Friday, July 15, 2016

July 2016 Ratings

5 & 4 Stories: 8;  Estimated Time: 7h:23m (133K words)
Recommended By Stories: 14;  Estimated Time: 10h:18m (186K words)
Total Stories: 46;  Estimated Time: 26h:13m (472K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire  Time: 2h:09m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 2016
(Portal Fiction) Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children helps kids who passed through a portal to another world and returned unable to cope with this one.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
Lazarus And The Amazing Kid Phoenix by Jennifer Giesbrecht  Time: 25m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 86
(Superheroes) A kid who was burned to death returns to life as a human torch, eager for revenge. Old Man Gasper has a similar story, a different power, and advises caution.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 SFRevu:4
Penric And The Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold  Time: 2h:05m (Novella)  IssueAmazon.com 2016
(High Fantasy) Young Penric, a powerful but fledgling sorcerer, joins the hunt for a fugitive sorcerer, suspected of killing his own best friend.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Against The Stream by A Que1  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 118
(Time Travel) An "illness" causes a man to wake each morning in the previous day, and as he lives his life backwards, he sees the mistakes he made.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
An Open Letter To The Person Who Took My Smoothie From The Break Room Fridge by Oliver Buckram  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Cartoon Humor) Someone in the Alliance of Doom has stolen Dr. Nemesis's smoothie, and he e-mails his fellow super-villains to complain.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:4
Last One Out by K.B. Rylander1  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Post Apocalypse) Filip is an advanced AI, and his job is taking care of Ella, who may be the last person left on Earth.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:4
Runtime by S.B. Divya  Time: 1h:16m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 2016
(Transhuman SF) Marmeg's augments are illegal and hand-tweaked, but if she can win a race for augmented humans, she can earn enough money to become licensed and have a real future.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Jewel And Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde  Time: 56m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 2016
(High Fantasy) Two teenage girls, Lin, the last Jewel, and Sima, the last Lapidary, struggle to fight the invaders who've taken the kingdom by treachery.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4

Rating: 3 -> Average

5×5 by Jilly Dreadful2  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 74
(SF) Two kids get together at a summer science camp after one tricks the other into eating her "psychic ice cream" which causes people to read minds.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:5
A Hundred And Seventy Storms by Aliette de Bodard  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 11
(Space Opera) The mindship Snow Like a Dancer and her cousin Lua struggle to survive an enormous perihelion storm on their backwater planet.
An Ocean The Color Of Bruises by Isabel Yap  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 11
(Horror) Five twenty-something kids from Manila take a beach vacation to reminisce about their college days. It's the off season, but it's odd that no one else is there.
Bride Price by S.E. Jones  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 06/20/16
(Modern Fantasy) Kyria comes from an old, famous, magical family in England. She's a modern woman, but her father still thinks he can set a bride price for her.
Fire In The Haze by Mishell Baker  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 203
(High Fantasy) After ten years, the spell that makes Jal En a woman has started to fade. But she's a seeress in the Temple of Ru, where it's death for a man to be.
Helio Music by Mike Buckley2  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 118
(Dystopia) You're a girl being raised to be a slave, but someone sees potential in your musical talent. But potential for what?
Jesus Has Forgiven Me. Why Can't You? by Betsy Phillips  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Christian Fantasy) Betsy and Jesus team up to beat her two-timing ex-boyfriend in a pro wrestling match.
Killer by Bruce McAllister  Time: 04m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Modern Fantasy) You are a hunter, and your prey is angels. The city pays a bounty on them. You've got one in your sights, but for some reason this one isn't trying to get away.
Mortal Eyes by Ann Chatham  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 202
(High Fantasy) In the middle of the night, the Wild Hunt demands assistance from a sleepless, pregnant woman.
Return Of Souls by Andy Remic  Time: 2h:00m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 2016
(World War I Fantasy) In 1917 Flanders, private Robert Jones lives the daily hell of trench warfare. But something much worse than Germans is hunting him.
Spells Are Easy If You Have The Right Psychic Energy by Dominica Phetteplace  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Modern Fantasy) Hruta is a young American-Norwegian witch. She's great with love spells, but struggling to figure out how to undo them.
Starpower by Christopher Shultz  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 86
(Modern Fantasy) The singer in a band copes with the discovery that one of his songs caused people to commit suicide.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Sweet Marrow by Vajra Chandrasekera  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 07/04/16
(Present-Day SF) Ulna works for "The Department," investigating a murder. Her lover, Marrow, believes The Department committed the murder itself.
The Desert Of Vanished Dreams by Phyllis Eisenstein  Time: 31m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Fantasy/SF) Alaric the minstrel accompanies a caravan through the desert. When water runs short, they hazard a visit to a dangerous "city" from a forgotten past.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Devil You Know by K.J. Parker  Time: 1h:19m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 2016
(Fantasy) The philosopher Saloninus makes a deal with the Devil. Except he approaches the Devil, not the other way around, and the Devil is worried it's a trick.
The Emperor's Railroad by Guy Haley  Time: 2h:02m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 2016
(Zombie Apocalypse) In Virginia a thousand years after the apocalypse, a boy and his mother make a dangerous journey with the help of a raggedy knight.
(High Fantasy) Hester sells eggs that turn you into a reptile if you eat them. It's the only way out of the city, but they never work on Hester herself.
The One Who Isn't by Ted Kosmatka  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 74
(SF) A woman appears to be helping a child recover from some form of brain damage. His perceptions and memory are off, but something is off about her too.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4 RHorton:5
The Thing On The Shelf by David Gerrold  Time: 50m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Comic Horror) The author wins the Bram Stoker Award and finds that the physical award itself is really haunting.
The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar  Time: 1h:00m (Novella)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Alternate History) In 1950s London after the Nazi's won WWII, a German man tries to find a girl he used to love in response to her call for help.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:5
The Words On My Skin by Caroline M. Yoachim  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 11
(Slipstream) The narrator's mother can write words on people's skins, and those words change who they are.
Time Out by Norman Spinrad  Time: 03m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 01.02|16
(SF Humor) A scientist who lost the fortune he made from inventing a smart pill decides he can make another fortune by inventing a stupid pill.
Trustworthy Loyal Helpful by Gregor Hartmann  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Hard SF Humor) Jimmy's first project as an engineer at a Silicon Valley startup involves crazy bosses, an electron beam gun and unexpected blue smoke. And that's before things go wrong.
Vishnu Summer by David Prill  Time: 36m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Surreal) Audrey, a one-armed country girl, is fascinated by the murder trial of a talented three-armed man from the next county.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Water, Birch, and Blood by Sara Norja1  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 07/11/16
(Portal Fantasy) In modern Finland, Elna, her wife and their little child take a summer vacation at a family cabin by a rural lake where something happened when Elna was 11.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

Chains by A.J. Hartley  Time: 37m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 06/22/16
(Steam Punk) Anglet is an indentured laborer working on a suspension bridge. Sir William sees something in her, and wants to pay off her indenture and give her better work.
Fish Dance by Eric Schwitzgebel  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 118
(Dystopia) After a near-fatal accident, the narrator gets a chance to return as an AI, but his real brain has to die first.
Pride's Spell by Matt Wallace  Time: 2h:03m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 2016
(Modern Fantasy) Sin du Jour, caterer to the supernatural, gets its first gig in Hollywood, but fallout from their last few gigs means there's going to be Hell to pay.
(Time Travel) The time traveler sets up an apartment inside Lincoln's skull in the moment before the bullet arrives. Then things get strange.
Snow Day by Catherynne M. Valente  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueUncanny 11
(Modern Fantasy) Gudrun, age 40, lives in a house in the jungle on an island in Hawaii, waiting for the world to come to an end.
The Nature Of Ghosts And The Fate Of Shadows by Luke Nolby1  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 202
(High Fantasy) An old man, a former imperial soldier, confronts young rebels and his own past.
Traumphysik by Monica Byrne  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 06/29/16
(Fantasy Science) During WWII, Lucy serves alone on a Pacific atoll. To pass the time, she conducts experiments to determine if physics works in dreams.
Typecasting by Harry Turtledove  Time: 30m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 06/15/16
(Alternate History) It's 1980, and a Sasquatch, Bill Williamson, is governor of "Jefferson," a state carved out of Oregon and California.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Magnifica Angelica Superable by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz  Time: 08m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 74
(Modern Fantasy) After a long absence, a god descends to earth and begins her program of renewal by evicting the customers from a restaurant.
Sephine And The Leviathan by Jack Schouten2  Time: 47m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 118
(SF) Sephine plans to launch herself  up to the Leviathan ship that has her colony trapped. But she's never done anything like this before.
(Fantasy Technology) An account of a failed design for a superscalar ball-bearing-based computer.

Rating: Not Rated

El Cantar Of Rising Sun by Sabrina Vourvoulias  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 11
(Mainstream) Alonso and Amor Quijano, children of a Philadelphia drug dealer, struggle to escape from their origins.
Some Pebbles In The Palm by Kenneth Schneyer  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 74
(Essay) How to make an SF protagonist interesting.

Rocket Stack Rank Review, Issue 11

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