Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 2015 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 10;  Estimated Time: 6h:28m (117K words)
Recommended By Total Stories: 22;  Estimated Time: 9h:05m (164K words)
Total Stories: 46;  Estimated Time: 17h:38m (318K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Builders Of Leaf Houses by Catherine Wells  Time: 1h:04m (19K words)  IssueAnalog 12|15
On Dray's planet, the natives in Motherlove's village meet humans at an inconvenient time, for they are coping with a number of challenges. Marta and Shipner mean well, but they have problems of their own, and communication is difficult.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 KTB
Edited by Rich Larson  Time: 10m (3K words)  IssueInterzone 259
Two teenage boys spend a weekend with a friend who's just been "edited." The narrator struggles to accept the changes in his friend and wonders if things can still be the same.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 SFEP
Footprints In The Snow by Bud Sparhawk  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueAnalog 12|15
Alberto seems to be a caricature of a bigot. He hates the family of spider-like alien refugees who've moved in next door and won't give them a fair chance. But first impressions can be misleading--this story rewards readers who persist.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 SFRevu:4
Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold  Time: 2h:04m (37K words)  IssuePenric's Demon 
Penric, age 19, is accidentally possessed by a demon meant for someone else. Demons can be useful, but they are dangerous, and Penric has no idea what to do with one.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
So Much Cooking by Naomi Kritzer  Time: 27m (8K words)  IssueClarkesworld 110
During a flu epidemic, the narrator uses her cooking blog to tell the world about how she and her family make do on short rations.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 NClarke
The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred by Greg Egan  Time: 1h:04m (19K words)  IssueAsimov's 12|15
The situation on Vesta has reached the point where certain people flee to Ceres in suspended animation. Anna, the new Director of Ceres, tries to understand the refugees better as relations with Vesta continue to deteriorate.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 LTilton SFEP

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

DreamPet by Bruce Mcallister  Time: 08m (3K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
The narrator is senior VP for design at a company that makes genetically-modified pets, and he likes to give them as gifts to family members.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Midnight Funk Association by Mack Leonard  Time: 25m (8K words)  IssueInterzone 259
Bunchess Taylor, a black musician in Detroit, learns that someone or something is poisoning Detroit's music when his assistant, "the white boy," buys an extra-sensitive piece of equipment.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 LTilton
Of Apricots and Dying by Amanda Forrest  Time: 28m (8K words)  IssueAsimov's 12|15
In a near-future Pakistan, 19-year-old Asma has to choose between a high-tech job in the city or staying home to help her family. A complex story, and there is more to things than meets the eye.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:4 SFEP
Wooden Feathers by Ursula Vernon  Time: 20m (6K words)  IssueUncanny 7
Moving story about a woman who carves mediocre decoy ducks and an old man who buys one every week.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4

Rating: 3 -> Average

A Case Of Identity by Edward M. Lerner  Time: 24m (7K words)  IssueAnalog 12|15
A quantum AI playing at detective is recruited by a young woman to investigate the disappearance of her fiance.
Bidding War by Rich Larson  Time: 11m (3K words)  IssueAsimov's 12|15
In a fairly near future Canada, Wyatt bids online for a mezo-American flute he thinks would be just the gift to patch things up with his girlfriend. Mildly amusing.
Cleanout by Naomi Kritzer  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
The narrator and her two sisters have come to clean out their comatose mother's house and select items they might want to remember her by.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Come-From-Aways by Julian Mortimer Smith  Time: 08m (2K words)  IssueAsimov's 12|15
One night in present-day Maine, a teenager with a pregnant girlfriend rows into the fog to think things over. But strange alien equipment often washes up on Bartlett's Beach on foggy nights.
Empty by Robert Reed  Time: 27m (8K words)  IssueAsimov's 12|15
Lerner Pong is an AI on a mission to the outer solar system following a huge war between machines that has left the inner solar system in ruins.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: LTilton NClarke
Her Echo by Kj Kabza  Time: 02m (615 words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
In the style of an old legend, this story tells about what happened to Old Wise Woman's reflection, shadow, and echo after she died.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
In the Queue for the Worldship Munawwer by Sara Saab  Time: 13m (4K words)  IssueClarkesworld 110
In 2139 Beiruit, Suraya sends a sequence of e-mails that summarize her team's progress saving as many people in Lebanon as possible from a coming global catastrophe.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: LTilton SFRevu:4
Paris, 1835 by Bill Johnson  Time: 19m (6K words)  IssueAnalog 12|15
A lady time-traveler falls into bad company in nineteenth-century Paris.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: KTB SFEP
Points of Origin by Marissa K. Lingen  Time: 19m (6K words) 11/04/15
Heartwarming story of how Torulf and Judith, an elderly couple on Mars, unexpectedly find themselves given custody of three preteen grandchildren they didn't know they had.
Riding the Waves of Leviathan by Garrett Ashley  Time: 23m (7K words)  IssueAsimov's 12|15
In the near future, a teen-age boy's world is turned upside down when a giant monster starts hauntings the beaches in his town.
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Love, Death by Caroline M. Yoachim  Time: 16m (5K words)  IssueLightspeed 66
SF story in present-day Seattle. Nicole and Andrew are star-crossed lovers, who meet in a bus accident. They marry, they divorce, and then things start to get strange.
Rush Down, Roar Gently by Sara Saab  Time: 20m (6K words)  IssueInterzone 259
An old woman hazards crossing a drowning future Beirut to make an apology to an old friend she had wronged thirty years before.
Some Gods of El Paso by Maria Dahvana Headley  Time: 13m (4K words) 10/28/15
In a magical, 2020s Texas, Lorna and Vix sell sex, but they mostly trade emotions; they'll take what you don't want, and sell the kind you do. As long as the law doesn't catch them.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: LTilton
The Fabulous Follicle by Harvey Jacobs  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
Cute slipstream story about Morris the barber, who takes on some rather non-traditional clients in order to raise money to open his own shop.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueLightspeed 66
The narrator is a soldier in a far-future army that transports soldiers by turning them into beams of light. But he has funny visions when he's a light beam, and he's starting to question the whole war.
The Museum Of Modern Warfare by Kristine Kathryn Rusch  Time: 21m (7K words)  IssueAnalog 12|15
The narrator, now a diplomat, returns to a planet where she and other humans had allied with natives to win a bloody victory. She's there to visit a new war museum and investigate complaints about it.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Plausibility of Dragons by Kenneth Schneyer  Time: 21m (6K words)  IssueLightspeed 66
In which Malik, a Moor from Cordoba, and Fara, a lady knight, unite to hunt a powerful and uniquely deceitful dragon.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: LTilton
The Thirteen Mercies by Maria Dahvana Headley  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
In a modern-day world that uses magic, a group of soldiers sentenced for war crimes struggle to make sense of their punishment.
The Winter Wraith by Jeffrey Ford  Time: 13m (4K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
All alone at home during bad winter weather, Henry wants to get rid of the dead Christmas tree in the living-room. It drops needles and ornaments and there just seems to be something wrong with it.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: KTB LTilton
Tomorrow is a Lovely Day by Lisa Mason  Time: 23m (7K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
Tomorrow, Benjamin graduates school and can start a new life as a teacher, but he has to finish one last day at a job he really hates.
We Jump Down into the Dark by M. Bennardo  Time: 17m (5K words)  IssueAsimov's 12|15
Anders joins a mission to try to save two people from a colossal space station before it twists itself apart.
Wearing the Hat by Mike Reeves-McMillan  Time: 13m (4K words)  IssueThe Sockdolager Spring 2015
Fun fantasy tale in which Rose, a middle-aged general store owner, agrees to be "warden and postmaster" for the new government--even though other locals aren't reconciled to having lost the war.
Your Right Arm by Nin Harris  Time: 09m (3K words)  IssueClarkesworld 110
On a spaceship in the far future, Rasakhi tells the story of how the last human died.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

After His Kind by Richard W. Strachan  Time: 12m (4K words)  IssueInterzone 259
The sole survivor of a colony ship nevertheless raises a host of rather strange children, and today he hosts a special ceremony at "the worm farm."
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Gypsy by Carter Scholz  Time: 1h:18m (24K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
With Earth falling apart, a secret group launches a mission to Alpha Centauri in 2041. Launching is only half the problem; getting there is the real challenge.
Hob's Choice by Tim Sullivan  Time: 30m (9K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
Hob Dancer has come from Earth to Cet Four because his great-great-grandmother wants him to learn about the natives, who are struggling to survive human colonization.
It's All Relative at the Space-Time Café by Norman Birnbach  Time: 06m (2K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
Bohr meets his ex, Jenny, at the café, where they reminisce about love and science in terms of puns.
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Silencer - Head Like A Hole Remix by E. Catherine Tobler  Time: 09m (3K words)  IssueInterzone 259
The narrator and his friend are transported against their will to different places and times where they shoot children in schools.
The City of Your Soul by Robert Reed  Time: 19m (6K words)  IssueF&SF 11.12|15
You take a plane flight to Seattle, but disturbing news from Brazil bothers everyone on the flight. And beyond.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: LTilton SFRevu:4
The Hexagonal Bolero of Honeybees by Krista Hoeppner Leahy  Time: 15m (5K words)  IssueClarkesworld 110
In a post-apocalypse Earth, Gabhan and his little boy Ciro compete with Mishka for a contract to pollinate trees.
The Master's Voice by Brendan DuBois  Time: 16m (5K words)  IssueAnalog 12|15
Today is Jake's 7th birthday (13 Earth years), and the celebration formally makes him a man.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: KTB
When We Were Giants by Helena Bell  Time: 10m (3K words)  IssueLightspeed 66
The narrator attends a Catholic girl's school. During recess, the girls play in an enchanted forest that transforms them into something else.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Here is My Thinking on a Situation That Affects Us All by Rahul Kanakia  Time: 08m (2K words)  IssueLightspeed 66
An intelligent spaceship from the center of the Earth reflects on the meaning of life.
The Deep Of Winter by Chris Butler  Time: 35m (11K words)  IssueInterzone 259
In an alternate world, a group of men go down into the abandoned undercity to search for two people who have disappeared.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [1]  Recommended By: SFEP

Rating: Not Rated

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Xia Jia  Time: 09m (3K words)  IssueClarkesworld 110
The narrator is a librarian who acquires a mysterious book of poems and becomes obsessed with finding information about the author.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [0]  Recommended By: KTB
The Freedom of Navid Leahy by Jenna Helland  Time: 25m (8K words) 11/11/15
Eleven-year-old David's family are cottagers resisting oppression by the Zunft, but today he has to fight with a former friend.

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