Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 2015 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 7; Estimated Time: 2h:54m (52K words)
Recommended By Stories: 19; Estimated Time: 6h:31m (118K words)
Total Stories: 40;  Estimated Time: 14h:02m (253K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Calved by Sam J. Miller  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueAsimov's 09|15
A refugee from drowned New York City tries to reconnect with his teenage son during a break from the menial work he does on ice boats.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 GDozois NClarke
The Molenstraat Music Festival by Sean Monaghan  Time: 48m (15K words)  IssueAsimov's 09|15
On an arid planet, an former musician--now a painter in his old age--attempts to help a damaged but extremely talented young musician find the strength to heal herself.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 SFRevu:5

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

City of Ash by Paolo Bacigalupi  Time: 07m (2K words)  IssueMatter 7/27/15
In a near-future, water-starved Phoenix, AZ, Maria hides from the smoke of distant forest fires and thinks about everything that went wrong.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFEP GDozois
It is Healing, It is Never Whole by Sunny Moraine  Time: 11m (3K words)  IssueApex 75
When the souls of the suicides tumble out of the low, gray clouds, the narrator is one of the ones who collect them, contain them, and load them onto the train.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 LTilton SFEP
Last Hunt by Vylar Kaftan  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueAsimov's 09|15
A young, pre-European Inuit girl and her cousin witness a falling spaceship, and she insists they investigate, wondering if it is a message from the spirits.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
My Father's Crab by Bruce Mcallister  Time: 15m (5K words)  IssueAnalog 10|15
A man remembers the good times he had as a boy with his father, a US Naval officer. He remembers a strange crab that bit his father, and how it changed their lives. The boy's love for his dad feels very real.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Lord of Ragnarök by Albert E. Cowdrey  Time: 56m (17K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
A middle-aged knight in early 13th-Century France bringing his squire (and future master) to meet "The Master of the Tides," reflects on the things he's done, variously brave, cowardly, kind, and horrible, and those he's seen--including the terrifying sup
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4

Rating: 3 -> Average

A Hot Day's Night by Paolo Bacigalupi  Time: 09m (3K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
Journalist covering the slow death from lack of water of a near-future Phoenix joins a scavenger for a night to get a story with a new angle.
Butterflies on Barbed Wire by Marie Vibbert  Time: 12m (4K words)  IssueAnalog 10|15
A young man whose family is in the tattoo business has problems convincing his elders that they should try new things.
Coming Undone by Alexis A. Hunter  Time: 02m (800 words)  IssueApex 75
A young girl with birth defects longs to be a cyborg.
Don't Move by Dennis Etchison  Time: 11m (4K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
Surreal tale of a young man who gets off a bus in the middle of nowhere and the mysterious girl who follows him.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: LTilton SFRevu:4
Duller's Peace by Jason Sanford  Time: 20m (6K words)  IssueAsimov's 09|15
A young girl lives with her grandfather in a near-future totalitarian south-east Asian country whose rulers use an airborne nanotechnology to track everyone's thoughts.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: KTB SFRevu:4
Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma  Time: 31m (9K words) 07/27/15
Lola (aka Eliza) has had problems dealing with people ever since she was a child, but she's always been good with snakes.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: KTB SFEP
Ghosts of Home by Sam J. Miller  Time: 22m (7K words)  IssueLightspeed 63
A young woman with a bank job appeasing spirits who haunt foreclosed homes meets an attractive young male spirit who causes her to question the rules.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: KTB SFEP
In the Cave of the Delicate Singers by Lucy Taylor  Time: 18m (6K words) 07/15/15
Stories say that deep in the the Brotterling caves something sings a song that drives people insane, but four cavers are trapped in there, and Karyn intends to find th
It Was Educational by J. B. Park  Time: 07m (2K words)  IssueClarkesworld 107
A game tester in a future China evaulates an extremely realistic, totally immersive video game. Bloody as it is, the fact that it's based on historical events means it's marketed as "educational.
Milagroso by Isabel Yap  Time: 13m (4K words) 08/12/15
In a near-future Philippines, Marty takes his family to his hometown to see a miracle that transforms artificial food into real food.
Monsieur by David Gerrold  Time: 46m (14K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
The narrator wants to write vampire stories. He meets someone who can tell him all about them, and he writes down his story, starting in 1870s Seattle.
Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys: The Elephant's Tale by Damien Angelica Walters  Time: 11m (4K words)  IssueApex 75
The elephant laments the sad state of the circus, remembers how much better it once was, and watches those who try to escape.
Rascal Saturday by Richard Bowes  Time: 32m (10K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
A late-21st-Century young woman lives in a New York that's dying from climate change, and she wants to escape to a lightly-populated alternate reality that her family can access--but she's not on good terms with her family.
Searching for Commander Parsec by Peter Wood  Time: 11m (3K words)  IssueAsimov's 09|15
A single mom learns that the 50s-style radio show her lonely young son loves listening to is coming from a radio station that no longer exists.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Stonebrood by Alec Nevala-Lee  Time: 38m (11K words)  IssueAnalog 10|15
A near-future story about a team in Pennsylvania trying to put out a fifty-year-old underground coal fire using swarms of mosquito-sized drones to try to map the extent of it. But there are worse things down there than toxic gasses, and the most dangerous
Ten Stamps Viewed Under Water by Marissa Lingen  Time: 14m (4K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
Two young sisters in a fantasy world wait out a plague at home. One of them collects stamps to pass the time, but what she really wants is to find a way to help find a magical solution.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Adventure of the Clockwork Men by Ron Goulart  Time: 26m (8K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
In a humorous 1903 steampunk London, a detective who specializes in the supernatural hunts a criminal mastermind who has kidnapped his girl.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Bone War by Elizabeth Bear  Time: 16m (5K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
Bijou the artificer makes animated skeletons, but she's never been asked to apply her magic to a dinosaur skeleton before.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Daughters of John Demetrius by Joe Pitkin  Time: 16m (5K words)  IssueAnalog 10|15
In a future (~100 years) Mexico, out in the desert, a transhuman young man helps out some normal people, even though he's in peril from other transhumans who are hunting him. There seems to be a well-developed world behind this little story, and it defini
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: GDozois RHorton
The God Year by Jim Grimsley  Time: 26m (8K words)  IssueAsimov's 09|15
The people of an ugly fantasy world where the narrator's drunken husband beats and humiliates her and his handicapped child await the coming of a god.
The Smog Society by Chen Qiufan  Time: 15m (5K words)  IssueLightspeed 63
A lonely old Chinese man gets involved in the fight against smog--without government approval.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: LTilton NClarke
We're So Very Sorry for Your Recent Tragic Loss by Nick Wolven  Time: 32m (10K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
In a world where everything is connected, a bug causes the system to think that thirty-five-year-old Meg has suffered a death in the family, and everything in her daily life, from her pillow to the ads on the sidewalk, starts commiserating with her.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

A House of Her Own by Bo Balder  Time: 16m (5K words)  IssueF&SF 09.10|15
Young girls on a lost planet where people have developed a symbiotic relationship with the planet's native life forms see their world disrupted when it is rediscovered by human beings.
And We Were Left Darkling by Sarah Pinsker  Time: 10m (3K words)  IssueLightspeed 63
A childless woman is consumed by dreams that she has a baby.
Biology at the End of the World by Brenda Cooper  Time: 38m (11K words)  IssueAsimov's 09|15
In a future where genetic engineering is strictly forbidden, a young woman new to enforcement helps search space habitats for forbidden biology experiments.
Given the Advantage of the Blade by Genevieve Valentine  Time: 08m (3K words)  IssueLightspeed 63
Repeated runs of a simulation in which women from fairy tales fight to the death with knives.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Security Check by Han Song  Time: 13m (4K words)  IssueClarkesworld 107
A man in a future, security obsessed America longs for freedom, but lacks the courage to defy the security guards at the subway entrance.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: KTB
The Night of the Salamander by Michael Swanwick  Time: 17m (5K words) 08/05/15
In an alternate, 19th-century Europe, aide de camp Ritter investigates a magical murder. This is #5 in the Mongolian Wizard Stories.
The Philistine by Ted White  Time: 15m (5K words)  IssueAnalog 10|15
A failed, middle-aged artist works for the government digitizing paintings and destroying them in the process.
In retirement, a super hero reflects on the events immediately after the "hero bomb" gave him super powers.
Today I Am Paul by Martin L. Shoemaker  Time: 16m (5K words)  IssueClarkesworld 107
Alzheimer's patient's family can't visit her very often, so they buy a robot to fool her into thinking they're visiting her. The robot tells the story.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

The Servant by Emily Devenport  Time: 50m (15K words)  IssueClarkesworld 107
A servant girl on a generation ship plots to overthrow the evil and corrupt rulers.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [1]  Recommended By: KTB

Rating: Not Rated

Brisé by Mehitobel Wilson  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueApex 75
A former ballerina tries to dance in a home studio her husband built for her.

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