New York, Kia is a 17-year-old black girl still haunted by the disappearance of her cousin Giovanni seven years ago.
No Decent Patrimony by Elizabeth Bear  Time: 25m (8K words)  IssueAsimov's 02|15
About 150 years from now, a man who made his fortune providing immortality to the wealthy dies in a car explosion, and his son reckons with his legacy.
Out of the Jar by Eric Schwitzgebel  Time: 12m (4K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
Amusing story about a philosophy teacher who gets in touch with God and discovers he's a teenager running an illegal simulation program.
Portrait of a Witch by Albert E. Cowdrey  Time: 25m (8K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
The FBI forces crooked accountant Alfred to take a job with Lord Pye on a Caribbean tax haven to try to prove Lady Pye is a serial killer.
Red Legacy by Eneasz Brodski  Time: 33m (10K words)  IssueAsimov's 02|15
In an alternate Cold War, Marya works on a secret genetics project for Stalin, but her goals aren't quite what the Russians think they are.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Telling Stories to the Sky by Eleanor Arnason  Time: 16m (5K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
Heartwarming tale of a beggar girl in a long-forgotten city who tells stories to the wind.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: LTilton
The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner by Alan Baxter  Time: 20m (6K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
Daniel is a cabin boy on a pirate ship whose captain obsesses over a madman's map that supposedly leads to untold treasure.
The Extraordinary Extraterrestrial Togo Mouse from Ghana by Ryan W. Norris  Time: 16m (5K words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Brett, a reporter, investigates Dr. Alex Jordan's claim to have discovered extraterrestrial life in Africa. Creatures so similar to mice that no one noticed how strange they were before.
The Gazelle Who Begged for Her Life by Francis Marion Soty  Time: 16m (5K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
Sobering tale of Kafar Al-Din, who meets a Jinni in the woods outside Aleppo and tells the tale of how he comes to be leading a gazelle that seems to be begging for its life.
The Man from X by Gregor Hartmann  Time: 07m (2K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
Franden wants to be a writer, but he's hoping to immigrate to a less populous, less competitive world. If he can just fool immigration into believing he's really an artist.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

A Beautiful Accident by Peter Orullian  Time: 36m (11K words)  IssueTor.com 01/07/15
In this gruesome fantasy, Vendanj submits to months of cruel torture in order to gain entry to the Mal society to try to avoid a war with his own.
A Universal Elegy by Tang Fei  Time: 22m (7K words)  IssueClarkesworld 100
Irina leaves the solar system to be with Hull, a "man" he's known just two weeks, who won't treat him like a mentally-ill person.
Headwater LLC by Sequoia Nagamatsu  Time: 11m (3K words)  IssueLightspeed 56
Headwater Bottled Refreshments sells bottled water with literally magical properties. Yoko works in the home office and knows that the mythical, aquatic, Kappa on the logo isn't so mythical.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: KTB
Lightning Jack's Last Ride by Dale Bailey  Time: 31m (10K words)  IssueF&SF 01.02|15
In the near future, during the second US Civil War, the narrator and his friends drive armored race cars to steal gasoline from the Federal government.
Men of Unborrowed Vision by Jeremiah Tolbert  Time: 24m (7K words)  IssueLightspeed 56
Mara is a college student who flies drones to monitor police brutality at protests, but she knows something is wrong when no one at all shows up for a protest.
Phenol-faerie by Jay Werkheiser  Time: 03m (900 words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Short-short about a grad student trying to study faery dust.
Rattlesnakes and Men by Michael Bishop  Time: 40m (12K words)  IssueAsimov's 02|15
Wylene Godfrey, her husband Reed, and daughter Celeste move to Wriggly, Georgia, where everyone owns at least one rattlesnake.
Robot Boss by Erick Melton  Time: 19m (6K words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Don's supervisor is an AI, but what makes it worse is that, much like a human boss, it seems determined to blame him for its own mistakes.
Second Birthday by Elisabeth R. Adams  Time: 05m (2K words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Lisa gets invited by her friend Erika to visit her lab for the second birthday of two of her creations.
Tasha's Fail-Safe by Adam-Troy Castro  Time: 37m (11K words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Tasha is an interstellar secret agent for the Hom. Sap. Confederacy. Her efforts to identify a mole put her life in danger, and she has to rely on help from a person who hates her.
The Apartment Dweller's Bestiary by Kij Johnson  Time: 13m (4K words)  IssueClarkesworld 100
All the imaginary creatures a young person could want to make apartment life more pleasant.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight by Aliette De Bodard  Time: 23m (7K words)  IssueClarkesworld 100
A key scientist in the Dai Viet interstellar empire has died, and three people who were close to her mourn her passing in different ways.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4 GDozois

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

An Exile of the Heart by Jay Lake  Time: 23m (7K words)  IssueClarkesworld 100
Teenage Trieste is the heir-apparent to the Earth-Luna station at the L1 point, but she falls afoul of her step-father and get exiled.
And the Burned Moths Remain by Benjanun Sriduangkaew  Time: 20m (6K words)  IssueTor.com 01/14/15
Jingfei fights copies of herself for eternity--while other copies watch--but she does get the occasionally interruption.
The Badges of Her Grief by Andrew Barton  Time: 10m (3K words)  IssueAnalog 03|15
Eun-jin Park is a reporter on planet Esperanza. She investigates a woman up north who seems to be doing something unusual with the native inhabitants.

Rating: Not Rated




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