Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 2015 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 5; Estimated Time: 1h:48m (33K words)
Recommended By Stories: 16; Estimated Time: 6h:50m (123K words)
Total Stories: 39; Estimated Time: 13h:27m (242K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Meshed by Rich Larson  Time: 14m (4K words)  IssueClarkesworld 101
In near-future Seattle, a basketball scout finds an unusually talented high school senior, but there's one catch. This story is uplifting and painful all at once.
Things You Can Buy for a Penny by Will Kaufman  Time: 13m (4K words)  IssueLightspeed 57
If you are desperate, visit the burned-out cottage by moonlight, find the forbidden well where the wet gentleman lurks. If you give him a penny, he might grant your wish.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 KTB LTilton SFRevu:4

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

The Mantis Tattoo by Paul M. Berger  Time: 28m (8K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
In this clever historical fantasy, set in the Pleistocene, young Nudur gets called to serve Mantis, and Mantis sets him a difficult task to prove himself.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 LTilton SFRevu:4
This Is the Way the Universe Ends: with a Bang by Brian Dolton  Time: 22m (7K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
In the far future, near the end of the Universe, Titus and the 92 remaining intelligences cope with the discovery of something new.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFEP
Twelve and Tag by Gregory Norman Bossert  Time: 30m (9K words)  IssueAsimov's 03|15
At the end of the 21st Century, the crew of Tethys initiates a pair of new crew members via a story-telling game. Chilling.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 RHorton

Rating: 3 -> Average

A Residence for Friendless Ladies by Alice Sola Kim  Time: 26m (8K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
A physically female high-schooler wants to transition to a man, but her grandmother sends her to a place that tries to make women into ladies.
Acrobatic Duality by Tamara Vardomskaya  Time: 12m (4K words) 02/11/15
Kim and Alana are two bodies sharing a single mind, which makes them world-class gymnasts--as long as they keep it a secret.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: KTB
And the Winners Will Be Swept Out to Sea by Maria Dahvana Headley  Time: 19m (6K words)  IssueLightspeed 57
In the modern world, a water spirit mourns the loss of her mortal lover.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: KTB
And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead by Brooke Bolander  Time: 37m (11K words)  IssueLightspeed 57
Rhye a bitter ex-supersoldier, fights to rescue Rack, her hacker partner in crime, after the criminals they're working for kill Rack's body while his mind is in cyberspace.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: KTB RHorton
Bilingual by Henry Lien  Time: 13m (4K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
Akari Yamaguchi is a 16-year-old girl in present-day California whose very creative plan to save the dolphins causes some chaos.
Daily Teds by Ron Collins  Time: 18m (6K words)  IssueAnalog 04|15
Fun story about Ted, a slacker grad student in physics who discovers that his professor's "gamma gun" has unexpected properties.
Holding the Ghosts by Gwendolyn Clare  Time: 11m (3K words)  IssueAsimov's 03|15
A body used commercially to host the personalities of dead people starts to get a mind of its own. Satisfying.
Indelible by Gwendolyn Clare  Time: 08m (2K words)  IssueClarkesworld 101
A man searches an alien concentration camp for relatives of his step-sister, who was an alien too.
Inhuman Garbage by Kristine Kathryn Rusch  Time: 1h:24m (25K words)  IssueAsimov's 03|15
A young woman is murdered in Armstrong City, Luna, and both the police and organized crime want to understand why. Captivating.
La Héron by Charlotte Ashley  Time: 21m (7K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
In France in 1699, a magical fighter comes to Caen to duel with creatures from faery.
Last Transaction by Nik Constantine  Time: 08m (3K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
On colony 13, citizen 79867 is about to have a very bad day, owning to an unauthorized transaction.
Little Girls in Bone Museums by Sadie Bruce  Time: 11m (4K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
Deeply disturbing story about Piedra, a young woman whose body has been twisted into a work of art called a "bone knot."
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFEP
Military Secrets by Kit Reed  Time: 10m (3K words)  IssueAsimov's 03|15
When the Navy reports Jessie's father is missing-in-action, life at school becomes very strange. Surreal.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Pareidolia by Kathleen Bartholomew And Kage Baker  Time: 36m (11K words)  IssueAsimov's 03|15
Josephus fixes problems for a 23rd-century company that uses time-travel to extract valuable artifacts from ancient times. Mostly light-hearted and fun.
Partible by K. J. Zimring  Time: 15m (5K words)  IssueAnalog 04|15
Heartwarming story of a man in near-future Seattle who learns he had a son with a woman he knew nine years ago--except that he never had sex with her.
The Last Surviving Gondola Widow by Kristine Kathryn Rusch  Time: 19m (6K words)  IssueClarkesworld 101
In an alternate history ~1880s steampunk+magic Chicago, a woman detective for the Pinkerton's investigates someone who might have been involved in a terrorist attack on Chicago.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill by Kelly Robson  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueClarkesworld 101
In 2001, just before the attacks, a girl out West has a very close encounter with space aliens.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: GDozois
Things Worth Knowing by Jay O'Connell  Time: 15m (5K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
In the near future, Stanley supervises school kids grades 1-12 while they use an automated system to learn, but one boy seems to be learning abnormally quickly.
Transfer Point by Barry N. Malzberg And Bill Pronzini  Time: 10m (3K words)  IssueAnalog 04|15
Amusing tale of an immigration officer on the moon in 2289 faced with the news that the immigration office will be moving to Mars.
Tuesdays by Suzanne Palmer  Time: 18m (6K words)  IssueAsimov's 03|15
Customers at a remote, west-Texas, late-night diner report a UFO sighting, and the police come out to investigate. Played for laughs, it's a fun read.
What Has Passed Shall In Kinder Light Appear by Bao Shu  Time: 1h:20m (24K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
A Chinese man recounts his life, in which the events of history as we know them appear to be coming in reverse.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

A Small Diversion On the Road to Hell by Jonathan L. Howard  Time: 12m (4K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
Humorous story about a bartender on another planet having a slow day until a time traveler turns up.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
A User's Guide to Increments of Time by Kat Howard  Time: 09m (3K words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
Siobhan and Finn are chronomancers, who can manipulate the passage of time. Former lovers, they hate each other now, and use their magic against each other.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: LTilton SFRevu:4
Damage by David D. Levine  Time: 24m (7K words) 01/21/15
An intelligent, patchwork fighter ship struggles to help the last of the Free Belt fight off the Earth Force.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: NClarke
Down Please: The Only Recorded Adventure of Lars Fouton, Captain's Lift Operator on the Starship Magnificent by Adam-Troy Castro  Time: 13m (4K words)  IssueAnalog 04|15
An alien general takes an interest in the unfortunate Lars, who has the dullest job on the starship.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
How to Masquerade as a Human Before the Invasion by Jenn Reese  Time: 02m (685 words)  IssueF&SF 03.04|15
Instructions to sleeper agents from other planets on how to blend in while waiting for the invasion.
The Eighth Iteration by Bond Elam  Time: 48m (15K words)  IssueAnalog 04|15
Lucas has taken over the small human colony on a jungle planet, and Jake and Margret try to resist.
The Language of Knives by Haralambi Markov  Time: 08m (3K words) 02/04/15
A man butchers the corpse of his husband to cook a meal for the gods, as required by his culture's funeral rites.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: KTB SFEP
Whey Station by Guy Stewart  Time: 01m (500 words)  IssueAnalog 04|15
A short-short, in which a couple renovating an old barn discover mysterious appliances.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Dancing in the Dark by Ramona Louise Wheeler  Time: 26m (8K words)  IssueAnalog 04|15
A captain of an "ice ship" finds a really big comet to help with terraforming planet Tarse.
Red Planet by Caroline M. Yoachim  Time: 06m (2K words)  IssueLightspeed 57
Tara's lover is leaving for Mars. Tara cannot follow because of her blindness, but then she gets an option to try a new treatment.
The Human Engineer by Jessica Brody  Time: 22m (7K words) 02/03/15
Dr. Hallix has been in a funk ever since the commercial success of his artificial womb. He needs something new to distract him from mourning his dead wife.
The Last Days of Dogger City by Mjke Wood  Time: 15m (5K words)  IssueAnalog 04|15
Adventure story about a catastrophe on a near-future floating city off the coast of Europe.
The Sound of Useless Wings by Cecil Castellucci  Time: 10m (3K words) 01/28/15
Heckleck is a Hort on planet Patra. Due to overpopulation, a lot of Hort will have to leave for another planet. Heckleck is eager to go.

Rating: Not Rated

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